Richard Harter’s World Site map Puzzles 2011 Email

# How would you play the hand

It’s come down to final two at a big Texas hold’em tournament. You and your opponent have about the same amount of chips. In this hand you are on the button. You look at your cards and you see 9C, 9H (nine of clubs, nine of hearts). Your opponent limps in. You are having none of that so you make a hefty raise. He stares at you blankly and then calls.

The flop comes down, 5S,8D,9S. Your opponent makes a big bet. Interesting. He might have a set of fives, a set of eights, two pair, a straight, a nut flush draw, or he might be making a move. You don’t care. You have the boss set. You make a smooth call.

The eight of spades shows up on the turn. He makes another big bet. That’s pretty pushy if he has a straight – there is a pair on the board and three spades. Maybe he’s trying to push out a draw. If he improved he has a big flush, a 5’s boat, an 8’s boat, four 8’s or a straight flush. The odds are good that your 9’s boat is a winner; if it isn’t you are screwed. You decide that calling now and going all in on the river is your best shot to get all of his chips.

The nine of diamonds comes up on the river. If he had four eights he just took a bad beat. He makes a value bet. Should you go all in or should you just call?

And should have you played it differently?