PokerStars EPT Prague

Poker Coaching with Jonathan Little: Bluff Catching

Poker Coaching with Jonathan Little: Bluff Catching
  • @JonathanLittle analyzes a spot where the circumstances favor making a "hero call" with ace-high.

  • Poker Coaching with @JonathanLittle: Learn when and where to call with your bluff catchers.

In a $10,000 buy-in high roller event, the blinds were 300/600 with a 75 ante when the action folded to me in the lojack seat with {A-Hearts}{10-Clubs}. I decided to raise to 1,400 out of my 22,000 stack. The small blind, a very active, aggressive 50-year-old, and the big blind, and loose, aggressive younger player, both called.

The flop came {4-Hearts}{3-Diamonds}{3-Clubs}. The small blind led for 3,000 into the 4,875 pot and the big blind folded.

Poker Coaching with Jonathan Little: Bluff Catching 101

I decided to call. While calling may seem a bit optimistic, it is important to remember that the small blind is overly active. This implies that his range is much wider than only reasonable made hands and decent draws. He could certainly be leading with hands as weak as overcards with backdoor flush draws, meaning my {A-Hearts}{10-Clubs} could easily have him in bad shape.

While calling leads to dicey turn and river situations, it is probably ideal. Raising doesn't have much merit because if my opponent calls or reraises, I have no way of knowing where I stand.

The turn was the {J-Spades}. The small blind bet again, this time 5,000 into the 10,875 pot.

Poker Coaching with Jonathan Little: Bluff Catching 102

I again decided to call. At this point, it is mandatory to determine if the opponent is capable of betting again on the turn with nothing. If he is, I should be somewhat inclined to continue calling because the turn, despite being an overcard, didn't significantly change the board.

If he will only bet the turn with his decent made hands and his best draws, folding is perfectly acceptable because {A-Hearts}{10-Clubs} is in marginal shape against that range.

The river was the {8-Clubs}, making the board {4-Hearts}{3-Diamonds}{3-Clubs}{J-Spades}{8-Clubs}. The small blind bet 10,000 into the 20,875 pot, almost enough to put me all in.

Poker Coaching with Jonathan Little: Bluff Catching 103

As on the turn, the river did not meaningfully change the board. Also, if my opponent had an {8-} or {4-}, he would likely check this river, meaning he will usually show up with {J-}{x-} or a better made hand, or a bluff.

Given essentially all the draws missed, I think this is a somewhat easy call. There is no merit in raising because when my opponent doesn't have a {J-} or {3-}, he will almost certainly fold, and when he does, he will happily call off.

I made the hero call and my opponent turned up {5-Hearts}{2-Hearts} for a busted straight draw, awarding me a nice pot.

If you enjoyed this hand analysis, then I have a 7-day poker challenge for you. If you accept (and actually take it seriously), your game will be significantly improved over the next 7 days.

I challenge you to immerse yourself in my interactive training site,, over the next 7 days.

Poker Coaching with Jonathan Little: Bluff Catching 104

Take as many of the 140 interactive hand quizzes as you can over the next 7 days. Watch as many of the 17 recorded coaching webinars as you can over the next 7 days.

So how much is it? It's FREE to try for 7 days!

Start your FREE 7-Day Trial

I have a very special bonus for you if you sign up by Friday, September 29th...

This bonus is IN ADDITION TO the 97 Bonus Credits you'll get automatically if you decide to keep your membership past the 7-day trial!

So here's the deal...

I'll give you $10 in Bonus Credits (up to $300 in Bonus Credits total) for every quiz you complete perfectly during your 7-day trial!

You can use your Bonus Credits towards the purchase of any of the products listed here:

Poker Coaching with Jonathan Little: Bluff Catching 105

TIP: If you mess up on any of the quizzes, you can retake them until you get a perfect score!

To claim your Bonus Credits (up to $300 in Bonus Credits total), here's what you need to do:


Sign up for your free 7-day trial to NO LATER THAN Friday, September 29th:

Start your FREE 7-Day Trial


Go through as many quizzes as you can (up to 30 quizzes max) during your 7-day trial.


Send an email to with this subject line:


My team will verify your answers (including checking timestamps of when you submitted your answers), and add your Bonus Credits to your account!

Please allow 2-3 days for my team to add your Bonus Credits to your account.

Start your FREE 7-Day Trial

Why am I doing this?

I think you'll love Poker Coaching so much that, once you try it, you'll want to stay in for a long time! And if you don't love it for any reason, just let my team know before your 7-day trial is up and you won't be billed.

Start your FREE 7-Day Trial

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $6,500,000 in live tournament earnings. He writes a weekly educational blog and hosts a podcast at You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.

Finding a trustworthy room to play online poker can be a monumental burden. That's all the more true if you're just looking for a place to play poker for free. We've listed five of the best play-money poker sites to enjoy and help hone your skills.

What do you think?

More Stories

Casino News

Other Stories