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Old 09-14-2018, 10:57 AM   #1
Paolo C
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Help! How to play top pair and two pair against a LAG?

Iím new to this site and not sure if Iím in the right forum. But here goes.

So I played two big hands against a LAG today with him sitting in position two spots to my left.

Iíd love some feedback on how I played them please.

We were playing NL Holden live with buy in 100-500 blinds of 2/3.

Board 1

Me (UTG) with AQ stack of 300.
He LAG (Button) with stack of 500 plus.

Preflop I raise 20 he calls heads up.

The board comes

QJ4 flop (no flush draw)
7 turn.
A river.

Post flop I bet 20 he raises to 45 I call; turn I bet 20 he raises to 105 I call; river me all in he calls.

How did I play this hand? I will reveal his hand after comments.

Board 2

Same players and positions but preflop LAG raises to 50 and an UTG calls out of position I also call with AK.

This is later in the evening and by now the table is very aggressive with constant raises preflop and sometimes quite high up to 100 with callers. The LAG after some early success has become a calling station and is down at least 500. He regularly makes big bets on various streets. LAG has 500 stack I have 220.

The board comes

Ac Qc 4d flop
Kc turn.
Ts river.

After the flop UTG checks I bet 100 LAG calls, UTG reluctantly folds heads up now; turn I go all in (70 more) LAG calls

Again, how well did I play this hand? Iíll reveal his cards in the comments.
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Old 09-14-2018, 01:22 PM   #2
DannyAIC
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Re: Help! How to play top pair and two pair against a LAG?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paolo C View Post
Iím new to this site and not sure if Iím in the right forum. But here goes.

So I played two big hands against a LAG today with him sitting in position two spots to my left.

Iíd love some feedback on how I played them please.

We were playing NL Holden live with buy in 100-500 blinds of 2/3.

Board 1

Me (UTG) with AQ stack of 300.
He LAG (Button) with stack of 500 plus.

Preflop I raise 20 he calls heads up.

The board comes

QJ4 flop (no flush draw)
7 turn.
A river.

Post flop I bet 20 he raises to 45 I call; turn I bet 20 he raises to 105 I call; river me all in he calls.

How did I play this hand? I will reveal his hand after comments.

Board 2

Same players and positions but preflop LAG raises to 50 and an UTG calls out of position I also call with AK.

This is later in the evening and by now the table is very aggressive with constant raises preflop and sometimes quite high up to 100 with callers. The LAG after some early success has become a calling station and is down at least 500. He regularly makes big bets on various streets. LAG has 500 stack I have 220.

The board comes

Ac Qc 4d flop
Kc turn.
Ts river.

After the flop UTG checks I bet 100 LAG calls, UTG reluctantly folds heads up now; turn I go all in (70 more) LAG calls

Again, how well did I play this hand? Iíll reveal his cards in the comments.
Hand 2 is pretty standard but you probably should have shoved on the flop. It's a slight overbet, but you make your opponent pay to realize their equity.

Hand 1 is a different matter. I don't understand the 20 dollar turn bet. You just saw him raise you on the flop, why are you giving him a chance to raise you again on the turn with nothing but top top. In general, a doubling bet from a lot of players indicates a strongish hand. He wants you to call with a wide range. Your hand is now a bluff catcher. On the turn you should have folded to his raise, or check called him down to the river. The river is a nice card, no doubt, but if Villain has the stronger end of hands he's representing (44) it doesn't help and you should still not be betting. QJ likely goes for value on a river if you check so keeping AQ as a bluff catcher has merit. but there's no need to get into a raising war over top top on a board where your opponnet is mostly representing two hands. If he has JJ, so be it, but a LAG would usually reraise that preflop. A lot of people overplay top top, and lose a lot of money for it.
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Old 09-14-2018, 02:07 PM   #3
Paolo C
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Re: Help! How to play top pair and two pair against a LAG?

