Two Pair Facing a Bet and Raise, what do you do here?
DECISION POINT: In a live $1-3 game an Under the Gun player raises to $15. Hijack calls and you call from the Small Blind with T♥9♥. You check bottom two pair on the K♥T♦9♦ flop. The UTG player bets out $45, a tight player in the Hijack seat raises to $135, and action is on you. What do you do here?
PRO ANSWER: Preflop, UTG raises to $15 and gets a single caller from the Hijack. In the Small Blind with T9s we are in a great spot with a good speculative hand, nearly closing the action in a multiway pot so we call and the Big Blind folds.
The flop is KhTd9d and we flop bottom two pair. The UTG player continuation bets for $45 into a $48 pot and the Hijack raises to $135. This is one of the potential flops we were looking for but now two players have shown significant interest in the pot.
If we break down the action so far, the UTG player likely has a narrow range preflop given their position at the table. Betting into two players on a highly coordinated flop for a rather large amount (almost full pot) shows a lot of strength. The Hijack's raise to $135 indicates even MORE strength, especially so from this tight player. If the Hijack had just folded or called, we likely would have raised in this situation.
This is a board that interacts extremely well with both our opponent’s ranges. There are a lot of potential made hands and huge draws on this board, and the Hijack’s raising range in particular here should be relatively narrow and quite strong.
We generally don’t like to fold two pair on the flop. However, given the stack depth, board coordination, and the fact that our opponent’s likely ranges have many combinations that either have us drawing to 2-4 outs (at best) or slightly ahead versus big semi-bluff draws this is one of those rare spots where we would lean toward folding the flop with two pair.
Folding is the best play.
How would you play it?
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