Turned 2-Pair with 9♠4♣, what do you do here?
DECISION POINT: In a live $2-5 game an Early Position player, a Middle Position Player, and the Hijack limp into the pot. It folds to you in the Big Blind with 9♠4♣ and you check. All players check the T♦9♥2♦ flop. The turn comes 4♦ and you are first to act. What do you do here?
PRO ANSWER: In a $2-5 cash game we are dealt 9s4c in the Big Blind. Three players limp preflop and action is on us. There is very little reason for us to raise in this spot so we check and see a free flop. The flop is Td9h2d and we flop middle pair with a weak kicker.
This is a very coordinated flop that hits many preflop limping ranges very well. While we may have the best hand at this point, against three opponents it is somewhat unlikely. When we do have the best hand there are many turn and river cards that will make future decisions quite difficult for us. There is really no reason for us to bet into three opponents in this spot so we check, as do our 3 opponents.
The turn is the 4d and we now have two pair. Even though the 4d completes a flush when everyone checks around on the flop it is quite likely we have the best hand here. Having the best hand isn’t the only issue we have to consider. We also have to think about how likely we are to be able to profitably get to showdown in this situation.
There are still a lot of bad river cards that can come but our hand is far too strong to give our three opponents free cards. Bet sizing can be a bit tricky in this spot. If we bet too large it is quite difficult for many of the one-pair hands in our opponent’s range to give us action and we only get called by other strong hands or big draws that have significant equity against us. If we bet too small our opponents can easily call profitably with any hand containing a single diamond. Betting around ⅔ of the pot or $15, is likely to be the appropriate sizing.
We will still have some tricky river decisions on certain cards however this sizing allows our opponents to call with some weaker hands while not necessarily giving them the proper price to draw against all but their biggest draws.
Betting is the correct play.
How would you play it?
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