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Originally Posted by DannyAIC View Post
Hand 2 is pretty standard but you probably should have shoved on the flop. It's a slight overbet, but you make your opponent pay to realize their equity.

Hand 1 is a different matter. I don't understand the 20 dollar turn bet. You just saw him raise you on the flop, why are you giving him a chance to raise you again on the turn with nothing but top top. In general, a doubling bet from a lot of players indicates a strongish hand. He wants you to call with a wide range. Your hand is now a bluff catcher. On the turn you should have folded to his raise, or check called him down to the river. The river is a nice card, no doubt, but if Villain has the stronger end of hands he's representing (44) it doesn't help and you should still not be betting. QJ likely goes for value on a river if you check so keeping AQ as a bluff catcher has merit. but there's no need to get into a raising war over top top on a board where your opponnet is mostly representing two hands. If he has JJ, so be it, but a LAG would usually reraise that preflop. A lot of people overplay top top, and lose a lot of money for it.
Thanks for the feedback. Yeah the 20 turn bet was due to my inexperience. I was just continuing with my flop bet in part as a blocking bet thinking that maybe he was trying to push me off the hand with middle pair (J).
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:03 PM   #4
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Re: Help! How to play top pair and two pair against a LAG?

Hand 1 just go passive after he raises you, usually check call turn and river against this kind of player. Your reasoning in the post above makes no sense, if you think he's trying to push you off the hand you should let him keep doing that, not make blocking bets trying to prevent it. If you check call turn, you have an interesting problem after the ace rivers. It's probably best to check still and allow him to continue to bluff if he has T9 or something. If you shove it will be difficult for him to call if he just has a Q and he'll bet anyway if he has better than that.

Hand 2 is a fistpump shove pre with AK. Against a LAG I would shove as loose as AT+, KQ, 77+ here and that might be conservative depending how loose this guy is. You shouldn't have a preflop calling range against this large a raise when stacks are this short. Once raise sizes get up above about maybe 10%, certainly 15% of your stack you should shove or fold in response. Once you do call preflop it would be better to check to the LAG OTF and allow him to bluff.

When you're playing and have to decide whether to bet or check, try to think about how your opponent might react with various hands they might have. If you think about that on the flop in hand 2 for instance, you'll quickly see that there is no advantage to betting because the LAG is probably going to bet with his entire range if you check.

Last edited by ChrisV; 09-14-2018 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 09-15-2018, 11:40 AM   #5
Paolo C
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Re: Help! How to play top pair and two pair against a LAG?

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Originally Posted by ChrisV View Post
Hand 1 just go passive after he raises you, usually check call turn and river against this kind of player. Your reasoning in the post above makes no sense, if you think he's trying to push you off the hand you should let him keep doing that, not make blocking bets trying to prevent it. If you check call turn, you have an interesting problem after the ace rivers. It's probably best to check still and allow him to continue to bluff if he has T9 or something. If you shove it will be difficult for him to call if he just has a Q and he'll bet anyway if he has better than that.

Hand 2 is a fistpump shove pre with AK. Against a LAG I would shove as loose as AT+, KQ, 77+ here and that might be conservative depending how loose this guy is. You shouldn't have a preflop calling range against this large a raise when stacks are this short. Once raise sizes get up above about maybe 10%, certainly 15% of your stack you should shove or fold in response. Once you do call preflop it would be better to check to the LAG OTF and allow him to bluff.

When you're playing and have to decide whether to bet or check, try to think about how your opponent might react with various hands they might have. If you think about that on the flop in hand 2 for instance, you'll quickly see that there is no advantage to betting because the LAG is probably going to bet with his entire range if you check.
Thanks for the feedback. Why do you say you should shove or fold when a raise reaches 10/15% of your stack? Iíve never heard that before.
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Old 09-15-2018, 02:47 PM   #6
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Re: Help! How to play top pair and two pair against a LAG?

