Set of Tens on the Flop, what do you do here?
DECISION POINT: In a Cash Game, the UTG player calls and a Middle Position Player raises. You call holding 10♣10♦. Both the Button and UTG players call. The flop comes 8♦7♥10♠. UTG checks, MP1 bets approx 3/4 of the pot. Action is on you, what do you do?
PRO ANSWER: We could make a strong case for re-raising this hand preflop. However, given the first in limper, the smallish raise size by the MP1 player, and the relatively deep stacks, this was a good spot to play pocket tens as a speculative hand for set value.
Once we flop top set, the first inclination from many players here is to slow play their hand. We are all for maximizing value with our big hands, however, is slow playing here the best play? When deciding whether or not to slowplay there are several factors to consider.
How many players saw the flop? The more players that see the flop the more likely it is that someone else has made a hand, and if someone else has made a hand we want to start building a pot NOW on the flop so that we maximize our chances of getting our opponent’s entire stack.
How coordinated is the flop? Coordinated flops connect with more opponents meaning it’s more likely for us to get action if we play our hand quickly now. This is a very coordinated flop. The only thing that could make this flop more coordinated is if it contained two cards of the same suit.
Note that not only does flop coordination mean that it’s more likely someone else hit the flop, but it also means if we decide to slow play there are a lot more scare cards on the turn. Any 6, 9, J, K, or Ace potentially kills our action. That’s 20 cards, or pretty close to half the deck!
This is a terrible spot to slowplay the flop, so when the preflop raiser bets this is a mandatory raise spot and we’ll happily get stacks all-in. We are well ahead with top set against any reasonable opponent's hand range.
Raising is the best play.
What would you do here?
Share your answer in the comments below!
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