Post Hands to Review


This is how we get better at the game. Well done for taking the leap and putting your thoughts out there for others to see. Right, wrong or somewhere in between, the process by which you come to your assessments is the important part. I look forward to hearing more of your analyses in the future.


Excellent analysis, Lad. Of course it is everyone’s dream to flop a well disguised full house, but in this hand, where, as you say, the big blind had clicked autocheck/fold, the question was not how to win the pot, but how to win any chips. (At higher blinds I would most likely have folded my hand preflop.)

He must have been wary of the flop, which is why I checked to him instead of leading out. I expected he had nothing and would check behind me, but he made a small bet, presumably to see if I was interested in folding. So I hesitated a bit before flat calling trying to give the impression that perhaps I had overcards.

When the 4th Jack fell on the turn my boat was converted into 4 Jacks and I was reasonably confident that opponent did not hold the 5th Jack. From his point of view I had shown very little yet, and he had now made full house.

He now went all-in. I don’t really see the point of his all-in raise at this point. I guess he knew his full house was vulnerable to an overcard and wanted to stop me from seeing the river and possibly making a better boat. In his place, i think I would have made a half-pot bet, to again test the waters, and then examine the river card to see what better boat it could have given me. If I called that half-pot bet, then clearly I was not too scared of the 3 Jacks on the board and if I then called a bet on the river, or reraised on the river, I must have something better than just an Ace kicker to the 3 Jacks.

Of course it was easy for me to call his comical bluff on this occasion, but supposing I held something like 77, I would have had quite a dilemma deciding if he had a Jack or an overpair. Unfortunately in tournaments one often faces this dilemma when an opponent unexpectedly goes all-in when you think you are probably ahead, but calling their bet means putting your entire tournament at risk, or of having your position in the tournament crippled.

You start in a tournament of 75 players, and gradually build your stack and you are in 4th place with 25 players left in, and suddenly your whole tournament depends on a decision to call or fold a huge river bet. It is nearly always tough to make the call, and yet if done correctly can make the difference between being in mid-pack and holding a leadership stack.

Anyway, thanks for your comments. Very good!


Don’t get cute with strong but vulnerable hands, especially multi-way. You flop bottom set on a board with potential draws, its time to start denying equity and building a pot. Would a 75% pot lead on the flop have folded out 44 specifically? No way to know how sticky this player was but its possible. You need to charge for flush draws and get value from Qx hands and other pairs.

So, IMO, leading the flop from the SB is the most profitable line. The thing about leading when out of position is that you are going to have to fire both turn and river not to cap your hand and give your opponent a play. You don’t have to fire large if scare cards come out (like a club or another Q) but you will have to bet something decent. 33% pot bets heads-up should do the trick. This also allows you to set the price of the next card/showdown rather than letting your opponent set the price.

When your opponent made his set on the turn, this was going to get expensive for someone. The club draw filling and then the Q pairing on the river could have slowed down the action for both of you but its still going to cost whenever 2 full houses meet.

As to the KJ hand - well, I think taco and joe said it all. No need to do this to yourself and certainly not with that hand.


See also my response to Lad.

i agree that limping with J6 was not objectively a “good” decision, but the blinds were low relative to the stacks, so there was little at stake and playing a hand like this gives you a chance to feel out the playing style of your left hand neighbor, whom you hope is going to regularly supply you with chips. Early in tournaments you can sometimes win big pots with hands like this. Of course I should have raised with a pair higher than 6s, although I might have limped to slow play the hand. At higher blind levels one would definitely want to win the pot preflop if possible, and not allow random hands to limp into the pot.

Having said that, on ReplayPoker it is quite common to find opponents who will limp with AK and call all the way down to the river.

But remember that in ReplayPoker you have about 3 seconds to decide how to play a hand, so suboptimal decisions are made all the time.

I call opponents hand a bluff, because his aim is to make me fold, not to extract chips from me, which is exactly what one does with continuation bets, which are a kind of bluff. When you raise all-in, as in this case, the only hand likely to call you is one where opponent believes he has the best hand, or is on the verge of extinction and hoping for a straight or flush draw to hit on the river. In this case I had the larger stack, so that was not the case.


I like and agree with everything you said - no doubt. True and great points. Yes, a mistake to open with KJo from EP, especially with not a larger raise. Bigger (and likley biggest overall) mistake was to not fold to the 3-bet. It’s an easy, no-brainer fold, even if the players at the table “don’t fit the standard bill” for an unsual play. Man, hindsight is twenty-twenty. I can’t, even now, figure out why I called that 3-bet. This:

is a very good point.

On the second hand I will admit I was trying to go a little unorthadox, but it wasn’t the time to do it. It just made no sense to play it that way. I have a lot of hands saved, and I go back to them every few months or so, Definitely will be kicking myself and SMH looking back at these ones. I already am now…I can only imagine what it’ll be like down the road. Thanks for your reply!


