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The other day I played NLH $0.01/$0.02 online and in the middle of the game got a pair of tens [Ts Tc] in the middle position. Then the following happens:

Me​(MP)​: calls $0.02

​(D)​: calls $0.02

​(BB)​: checks

* FLOP * [Qd 2s Td]

​BB: checks

​MP: bets $0.07

​D: calls $0.07

​BB: folds

* TURN * [Qd 2s Td] [3d]

​MP: bets $0.20​​

​D: calls $0.20

* RIVER * [Qd 2s Td 3d] [4s]

​MP: bets $0.59

​D: raises $1.06 to $1.65 and is all-in

​MP: calls $1.06

* SHOW DOWN *

​D: shows [Ad 4d] (a flush, Ace high)

​MP: shows [Ts Tc] (three of a kind, Tens)

​D collected $3.77 from pot

I am wondering what I've done wrong in this game? Should I raise to all in the flop in such a situation?

1

Pre:

You should never really limp pre-flop. Come in for a raise with strong hands and fold your weak ones.

Flop:

The flop is very wet. You decide to bet full pot and I like this play, since you want to protect your strong hand and stacks are super deep. But now you already see the problem with limping pre-flop. Your opponents could have anything and it is hard to get a lot of money in the pot, since the pot is so small. You put yourself in a difficult decision limping pre-flop out of position.

Turn:

On the turn you can go either way. I don't mind to keep betting, since your hand is still pretty strong, but you should not bet full pot. Doing this will force your opponent out of the pot with the weak hands you want him to call with. At this point you can't really protect against draws other than straight draws. The board is less wet, so you should bet smaller.

You can also check for pot control. If your opponent checks you can nicely value bet a no diamond river. You also avoid getting raised on the turn, which would put you in a really difficult spot.

River:

The river is a good card for you. But before we discuss what you should do. Let's take a look at your opponent's range. I think it includes AJ, KJ and J9 with perhaps a single diamond. A strong queen, a set of deuces or a flush.

I think you should be check calling this river, since you give him a chance to bluff with his missed draws. If you continue betting, what do you plan on doing when you get raised? What worse hands are going to call a full pot sized bet? Deuces? Maybe, but not likely. Checking controls the size of the pot.

Now you do decide to bet full pot here and get raised. Should you call? Now let's take a step back. You fired full pot on flop, turn and river. What could your opponent have here? Perhaps he could have AJ, KJ or J9 but would he really play a hand like this when you represent such a strong range? Since he limped on the button he has a bunch of flushes in his range. He can easily have you beat. Now let's look at your range. What hands would you play this way? Probably any set and a flush right? If you call with tens here you are calling with close to 100% of your range. This is very bad, since if your opponent figures this out, he will just never bluff you anymore. Additionally you don't have a diamond in your hand, so you don't block him from having a flush. You should definitely fold your hand here.

To conclude:

Don't limp pre-flop. You played the flop well. Either check-call or bet smaller on the turn. Check-call the river and don't call the raise.

1

Pre
TT is a good hand I wold not limp open. It is not a good enough hand to slow play. You need to fold out hands like ace rag, KQ, KJ and QJ. Come in for like 3 BB or your standard open raise.

TT on the button or blinds calling 2 or more players to set mine is OK.

Flop
You bet the pot so villain was not getting direct odds to call a draw. TT is usually going to hold up here. A Q would call here that you are ahead of.

Turn
Villain could have made the flush or still called with a Q.

River
Villain could be bluffing with a missed straight draw like AJ or KJ. Could be on 2 pair thinking it is good but not many 2 pair get there and 2 pair should just call. You are getting 3:1. I would call but not liking it.

  • Thanks! follow up question : I limped with TT because I read about it in "Harrington on cache games" book. He suggests to sometimes(1/3) limp instead of raise on the MP with the middle pair in order to disguise the playing style a bit. Is this idea still valid nowadays? – sovo2014 Oct 8 '17 at 20:48
  • Check out my answer to this question. It explains why limping or a mixture of limping and raising is in my opinion not optimal. poker.stackexchange.com/questions/9004/… – Raymond Timmermans Oct 8 '17 at 21:09
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    @sovo2014 You don't need to disguise $0.01/$0.02 games. Play abc and a little tight. If anything mathematically you could have bet less but in low stakes play tight and then go for max value. Statistically TT is going to hold up here. Just reload. – paparazzo Oct 8 '17 at 22:31
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I agree with the previous answer - you definitely should have raised the tens preflop. On the flop it would be hard to push the drawing hand out, as the stack are deep. So I would check/call to the showdown, hoping that the board pairs.. Otherwise you just invest in his pot, as he calls almost any reasonable bet with his draw, due to the deep stacks. Would be probably cool to check the flop and raise him much if he bets. But I guess he would have checked too.

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    You should definitely bet versus draws on the flop. You want them to call since you have more equity then them. It is getting value. – Raymond Timmermans Oct 11 '17 at 10:08
  • Absolutely, but in this particular situation, if you are very positive that your opponent is drawing and the stacks are too big, he will call any bet. So does it make sense to invest in this pot, after the flush is there? Generally you are right, of course, but in this particular case? The flush was there on turn, so the hero could have saved some cents... – Milla Oct 11 '17 at 10:31
  • On the turn, sure there is an argument for checking. But flop should be bet always. – Raymond Timmermans Oct 11 '17 at 10:40

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