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Wsopbanner Quiz: Go For Thin Value?

by Jonathan Little |  Published: Apr 03, 2024


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You are seven-handed playing in a $10,000 buy-in tournament at the Poker Masters. The blinds are 750-1,500 and you have 125,000 in the hijack. Everyone folds around to you and you raise to 4,000 with ASpade Suit 8Spade Suit.

The small blind and the big blind call making it multi-way heading to the flop. The flop comes AClub Suit 9Spade Suit 7Diamond Suit and both your opponents check.

Question 1: Should you check, bet 6,000, bet 12,000, or bet 18,000?

Answer: Checking is not a terrible play, but if you check, you must plan on calling down when facing turn and river aggression.

You usually want to bet with your best made hands and draws, but is this one of your best made hands? Top pair with a marginal kicker is close, and you want to avoid betting with hands that you will fold if you get check-raised.

With this hand, you are best off betting small for value as well as protection. To extract value from worse pairs, bet on the smaller side because big bets will likely induce folds.

You bet 6,000 and get called by both opponents. The turn is the 3Club Suit and they check to you.

Question 2: Should you check, bet 7,000, bet 14,000, or bet 28,000?

Answer: When both opponents call, it increases the likelihood that one of them has at least a decent pair or a draw. One of your opponents may have you beat, or both opponents have weak hands that will not call another bet.

Considering those two scenarios, checking is the best option on the turn to avoid getting check-raised. 

You check. The river is the QHeart Suit and both opponents check to you.

Question 3: Should you check, bet 7,000, bet 14,000, or bet 28,000?

Answer: Checking and getting to showdown is the easy play, but you leave value on the table by electing to play it safe. When both opponents check the turn and the river, it is likely that neither one of them has a premium hand. Your paired ace is underrepresented, and if either opponent had a decent hand they would usually bet on the river.

Considering your size options, a 50% pot bet of 14,000 can extract calls from paired queens and maybe even a paired nine that decides to bluff catch.

You bet 14,000 and get called by the big blind, who mucks their hand after you reveal yours. Way to get value for your top pair!

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