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Value Betting the River Following a Tricky Betting Line

Jonathan Little
  • @JonathanLittle analyzes a WSOP hand in which his opponent takes a tricky line with a strong hand.

  • A WSOP hand shows the dangers of slow playing and why you should watch opponents' mannerisms closely.

The 2016 World Series of Poker is less than three weeks away, and today we’re reviewing another hand from last summer’s WSOP. This one comes from the $1,111 Little One for One Drop, an event that is back on this year’s schedule again as the 69th of the 69 bracelet events.

The hand comes from the middle of Day 2, with the blinds up to 1,200/2,400 (with a 400 ante). I’m doing well with an above average stack of nearly 220,000 to start the hand.

As you’ll see, my opponent in the hand — a tight-aggressive player — chooses to take a tricky line and ends up getting punished when I river a straight.

It is important always to pay attention to your opponent’s mannerisms as they should drastically alter your bet size. In this situation, if my opponent clearly thought he had a strong hand on the turn, betting large when rivering a straight is the right play. But if he didn’t appear so confident, betting small would be better.

Take a look at how the hand played out and hear my explanations from street to street:

How would you have played this hand? Let me know in a comment below.

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $6,200,000 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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