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Tough Spot With Two Pair on a Monotone Board

Tough Spot With Two Pair on a Monotone Board
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  • .@JonathanLittle flops top two pair, but the board is all diamonds and his opponent is betting.

  • Consider how you would have approached this dicey situation with top two pair on a monotone board.

This week I have an interesting hand to share in which an unpredictable opponent took an unusual line against me from out of position after the flop.

It was a $3,500 buy-in World Poker Tour event, and the blinds were 400/800 with a 100 ante when I picked up {A-Spades}{K-Clubs} in the hijack seat. With more than 145,000 to start the hand, I raised to 2,000 and it folded to an overly splashy loose-aggressive player in the big blind with a stack of about 45,000 who called.

The flop came {A-Diamonds}{K-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds} to give me top two pair, and with 5,300 in the middle my opponent led for 2,500, immediately presenting me with an interesting decision.

As I discuss in the video below, when assessing what hands the player would lead with, I thought primarily of marginal-made hands (like ace-nine) or drawing hands. Could I play for all the chips here? In this scenario against this player, I'm certainly happy to get all the chips in here, but should I call or raise?

I chose to min-raise to 5,000 and my opponent called. The turn brought the {5-Clubs}, a card that would seem to be bad for my opponent's range, but he led with a bet again, this time for 5,000 (about a third of the pot).

Again I was in a position of having to decide between calling or raising. I'll stop there and let you see what I decided and then how I ended up playing the river when my opponent bet into me one more time.

How would you have proceeded in this dicey situation — on the flop, turn, or river?

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $6,700,000 in live tournament earnings. He writes a weekly educational blog and hosts a podcast at JonathanLittlePoker.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.

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