@JoeDirk raises a good point in that one player sees it as a bluff and the other player sees it as the opposite. Knowing what cards both of you had actually really screwed up my train of thought for reviewing this hand. I saw it much more from your perspective than his. It’s so strange how quickly and profoundly I went there, and not taken in more parameters. You knew he couldn’t have had the best hand. Your opponent doesn’t know that you had this vital information. He doesn’t have to put you on a J by you calling his flop bet; if anything, calling rather than raising might indicate that you don’t have a J because there are lots of other combos you could have that make it worth continuing with a good price. Would a raise have gotten him to fold? I could break out the books and check the equity on both ends (which I think in time I will just for the study and fun/benefit of it all), but in the meantime you guys will likely know this just after reading it. He may have thought that if you had any combo of Jx, other than JJ or J6, that you would not check the flop, but rather lead out on it. Because you checked, he leads. I think it would be tough to put you on a J here, especially the two monster combos mentioned above, and considering he also has a blocker for one of them. With the way the hand played out, when that J fell on the turn, and you checked, I think it’s safe to say he’s thinking there’s no way you have a J. You didn’t know beforehand that the J was coming. You didn’t remotely think beforehand that the J was coming. It may be reasonable for him to think that if you had it, you’d have to look for some of your monster hand’s value on the flop. Checking the turn worked out so well for you, and was a great move (but really perhaps only if you put him on a boat). With the way the hand is played you likely narrowed him down right to 6x. Considering the action leading up to his shove, it would be hard for him to shove with anyting but a boat. The all-in still doesn’t make perfect sense. He likely shoved thinking you limped with a small pair, and hence, held a smaller boat, while not putting you on a J. He tells a clear story. Why would you call with a hand that’s dominated (the smaller boat)? Better for him to give you a better price and get your chips calling with a weaker hand. I think it would have been a more beneficial play in an MTT.
Considering vulnerability to an overcard that could hit on the river is worth mentioning, but I think it’s unlikely you had an overcard in this spot given the previous action. Nevertheless, he should’ve been freaking when you called his shove.

One variable that could throw a wrench into the entire thing is if he unintentionally hit the auto check/fold, or if he did it in a manipulation move (which is unlikely given his hand). The irony is that unorthodox mistakes (limping in with J6o as @JoeDirk said, the auto check/fold narrowing his range to give you a good read) worked out so well for you.

This hand and these comments have really helped me to think about action over streets a lot. Even if I’m not entirely on point, like @1Warlock said, the thought process certainly is a good thing. Thanks again!


Agree, agree, agree lol. Kicking myself.


I neglected Poker Basics 101 and relenquished control. I wish I could say it was inadvertently.

Yes, very much so. I gotta train myself to keep those things in mind.

Thanks for you reply!


You will. Create an ‘order of operations’ for yourself and get used to going through it every single street of every single hand. After a short time, it will become natural and then you can spend more time on some of the smaller details. One such checklist would be:

  1. If I bet, is it for value or is it a bluff?
    a) If for value, when I bet “x”, I expect these worse hands to call (list them on your head)
    b) If as a bluff, when I bet “x”, I expect these hands to fold (list them in your head)

This is simple and deliberative and will get you far in poker if you actually do it every single time. You’ll be surprised how many extra chips you will win/save by taking yourself off of autopilot and just asking the simple questions. If you cannot come up with any worse hands that will call, why would you bet? If you did, all you are doing is betting the other guy’s hand for him.


Best advice? Should I not have called? Never go all-in this early in a tournament? Should I only call a shove if I have a power pair? Or is this OK, and it’s just one of those things that you have to accept will happen?


The limp-3-bet in low stakes poker is usually AA or KK but you are blocking those hands so its less likely he had one of them. Not impossible, just less likely. His 3-bet was for 150BB, which is horrible poker, especially since he isn’t blocking AA. Plenty of room for a 3-bet to 750-900. Now, can you fold AKs? Yes you can but its a judgement call on your part. I’m never saying “never” call, especially on a free poker site as long as you realize you are likely flipping for your tournament life vs any pair. The only hand you are doing well against is AQ. What other Ax hand is he shoving there?

Its free poker and you have one of the best starting hands at the start of a tournament. You get to make the decision if you want to flip for an early double-up or early exit. I don’t think anyone can tell you its “wrong” to make the call because how do you come up with an absolute answer to counter a horrible play? Once the hand was over, I’d just make a note of what the player did and move on to the next game. Don’t over-think what happens here - your opponents certainly aren’t :slight_smile:

**Of course if you feel like this was bingo, evidently you can report the other player and try to get him banned from the site. LMAO this place is like Minnie Mouse on date-night, F-ing Goofy.


