Tough Spot With Two Pair on a Monotone Board

Tough Spot With 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 AK 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 AK6 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, 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 You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.

  • .@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.

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