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Poker Coaching: Tough Spot For An Overpair

by Jonathan Little |  Published: Jan 10, 2024


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You are eight-handed in a $3,500 buy-in main event with 75,000 chips with the blinds at 150-300 with a 300 big blind ante. A tight player limps UTG+1 and it folds to you in the hijack with QSpade Suit QHeart Suit.

Question 1: Should you call, raise to 900, or raise to 1,500?

Answer: You must raise with your pair of queens, but you have to do so in a way that forces your opponent to make mistakes. If you only raise to 900, you are giving your opponent amazing odds to see a flop that could potentially beat you. By making a standard 4.5x raise against limpers, you force them to fold only their junky hands (which should presumably not be much of their range).

You raise to 1,500 and only the tight limper calls. The flop comes 10Spade Suit 10Club Suit 2Club Suit and your opponent checks.

Question 2: Should you check, bet 1,200, bet 2,400, or bet 3,600?

Answer: If your opponent has a tendency to limp hands containing a 10, you should be somewhat cautious. Tight players often limp with hands like A-10, K-10, and Q-10. That said, this is still a flop you should bet frequently for a small size because your range includes some tens and all the overpairs that want to go for value. 

You bet 1,200 and your opponent raises you to 3,000.

Question 3: Should you fold, call, re-raise to 7,500, or go all-in?

Answer: This is a nasty spot because it is very likely your tight opponent has a 10. But while you may be behind, your opponent has given you excellent pot odds with their small raise. Considering your implied odds, even if your opponent has a 10, if you get lucky and spike a queen on the turn, you will stack them almost every time. With the odds presented, calling and defending is the best move. Re-raising would be quite bad because when your opponent has a 10, you get stacked every time while forcing them to fold all their bluffs

You call. The turn is the 4Club Suit and your opponent checks.

Question 4: Should you check, bet 1,800, bet 5,800, or bet 8,800?

Answer: This is an interesting spot because your opponent’s check suggests they may not have a 10 or are scared of the possible flush. While they may be concerned about a flush, they may also have some low pocket pairs containing clubs that have a decent amount of equity.

Checking is an option, but not the best because it allows your opponent to realize their equity with weaker hands, which will often have a flush draw. With your strong, but non-premium hand, a small bet is usually the best play.  

You bet 1,800 and your opponent calls. The river is the 8Heart Suit and your opponent checks.

Question 5: Should you check, bet 3,400, bet 6,400, or bet 12,400?

Answer: Your opponent’s range is likely a 10, which you lose to, a weak pair, which will fold to any bet, or a busted draw, which will fold to any bet. Given a 10 (or a flush) will never fold and the weaker hands will fold, checking is the best option unless your opponent is an extreme calling station.

You check and your opponent reveals KHeart Suit 10Heart Suit. While you may have lost the pot, you navigated the spot well and limited your losses.

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