Home / Community / Forum / Poker Education / Texas Hold'Em Cash Games /

Horrible Hand Histories - Defending the blinds with a middle pair

Horrible Hand Histories - Defending the blinds with a middle pair - Wed Jan 18, 2012, 01:58 PM
EdinFreeMan's Avatar
Since: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,540
OK -

I think I played this pretty badly.

77 in the SB - folds to button who standard raises - a bit stealy - I reraise and get called. If I flat possibly the BB might be priced in and I can look to hit my set in a 3-way pot, but when I reraise & only the button calls - well - not good - flip at best.

Flop is scary for my 77 but I somehow man up and make a opening bet - get called then hit my set on the turn.

Now what I don't know is - opp hit a set of Jacks on the flop - and puts me all in on the turn so I obviously call with my poor little underset.

Now watch and cringe -

but really -

how should you play 77 in SB to a loose stealy looking button raise - flat or reraise - and missing the flop - I should give up immediately right?

Hats off to the opp who was very gracious about the luck factor - reloaded - and paid me off twice more - (hee haw).

Ed from Edinburgh - EdinFreeMan
Wed Jan 18, 2012, 04:11 PM
WeaselBasher's Avatar
Since: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,138
who's having a wee Talisker tonight? lol....very nice hand Ed.

I think that the odds of getting a set are around 8/1...the odds of someone else getting a set, AS WELL...I don't know, but getting all four is nice. yes...NICE!
Wed Jan 18, 2012, 10:39 PM
Feskprins's Avatar
Since: May 2011
Posts: 450
Although this is 2NL and I usually play LAG at higher stakes which may not be appropriate here, I'll give this a shot. Don't hate me if I'm way out of line.

You label the button as "stealy" so I think a 3bet is absolutely fine here If you just flat you will most certainly have to fold to a cbet if you miss your set, but by taking the initiative you can probably cbet yourself and take down the pot if he whiffs. I like to raise with 3x when I 3bet in cash games to charge them to see a flop, but raising to 16c is fine too. He opts to call.

I definitely like the cbet here, about 60% of the pot. By taking a strong line here, he will probably fold smaller pocket pairs, small suited connectors (unless they're spades) and maybe even Jx depending on the villain. He calls which narrows his range a bit, most of which are hands that have us beat, unless he's on a flush or straight draw. I would shut down on the river unless reads say otherwise.

An we hit our set! I really like your bet sizing here for a number of reasons. He's been calling liberally and since the pot is so bloated at this point, micro stakes players tend to overplay their draws in these situations. If he has an ace, two pairs or even a set of sixes, he's probably going to call. Instead, he shoves. There's just no way we're folding here. We have to call $1.17 to win a pot of $3.18, so we only need to be good here about 1/3 of the time, which is more than enough. Unfortunately, he had a set of jacks and that's just tough luck.

These situations are very dependant on the villain, but with the information we have I definitely liked this play.

Last edited by Feskprins; Wed Jan 18, 2012 at 10:41 PM..
Wed Jan 18, 2012, 11:56 PM
TheLangolier's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 13,487
(Head Trainer)
Hi Ed,

Preflop 3-betting is very opponent specific... when we do it with a pocket pair like this we are basically doing it to seize the initiative (with hand that can get lucky if called).

I like 3-betting if:
-The villain raise folds a lot
-The villain calls and plays fit or fold on the flop
-The BB is a decent player

I like flatting if:
-The villain 4 bets a lot
-The villain makes big mistakes post flop, or is particularly bluffy
-The villains range is strong (we don't want to get 4b off a hand like 77 when we can see a flop and stack a big pair when we hit... this one isn't applicable to your hand though since by definition, stealy implies not a strong over all range).
-The big blind is a fish (and I want him in the pot, not out of it)

As played, I am definitely c-betting the flop, and when he calls I'm done with it until we turn our set... now I'm committed to getting all in. Sometimes they'll have AA or JJ, it happens, but he's also going to have a lot of big aces in his range here so it's a very easy committal spot for me.

Besides, even when they have the overset, we still have out.


Head Live Trainer
Check out my Videos

4 Time Bracelet Winner

Thu Jan 19, 2012, 12:13 AM
joy7108's Avatar
Since: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,284
Really nice hand, Ed.


Getting PokerStars is easy: download and install the PokerStars game software, create your free player account, and validate your email address. Clicking on the download poker button will lead to the installation of compatible poker software on your PC of 51.7 MB, which will enable you to register and play poker on the PokerStars platform. To uninstall PokerStars use the Windows uninstaller: click Start > Control Panel and then select Add or Remove programs > Select PokerStars and click Uninstall or Remove.

Copyright (c) PokerSchoolOnline.com. All rights reserved, Rational Group, Douglas Bay Complex, King Edward Road, Onchan, Isle of Man, IM3 1DZ. You can email us on support@pokerschoolonline.com