Flopped Top 2-Pair with T♦8♦, what do you do here?
DECISION POINT: In a $1-2 game it folds to the Hijack who raises to $6. The Cutoff calls, you call from the Button with 8♦T♦, and the Big Blind calls. The flop comes 8♠T♥6♣ giving you top 2-pair. The Big Blind checks, Hijack bets $14, Cutoff raises to $28, and action is on you. What do you do here?
PRO ANSWER: We are playing in a $1-2 cash game. We have no significant reads on the table and are dealt Td8d on the Button. It folds around to the Hijack player who opens to $6. The Cutoff calls and action is on us.
In this spot we are the effective stack with $120. Typically we would want to top up our stack (add chips so we have at the maximum allowable buy-in for this table limit) to cover the rest of the stacks in this situation before the hand, however in this situation we find ourselves a little short. Even though we are a little short, with 60 big blinds in the effective stack calling a 3 big blind raise with a suited one gapper on the Button in a multiway pot is a very profitable play, so we decide to call. The Small Blind folds and the Button also calls and we are off to the flop.
The flop is 8sTh6c and we hit top two-pair. With $25 in the pot and only $114 in our stack that gives us a stack to pot ratio (SPR) of under 5. We have a very strong hand for this situation. We block TT/88 which leaves 66 and 97s as the main realistic hands in our opponent’s range that beat us. If we combine the one combination each of TT/88, the three combos of 66, and the four combos of 97s there are only nine total combinations of hands that beat us, and against seven of those nine combos we have four outs when we are behind.
Action folds to the original raiser in the Hijack seat who bets $14. Surprisingly the Cutoff min-raises the Hijack to $28. A min-raise here can represent a few possible hands for the Cutoff. Sometimes the Cutoff is trying to get the Button to fold a drawing hand (such as J9 suited) so they can take a free card on the turn in position if they miss. Other times this minraise can represent a monster or even just a novice player over playing a hand like ATs or JJ.
Given that we have no reads on this player to indicate they would only do this with a monster along with the fact that the stacks are already somewhat shallow in relation to the pot (remember, the SPR is less than 5), the Cutoff just has too many hands we are ahead of in their range to fold here.
If we elect to only call the $28 in this spot, we encourage multiple opponents to call on a coordinated board allowing many potential scare cards to fall on the turn. Flat-calling not only potentially gets us drawn out on when we’re ahead, but more importantly it makes it far more difficult to get action when we are ahead and a scare card shows up on the turn. This is a spot where we really want to get as many chips as possible in as quickly as possible to maximize our EV versus their overall range.
Moving all-in is the best play.
How would you play it?
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