Power poker is the way to go. That’s what every book says. That’s what every pro says. Play aggressive, keep the pressure on, force your opponents to react to you.

But there are times when a disciplined, savvy smooth-call on the turn might get you everything you need, especially if you already have the image of being an aggressive player.

The colorful and aggressive Jean-Robert Bellande played it that way early in the 2005 U.S. Poker Championship at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, underscoring his aggressiveness by raising from early position with J-7 of spades.

“When the blinds are so small like this [$50-$100],” Bellande says, “I like to play hands like this because nobody can put me on hands like that. I do that all the time, especially at a table that is not aggressive where there’s not a lot of reraising going on. I can keep the front seat, and really, I’ve only risked $100. People will put me on much stronger hands.”

Bellande and three callers saw a flop of 7-4-2, one spade, giving Bellande top pair and a backdoor flush draw. Bellande aggressively bet out $400. Two players folded, and the player in first position called.

The turn came the 6 of spades, putting a straight draw out there while giving Bellande four to a flush and top pair. The player in first position bet out $300, a strange bet into a pot worth about $1,200.

“It seems like he’s trying to trap me,” Bellande says. “But I know I can’t stand a reraise, and I definitely like my hand. I want to see the river.”

So, Bellande just called. The river came the 5 of spades. Bellande made his flush. The board made an open-ended straight. The player in first position bet, and Bellande raised another $2,000.

“He might have accidentally hit the straight, and I can get paid off,” Bellande says. “So, I decided to put in the $2,000 raise.”

Bellande indeed got paid off by the player in first position, who mucked his cards without showing his hand.

The raise on the river got Bellande a lot of money, but it was the call on the turn that was the key. If someone will let you get there, take it.

“I could not stand a reraise,” Bellande says of deciding against betting aggressively on the turn. “If he decided to reraise me, I’d have top pair with a flush draw, and I could’ve risked my tournament life. What if he has a set or a straight already?

“All I had to do was call and see one more card and see where I’m at. I think that was the most important thing.”