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Poker Coaching: Turning All The Draws

by Jonathan Little |  Published: Sep 06, 2023


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Key Concept: Turning All The Draws

You are seven-handed in a $2,200 buy-in tournament with a 22,000 stack with the blinds at 75-150. A splashy player UTG limps, and the loose, aggressive kid in the hijack raises 600. It folds to you on the button and you look down at 9Heart Suit 7Heart Suit.

Question 1: Should you fold, call, re-raise to 1,800, or re-raise to 2,700?

Answer: With a decent, but non-premium suited connector like 9Heart Suit 7Heart Suit, almost every option is viable. You do not want to raise larger than 1,800 because when you get action, you are usually in rough shape. Some players get nervous and tighten up when they see the four big blind raise, but this is a standard size when raising over a limper. Calling is usually the best play when you do not expect the initial limper to re-raise too often, given you excellent implied odds and position.

You and the UTG limper both call, and the flop comes 7Spade Suit 6Heart Suit 3Spade Suit. UTG checks and the hijack bets 1,200.

Question 2: Should you fold, call, raise to 3,400, or raise to 5,400?

Answer: You can consider raising to 3,400 to protect your vulnerable top pair if you think you are extremely unlikely to get re-raised. However, given you have one of your weakest top pairs and you could easily be crushed by the UTG limp/caller, calling to see what develops is the preferred play. 

You call and UTG calls as well. The turn is the 8Heart Suit and both opponents check.

Question 3: Should you check, bet 4,000, bet 6,000, or bet 10,000?

Answer: Gigantic bets for 6,000 and 10,000 are too large because those bets will only get called by better made hands. Additionally, your pair has some showdown value, meaning you want to avoid getting blown off of it, which may happen if you bet too large and face an all-in.

With an open-ended straight draw and flush draw, you can decide to check or bet 4,000, but if both opponents call a bet, you must assume you are always behind. If you think that any bet will be called, checking is the better play as it keeps you from putting money in from behind, but with so many outs, getting called isn’t too terrible.

You bet 4,000 and both opponents call. The river is the 5Heart Suit and both players check.

Question 4: Should you check, bet 4,000, bet 8,000, or go all-in?

Answer: When the backdoor flush comes in, a bet has a much higher likelihood of getting paid off due to how deceptive backdoor flushes are. Players that hit a straight flush often bet small to ensure they get value, but that is rarely the correct play. With a stack smaller than the pot, you can shove and potentially get called by flushes, straights, sets, and even two pairs, making an all-in the best play by far.

Incredibly, you move all in and get called by both players! After tripling up with your straight flush, you now have the stack and momentum to make a deep run.

For access to more than 1,200 interactive poker hand quizzes just like this, but in video format, visit PokerCoaching today.