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Running a Large Semi-Bluff on the Turn

Running a Large Semi-Bluff on the Turn
  • After three-betting, @JonathanLittle checks flop then raises the turn in this WPT tournament hand.

  • Consider how you would have played this one, "kind of an odd hand" says @JonathanLittle.

Today's hand comes from early in a $3,500 World Poker Tour event, and as I mention at the start of the video below, I played this hand a little bit odd.

The blinds were 75/150, and it folded to a loose-aggressive player in the cutoff with about 40,000 who raised to 400. I had 32,000 on the button where I'd been dealt {Q-Diamonds}{10-Hearts}. This being a reraise-or-fold spot, I elected to three-bet to 1,100. It folded back to the original raiser who called, and the flop came {A-Diamonds}{K-Hearts}{10-Diamonds}.

My opponent checked and I decided to check behind. (Listen to the video below where I talk about why checking seemed the best option here.) The turn then brought the {9-Diamonds} and a sizable bet of 1,900 from my opponent (about 80 percent of the pot).

With a flush draw and a gutshot straight draw, plus the pair of tens, I wasn't going to fold. But could I raise the turn after having checked the flop? I had to consider what kinds of hands I would play in such a manner — checking the flop, then raising the turn — including whether or not I would actually play any premium hands this way.

Take a look and hear what I ended up doing, as well as my explanation for playing the hand the way I did:

As I say, this was kind of an odd hand because while middle pair is often good, it is almost certainly not in this situation. What do you think?

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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