Jonathan Little's Weekly Poker Hand: Playing Top Pair the Wrong Way

Jonathan Little's Weekly Poker Hand: Playing Top Pair the Wrong Way

Poker pro and coach Jonathan Little has been producing a wide variety of strategy content for poker players for some time, including authoring multiple books and sharing videos and articles on his website and elsewhere, much of which is free to players of all levels seeking to improve their games.

Little started his popular "Weekly Poker Hand" series on YouTube more than five years ago, using the format to focus on particular concepts and common mistakes as illustrated in his hand analyses.

In the episode shown below, Little looks at a hand he played in a $1,000 buy-in World Series of Poker event that shows a good example of a player playing top pair incorrectly.

Action begins with the table folding around to Little in the small blind where he has been dealt {2-Spades}{2-Clubs}. The effective stacks are deep (80 big blinds), and Little chooses to limp. His opponent in the big blind raises to 350 (3.5x) and Little calls, and the flop comes {j-Spades}{7-Hearts}{3-Diamonds}.

Little checks, and his opponent bets 500 or just under two-thirds pot. Noting the uncoordinated board, Little decides to stick around with a call, and he gets lucky when the turn brings the {2-Diamonds}.

Little checks (in the video he explains why leading with a bet here would not be a good idea), and his opponent surprisingly chooses to shove all in as a massive overbet.

Of course Little calls with his set, and as the headline suggests his opponent has wildly overplayed top pair with {j-Clubs}{10-Clubs}.

Watch the video below to hear Little's analysis of the hand and why this is not the way to play top pair. Topics covered in the discussion include...

  • starting hand selection
  • set mining
  • board texture
  • ranges and range reading
  • overbetting

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $7,000,000 in live tournament earnings. He writes a weekly educational blog and hosts a podcast at Sign up to learn poker from Jonathan for free at You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.

  • [email protected]'s Weekly Poker Hand: Showing an example of how *not* to play top pair.

  • Don't overvalue top pair... like this player did in @JonathanLittle's Weekly Poker Hand.

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