In my opinion AK unsuited is one of the worst hands in MTT poker. No wonder so many people limp it. The problem is that if you are first into the pot with a good raise and you get one caller. Maybe he has position, or maybe he is in the blinds (or she, as the case may be.)

Now if an Ace or King comes on the flop you are in good position to take a shot at the pot, but if the flop misses you the position is pretty perilous. Opponent may have flopped a set. two pair, a straight draw, or anything and if it goes pear shaped you could lose all your chips. With more than one caller, it is even worse.

As far as the hand under discussion goes, it really is a toss up. I could have played it both ways, depending on my mood at the time, but as a matter of tournament strategy, it is generally a bad thing to have all your chips at risk preflop if you do not have AA. Even with AK against QT, you will lose often enough to rue the day that you called, and you are only a slightly less than even chance against hands like 22, or 33. Even hands like QJ and T9 have a fair chance if they both gang up on you.

If the reraiser had less than 1/3 of your stack, I would not hesitate to take a shot at him/her.

(This was written while Puggywug and I were both in the final 15 of a tournament and sitting at the same table trying to destroy each other.)


I feel the same about AK.

I think it’s a reasonable hand to shove with, if the situation is good for shoving preflop.

But I’ve concluded that it’s not a good hand to call a shove with (unless you have stack dominance and don’t mind losing, or you’re so short stacked that you have to play painted cards to the end no matter what you’re up against.)

Against any pair, AK is a slight underdog, and a lot of the time people are going to shove with a pair of something, so a good deal of the time if you are preflop and get shoved into with AK, you’re going to be an underdog, and you won’t hit the board often enough to make it pay. Or, even if that’s not true, it’s still too risky to take a 50-50 shot at elimination in a tournament.

So I’ll probably only make that mistake a few more dozen times before it sinks in.


What are good hands to call a shove with? Big pairs only?


Generally, the bigger pair, the better to call with, but it depends a lot on the situation, the relative chip advantage, and your read on the other player, and if there are other players still in the hand.

If they’re shoving too frequently, you can open your calling range up, sometimes considerably. If you’re, say, 3:1 or 5:1 over them in chips, it’s also easier to take a risk and see if you can bust them out of the game.

If they’re very short stacked, the risk isn’t much, you should absolutely call them with almost any halfway decent cards, since they won’t get much of your stack if you’re wrong, and you may eliminate a competitor. Last night I eliminated 2 <1000 stacked players with T4o from the SB, both were holding Ace-something, and their all-in was only marginally over a few BB, respectively, so I went with it. I got lucky, there, to bust them both, but the actual risk to me was minimal, about 1/8th or so of my stack.

Sound strategy? Hardly. Was it fun? You bet it was! Worth it? Absolutely.

Oh, and 34off, that’s always a winner when I shove with Aces.


I tend to avoid calling shoves as much as possible unless I have stack dominance, or a premium hand like AA, KK, QQ.

Here is an interesting hand where you have to feel sorry for my opponent. I only miniraised with AA because I was away from my computer and rushed back to stay in the hand. Had I tried to enter a bigger bet, I think I would have been timed out. (Of course, this is a problem with ReplayPoker, and some people will only click buttons and never type in the amount of a raise. We could use a slider button to graduate raises.)

I think opponent made a mistake in not reraising, but I suppose if he had reraised, I would have shoved, he would have called and the result would have been the same.

Here is another interesting hand in which my super aggressive opponent seems to make a terrible mistake in calling an all-in raise with nothing, or does he mistake two red cards for a flush draw? However he went on to finish first or second in the tournament in which I was knocked out in third place.

And, finally, here is a hand in which forum contributor Puggywug and I went head to head. Note the merciful river bet! In this hand I flopped the incredibly rare unicorn, the combined open ended straight draw and the flush draw and made the flush on the river. Puggywug called my small river bet with third pair, perhaps because he was curious to see what I had.

On reviewing the hand again, my 6000 chip pot size bet on the flop was a semibluff, but I was surprised that he called off half his stack with only second pair, because I could easily have had top pair. I would have expected a fold here, but maybe he made a great read on my hand, although perhaps not on the flop texture. On a flop that has both straight and flop potential, if you can’t take the pot down with second pair at the flop, then you are adrift in very treacherous waters.

On the turn I checked to him to see what he would do next, thinking he might raise all-in with his Queen or two pairs, but he checked it back to me, giving me a free card which enabled me to hit the flush.

Also note that the miniraise preflop was not enough to push the early limper (or me) out of the hand. I think a raise of about 4 BB might have taken the pot preflop. I am not crazy about the hand T9 suited, because if it makes a straight it may not be the nut straight. JT is much better.

KJ is a hand that gets a bad rap because in a 1:1 situation it is dominated by hands like AK, AJ, KK, KQ, but it plays well in multi pots and can make the nut straight and nut flush too if the ace of the same suit is on the board. If AQ makes two pairs on the flop, then a T on the turn or river could win a lot of chips.

