Table Talk

Last night I was playing in a $1/2 holdem cash game at a friend’s house.

I was down a little bit when this happened.

I have Kd Qd in the hijack seat.  After one limper in front of me, I raise to $11.  The button (we’ll call him “Chris”) calls, saying that if I had raised any more than that, he would have folded.  Both blinds fold and the limper also folds.  We are heads up.  He started the hand with about $190-200 and I have him covered; but not by very much.

Flop ($27):  Qc Td 5d.

I have top pair, 2nd best kicker, and a 2nd nut flush draw.  In the era of Facebook, this is a “like.”

I’ve played with Chris several times before.  He is a pretty straightforward player, who treats others as straightforward too.  He makes decisions on later streets as much based on the size of the bet as based on the logic.

So I look in his direction and ask him, “What is your budget for this flop?”

And he answers, “$21.”

I am wondering if this means $21 is the top of his calling range, or the bottom of his folding range.  Since I definitely want to get more money in this pot, I’m going to be close to that, but slightly less.  I bet $18.

Now Chris grabs a large stack of chips that looks like about $75 or $80, without taking the time to count them out, and places them in front of himself as a raise.

Huh?  On the one hand, I loved this flop.  On the other hand, right now all I have is a pair of Queens and a good draw, and Chris is the sort of player who rarely (never?) raises like this on the flop without a 2-pair ++ hand.

What should KKing David do now?  And why?


  1. If he’s a straight forward player this line represents at worst AQ or a combo draw. I ran the following range in pokerstove:

    TT, 55
    AdJd, Jd9d, Jd8d, 9d8d

    You’re 47% vs this range, you can’t shove. But getting 2:1, having to call ~$62 to win $125 we need to be good better than 33% of the time, which says you should be calling.

    My thought process would be:

    1. Would “chris” call PF with J8s/J9s type hands?
    2. How does he play TPTK on the flop?
    3. Can chris raise strong draws on the flop?

    If he truly only does this with 2pr+ by the numbers it’s still a call having anywhere from 35%-38% equity so we can still call but it’s much closer and I might find a fold….without knowing exactly how tight “chris” is both post/pre, i’m leaning towards a call.

    1. Of course I have the advantage of having played with “Chris” several times, so let’s address your thought process:

      1. Call PF with J8s / J9s type hands? Yes, but not bombing the pot when these turn into draws, even J9s huge combo draw.
      2. TPTK on flop? If I bet big enough, he will be suspicious of me having AA or KK and just flat.
      3. Raise strong draws on the flop? Nope, not his style.

      So his range is more like TT, 55, QT and maybe AQ. I’m 41.5% against that range. Against an even narrower 2P+ range of TT, 55, QT, I’m 38.8%. In thinking about this some more, I’m just not sure he would bomb the pot here with AQ, fearing the possibility of me having an over pair.

      Given the table talk, i.e., his pre-flop comment that my raise was the most he would consider calling (and he’s not the type who would make that remark as part of a fancy slow-playing AA or KK), I’m not sure TT even belongs in his range, and this further removes AQ, as he would not be feeling reluctant to call $11 with either of those. If the table talk was a legitimate clue, can we conclude that his range is as narrow as 55, QT? I’m 41.4% against that range.

      As played… well, I wasn’t thinking about all this so clearly and shoved. When he asked if I could have pocket 55’s, that seemed to confirm his hand, revealed when he called and showed QsTs. K on the turn saved me.

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