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Head Games: Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance With Pesky Pairs In Tournament Play

by Craig Tapscott |  Published: Apr 17, 2013


The Pros: Allen Kessler, Carter Phillips, Alex Bolotin, and Randy Lew Craig Tapscott: What’s the best approach to playing smaller pocket pairs (2-2 through 10-10) from different positions at the table? Do you limp, raise or call reraises? What are the determining factors of how to proceed? Allen Kessler: From early position you cannot just open limp every small pair. If you do so players catch on and can play perfectly. You must raise or even fold. Limping is fine only if you are willing to limp and showdown hands other than small pairs or suited connectors. From mid-position folding is less of an option. Limping is almost never correct either as other players have already folded. I like raising in mid-position and continuing on most flops. If someone had opened the pot before you, it’s almost always correct to call or reraise to isolate. Reraising is dangerous as it ...

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