When You Should Never Fold 2Pair

Today’s question comes from Thomas who played an interesting hand in a live 25 cent/50 cent game. For whatever reason, Thomas decided to make a HUGE fold with two-pair, and we need to dissect this hand and see if the fold was solid or not.

Okay, so in this hand, the blinds are 25 cent, 50 cent. There’s a raise, a call, a call, a call, a call, a call, a call, and hero calls as well.

And Thomas, I’m just going to read his entire write-up right out. I think it’s great. He says

Hi, James! I am a huge fan of your videos. I am an inexperienced poker player and I’ve been using some of your videos to me improve my play. I did my best to recreate a live hand at a university tournament. I completed from the small blind because I was getting great pot odds. I am almost certain I played this hand wrong. I flopped what turned out to be the strongest hand but I was in the worst position at the table. Any comments you have on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

So, Thomas, I’m really happy to hear that you’ve been enjoying the videos. Hopefully you’re enjoying this one as well. And I really respect that you are being so humble with your inexperience. You’re a little bit newer to the game, so I’m going to be really, really gentle in this review. But at the same token, I really want you to take these kind of things to heart because you’re going to learn from this. And you’re going to learn that, yes, you did flop what was almost certainly the strongest hand and the fold was way too tight.

So this is just a mistake that I don’t want to see you make or anyone else make in the future.

So we’re doing a call with preflop. Big blind somehow folds. Okay. End up flopping bottom two in a very, very bloated pot. And obviously at this point, we have roughly 2SPR. And if you’re not sure what SPR is, I’ll link a video down in the description box. Definitely make sure to watch that if you don’t know what SPR is.

But, essentially, in this situation, we’re committed. We’re never going to fold at this point. It’s just how do we want to stack it off?

In this situation, I’m just going to go for a check. Hope that there’s a bet in a cascade of callers and then I can go for a nice, healthy check-shove, go from there. That’s what I think is going to be the best play here. Check, bet. Somehow only bets $3 in a $24.50. Okay. EP2 decides to raise, only goes to $12. Okay. It’s definitely a live game to say the least. Hero decides to call.

Now, normally, again, I just mentioned that auto-commitment mindset, normally, I’m not looking at just check-call bottom 2 pair on any board. But in this exact situation, this is the kind of spot where I really like it because it gives EP1 a reason to continue with things like AK, KK, TT even, and I want to induce a triple up in this situation.

I am just going to call, just like Hero did, but, again, I’m still in a commitment mindset. It’s just when and how am I going to commit it. And there’s really no turn cards that I’m scared of (except the Queen of course)

We get called by EP1, awesome. Go here. Hero decides to check, EP1 bets $10. Oh, my goodness, this continues and EP2 decides to rail it in for $35.

As mentioned in the write-up, Thomas does end up folding here. And, of course, looking at this now, this looks really, really silly. And, of course, we know that this is not a good fold. Now, EP1 almost certainly never has a straight, just given the way they’ve played this hand. EP2 could, but there are very few combos that make any sense, right?

EP2 probably doesn’t have QQ’s, he probably three bets preflop, which puts one combo of 77’s, one combo of 66’s. If they can have 58, they can have a lot of other hands as well. So it’s one of those where I’m not concerned about anyone having a better hand. And, again, the SPR is too small for me to worry about trying to make some hero fold at any point in this hand.

We need to continue with that commitment mindset and call here. Folding here is way, way, way too nitty. You are certainly correct about that, Thomas, and this is the kind of mistake I never want to see you make again.

Now if you play in this kind of game often where there’s a lot of really, really bad bet sizing, a lot of really, really multi-way pots, you’re going to want to get familiar with when you’re committed, again, understanding that SPR concept, and really understanding the best lines to take.

Now, I thought your postflop blind was okay. Again, the check-call on the flop I thought was pretty good as played. And here I’m totally cool with taking another check-call. But I really don’t want to see you making this fold, and this fold is far too nitty and I think you kind of screwed yourself out of what could have been a very, very healthy pot.

And EP2 is nice enough to show you this hand, but, again, this was your money. So in the future, definitely don’t make this fold. Continue on with that commitment mindset and win this pot next time.

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