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Originally Posted by Paolo C View Post
Why do you say you should shove or fold when a raise reaches 10/15% of your stack? I’ve never heard that before.
If you call a raise of 15% of your stack with anything other than JJ+ and play fit-fold postflop you're going to miss 70% of the time and end up folding. That's just gifting your preflop call to your opponents most of the time and you'll quickly get whittled down to zero.

If you call 15% of your stack intending to bluff postflop when you miss you'll fail more often than not because you don't have enough chips left behind to get enough folds - particularly if it's going 3+way to the flop.

Say you've got 100 preflop and face a raise of 15 with two callers. If you call you'll see a flop where the pot is 60 and you have 85 behind. With only slightly more than a pot sized bet left you will get hardly any folds so you're forced to play fit or fold - but we already know you'll miss too often with less than JJ to be able to do this profitably.

So shove preflop or fold with everything you think is profitable to continue with in the hand given how you think the other players will react to your shove.
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Old 09-15-2018, 10:48 PM   #7
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Re: Help! How to play top pair and two pair against a LAG?

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Thanks for the feedback. Why do you say you should shove or fold when a raise reaches 10/15% of your stack? I’ve never heard that before.
This is actually complicated. There are kind of two modes you play poker in. One is passive/speculative, where you're conceding that your range of hands is inferior to your opponent's, but you're calling anyway hoping to improve later in the hand. The problem with doing this for 15% of your stack is that the payoff is not going to be big enough. For example, if you call with something like 22, you will hit a set 1 in 8.5 times, but you're calling for like 1/6th of your stack. Trying to speculate is clearly not going to work.

So the other option is to be aggressive, and there are two reasons why just blasting your stack in preflop is the best way to go about being aggressive here:

1) When you're out of position, all else being equal, it's nice to have the hand over as quickly as possible, because being out of position is an inherent disadvantage. When you jam preflop, you're negating your positional disadvantage.

2) It's trying to inflict the biggest disadvantage on your opponent. Seeing flops is nice, they can radically improve your hand. Not getting to see them sucks.

From an intuitive point of view, the thing to understand is that when being aggressive in poker, if your opponent doesn't know what to do, then you've done your job well. If your opponent has an average sort of hand in their range and is like "easy call" or "easy fold", that means you ****ed up. If they're like "god, this sucks, I don't want to call or fold really" then you've achieved your aim. When spots come up when you're playing when you find yourself on the receiving end of this, try to understand how your opponent achieved this and then emulate it. If you imagine being the LAG in this hand and having an average kind of hand - say 66, or KQ - you'll see what I mean. You don't really want to fold it, but you don't really want to call it, either. That's mission accomplished.
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:11 AM   #8
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Re: Help! How to play top pair and two pair against a LAG?

ChrisV - good points well made.

How wide would you shove in this sort of spot? Typically I'm pretty tight: 99+ AQ+ or thereabouts depending how loose raiser is. Sometimes I think there's actually plenty of FE available but I'm always afraid to pull the trigger with AXs/KXs BWs SC and smaller pairs because they fare so badly when called but maybe I'm missing out some good spots to gamble and create an image that's useful when I'm deeper (and no longer getting out of line)?
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:12 AM   #9
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Re: Help! How to play top pair and two pair against a LAG?

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Against a LAG I would shove as loose as AT+, KQ, 77+ here and that might be conservative depending how loose this guy is.
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:58 AM   #10
Ragequit99
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Re: Help! How to play top pair and two pair against a LAG?

How bad is it to shove like 22/A5s/K9s when you think you have FE?
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Old 09-16-2018, 10:07 AM   #11
Paolo C
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Re: Help! How to play top pair and two pair against a LAG?

Thanks for the feedback guys. Iíll look into that preflop shove concept.

In relation to the two hands I played the LAG had:

Hand 1 - KTo
Hand 2 - AA

He won both pots with a straight and set respectively against my two pair.
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Old 09-16-2018, 10:40 AM   #12
Paolo C
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Re: Help! How to play top pair and two pair against a LAG?

