Committing With Top Pair Top Kicker

Strategy & Advice by Krusherlaw Posted

Lately I have been working on planning my hands around commitment. This is a hand which came up in my home game, $.50/$1 blinds.

I have been playing with these guys for years so I have a pretty good read on most of them. Likewise I assume they think they have a good read on me. V is a relatively tight player does not usually get very creative.

Although the blinds are $.50/$1 on this evening in particular, one player (in middle position in this hand) is raising to at least $3 almost every hand so the game is playing more like a $1/3 game.

I am on the button with A J
V is in the small blind.

Loose raiser makes it his usual three to go, a couple players call and I raise my button to $15. V calls. everyone else folds.

Pot= $39.
Flop= J 6 4

V checks I bet $25 V calls.

Turn= J 6 4 9

V checks, I bet $40, V raises all in for $60 more

There is about $190 in the pot and its $60 to call.

As I said I know V pretty well and he is rarely bluffing here and would probably check call with top pair and a big kicker. However, I have some equity because his range includes AJ (chop) plus even if he has two pair I have some outs. I feel like I am committed here so I call. He turns over a set of sixes.

Here is my question. Once I am heads up with this particular V I know that if I play a big pot top pair top kicker will not be enough to win. Is it to weak to check it down to exercise pot control and avoid being committed?


  1. I don't see anything wrong with how you played it, for the same reasons that you said...chop and improvement equity. Checking back on the turn seems scary because what if scare card falls on the river and he bets out big? You are safer long term (I think) by playing it the way you did.

  2. Being 140 big blinds effective to star I would have three bet a little bigger preflop. As played I don't think there is a ton you can do, and folding for $60 more isn't really an option because it was a three bet pot and it's so bloated already. One thing you may want to consider vs this type of player in the future is to check back the flop. He likely is way ahead or way behind, plus taking a street of betting out disguises your hand and will often lead to you getting turn and river value from hands like TT/99/88. If you check back and he leads turn and river then you can just call down and lose less when you're beat plus win more when he bets hands that you beat that he would have folded to your aggression. Just a thought.