Originally Posted by mottotom27
Thanks for this. I agree that flat calling for the benefits of potentially stacking someone when I hit a set makes calling SEEM a little more enticing than 3 betting. But if we intend to fold to a bet if we miss, then wouldn't this essentially be treating JJ like it's 44 or any old set mining pair and hence "wasting" the high card value of the hand? Then again I suppose this is 5nl where "flop a set and bet/bet/bet!" might actually be the most profitable line haha
I'm convinced it's the right play because this is 9-handed and the odds of running into a higher pocket pair isn't trivial: it's still ~13%. So in the objective sense, it's unlikely yes, but with a decent raise and call, then by Bayesian probability and the action I'd suspect that this is likelier to be one of those 1 in 10 times.
Whereas if *I'm* raising first in or targeting limpers, and just get flat-called, and the flop comes low and I'm up against 2 players, I have no reason to believe I don't have the best hand. Even then there are certain players who *always* trap post flop with QQ-AA but I have notes on them and can play a smaller pot by underrepping my hand.
The way I think about it is: how much have 2nd best hands cost you over all your hands playing poker? Postflop, King-high flush vs Ace-high flush, or being oversetted, or hitting a straight only to be rivered by a better one, flopping trips with Ace kicker only to run into a flopped full house, etc.
Isn't preflop is just another street where that can happen? And even though I'll take KK 100% of the time, JJ could well be a 4rth best hand. The reason JJ is a trouble hand is because you're caught in that flux state between absolute hand strength vs. relative hand strength. Even though it sounds weak as hell, using the preflop action to define this and making the decision to turn it into a set mine is sometimes the right play.
What happens if you call in position and it all comes low cards and you see UTG+2 c-bet full pot, then see MP come over the top? You can get away from it with 3 bb invested. But if you flop top set, you're much more disguised because players expect you to 3-bet pre with as big a hand as JJ.
From early position if I get flatted by QQ+, I'm more likely to be trapped postflop, but usually someone will make it known that the higher pocket pair is out there. That's how I get my double ups through JJ, usually by getting it in against draws and isolating a player who plays bad hands over whom I'm a 3 to 1 favorite, and minimizing the times I get stacked by overpairs, sometimes getting rivered by AK or AQ or rivered two pair.