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Originally Posted by ChrisV View Post
When you're playing and have to decide whether to bet or check, try to think about how your opponent might react with various hands they might have. If you think about that on the flop in hand 2 for instance, you'll quickly see that there is no advantage to betting because the LAG is probably going to bet with his entire range if you check.
Chris one question about this.

I saw the advantage of betting the flop being that it will give me more information. If heís dominated I expect a fold to the 100 bet, yet if he calls he likely has something.

If I didnít bet just and as you say itís likely he bets his whole range then I wonít have a clue as to what heís got. Doesnít my bet give me some information?
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Old 09-16-2018, 10:46 AM   #13
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Re: Help! How to play top pair and two pair against a LAG?

I guess you limped in Hand #2? Either way, if you dont shove preflop, you need to change tables.
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Old 09-16-2018, 11:01 AM   #14
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Re: Help! How to play top pair and two pair against a LAG?

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Chris one question about this.

I saw the advantage of betting the flop being that it will give me more information. If heís dominated I expect a fold to the 100 bet, yet if he calls he likely has something.

If I didnít bet just and as you say itís likely he bets his whole range then I wonít have a clue as to what heís got. Doesnít my bet give me some information?
Betting just for information is rarely a good idea. Certainly not in this case where you have what 120 left and the pot will be 350 if he calls? OK, so he has something, now what? Now you stick the remaining 120 in, which is what you were going to do anyway, right? And if he folds, then you lost money, because that means he had nothing, but if you checked, he'd likely have bet.
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Old 09-16-2018, 11:21 AM   #15
Paolo C
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Re: Help! How to play top pair and two pair against a LAG?

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Originally Posted by MikeStarr View Post
I guess you limped in Hand #2? Either way, if you dont shove preflop, you need to change tables.
I never limp AK so my information in the question must be slightly wrong. Itís likely I raised to 20 first Pre flop and UTG was actually SB or BB.
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Old 09-16-2018, 04:30 PM   #16
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Re: Help! How to play top pair and two pair against a LAG?

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Originally Posted by Paolo C View Post
Iím new to this site and not sure if Iím in the right forum. But here goes.

So I played two big hands against a LAG today with him sitting in position two spots to my left.

Iíd love some feedback on how I played them please.

We were playing NL Holden live with buy in 100-500 blinds of 2/3.

Board 1

Me (UTG) with AQ stack of 300.
He LAG (Button) with stack of 500 plus.

Preflop I raise 20 he calls heads up.

The board comes

QJ4 flop (no flush draw)
7 turn.
A river.

Post flop I bet 20 he raises to 45 I call; turn I bet 20 he raises to 105 I call; river me all in he calls.

How did I play this hand? I will reveal his hand after comments.

Board 2

Same players and positions but preflop LAG raises to 50 and an UTG calls out of position I also call with AK.

This is later in the evening and by now the table is very aggressive with constant raises preflop and sometimes quite high up to 100 with callers. The LAG after some early success has become a calling station and is down at least 500. He regularly makes big bets on various streets. LAG has 500 stack I have 220.

The board comes

Ac Qc 4d flop
Kc turn.
Ts river.

After the flop UTG checks I bet 100 LAG calls, UTG reluctantly folds heads up now; turn I go all in (70 more) LAG calls

Again, how well did I play this hand? Iíll reveal his cards in the comments.
Hand 1 is awful, tbh. Is 20 really a standard preflop raise at 2/3? That's insane. As played, what is the purpose of that turn bet? So that he can't make a bigger bet? Then he makes it anyway and you call it. River is actually defensible but you should probably not be taking the bluff away again and simply prepare to snap off any amount.

Hand 2 I'm confused. He open raises to 50 (!?!?!) and you have AK on 220 and you...call!? This is clear shove. Or if you're worried he only sizes like this with a range that has AK in trouble, you could even fold. But calling can, like, never be good.
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Old 09-17-2018, 04:36 AM   #17
Paolo C
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Re: Help! How to play top pair and two pair against a LAG?

