This week’s podcast features a hand history breakdown provided by Adam Jones. The hand was originally submitted to the Red Chip Poker forum by one of our members, generated considerable discussion, and eventually found its way into our much-acclaimed CORE study program as a Level III lesson. For $5/week, CORE provides all the tools you need in structured lessons to help you analyze your own hands, and to take your game to the next level.

Guest: Adam Jones


The hand was played at 10NL. CORE subscribers can follow along with the original lesson here.

Hero is in the big blind with A♥K♥. Facing an MP open to $0.30 and a CO call, Hero elects to squeeze to $1.40. The MP opener calls and the CO folds. The flop comes:


and there is $3.15 in the middle.

Despite flopping the nut flush draw, this isn’t the greatest board for Hero. As discussed in other CORE lessons, this texture favors the pre-flop caller in that they have range advantage. Specifically the caller can have all the sets and many of the two-pair combinations, whereas the only nutted hand the pre-flop 3-bettor is likely to have is top set.

As a result, Hero will generally not play particularly aggressively on this board texture. That said, we have a great semi-bluffing hand that we can bet. If we do choose to bet with this hand, we need to figure out now how the hand is likely to play out so we can optimize our bet sizing. Not thinking ahead in this way is a common leak that puts players in more difficult situations than they need to face.

Because of the pre-flop 3-bet squeeze, this pot is already somewhat bloated. Our plan for the rest of the hand needs to incorporate this fact. Specifically, a 2-street plan is more effective than a 3-street plan with our excellent semi-bluff holding. By betting $1.80 into the $3.15 pot, Hero sets up a situation on the turn where there is a pot-sized bet left to play.

The turn comes the T♠ giving us the broadway gutshot to go with the nut flush draw. The added equity is a bonus, but even without it we have enough strength to barrel this turn. Hero fires his remaining $6.80 into the $6.75 pot and Villain folds. Note that the flop bet size set up this turn spot and enabled Hero to make a natural pot-sized all-in bet that maximized fold equity.

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