With the exceptional feedback I received from my previous previous article (click here) about playing low and mid pocket pairs for set
mining value, Iâ€™d like to follow it up to answer your questions about the other â€œwhat ifâ€ scenarios.Â Remember that
weâ€™re almost always raising in an unraised preflop pot with any pocket pair from any position.Â There are of course scenarios where you wouldnâ€™t want
to do this to price yourself out of the hand so use your discretion.
Moving past the set mining value of pocket pairs, if youâ€™re able to play the low and mid pocket pairs (22-99) in MP (mid position) or LP (late position) you have positional value
for cbetting (continuation betting).Â Using our handy-dandy replayer we can show scenarios of what to do in situations where you didnâ€™t flop the set but are in a
position to continue with the hand.
Hereâ€™s a prime example of this sort of situation:
In this game using Holdem Manager we unfortunately have no substantial stats on this villain (â€˜Pirates castâ€™) other than heâ€™s been in 100% of
the hands so far (through five hands).Â We lead out here with our standard stealing raise of 3x from the CO (cutoff position, one off from the button).Â Our loose player calls
preflop and we see a board of T22 rainbow.Â On boards like this weâ€™re cbetting in position 100% of the time.Â Yes, we didnâ€™t hit the flop,
but weâ€™re fairly confident he didnâ€™t hit anything either.Â Now things get tricky when our cbet doesnâ€™t work and he flats
us.Â Another low card hits the board and we see that thereâ€™s now a flush draw.Â Itâ€™s double barrel time because we still have the best hand
unless heâ€™s slow playing a 2 (certainly a T would have raised us on the flop, and if not, good for him).Â The villain flats us again on the turn.Â So
whatâ€™s his range at this point â€¦ what hand are we up against that would be consistent with this betting pattern?Â
Overcards?Â Probably.Â Paired his 6?Â Maybe.Â Flush Draw with overcards?Â Probably.Â The Queen of Spades on the river was his big chance
to bluff at the pot.Â Heâ€™s represented overcards through the whole hand, one hit, and he failed to act.Â His hand reeks of KJ or AJ or even
A6.Â Itâ€™s value time and with 200% of his river stack in the pot heâ€™s committed without realizing it.Â He calls with ace high and our hero
takes it down.
Now weâ€™ll look at another hand, with 88 coincidentally enough â€¦
This hand is really tricky because the action preflop is pretty standard but post flop weâ€™ve got a paired board and two villains, and weâ€™re stuck between a
rock and a hard place.Â Remembering weâ€™re the preflop aggressor this is a spot where some people take their shot at the pot with a cbet (as our hero does) and then
backs off the hand.Â We get a flat from the 39/5/1 fish (Andy Berry).Â For the stat lines as a reference the first number (39) is the % of time they voluntarily put money into
the pot, and the second number (5) is the % of time they raise PF, and the third number (1) is an aggression factor.Â So this is a guy that gets into pots and plays them
passively.Â In addition our stats show he only folds to a flop bet 27% of the time, so he loves to be the floaty type and suck out I suppose.Â Although the 2 is a complete brick
on the turn for both players our hero properly recognizes that a K definitely would have called that flop cbet and a T would have too to slowplay.Â In addition our hero has to be careful
of straight draws with AJ, AQ or JQ as well as a flush draw (all most likely what heâ€™s holding).Â Our opponent then on the second brick (the five of hearts) on the
river throws out this weird looking $5 value bet.Â Itâ€™s a weak bet â€¦ certainly a K or a T in this spot would want more value for their hand
right?Â And if we think about his most likely holding of a busted straight draw or busted flush draw, the only way heâ€™s winning the hand is with a river
bet.Â Since he has positive equity to call, he does.Â The villain does in fact show his busted straight draw, and our hero takes down a nice pot with two pair.
We have one final hand here to show, which demonstrates the power of simply playing position and being able to read the board texture more than anything.
Our hero is basically stealing from the button and he gets one caller.Â Our Holdem Manager stats tell us heâ€™s folding exactly 0% of the time to blind steals so
heâ€™s playing ATC (any two cards).Â The flop is somewhat coordinated but our hero cbets this with position and our villain calls.Â When you look for double
barrel cards you are looking for a card that scares the heck out of the villain.Â If that Q completed his straight on the turn, it would take the patience of a saint to check
here.Â He does check and our hero double barrels for the win.
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Playing pocket pairs with position can look very scary to
your opponents.Â Do not be afraid to spot good continuation betting opportunities and punish those that called you preflop.
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â If youâ€™re out of position this becomes a
lot harder and something weâ€™ll discuss in a later article
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Try to read your opponentâ€™s likely range
and play against it.