Playing big pocket pairs on a flop with one overcard

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Playing big pocket pairs on a flop with one overcard

Postby AceKing » Sun Aug 22, 2010 8:51 pm

What's the correct way to play your big pocket pair (99 to QQ) on a flop with an overcard? Let's say you are holding pocket tens in position, you raised preflop and get a call from UTG who limped in front of you. The flop comes with two undercards and an Ace, UTG opens with a pot sized bet. Should you peel one more street? Or give him the benefit of the doubt for a weak Ace? Or is re-raising a better option to see if he's trying to steal it?

Any opinions are welcomed. =)
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Re: Playing big pocket pairs on a flop with one overcard

Postby cannon0414 » Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:25 pm

SInce he was UTG, and just limped, i would narrow down the range of his hands to small pocket pairs (22-66), Ace-rag suited or suited connectors.

If he hasn't given off any tells that he's holding strong cards preflop, go ahead and raise him on the flop. A raise of 2.5 to 3 times his bet would be good. If he was just trying to pull off a play, he would fold now that you raised him. If he just calls, he could have an Ace with a weak kicker, or he hit one of the other two cards. If he raises you, he could have flopped a set (holding small pocket pair preflop), or hit two pair. It is quite unlikely he will reraise with just an Ace.

If he re-raised, go ahead and fold, other overcards could hit on the turn and the river. If he just calls you, slow down on the turn and river, try to keep the pot as small as possible.
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Re: Playing big pocket pairs on a flop with one overcard

Postby Brasstal » Sun Aug 22, 2010 10:37 pm

theres the concept of "check to the raiser" so firstly I would figure out why this guy donk bet into me

what cannon0414 suggests is fine and its the aggressive line.

but i suggest you coming up with a line which suits your play. For example if you raise here with A Q and someone donk bets into you, do u flat to trap and pot control? Or do you just raise for value? So you can thus plan your line around your usual play.

If your are really really tight, calling itself is fine/raising too ,by calling you don't inflate the pot and you have position, especially if you're talking about dry boards with one overcard eg. A 3 3 or K 5 5. But for this play to work out decently most of the time your opponent must understand that you do this after flopping top pair.

I think another important factor is the stack sizes. You don't want to raise and commit yourself. When you raise and the stack sizes are awkward you can be exploited in many ways. Your opponent can shove immediately and you have to fold, or your opponent can just call your raise and you have to slow down on the turn yet with such a big pot out there you usually talk youself into making bad calls but in the first place you inflate the pot.

I would suggest you use a HUD and pick out an example of 10 such problem hands and put it up with the VPIP/PFR/3bet/donk bet stats of your opponents and that way the kakis here and myself can give you better advice because there are many other factors like another important one is board texture.

Eg if my opponents VPIP is high and the board comes K 9 6 and he donk bets into me, I can put him on a wide range of hands eg 9 8, 6 7, and of course any K , any draws eg 7 8, any set 99 66. So example :

Bryan $100 on button raises $0.50/$1.00 3bb to $3 and opponent calls from BB, flop K 9 6 rainbow. Opponent is a high VPIP player and seldom 3bets and now donkbets into me. Pot is $6.5 inc SB and he bets $4.50 into me, I usually like calling here. If I raise here, he folds out the hands which I sort of crush like 8 9, 6 7. He will ONLY call me with any K, any set, any draw 7 8.

Calling here helps me to Pot control and also disguise the "strength" if any at all of my hand and playit for its value. Also it allows me to evaluate the turn. For example if the turn comes any Ace Q J and he bets again I will have to think why can he bet when those cards hit the range I am representing by calling.

If the turn falls any card which I feel strengthens the part of his range I beat eg T , 9 , 8 , 7 , 6, 5 and he checks, I can check behind for pot control, or try take it down by betting the turn and being prepared to check down in position on the river. He usually will call a bet most of the time on the turn if he has a piece of the flop because such turn cards strengthens his hand by now giving him any pair with a draw, or of course, he still has the K and has decided to proceed cautiously. If any 2 3 or 4 drops or any 6 it doesnt really change the hand much and if he bets again I will fold most of my QQ and JJ here. If he checks...

Checking the turn here now is also fine and you chose to play this hand passively to evaluate the river. Example the board now reads K 9 6 6 and you both check the turn, the river falls a 2 and your opponent now bets like $4 (as a blocker or value?) into the $15.50 pot you can still call this off.

Think about it this way, if he has hands that you beat like 8 9, T T, 8 8, Air if you raised the flop there on the flop yes you immediately win the pot of $6.50 + his bet of $4.50. But when you raise it to say $11 you're using this $11 to "find out where you are at" and you get rejammed by hands that beat you or if he is aggressive enough, he rejams you with his draws (which you will never find out). But if you flat in this example and you call off the bets of $4.50 and $4-$7 (river bets) you are using the same $11 to pay off BUT : you keep the hands which you beat IN the hand.

What Im saying is you keep the hands that beat you in, BUT you also keep the hands that you beat as well and the same $11 invested is now used very differently. Also when you raise eg. to $11 or so and the pot is now inflated to $28.50. If he calls and it goes check check turn, and he bets out $5 on the river when the board doesnt change much, what do you do? Do you fold the $5? If you fold the $5 then you're not raising your hand for its value but you're turning it into a bluff, you might as well raise ATC rather then wait for Q Q or J J and raise them just because they look pretty.

Of course this is just ONE line I am suggesting here and I know that its a really really long analysis but poker is hard to be absolute and the best advice is to play more, gain more experience and know how to adjust to your opponents.

PS: playing like this too much is very bad and usually folding is fine. Its really player dependent and all about adjusting.

Good luck and I hope it helped, somehow. Dunno what prompted me to go type crazy. =D Hope other kakis can give their thoughts on it too and pardon me for thinking too much into certain questions, its just me.
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Re: Playing big pocket pairs on a flop with one overcard

Postby Shihtzu88 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:56 pm

Hi Bryan based on what you've said is assuming that guy really did not have top pair.

Suppose the high VVIP guy bet pot size again in the turn with a blank card, are you still going to call him? In which in a river it will be another big bet.
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Re: Playing big pocket pairs on a flop with one overcard

Postby bulkbiz » Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:55 am

If I have short stack, I will just shove. If I have average stack, I will just fold. If I have big stack, I will just call and see the turn card.
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Re: Playing big pocket pairs on a flop with one overcard

Postby kr176 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:46 am

Typical way ahead/way behind situation.

This is prob very villian dependant and also texture of board. If no other draws on the board, i will prob fold. Too nitty perhaps......

Alternatively, if stacks are deep enough, i may call and fold to turn bet, and hope to check to showdown.

Typically donk bets are strong, esp pot sized. I will be surprised if he showed less than TPGK.

You prob wanna find a softer table.....lol
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Re: Playing big pocket pairs on a flop with one overcard

Postby Brasstal » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:35 am

i think what im saying is that if you are thinking about raising, the line i suggested might be better. But Im usually choosing between folding 70% and calling 30% and as the others have mentioned its really based on stack sizes, board texture and opponent but I think raising here is the worse option.

Assuming this hand is happening online.
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