If It Quacks Like A Duck…

... it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the same pair of deuces

Here are two hands in which I was dealt an identical pair of ducks in the span of 10 minutes: 2-2. Both hands took place in a tough full-ring, $100NLHE online cash game. Would you play these two hands the same way I did?

  1. Hand #1: I have a pair of deuces in the small blind and get open-raised 3xbb by a tricky and aggressive player in late position. He is purposely playing a short-stack of 30bb. He opens for 3x the big blind. The action folds to me. I muck.
  2. Hand #2: I have a pair of deuces in the CO seat facing a 3xbb raise by a TAg UTG player with a full 100bb stack. I call.

What? Deuces are deuces, right? And the first villain in middle position has a much wider (read: worse) hand range than the second villain in EP, right? Don’t I have the actions in these two hands backward? Nope. Let me explain…