Getting Out of Line With an Underpair in a Three-Bet Pot

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Today’s hand comes from a tournament I played last summer and involves me making a play that I virtually never make, which means the hand is an interesting one to look back on and analyze.

It was early in the tournament, with the blinds at 50/100. I had about 18,000 to begin while the two other opponents in the hand were both at 25,000, meaning we were all deep.

A 40-year old player opened for 300 from middle position, then a younger player who was loose-aggressive called from the button. I looked down at {J-Hearts}{J-Spades} in the small blind and called, although as I discuss in the video below three-betting would work here as well.

It was three-handed to the {A-Hearts}{K-Spades}{9-Clubs} flop, then, and with those two overcards out there I checked. The original raiser checked as well, then the loose-aggressive player bet 1,600 into the 4,450 pot.

It was here I decided to take an overly aggressive line and check-raised to 4,000 with my underpair. Take a look and listen to my reasons for making this frisky play in this spot and see what happens:

Sometimes you just know your opponent is bluffing! Do you ever get out of line and make extremely exploitive plays like this? Let me know in a comment below.

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $6,300,000 in live tournament earnings. He writes a weekly educational blog and hosts a podcast at JonathanLittlePoker.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.