Jonathan Little Hand of the Week – A Tricky NL200 Spot
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The hand we’ll look into today comes from lower stakes as it features Wolfgang Poker, a popular poker vlogger, playing in a $1/2 live game in Texas.
The action starts with a couple of limps, and it gets to Wolfgang on the button, who looks down at A♥J♦.
In position and with a pretty good hand, he bumps it up to $12.
Only the Under the Gun limper makes the call, and they proceed to the flop with 200 big blinds ($400) effective.
The flop comes J♠10♦7♥, giving Wolfgang a top pair. However, this is a dicey board, as it is likely to connect pretty well with UTG’s limping range.
After the UTG player checks, Wolfgang makes a continuation bet for $11. I think that with this particular board texture and $30 already in the pot, it makes sense to go bigger.
The opponent will have a lot of pair + draw type of hands, and they’re likely not folding those even if we make a bet close to the pot size, like $25.
The UTG player makes the call for $11, and they proceed to the next street.
The next card off the deck improves Wolfgang to the top two pair, as it comes A♣. The opponent checks once again, and the action is on Wolfgang.
This is a pretty good card for us. Even though it will scare away some weaker holdings like J-9, I’d say you want to be betting on the larger side here.
We are playing with deep stacks, and in these splashy lower-stakes games, people just don’t like folding hands containing a pair and a gutshot draw, for example, so betting close to the pot is perfectly fine.
Wolfgang seems to agree, as he bets out for $50, but his opponent makes a very quick call.
In this spot, once the opponent calls, I think they don’t have many nutted hands in their range. With a flopped or a turned straight, they’d be looking to raise and get the money into the middle.
When they just call here, I think we are in very good shape going to the river with our top two pair.
The final card pairs the board as it comes 10♣. To make things even more complicated, the opponent takes over the initiative and bets out for $100.
There are a few busted draws here, but not that many. Some people could also be overvaluing a hand containing a random ace or simply not know what to do with it.
The simple truth is, when playing $1/2, people are going to make a lot of moves that don’t make sense from either the GTO perspective or even any logical poker perspective.
Of course, the opponent will have some tens in their range as well, but we are getting great pot odds to make the call.
So, all these things considered, I think you just have to find a call, as you need to be right just about 30% of the time. That said, if you know your opponent’s strategy very well and have a better understanding of the type of hands they might be doing this with, that will factor into your decision.
So, what does Wolfgang do in the end, and is his decision the correct one? Check out the video above to find out!
Jonathan Little is a two-time WPT champion with more than $7 million in live tournament winnings and best-selling author of multiple poker strategy books. If you want to learn from the best and increase your edge at the tables, make sure to get your FREE 3-day pass and check his training site at pokercoaching.com