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The Weekly PokerNews Strategy Quiz: Playing Pocket Pairs

11-14-2015 76344 responses Top results

Thinking back to the conclusion of the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event earlier this week — and looking back over several of this week’s articles appearing in the Strategy section here on PokerNews — the particular challenge presented by being dealt pocket pairs seems to have been something of a running theme over the last seven days.

In “Think You’re Due to Flop a Set This Time? Think Again,” Robert Woolley discussed poker probabilities, including covering the relative likelihood of flopping a set with your pocket pair.

Among the hands we discussed from the 2015 WSOP Main Event final table a highlight was one in which Josh Beckley picked up {j-Hearts}{j-Spades} versus chip leader (and eventual winner) Joe McKeehen, then found himself facing a tough decision after McKeehen four-bet him before the flop. How did you play that hand, by the way?

In “Satellite Strategy: Reconsidering a Poorly-Timed Shove,” Mo Nuwwarah lamented a play he made when short-stacked with pocket fives.

And in an excerpt shared from his new book Thinking Tournament Poker, Nate Meyvis talked us through a WSOP Main Event hand he played in which he was dealt pocket nines.

As a resut, we’re making pocket pairs the focus of today’s “The Weekly PokerNews Strategy Quiz.” Each of the eight questions below have something to do with playing pocket pairs in no-limit hold’em. Get six or more correct and you’ll earn a passing grade, and if you happen to miss any of them you’ll get an explanation of the correct answer.

Photo: “Pockets,” Joey. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.

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Question 1

On average, how often in hold'em should you expect to be dealt a pocket pair?

Question 2

When dealt a pocket pair, what are your odds of flopping a set?

Question 3

With six players left at the 2015 WSOP Main Event final table, Thomas Cannuli was all in with As-Ac versus Max Steinberg’s 10h-10d, but alas for Cannuli the flop came Jc-10s-6c to give Steinberg a set. The turn was the Qd. With one card to come, how many outs did Cannuli have left to survive?

Question 4

On his way to finishing runner-up in the 2015 WSOP Main Event, Josh Beckley folded those pocket jacks in his hand versus Joe McKeehen who had four-bet with pocket queens. If Beckley had gone all in, what would have been his percentage chance to win with Jh-Jd vs. McKeehen’s Qs-Qd?

Question 5

The strategy of calling preflop raises in no-limit hold'em with a small pocket pair is often described as...

Question 6

Many poker players make a difference between making a "set" and making "trips" -- what is the difference?

Question 7

Unlike, say, Ac-Ks, being dealt 5d-5s in NLHE means starting with a...

Question 8

Now if you shove all in with 5d-5s and get called by an opponent holding Ac-Ks, which hand has the better chance of being best after the five community cards are dealt?