[NL2-NL10] how to play top 2 pair oop?

    • cutegoldfish
      cutegoldfish
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.11.2009 Posts: 4,335
      Hand converted with online PokerStrategy.com hand converter:

      Play hand

      $0.02/$0.05 No-Limit Hold'em (9 handed)

      Known players:
      UTG1:
      $7.19
      UTG2:
      $1.53
      MP1:
      $12.50
      MP2 (Hero):
      $5.26
      MP3:
      $9.20
      CO:
      $5.00
      BU:
      $3.74
      SB:
      $11.40
      BB:
      $12.50


      Preflop: Hero is MP2 with A, K.
      3 folds, Hero raises to $0.15, 2 folds, BU calls $0.15, 2 folds.

      Flop: ($0.37) 9, 4, A (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.25, BU calls $0.25.

      Turn: ($0.87) K (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.70, BU calls $0.70.

      River: ($2.27) 9 (2 players)
      Hero bets $1.30, BU raises to $2.64, Hero calls $1.34.

      Final Pot: $7.55.

      Results follow:

      BU shows a flush, ace high(8s As).
      Hero shows two pairs, aces and kings(Ad Kh).

      BU wins with a flush, ace high(8s As).


      should i have bet the turn? or check for pot control? how likely was it for him to have a flush or drawing for the flush? could i have called the re-raise in the end? have i bet too big on the river?
  • 2 replies
    • Mstlc
      Mstlc
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.03.2009 Posts: 4,676
      Raise bigger pre-flop $0.20. Don't do these 3bb raise on NL5, you're playing value poker, you shouldn't make a lot of bluffs and just get as much value as you can from your good hands and getting value starts pre-flop. Make it 4bb please. The only exception to this rule are steals from the BU and from the CO if the BU is a total nit, those you can make 3bb, everything else should be 4bb at least until you get to NL25.

      On the flop, make it bigger, $0.30 at the very least, preferably more like $0.32-0.35.

      Bet turn big again.

      And open shove the river. Betting half pot here makes no sense as he'll be shoving all his flushes and we'll be pot commited anyway but on the other hand we also don't want to check cause he has to call with any Ax as every ace made two pair, aces and nines with a king kicker. The only ace hand that beats all other ace hand is AK. So open shove the river for max value... it's not like you'll lose less to better hands by betting smaller (as you can see here :p)
    • MaestroOfZerg
      MaestroOfZerg
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.11.2008 Posts: 5,510
      Hi,

      Originally posted by Mstlc
      Raise bigger pre-flop $0.20. Don't do these 3bb raise on NL5, you're playing value poker, you shouldn't make a lot of bluffs and just get as much value as you can from your good hands and getting value starts pre-flop. Make it 4bb please. The only exception to this rule are steals from the BU and from the CO if the BU is a total nit, those you can make 3bb, everything else should be 4bb at least until you get to NL25.

      On the flop, make it bigger, $0.30 at the very least, preferably more like $0.32-0.35.

      Bet turn big again.

      And open shove the river. Betting half pot here makes no sense as he'll be shoving all his flushes and we'll be pot committed anyway but on the other hand we also don't want to check cause he has to call with any Ax as every ace made two pair, aces and nines with a king kicker. The only ace hand that beats all other ace hand is AK. So open shove the river for max value... it's not like you'll lose less to better hands by betting smaller (as you can see here :p)
      Looks like a wealth of useful information to me :)

      Just take the whole "raising big, betting big with good hands" to heart and go for it until you get raised, you'll just get into bigger pots with good equity against bad players, there is no way this isn't better for your game at microstakes.

      River in a nutshell

      Once you believe you need to bet for value (which you do) you'll be pot committed to getting stacked by better hands, so you might as well make sure you stack worse hands in the process.

      River long 'TLDR' version

      The river shove will likely look thin to a lot of people and in some way they would be right about that. Mstlc is just making a whole bunch of standard assumptions for microstakes like people can't let go of "two pairs" and people with the flush will at least part of the time have raised us on the turn, which overall means there is still value to be had regardless of us sometimes running into flushes.

      We're playing against a range of hands, and sometimes getting maximum value from the overall range also means losing the maximum against nutted hands. Let's say he shows up with a flush 10% of the time and a worse Ax 90% of the time and doesn't plan on folding any of those hands. Then by shoving we get stacked by flushes 10% of the time and we stack Ax hands 90% of the time, even if I pulled the numbers out of thin air you can see why we end up with more money than we started out with.

      So we need to bet and when we do, we'll be getting too good odds to fold to a shove because there is always a chance villain is just nuts and shoving AA99K on us or something. So we're locked into going broke after betting, even if he sometimes has us beat, which means we don't have to worry anymore about minimizing our losses. We just can't. So we do the next best thing, we maximize our winnings. We can't allow worse hands to just call and leave money on the table, otherwise we're just doing it all wrong. And that's really what you want to remember from that hand, as we see the same concept coming up in a lot of hands and it's really important that you eventually get it.


      Hope it helps.