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PokerCoaching Quiz: Turning Two Pair

by Jonathan Little |  Published: Nov 29, 2023

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You are the chip leader playing at an eight-handed final table of a large field tournament with 2,600,000 at 20,000-40,000. The under-the-gun (UTG) player with 1,600,000 raises to 80,000 and it folds around to you in the big blind holding AHeart Suit 5Spade Suit.

Question 1: Should you fold, call, re-raise to 280,000, or go all-in?

Answer: Your UTG opponent is likely not getting too out of line. With the payout implications that come with being at the final table, you could three-bet A-5 offsuit at some frequency, but since you expect your opponent’s range to be strong, calling is probably best. Do not fold because that would be overly tight.

You call and the flop comes 10Spade Suit 5Club Suit 2Diamond Suit. You check and your opponent bets 125,000 (57% pot).

Question 2: Should you fold, call, raise to 300,000, or go all-in?

Answer: Facing the UTG player who is incentivized not to go broke, you should again proceed with a decent amount of caution. While your pair could easily be ahead, if you raise, you will mostly get action only when you are crushed. Call, and see what develops on the turn.

You call and the turn is the ADiamond Suit, giving you two pair.

Question 3: Should you check, bet 120,000, bet 240,000, or bet 360,000?

Answer: If your opponent had an overpair on the flop like pocket jacks, or top pair like J-10, this turn card is not good for them. To make matters worse, your opponent may continuation bet the flop with almost their entire range, which contains lots of A-X.

Regardless of what they hold, you should check and allow them to continue betting with a hand you are ahead of, like Q-J. While you could lead in an attempt to get value from your premium hand, you can win a lot more chips by allowing your opponent to keep bluffing.

You check and your opponent bets 325,000 (69%).

Question 4: Should you fold, call, raise to 650,000, or go all-in?

Answer: Your decision should be based on the tendencies of your opponent. By betting large, your opponent is indicating that they are polarized with either a made hand or a draw. Facing an opponent who will only shove the river with strong made hands, check-raising all-in is a good decision because they will call off with worse aces while being denied the chance to improve on the river with their draws.

Before you act, consider if they are capable of bluffing the river with their missed draws. If your opponent is a good, strong player who is willing to bluff with missed draws on the river, call the turn and keep them in the pot. Although their draws will get there sometimes, be willing to call it off when they shove the river because there will still be plenty of hands in their range that you beat. 

You call and the river is the 3Spade Suit.

Question 5: Should you check, bet 200,000, bet 550,000, or go all-in? 

Answer: This is a rough river card, not because it likely gives your opponent a better hand, but because it decreases the likelihood your opponent will bet. Even though it is unlikely your opponent will bet with four cards to the straight on the board, you would rather check and give them one more chance to bluff rather than lead in an attempt to get a little bit of value.

You check and your opponent checks behind. After you reveal your two pair, your opponent mucks their hand. While it may feel like you failed to get some additional value on the river, remember that some opponents will attempt to bluff in this situation.

For access to more than 1,200 interactive poker hand quizzes just like this, but in video format, visit PokerCoaching today.