Playing Overpairs On Paired Boards

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As part of the “Ask SplitSuit A Question” series, a bunch of people asked hand history questions and this one came privately via Two Plus Two. ICM Monster prefaces the hand by saying: “Mate, you did such a good job making videos of the last hands I sent you, I thought I should send you another similar one. It’s a little different, except that the villain is an unknown and I actually stick to the flop plan this time.”

This hand is from $25 No Limit Online. Hero raises under the gun, gets a caller, they go heads up to it, hero flops an over pair on a very, very clean T22 paired board. Hero bets, faces a raise, and here we are.

ICM Monster says: “While villain is an unknown, it’s unlikely he has a 2 and even if he did, I doubt the majority of unknowns would take this line with such a strong hand on a board with no draws. My plan from here is to allow him to have the lead in the hand and let him spaz off his stack to me. Even if an ace or king hits the turn, I’m most likely going with the hand.”

That’s exactly what ICM Monster does. He calls and at this point, by the time he calls there’s going to be $13 in the middle, $18.50 effective back. We’re very, very committed to this point so I love the fact that we’re creating a plan, I love the fact that we’re creating the committing plan. You’re good to go from there.

However, I am going to say one quick thing that I think goes very overlooked in situations like this. Yes, MP1 is an unknown, so I guess I’m just going to talk about this a little bit more conceptually because if this were, say against a tag or some sort of thinking player, someone that you know is a thinking player, this becomes much more important. Just conceptually speaking, once we call, I think the average person is going to assume we have a decent hand. Probably Tx, JJ+, essentially we have some sort of decent hand, otherwise why would we ever call here? Essentially like I said earlier, we’re going to be pot committed once we do that, so anyone with half a brain is going to realize that we have a hand that we’re comfortable being pot committed with.

That all being said, we really can’t represent any bluffs when we call here. I mean, unless we’re just going to go for some interesting stop and go, which really doesn’t get run nowadays, it’s a situation where I think we almost always rep exactly what we have.

Another option here would be to three bet and you can three bet all-in, you can min three bet—I mean, there’s so many different options here for aggressing that will confuse a lot of players. They’re used to seeing players bet call here, especially in a full ring game, with something like top hair or slight overpair, that sort of thing.

If you click it back, they may think that you have ace/king, they may think that you’re just farting around with something, and you may induce a lot more mistakes than that, especially against a thinking opponent who may take the bluff raise to $5.75 and once you call, you turn your hand face up and he’s able to play pretty perfectly. He’s not going to double barrel any turns because it would be way, way too face up.

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That’s a really important thing to consider, is what you represent. If you represent the exact hand you have with the exact line that you’re taking, is that really what you want to do, especially when you’re playing against better players? I understand, this person is an unknown, we don’t know if he’s a good thinking player, but if nothing else, it’s at least important to consider this before you just mindlessly call. Yes, calling is going to be the default against a lot of Aggrofish that can’t understand that by calling here, you’re repping a single pair that’s never going to fold. Against anyone who does anything that exploitably, yes, you could call here and call all turn and you’ll be just fine.

However, if MP1 can read hands at poker well at all, you want to be very aware of what you’re representing and be very cognizant of the times you’re representing the exact hand you have.

As played, hero does decide to call and again, there are still player types where I certainly will call this, especially against Aggrotards, people that aren’t able to really think about what I’m representing, they’re just more focused about thinking that they have to try to bluff me off the hand, in which case calling here with intentions on, of course calling this action, is going to be very typical, very standard, and I assume very profitable.

Ultimately I’m glad that ICM Monster created a plan and I’m very happy to see that he stuck with it this time. It’s just in general, there are some things we want to consider on the flop and again, think about perceived range when we’re playing against players that can considerate it, not necessarily the MP1 in this exact hand could think like that, just giving you food for thought for the future.

SplitSuit

My name is James "SplitSuit" Sweeney and I'm a poker player, coach, and author. I've released 300+ videos, coached 500+ players, and co-founded the training site Red Chip Poker. Contact me if you need any help improving your poker game!

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