For that reason I would try to limp it from early position, but fold it if someone raises more than a miniraise.


Probably a good idea, although I think it does depend on how much of your skin is already in the game at the point you get shoved into, relative to the size of your own stack, and how many chips that shove is relative to the overall pot size.

If you’re short stacked, say 5-6 BB in front of you, you get dealt playable cards, and you open raise from middle position with 2BB, that’s already almost half your stack. Say you get get a couple calls, and someone shoves, chances are everyone else may fold anyway, leaving you heads up with the shover for a bunch of chips. Lose and you’re out, but you’re already on your way out; win and you’re back in it.

Probably if you played that hand starting with 1/4+ of your chips already in preflop, you’re going to get all-in by the river anyway, so might as well do it ahead of time and get it over with, and laying it down is going to hurt too much. Of course in that situation, maybe you should have shoved all-in to open, but then maybe you don’t get those limpers to call you, missing out on that money when they fold to your opponent’s shove.

In that hand, I was on middle pair with a draw to Broadway, which didn’t land, but for your checking the Turn and only min-betting on the river, i thought it might just stand up with a good kicker. Was wrong.


Thanks, it is really interesting and helpful to get the point of view of both players in a hand, because perspectives are so different. One thing I am learning on ReplayPoker is that players will often call quite large bets on the flop with second pair and vague draw possibilities. One thing I have started to do recently, which I did not do before, is to call moderate size bets of up to 1/3 the pot if I have second pair and the flop gives me three cards to a flush. So with second pair, the turn could bring me 2 pairs, trips, or another flush card, (so there are potentially 15 cards that could improve my hand on the turn) setting up a possible draw for the river if the price is not too high. If the river card flush draw misses, sometimes making trips or two pairs on the river will win a massive pot. If the turn is NOT an “improvement” card, then I am probably done with the hand. I don’t really know if this strategy has a positive ROI, but so much depends on variables such as stack sizes, blind sizes, known player tendencies, that one has to go by overall sentiment rather than math.


I think that’s fairly conventional strategy, to sustain a small bet in the hopes of hitting a draw. It’s easier to do if you are already on a hand and looking to improve. If you can calculate the pot odds vs. the odds of making the better hand, it should help you decide what you want to do.


I was about to post a response agreeing with @love2eattacos, that you often have to be willing to call a shove with more than just big pairs, making AK one of the best hands to call with. But then I remembered that most players on Replay have such face-up ranges that exploitatively folding almost everything to a shove can be a pretty good decision. I think having a call range of TT+/AQ+ is good against a generic/unknown Replay opponent with 50+ big blind stacks in an MTT, but some players will never open or 3-bet without KK+ and those players must be treated with caution when they do get aggressive.

In your original example hand, you open AKo from the SB, which is great and should be standard (limping AK is criminal in all situations IMO). Your size is far too big. At 3x pot you make it easy for your opponents to play close to perfectly (calling/raising with big pairs and folding everything else). I think a bet of 100-120 would have been good. I am guessing you bet like this to try to get folds rather than see a flop out of position, but that would be a mistake because you have one of the best starting hands and it makes your range very face-up (TT+/AK), unless you would also open AJo or 44 to this same size in this spot… When you do get a call or a raise, it is likely that you are in big trouble, either playing out of position against TT-QQ or facing a shove from KK/AA., and you have already put 10% of your stack into the pot.

Someone correct my math if it’s wrong, but I believe you are calling 2,680 to win 3,360, meaning you need 45% equity to break even. Against TT+/AK you have only 40%. But, this is Replay, and many players may be fishy enough to shove AJ/AQ for “value” or even some other trash Ax as sort of bluff. If I throw in only AQs/AJs/A5s (9 combos since you block some), suddenly you have 47% equity. So basically it comes down to knowing your opponent. If they are a “disciplined” weak passive fish who only gets aggro with super premiums then it can be ok to fold a hand as strong as AKo exploitatively, but if you throw in even a few bluff/spew/trash/mistake combos then it can be massively profitable to call.


In the early stage of a tournament, I tend to think in terms of % of starting stacks rather than number of BBs. If the BB is 20, betting 5BB doesn’t accomplish much. I would rather bet 10% of the starting stack instead.

That’s clearly shove/fold ground to me. You don’t really have enough chips to speculate. Find a hand you like and get it in.

I don’t mind getting it all in the middle early on. I don’t have much time invested, there’s always another tournament starting soon, and I know I will be facing the lowest average skill level players. I’ve had people call with any ace, any king, any pair, and this happens often enough that I consider it pretty normal.

Keep in mind though, that you will not be playing against the average skill level. You will be facing specific players. This means you have to know who you’re facing, at least to some extent. Checking the leaderboards for that tournament type can give you a good idea of who you want to avoid.