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Hitting Top Pair in a Multi-Way Pot

Hitting Top Pair in a Multi-Way Pot
  • You raise preflop Ah-Th and get five callers. @LearnWPT shares how to play when you flop top pair.

  • Good news: you flopped top pair. Bad news: you have five opponents. @LearnWPT shares what to do next.

DECISION POINT: In a tournament, you open-raise preflop with {A-Hearts}{10-Hearts} and get five callers, including both blinds. The flop comes {A-Diamonds}{9-Spades}{8-Spades}. The small blind leads out with a bet, then the big blind raises. The action is on you...

PRO ANSWER: Your pair of aces has very little value in this situation. There are several factors that are unfavorable for one-pair hands.

The fact that five opponents saw this flop with you means that one-pair hands will have very little relative value. The more opponents that see the flop, the bigger the average hand at showdown. One-pair hands typically have value only when fewer opponents see the flop, ideally one or two.

Also, this board is highly coordinated. Flops that have multiple draws present and cards close together in rank are easier to connect with as compared to dry and scattered flops. One-pair hands, like your pair of aces, have more value on flops that are dry and have less value on flops that are coordinated.

Finally, the action in the hand can significantly narrow opponent hand ranges. The small blind bet out into five opponents, which generally indicates a stronger hand range. The big blind then chose to raise this bet, which likely means an even narrower range of hands.

Sometimes your pair of aces is still the best hand in this situation, but overall you are well behind your opponents' hand ranges and should simply fold. In the long run, continuing in this spot will cost you a lot of chips.

Folding is the best play.

LearnWPT is a poker training site dedicated to transforming the poker games of rank beginners, skilled amateurs, and aspiring professionals. Offering both Live Workshops and Online Training, is a one-stop shop for poker education, designed to provide all the tools a player needs to become a winner. Visit today and get 2 Free Strategy Episodes that will immediately impact how you play. - Think Like a Pro!

Get two free strategy episodes when you join LearnWPT. Click here to know more.

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