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Three-Barreling in a No-Limit Hold'em Tournament

Three-Barreling in a No-Limit Hold'em Tournament
  • .@JonathanLittle discusses a hand in which he three-barrel bluffs, by the river playing the board.

  • Early in a €5K EPT event, @JonathanLittle plays position, firing three postflop bets w/nary a pair.

Today I have a hand I want to share from early in a €5,000 buy-in European Poker Tour event, one involving me playing with position but with no hand to speak of, and in which I chose to fire multiple postflop bets in an effort to win the pot.

After getting off to a good start I was already up around 55,000. With the blinds 100/200 (ante 25), it folded to me on the button where I was dealt {4-Clubs}{3-Clubs}. I raised to 500 and got one caller, a tight-aggressive younger player in the big blind who was still around the 30,000-chip starting stack.

The flop came {A-Clubs}{Q-Diamonds}{10-Hearts}, missing my hand other than to provide backdoor flush and gutshot straight draws. After my opponent checked I bet 600, and he called. The turn was the {9-Hearts} and my opponent checked again, and I had to decide whether or not to barrel once more.

As I discuss in the video below, that decision had a lot to do with what I thought my opponent would do if I bet, and in fact you'll hear me saying why checking behind and giving up was probably a good idea. However, in the hand I decided to bet 1,800 and my opponent called again, bringing the pot up over 6,100.

Having made that turn bet, I was already reasonably sure I'd be firing again on the river. Indeed, the turn bet itself isn't profitable if I'm not planning to follow through with a third barrel.

The river was the {J-Spades}, and when checked to I bet 3,000 or just under half the pot. Watch and listen to my reasoning for making all three of these postflop bets — as well as what I say about my bet-sizing on that third barrel — and see what happens:

This hand clearly demonstrates a situation in which you must continue firing on the river if you bet on the turn. Would you have bet on all three streets in this situation? Or would you have conceded on the turn?

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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