Top two pair vs TPTK + nut flush draw jam

Here’s a hand I just played to win a 2-seat SNG. Good outcome for me. Wonder what the better player think of the lines we both take.

Through 17 hands, things have been very passive. Most action coming preflop, most post-flop bets close the hand, a lot of checking to the river to see who has better high card. I don’t have any prior history with this player (that I’m aware of).

The final hand:

V has 2795 chips; I have 3145 – a slight edge.
Blinds at 20/40. I raised from the SB to 80 holding Ts9h; V re-raises to 160; I call. Pot is 320.

Flop is 3d9cTc. I’m holding T9o, top two pair. V bets 1/2 pot (160), I raise to 320. V re-raises to 800; I call. Pot is 1920.

Turn 2d. V shoves 1875 chips; I call, leaving 330 behind if I lose. V flips up TdTd, for Top pair TTA and AT32d for a flush draw.

River 6s, brick, I win the hand and the game.

At the flop, I’m thinking I may be up against: 33, 99, TT, 93, JJ+. Some of those hands are ahead of me, some have the potential to be.

Overpair + paired board or improving to set beats me; any flopped set beats me, but I’m partially blocking 99 and TT.

As it played out, V had outs in: Any Ace (3 outs), any Diamond (8 outs) for 11 outs when they shoved on the Turn, about 22% to improve, plus the showdown value of Top Pair, Top Kicker.

Was their shoving a good idea? Was my call? I didn’t mind calling here, against a player with no history. He either has something or he’s bluffing; I’m ahead of AA- (except TT, 99, 33, 22) , 93, 9X, TX, and he can’t have a made straight or flush. I’m behind sets only. Seems like a good hand to call with.

How should V have played? I think they could have just bet the Turn, half pot, and then value-bet if their flush filled, or called whatever action on the River, accepting being beaten by 2-pair or better, and lived to play another hand; most likely I don’t put them all-in to call on the river, fearing being called only by hands that beat mine (which on this board is only sets, plus 45 which I don’t put V on given his line on this hand.)

Villian should have 3-bet much larger. I would prefer a sizing closer to 300. The small 3-bet gives you great odds to play many hands in position.

On the flip, the villain needs to make a large bet. The board is very wet and a half pot bets give too many draws too cheap of a price.

I don’t think the min reraise makes much sense. I think a larger sizing would be much more appropiate. If villain was bluffing with a draw, you can bet much larger and get called. If he has top pair or better, he will call a larger bet.

Vs the flop 3-bet I think both calling and shoving is fine. It depends on how bluff heavy you think villain is. If he has a lot of bluffs, shoving denies the villain so much equity. With a flush draw or open-ended straight draw, Villain would have to call off, given the pot odds and you bluff at least once in a blue moon (only bluffing shoving combo draws).

If you shove, villain might get off some top pair and overpairs. By calling, you give the villain the opportunity to bet with worse. Top pairs and overpairs have few outs against your two pair, so you are not worried about seeing more cards if you believe your opponent is value heavy.



I did watch all previous 80 hands in your other thread & you play preflop way too passively. I like that your actually raising the button here, although 9To not so much. You do need to raise more often on the button in general for HU play.

I think aoeu has summarised fairly well, but i’ll give 2cents for free. Some is stolen from aoeu but altered for my perspective.


Hero: min raise on the button was ok bc villain will most often have worse or most often hands that are not good enough to 3bet preflop. Your play was probably optimal or GTO however I prefer to limp and use a better/stronger range to raise on the button. Even T9 suited or Axo. If your getting away with button min bets a lot with rare resistance then its great exploitative play. But I think use a stronger range.

Villain: Villain needs to raise more as a 3bet & not min. Even a raise of 200-280 will get me/hero to fold most of the time with T9o or hands that are likely beat depending on my understanding of how villain plays. Min bets are basically must calls with anything decent even hero’s 9To which is almost certainly the worse hand preflop even not knowing anything about villain. Priced in!

Villain is OOP & disadvantaged with a strong hand HU. Make the button pay to play weaker. Hero should be priced out or pay to play worse cards.

Note: MIN bets are quiet irritating & dont really accomplish much. It most often must be called or raised.


Villain: needs to bet stronger on the flop. The board is wet with a few draws. Heros range very possible connects. Hero range is going to exclude a lot of premium holdings simply bc of hero button min raise & then only calling.

