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How to Play Big Pairs (So That They Don’t Play You)

by Matt Matros |  Published: Oct 29, 2014


Everyone loves looking down at a pair of aces or kings, especially late in a no-limit hold’em tournament on a short or medium stack. The strategy in those cases is simple—get the chips in as soon as possible. With a deep stack, it’s still a good feeling to find aces or kings in the hole—they’re highly profitable at any chip count—but a player’s rush of excitement must soon give way to intense focus. The fate of his tournament may well be decided by his next few maneuvers. Deep stack play with big overpairs can lead to some of the most complicated decisions in no-limit hold’em. Get it all-in blindly after the flop and you’ll surely be losing money, even with the very best starting hands in the game. But it would be equally foolish to extract value from these hands only when they improve. Most players, quite rightly, don’t give ...

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