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Originally Posted by jdr0317 View Post
Hand 1 is awful, tbh. Is 20 really a standard preflop raise at 2/3? That's insane. As played, what is the purpose of that turn bet? So that he can't make a bigger bet? Then he makes it anyway and you call it. River is actually defensible but you should probably not be taking the bluff away again and simply prepare to snap off any amount.
Thanks. Ordinarily, how much should the preflop raise be at 2/3?
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Old 09-17-2018, 04:48 AM   #18
Ragequit99
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Re: Help! How to play top pair and two pair against a LAG?

Preflop raise sizes vary depending on the game conditions. If everyone's quite tight preflop, mostly 3bet or folding and only flatting a narrow and strong/good-speculative range IP and flops are mostly HU or 3-way then 3-4X the big blind is normal. Pot sized raise basically.

That's very rare at low stakes though. On this forum the consensus seems to be 5X the big blind plus 1bb for each limper as a starting point. Many here recommend then increasing the sizing as necessary till you get only one or two callers. Thing is you have to use a very tight and strong opening range of you're using these massive sizings. Otherwise you're putting in too many chips OOP and isolating yourself against strong ranges. Only exception is if you have very good reads on the biggest calling preflop calling stations so you can exploit them even when OOP with a wider range. Always dangerous though because with 8 players behind you someone is going to pick up a top 5% hand around one third of the time regardless how bad they all are at poker.
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Old 09-17-2018, 05:48 AM   #19
Paolo C
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Re: Help! How to play top pair and two pair against a LAG?

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Originally Posted by Ragequit99 View Post
Preflop raise sizes vary depending on the game conditions. If everyone's quite tight preflop, mostly 3bet or folding and only flatting a narrow and strong/good-speculative range IP and flops are mostly HU or 3-way then 3-4X the big blind is normal. Pot sized raise basically.

That's very rare at low stakes though. On this forum the consensus seems to be 5X the big blind plus 1bb for each limper as a starting point. Many here recommend then increasing the sizing as necessary till you get only one or two callers. Thing is you have to use a very tight and strong opening range of you're using these massive sizings. Otherwise you're putting in too many chips OOP and isolating yourself against strong ranges. Only exception is if you have very good reads on the biggest calling preflop calling stations so you can exploit them even when OOP with a wider range. Always dangerous though because with 8 players behind you someone is going to pick up a top 5% hand around one third of the time regardless how bad they all are at poker.
Thanks.

Thatís what Iíve been finding in the last two games. At these tables 3-4x BB seems too low because it seems to get too many callers. Arenít I trying to isolate one or two callers with my raise? Thatís why I put in 20 (6BB + 1BB for two limpers). Thatís roughly around the size you suggest in your second paragraph.

Iím having trouble following the apparent contradiction.

On the one hand Iíve been told my preflop raise with AQ iin hand 1 s too high because it might invite only callers who have me beat yet Iím being told that my call with AK against a 50 raise is too weak and I should be reraising all-in. Wonít the latter invite only callers who have something like JJ+. I guess one answer may be that the 50 raise should be considered from a wide range given it was by a LAG.
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Old 09-17-2018, 07:11 AM   #20
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Re: Help! How to play top pair and two pair against a LAG?

Yes it depends on precise situation but also hand strength.

In my game I'd raise AQ big from EP in the right conditions because I know there are plenty who will call a stupid big raise with worse. However, there are times that I won't raise AQo from EP at all because small raises go massively MW but big raises are only getting flatted by smaller pairs looking to set-mine, big pairs looking to trap and by AK. Then I'm investing too much preflop OOP with a hand I can't even stack off with postflop when I hit. Those times are relatively rare fortunately.

AK on the other hand cannot be called by better AX and it's flipping vs QQ-. It's a better hand to semi-bluff shove or re-raise preflop because it's blocking the only two hands that have it crushed and it's flipping, slightly ahead of or crushing every other possible starting hand.