Suited connectors I would think are in hero range like QJsuit but also I would think maybe KQo KJo and pocket pairs. Most of what you/hero holds misses the flop & will fold but some other holdings will pay to continue.

Hero: I’m really liking a 4bet shove here. Your rarely improving your hand & very often have the best of it. Based on RP players if they show this kind of aggression they are calling = POW. Value bet it: and reduce an awkward turn or river play. There is enough chips in yes? Are you ever folding? Maybe very very few hands. Get It In GOOD

Alternatively the TURN:

Villain: RP players can be a lil hard to read. It feels like Hero doesn’t have a set. More like a flush draw or TT. The turn is irrelevant for hero but gives villain much more outs. I’m happy to ship for pot & put the pressure on Hero. I feel like Hero will struggle to fold & probably isn’t ahead. Villain still has many outs & probably folds out a flush draw, & possibly gets value from KTT or QTT etc.

Hero: If this is a slow play then WP I guess but very risky. Very little beats your 2pair & blockers. A must/easy call.

Thanks for the review.

I find that in these HU games, if I raise much more than 2-3BB in the early hands, my opponent folds unless they’re holding a monster hand. I don’t get a lot of value out of the early hands if I am raising to 3-5 BB to collect 1.5BB, as compared to when I limp or go to 2BB and can build a pot if/when I hit the board. Seemingly, 2BB is a mandatory call, while 3BB is too scary to contemplate for a lot of these players.

So raise your value hands to 2bb and all your garbage to 3bb+. For every observation, figure out the proper exploit.


If I do that, they may concede many pots, true, until they call with something, then I lose a big pot that is worth about as much as I took from them, which makes the whole enterprise seem like a bad deal overall.

At least, That’s hat happens when I take a big Ace over 3BB and get called and miss the board. I guess if I drop those hands post-flop instead of try to win with them, it could still be profitable.

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If you are playing your better hands in position and getting a lot of folds from your garbage, there is almost no way to lose long-term. I guess if you butcher post-flop play you can mange it so try not to do that :slight_smile:

Big Ax hands are value, therefore open to 2x (along with all those hands you want to play in position. So maybe top 25% of hands)
Bottom 75% of hands = open to 3x and get as many folds as possible. Understand that when you do get called, you are playing against a strong range. Do not try to bluff your way past a stronger range unless you have a very good spot. If you get 3! preflop, just duck out and move on to the next hand.

Whenever your opponents are making technical mistakes, find the best strategy to exploit them. This isn’t a recipe for winning every single hand or game but it will increase your winrate significantly. Lather, rinse, repeat as necessary (or until someone adjusts to you).



Exactly. I made a post a while ago about HU ring strategy preflop. I learnt a lot from players. Keep in mind it was ring specific but great info. The principles would apply to SnG. IMO just tighten it up a little.

One thing I learnt and was surprised by was that position or button is still extremely advantageous HU. Dont get overly invested & disillusioned by its advantage but do use it & understand its advantage.

Some basic points tho is you want to play the button more often than expected. Min raise or 2.5 to 3. Adjust & find out whats best. I can guarantee as 1Warlock alludes to its very profitable against these very passive players. Its pretty standard HU strategic play like an ABC cBet. Its an exploitation that will work with a little tweaking.

As I was watching the hands I noticed both the Villain & Hero were folding the button a lot. It was kinda crazy. I understand a run of bad luck & dead cards but you need to try & bluff & exploit especially against someone that doesnt understand that play.

Bet sizing: Players were suggesting playing the button much more often than I expected and using a small min bet as a starting base. This seemed too small but strategically etc it was profitable as a base model epecially Vs average RP villain.

I was watching RP very high stakes ring poker, basically was short games with 5-7 players. Stakes were 500/1M. Every player was making preflop open bets almost always 2.2x and yet 1 player used 3x. Mr3x villain (fictitious name) was also short stacked buying in @ 50M. Guess who the worst player was?

It seemed pretty obvious to me that all the players were almost exclusively using 2.2x bc it was most effective. Villain used 3x probably bc it was just easier & he was lazier. He did lose & it was completely expected IMO.

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TdTd is a very unusual hand and gives you additional chances to make a flush, which is not usually the case when pocket pairs are of different suits.

Lol, obviously that was a typo. I should have written he had AdTd, for top pair Tens plus a Nut Flush draw. Thanks for catching that.

I was about to comment after watching the hand this reminds me a lot of a hand you have previously posted. Now I know why.