Poker Coverage: Poker Tournaments Casino News Sports Betting Poker Strategy


On Not Protecting

by Andrew Brokos |  Published: Jun 22, '11


Here’s an archived hand that illustrates a key point from my Betting for Protection article. The idea is that you don’t have to worry about protecting against a draw if you expect your opponent to bluff very often when he misses his draw. Essentially your implied odds from catching bluffs can be big enough to compensate you for the times that your passivity costs you the pot:

PokerStars No-Limit Hold’em, $6 BB (5 handed) Hand History converter Courtesy of

MP ($940)
Button ($670.05)
SB ($249)
Hero ($1197.95)
UTG ($609)

Preflop: Hero is BB with 7d, Ad.
2 folds, Button raises to $12, 1 fold, Hero raises to $48, Button calls $36.

Flop: ($99) Ks, 5h, Ac (2 players)
Hero checks, Button checks.

Turn: ($99) 7c (2 players)
Hero bets $66, Button raises to $180, Hero calls $114.

River: ($459) 3d (2 players)
Hero checks, Button bets $180, Hero calls $180.

Final Pot: $819

Results below:
Hero has 7d Ad (two pair, aces and sevens).
Button has 9c 8h (high card, ace).
Outcome: Hero wins $819.

It’s also important to note here that I can’t really get action from worse hands by three-betting this turn. I expect to have the best hand very often, but I don’t think that even 75 will continue if I 3-bet. This means that bluff-catching has much more merit than “protecting” against the many draws Villain is likely playing this way.

Andrew Brokos is a professional poker player, writer, and teacher. He is also an avid hiker and traveler and a passionate advocate for urban public education. You can find dozens of his poker strategy articles at and more information about group seminars and one-on-one coaching at

Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of


11 years ago

Two questions:

a) Why can't you get action from worse hands on the turn? It seems like if your opponent can be so sure you have a huge hand here that he'll likely fold all worse hands, then you're not balancing your range here enough?

I mean when you check flop and then lead out this turn, it actually kinda looks like you had the kind of hand that you did on the flop - a decent hand that was playing a mixture of deception & pot control on the flop, and then is now betting for value. It looks as though your opponent has thought along the same line, and is trying to get you off a medium hand / set up a possible two-street bluff. He might think you have a KQ type hand. Given this, if you 3-bet the turn (especially a small 3bet) - could you not get credit for trying to re-bluff, and induce a shove?

b) As played, is there no value in raising the river here? If you check/shove the river, he'll be getting like 5:1 on a call, seems like quite a few hands might look you up to me..


11 years ago

My range for betting the turn might be weakish, but that doesn't mean my range for 3-betting would be. Essentially I think Villain's turn raising range is polarized to hands better than mine and draws/bluffs, with the occasional worse hand like 75 raising for value. Those hands (not even sure what else that would be besides 75) are at the bottom of Villain's value range and should certainly fold to a 3-bet.

Likewise if I check-raise the river. In fact there's a fair chance he doesn't even value bet 75 on the river. I definitely don't want to check-raise because my hand is a bluff-catcher. It's an easy call because Villain's range is bluffy, but I'm not beating much if anything that he bets for value, so I don't want to be shoveling money into the pot.


11 years ago

Sorry to get off track, but your war on drugs blog is being directed to this one. Was curious to read your opinion on that.


11 years ago

Yeah it seems like there's a mistake with the way CP creates links to my blogs, so no matter what you click you end up at the most recent post. Here's where I first posted the War on Drugs piece:

Thanks for your interest!


11 years ago

Thanks Andrew. It's not just your blog on CP it's all blogs. Hope it gets fixed.


11 years ago

yes to the hijacker please for the love of god get rid of dusty blog. who the f cares. phil hellmuth at his worst doesn't annoy me as much as this clown


11 years ago

Dusty says "The one great thing about poker is that it can teach you a lot about life."

Really Dusty..... did it teach you that when you write horrid, boring blogs... filled with exaggerative claims about how great you think your poker ability/life is... make sure no one can comment?

Most of the blogs on here cant trolling comments... I will give you that but Dusty earns every harsh word he gets. Also who are these people that read and like his blog on facebook? Does he have like 20 family members that feel the need to pander to this guys ego?


11 years ago

hahaha dustys lastest blog is so dumb its worth a read. why seriously no kidding around is he still on this blog with cardplayer. he isnt even at the WSOP what a great poker player he is.

Newsletterbanner Twitterbanner Fbbanner

Most Viewed Blogs