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Tricky Spot with Tens Against Dan O'Brien at a WSOP Final Table

Dan O'Brien


  • @JonathanLittle analyzes his preflop play with pocket tens vs. @DanOBrienPoker at a WSOP final table.

  • How would you have played this WSOP final table hand? Get all in w/pocket tens or find another spot?

With this week's article and the next few, I want to share and analyze some hands from a 2015 World Series of Poker final table — the $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Event.

In this hand I was up against world-class professional Dan O'Brien. The blinds were 15,000/30,000 with a 5,000 ante, I had about 2 million to start the hand, and O'Brien had about 1 million.

In the hand I face a decision whether or not to call an all-in push from O'Brien before the flop with my {10-Clubs}{10-Diamonds} in the big blind. As I talk about in the video below, of the players at the final table, O'Brien wasn't one against whom I necessarily wanted to play a big pot. At the same time, being able to eliminate a good player would be great, so it was a tricky situation.

Please note that in the actual hand, Jonathan Jaffe called O'Brien's opening raise from the small blind (then I three-bet), which makes O'Brien's all-in push a bit stronger than it may have appeared in this video.

Take a look and see how I decided to play my pocket tens — and what happened next:

Would you play this situation aggressively before the flop? Or would you call and hope not to get too exploited after the flop?

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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