Hand Analysis: Facing a Tricky Spot With Top Pair
This hand came in a $10,000 buy-in six-handed no-limit hold'em tournament I played at the World Series of Poker, a tournament from which I going to be discussing a few different hands over the coming weeks.
In this one the blinds were 200/400 when it folded around to me on the button. I had about 60,000 in my stack and had been dealt , and I raised to 1,100.
Often when playing deep-stacked like this, I like to open a little larger, especially from the button. The big blind, a loose-aggressive young player with almost 50,000 to start, called my raise, and the flop came .
As I discuss in the video below, here's a situation where I have to ask myself if I'm willing to bet with everything. Hands you want check back here would include those you're willing to call down with and/or junky hands. So checking back with a decent queen (plus the spade) makes sense in this spot. Meanwhile I'd want to bet hands with an eight, my best made hands, and some of my draws.
After I checked, the turn brought the and my opponent bet 2,000, a pretty big bet (about 80 percent pot). I know I want to call here, but should I raise? It's kind of player-dependent. I might raise a weaker opponent, but in this $10K event there aren't many of those, so I called.
The river was the and my opponent fired another two-thirds pot bet of 4,650. Now what should I do? Take a look below and listen to my reasoning, and see what I did decide:
In this spot after flopping top pair, do you normally blast your stack or do you play it slow?
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.