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Poker Quiz: Marginal Hand On The Turn

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Oct 18, 2023

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You are six-handed playing in a high-stakes poker tournament with a stack of 148,500 at 750-1,500. Your opponent in the hijack raises to 3,500 and it folds to you in the big blind holding QDiamond Suit 9Diamond Suit.

Question 1: Should you fold, call, re-raise to 9,000, or re-raise to 12,000?

Answer: Folding is out of the question. While this hand may mix with some raises, do not re-raise to 9,000 because that gives your opponent a decent price to play in position with what is likely a good hand. Make the easy call and see the flop.

You call. The flop is 9Heart Suit 7Club Suit 7Diamond Suit giving you two pair.

Question 2: Should you check, bet 3,000, bet 6,000, or bet 9,000?

Answer: Although you have more sevens in your range than your opponent, do not lead. If you lead and get raised, you are in an awful spot. You should not have a leading range when deep stacked, especially against good opponents. Your opponent is likely to check or bet small. See what they do and reassess.

You check and your opponent checks it back. The turn is the 10Spade Suit.

Question 3: Should you check, bet 3,000, bet 6,000, or bet 9,000?

Answer: Any overcard other than a queen is bad for you on the turn. Your opponent has plenty of tens in their range, and if they are good, they will be able to execute bluffs with some unpaired high-card combos. If you do bet, use a small size, otherwise check and see what develops with your clear marginal made hand. 

You and your opponent both check. The river is the 9Spade Suit giving you a full house. 

Question 4: Should you check, bet 3,000, bet 6,000, or bet 9,000?

Answer: If you suspect your opponent will bet with all their hands that are king-high or worse, checking makes sense with the effective nuts. However, on this board, it is unlikely your opponent has a junky hand worth bluffing or a strong value hand worth betting.

When you have the effective nuts, you want to bet on the larger side. Your opponent’s range consists of bluff catchers and junk. If they are a capable player, they will be willing to bluff catch some portion, further incentivizing you to go for value with a big bet.

You bet 9,000 and get called. Your opponent mucks. By being patient from playing out of position, you kept the pot manageable when you were in a marginal situation and then won a lot once the situation became favorable.

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