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Playing a Big Draw on the Turn vs. Two Opponents

Playing a Big Draw on the Turn vs. Two Opponents

DECISION POINT: In a no-limit hold'em tournament, two early position players and one in middle position all limp into the pot. You complete from the small blind with {j-Spades}{3-Spades}, the big blind checks, and five players see the flop come {10-Spades}{8-Spades}{6-Diamonds}.

It checks to the under-the-gun player who bets. The next player folds, the middle position player calls, you call, and the big blind folds. The turn comes the {9-Hearts} and action is on you.

PRO ANSWER: Whenever we have a big draw, we should consider whether attempting to create fold equity through aggression will be profitable.

Maximizing fold equity with either an open-shove or a check-shove can often both be profitable lines, but will vary in effectiveness with stack depth and hand ranges.

We have a somewhat borderline stack in this hand, meaning that if our stack was any smaller, we would have significantly reduced fold equity by check-shoving, and open-shoving the turn could sometimes be a viable play. Any larger of a stack and open-jamming is far less attractive from a risk-reward standpoint.

The fact that the pot is three-way tips our decision toward check-shoving or check-calling being more profitable than open-shoving.

That said, one very important factor here is the middle position player's hand range. We block many of the non-7-x and non-9-x hands in his range. He is also less likely to have J-x hands and spade draws because of our hand, which makes it more likely he has a strong made hand on the turn.

Semi-bluffing with so many outs is often profitable, but with 2x pot left in stacks and these ranges, check-calling or check-shoving depending on the action will show a higher EV than open-shoving.

Checking is the best play.

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