So the discrepancy is partly due to hand strength and partly due to game conditions.

There's a strategic angle to the discrepancy too. Some players are quite happy going multiway OOP against weak opposition because they expect to frequently be the best player postflop and they know their opponents make massive mistakes postflop AND they know what those mistakes are.

For those players it's silly restricting themselves to raising massive with an incredibly tight range to isolate weak players with strong hands when they can raise a wider range smaller and get called by lots of weak players with weak hands who are prepared to lose stacks postflop MW.

It takes a lot of postflop skill to read 3+ players at once and maneuver profitably around them OOP. Most of us can't manage that. None of us can without reads. So mostly I think we should stick to raising big with a very tight and strong range from EP and accept that we're just not going to be able to play 88-22 AJ- SC AXs profitably from these positions unless we are at an incredibly passive table that will let us open limp repeatedly without raising us.

So descrepencies in advice arise due to: important hand strength differences between superficially similar hands; situational table condition differences (stack sizes, position, opponents' tendencies); stylistic/strategy differences which themselves depend on hero's skill/experience/strengths/weaknesses/personality-type/etc COMBINED with the table conditions (or perceived table conditions!).

Basically, it depends!

One of the key learning skills in poker is knowing enough about your own abilities and your own game to know which advice applies best to you. I got this wrong myself for a long time - I think most of us do. It causes you to deploy ideas and strategies inappropriately at first.

The best thing you can do is to go deep into the fundamental theory of the game and gradually build up a thorough understanding so that you can properly analyse each poker idea in its correct context and judge properly when and where different ideas apply.

It's tremendously difficult but that's what keeps poker endlessly fascinating and enjoyable.

You're absolutely doing the right thing to post on here and then ask follow up questions. Keep it up and be patient - it'll start to make sense over time!

Last edited by Ragequit99; 09-17-2018 at 07:16 AM.
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Old 09-17-2018, 12:06 PM   #21
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Re: Help! How to play top pair and two pair against a LAG?

H1:

Always be aware of who is on the Button. In this case, it's the last guy we want to have on the Button. I typically just open limp AQo in EP anyways now (used to be a raise for me, but I'm not as certain about that any more), but with this guy on the Button that is reason enough to not bloat a pot here; even open folding here is fine in this case, imo.

Against this guy I would mostly check the flop. I'm looking to keep the pot under control and get to showdown relatively cheap with this modest hand while underrepping my hand (which, if ahead, is fairly far ahead and there ain't too many turn cards we hate). If betting, I usually just bet/fold TP and move on, and if we don't feel comfortable doing that here we should have checked (because calling a raise and building a monster pot OOP sucks, cuz what's our turn plan, just hope he slows down?).

Have no idea why we are betting the turn, especially for so little. And even though he could definitely be reading that for weakness, in the end he's seen us raise preflop in EP, call a check/raise on the flop, and then still donk the turn, which is hella strong. Easy fold to the turn raise at this point because it's unlikely he's getting out-of-hand.

On the river we only have 1/3rd PSB left and may have moved ahead (realistically we only move ahead of QJ/KK), but with this little left I'm not sure what else we can do but shove (although we're often not good to this action as all sets including big ones are in his range, and the only hand he could have been getting out-of-line-with KT just got there).

Overall: Don't build big pots with mediocre hands on any street, and that's basically all we did here.

GcluelessNLnoobG
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Old 09-17-2018, 12:11 PM   #22
gobbledygeek
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Re: Help! How to play top pair and two pair against a LAG?

H2:

I'm guessing we limped AK so that we could limp/reraise preflop (which would be my plan at this table). With $100 in the pot and with us only having $220 at an action table, this is a trivial preflop shove for me. We can't be putting in a quarter of our stack just hoping to hit an A/K on the flop.

With just over a PSB left and a somewhat drawy board, I just shove the flop.

