Middle and Small Pairs
Lately, I've been misplaying these middle and small pairs. So I went back to review how Negreanu would play these hands using his small ball tournament strategy. This information is taken from his latest book Power Hold'em Strategy.
Middle Pairs: Pocket 7's to 10's
Don't overplay these hands. They are good hands because of their implied value rather than their preflop strength.
Pre-flop: If first in the pot, a raise of 2.5 times the big blind.
Flop: If you hit your set, play to win big. If you miss, don't auto-fold unless the action indicates a lot of strength.
Small Pairs: Pocket 2's to 6's
Play these pairs like the middle pairs.
Pre-flop: Do not re-raise your opponents.
You have 10s-10d.
A tight player under the gun raises before the flop. You call from the button.
Important note: Please don't re-raise a tight player who raises under the gun with pocket 10's. I see this happen too often and the only reason I can think someone is doing this is because they are not paying attention.
The flop: 8h-4h-3c.
The tight player checks. What should you do?
Bet becasue 1) Your opponent checked and it will define your opponent's hand 2) If you check, your opponent will have a chance to hit his most likely hand, A-K and 3) A flush draw is present and you can lose if he hits his hand and/or picks up a flush draw on the turn.
If he check raises you here, just fold. Tight players won't make a play in this situation.
If he calls your bet, proceed with caution. He may be setting a trap with pocket Aces.
You have 9h-9c.
Blinds $25/$50 and a player raises to $150 from middle position. You call on the small blind.
Flop: Qh-7d-2s. You check and your opponent bets $300. This opponent is aggressive and tends to c-bet, so you call.
Turn: 7c. You check and your opponent bets $600. What should you do?
Check raise to $1200 or $1500. If he re-raises you, you can fold. If he calls, check the river. If he bets the river, you are beat.
You have 4d-4s.
You raise the $50/$100 blinds to $250 in late position. The small blind calls.
Flop: 8h-9s-9h. The small blind check calls your $400 bet.
Turn: Kc. The small blind check calls your $600 bet.
River: 8d. Your opponent checks. What should you do?
Don't check even though the board counterfeited your small pair. Bet $800 into the $2700 pot. It looks like a legitimate value bet. If you are wrong, that small a bet will not hurt your stack if you are beat.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
I like this: Daniel Negreanu on How to Play Middle and Small PairsTweet this!__
Posted by Mitchell Cogert at 12:13 AM