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Big Blind Special: Flopping Two Pair and Extracting Value

Jonathan Little

This week I have another hand to share from the same $3,500 buy-in no-limit hold'em tournament we've been discussing, this one involving me flopping well from the big blind and looking to extract value from my opponent.

The blinds were 250/500 with a 75 and the stacks were deep as I had 135,000 to start the hand and my primary opponent began with about 55,000.

This hand begins in a somewhat unique way with a player open-limping from the button, not a recommended strategy as it fails to take advantage of position and also opens the door to the blinds seeing a flop with any two cards. That's just what happened as the small blind called and I was glad to see a free flop from the big blind with {6-Hearts}{3-Hearts}.

The flop came {k-Spades}{6-Clubs}{3-Clubs} — nice for me as it gave me two pair. The small blind checked and the action was on me. As I talk about in the video below, the fact that the button limped condenses his range somewhat by eliminating better starting hands with which he probably would have raised. I led with a bet both for value and for protection, and only the button called, making the pot around 4,500.

Things got interesting from there, with both the turn and river bringing big cards. After the {q-Hearts} turn I bet big — 5,000 — and my opponent called again, then the river brought the {j-Diamonds}.

Should those big cards deter me from continuing to go for value? Take a look and see how I decided to proceed on the river, and also listen to my analysis of the situation as it changes from street to street:

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $6,800,000 in live tournament earnings. He writes a weekly educational blog and hosts a podcast at JonathanLittlePoker.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.

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  • A limper lets @JonathanLittle see a free flop from the BB and after flopping two pair he seeks value.

  • Big blind special: @JonathanLittle flops two small pair then goes for value on each postflop street.

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