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Postflop Aggression: Facing the Dreaded Turn Check-Raise

Jonathan Little
  • After turning a flush @JonathanLittle bets for value, but a minimum check-raise causes concern.

  • @JonathanLittle considers how to respond to significant aggression after he's turned a flush.

I have another hand this week to share from the same $1,000 buy-in no-limit hold'em tournament from which the last few hand analyses have come. This one features another tricky spot where I make a strong hand but face some worrisome postflop aggression from an opponent suggesting my hand might not be as good as it seems.

It's still early in the event, with the blinds 100/200 with a 25 ante and stacks mostly all around 20,000. A player sitting under the gun raises to 500 and two players call (all three straightforward players), and I look down at {6-Spades}{5-Spades} on the button. I call also, and the big blind — a tricky, aggressive player — comes along as well.

The flop comes {J-Spades}{7-Spades}{4-Clubs}, giving me both a straight draw and a flush draw. It checks around to me and I decide to bet 1,800 into the pot of about 2,800, and only the tricky, aggressive player in the big blind calls.

The turn then brings the {2-Spades}, filling my flush, and my lone remaining opponent checks. With the pot about 6,400, I bet 3,000. As I explain in the video below, I size my bet that way partly to set up getting stacks in by the river.

Then — to my surprise — my opponent check-raises to 6,200, essentially a minimum raise.

What could he have? And what should I do in response? Take a look to see how the hand played out and hear my reasoning for what I did:

When you have a premium but non-nut hand and face a significant sign of aggression, it is often wise to proceed with caution. Do you lose your stack a lot of the time in situations like this, or do you take the passive route?

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $6,300,000 in live tournament earnings. He writes a weekly educational blog and hosts a podcast at You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.

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