Getting Frisky With a Small Pocket Pair in a $5K WSOP Event


  • @JonathanLittle gets frisky with a small pocket pair in this $5K buy-in World Series of Poker event.

  • An interesting spot with pocket fours in position faced by @JonathanLittle in a $5,000 WSOP NL event.

Today I want to return to the $5,000 buy-in World Series of Poker no-limit hold’em event from last summer and share another interesting hand from a little later in the tournament.

The blinds were 400/800 with a 100 ante, and a player with about 45,000 in his stack raised to 2,000 from the cutoff. I was next to act on the button where I’d been dealt {4-Clubs}{4-Diamonds}, and with about 80,000 to start the hand I three-bet to 4,800.

Against good, competent players, I think it makes sense to three-bet or fold small pocket pairs like this in spots like these. A loose-aggressive player with about 65,000 to start in the small blind then reraised to 11,500. The original raiser folded, and I had a decision to make.

As I discuss below, I was getting pretty good pot odds to call, and after weighing a few factors including the fact that I had position, I called, making the pot 26,700.

The flop came {J-Clubs}{5-Clubs}{3-Diamonds} and my opponent checked. I talk a little about what that check might say about his range, then explain why I decided to bet small — just 6,000. He called, then we both checked the {2-Spades} turn, a card that gave me a straight draw.

The river brought the {A-Clubs}, filling my straight while also putting a third club on the board, and my opponent checked again. I’ll let you think about how much you’d bet here, then take a look at what I did, listen to my thought process, and find out what happened:

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $6,500,000 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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