Leaving a 1/5 PSB for the turn was sorta pointless, but obviously just shove it in at this point as there is nothing else we can do.

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Old 09-17-2018, 01:33 PM   #23
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Re: Help! How to play top pair and two pair against a LAG?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragequit99 View Post
Yes it depends on precise situation but also hand strength.

In my game I'd raise AQ big from EP in the right conditions because I know there are plenty who will call a stupid big raise with worse. However, there are times that I won't raise AQo from EP at all because small raises go massively MW but big raises are only getting flatted by smaller pairs looking to set-mine, big pairs looking to trap and by AK. Then I'm investing too much preflop OOP with a hand I can't even stack off with postflop when I hit. Those times are relatively rare fortunately.

AK on the other hand cannot be called by better AX and it's flipping vs QQ-. It's a better hand to semi-bluff shove or re-raise preflop because it's blocking the only two hands that have it crushed and it's flipping, slightly ahead of or crushing every other possible starting hand.

So the discrepancy is partly due to hand strength and partly due to game conditions.

There's a strategic angle to the discrepancy too. Some players are quite happy going multiway OOP against weak opposition because they expect to frequently be the best player postflop and they know their opponents make massive mistakes postflop AND they know what those mistakes are.

For those players it's silly restricting themselves to raising massive with an incredibly tight range to isolate weak players with strong hands when they can raise a wider range smaller and get called by lots of weak players with weak hands who are prepared to lose stacks postflop MW.

It takes a lot of postflop skill to read 3+ players at once and maneuver profitably around them OOP. Most of us can't manage that. None of us can without reads. So mostly I think we should stick to raising big with a very tight and strong range from EP and accept that we're just not going to be able to play 88-22 AJ- SC AXs profitably from these positions unless we are at an incredibly passive table that will let us open limp repeatedly without raising us.

So descrepencies in advice arise due to: important hand strength differences between superficially similar hands; situational table condition differences (stack sizes, position, opponents' tendencies); stylistic/strategy differences which themselves depend on hero's skill/experience/strengths/weaknesses/personality-type/etc COMBINED with the table conditions (or perceived table conditions!).

Basically, it depends!

One of the key learning skills in poker is knowing enough about your own abilities and your own game to know which advice applies best to you. I got this wrong myself for a long time - I think most of us do. It causes you to deploy ideas and strategies inappropriately at first.

The best thing you can do is to go deep into the fundamental theory of the game and gradually build up a thorough understanding so that you can properly analyse each poker idea in its correct context and judge properly when and where different ideas apply.

It's tremendously difficult but that's what keeps poker endlessly fascinating and enjoyable.

You're absolutely doing the right thing to post on here and then ask follow up questions. Keep it up and be patient - it'll start to make sense over time!
Thanks for all the advice and encouragement! To you and to all. Iím learnimg alot on here.
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Old 09-17-2018, 02:00 PM   #24
Paolo C
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Join Date: Sep 2018
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Re: Help! How to play top pair and two pair against a LAG?

Do you guys have any book suggestions for learning more? I play live NL 100-500 2/3 cash game. I’d love to know what to start reading.

Also the consensus is clearly to shove AK preflop in Hand 2. If I do that though aren’t I at risk of losing my whole stack the majority of times I get called because won’t the only callers be coin flips like JJ QQ or hands which dominate me AA KK? My table image is usually tight.
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Old 09-17-2018, 03:23 PM   #25
Ragequit99
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Join Date: Apr 2015
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Posts: 2,195
Re: Help! How to play top pair and two pair against a LAG?

When you shove AK preflop it's a semibluff. You're getting a lot of your profit from just picking up the pot uncontested preflop. Like any semi bluff the times you get called you expect to be behind but still have some equity so it's not a total loss.

Sure enough AK has 31% equity vs QQ+

Between the pots you win uncontested and the 30% you win when called you cover your investment and hopefully make a profit.
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