Fixing a Leak Of Mine: What To Do When You Have Top Pair + Weak Kicker
One area of my game where I am spewing chips is flopping top pair weak kicker and having the pot get huge. Do you guys have any recommendations to prevent this from happening? I have included an example hand to illustrate. Did I make the right move by folding? Should I have taken re-raise/fold line on the flop?
PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $0.02 BB (5 handed) - PokerStars Converter Tool from http://www.flopturnriver.com/
Hero (MP) ($2.11)
Preflop: Hero is MP with 10, Q
UTG calls $0.02, Hero raises to $0.08, 3 folds, UTG calls $0.06
Flop: ($0.19) 5, 2, Q (2 players)
UTG bets $0.10, Hero calls $0.10
Turn: ($0.39) 3 (2 players)
UTG bets $0.20, Hero raises to $0.48, UTG raises to $1.53 (All-In), Hero folds
Total pot: $1.35 | Rake: $0.06
Results below: [spoiler]
UTG didn't show[/spoiler]
In general, top pair with a weak kicker is not that strong of a hand and how you play it is very situational.
- Against a nit or a weak passive opponent that is playing aggressively, it is correct to fold your hand to 2 or 3 barrels.
- Against an aggressive bluffer or habitual c-better then it is sometimes correct to call down lightly.
- If you have the lead in the hand pre-flop, you can play for pot control against certain opponents with a delayed c-bet.
- All-in-all, you have to play it based upon your reads on your opponents and their playing style.
In regards to your specific hand, the isolation raise if fine. On the flop when villain donk bets into you, you have to base his hand range strength based upon you reads. Do you have notes or stats on him? How has he been playing.
When he double barrels the turn, raising isn't that great of an option because (1) you fold out all of his bluffs and weaker hands and (2) get re-raised by stronger ones. He could have very well have limped something like QJ, QK, 22, 55, and A4 pre-flop. If in regards to Qx hands, is he limp/calling your iso raise with Q9-Q6 type of hands? If so, then raising is fine. If not, I'd just call and fold to a triple barrel. In general, when a weak passive limper calls your raise pre-flop and leads into your 2 streets he isn't bluffing at 2nl.
I would have just taken a call/call/decide line here.
Your turn raise accomplishes very little unless you have a very good read that your opponent is capable of calling with worse hands a lot of the time, which seems very unlikely.
Usually with just top pair hands in single raised pots, I'm not looking to play a big pot. I'm happy to bet for value but if I get raised, I need a damn good reason to stay in the pot.
When players lead into me, I'm only raising if the SPR is low, otherwise I'm looking to try and keep their range as wide as possible and I do that by just calling and letting all of their bluffs/worse value hands keep the initiative.