Boat over Trips
I think this was an interesting hand. You may have seen many situations like this before, but the timing was good nonetheless. Obviously this hand worked out very well for w-oat. Just curious: Do you think it was played well by either player? Would you have changed your approach, bet sizing, or done anything differently at all? Thanks.

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All too common a situation in tournament games, which often leads to the elimination or crippling of one player or the other.

I can’t say that either player played too well here. Big blind should have raised higher to eliminate the small blind preflop. Once the flop came BB needed to determine whether the early limper by any chance had a queen. The raise on the flop by the early player was weak and not enough to push the BB out of the pot, then the 9 came on the turn, and the rest is history. When BB raised all-in, early caller could not beat 99, 88, or AQ, and should have given it up at this point, but probably felt stack committed at this point.

When reraised at the flop, BB was left having to put an additional 150 chips into a 1500 pot to see another card, so that was odds of 10:1 to hit 2 outs on the turn, so strictly speaking not good odds, but then again, given the stack sizes, I probably would have called that bet.

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This is why a set is far more powerful than trips.

The pair on the board helps everyone in the hand. The pair in your pocket is only helping you.

Being the underside of the full house is dangerous for him though, if his opponent has Trip Queens, which is a very good bet, and the board pairs itself twice, or if it pairs Nomad81’s other hole card, the 9’s full house is beat by the bigger Queens full house.

Still, you can’t not get all your chips in when you’re in that situation. Especially on the street when you hit the set of 9s to make the 9s full of Queens.

Preflop, I don’t see too much problem with only a small raise from the BB. Holding 99, it’s maybe a better play to go for a steal, raise up a lot, and hope you close the hand before the flop comes. On the other hand, if you get called here, now you’re largely committed to that pot with just a pair of 9s. And when the QQ5 flop comes, you might fear you’re up against trip queens with only a pair of 9s, which is normally not a good place to be.

Nomad81, on the other hand, blew the hand by not raising harder with trip Queens made on the flop. By raising only 1 bet increment, he makes it possible for w_oat to call, and that 9 on the Turn changes the entire hand around, and Nomad81 has no way of knowing, and tries again to close the hand but by this time it’s too late. He instead commits more chips to the pot, and now when raised can’t let it go, and has to cover the raise from w_oat.

Very often though, I see players hit trips on the flop and check, because that pair in the flop is scary to the rest of the table, and they want everyone to think that no one hit that flop, so someone, probably the button, will try to buy the pot when it comes around them, and then check-raise them. And Nomad81 did raise on the flop, just not enough. Closing the hand right then and there leaves a lot of potential value off the table, though, and I can see why he tries to draw the hand out. Very often with QQQKx and that’s a pretty solid play. But again, you have to keep in mind the risk you’re taking when you’ve got a pair on the board helping everyone out.

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Exactly, guys, IMO as well. I’d say (and likely others would as well) there were a few plays that could be considered mistakes. I would like to see a larger raise pre-flop from w-oat in the BB. 99 mediocre starting hand in general, but decent heads up, pretty decent 3-way, but not out of the water.

I think w-oat did a great job capitalizing on Nomad81’s mistake of betting the QQQ light. He got a good price to see the turn card with 2 pair. I think w-oat actually can put Nomad81 on a Q. He seems to be a solid player to me. It seems obvious, I know, to think he knew he had him beat, but that is the case IMO, and he bet the turn light to trap him. The flop betting size was all wrong. If w-oat calls a larger bet Nomad81 can still walk away. He over committs and can’t let go of his queens, and it bit him hard.

Would love to get some other opinions or breakdowns. All welcome. Thank you.

Thought it would be fun to do my reaction in real-time before I see the final hands. These are my real-time thoughts (I just refreshed after each betting and typed my thought)

Firstly, I look at the blind-size and then consider we have antes now and at this point, people will start to loosen up a bit, nobody is gonna go crazy here probably, but worth considering.


Nomad81 limping in is odd. Not sure what to make of it. I don’t get limping in with so many to act behind personally. Again, everyone’s ranges should be loosening here so I’m not sure why you want a bunch of people who could have anything in the flop but w/e. How this reads to me is that he’s probably holding a premium hand probably near the top of his range and is either intending to punish a loose button / blinds trying to steal the pot pre-flop with a 4-bet or he intends to trap. Maybe it’s actually just a limp-worthy hand but I’m really skeptical with so many behind.

w-oats min-raising his big blind to the limpers is mostly pointless. There is almost no point to min-raising in the blinds. Nobody will ever fold to a min-raise here - the odds are just too good - and it just inflates the pot for no particularly good reason. In my experience, this maneuver is almost invariably pulled by tight players at the bottom of their limp-raising range from the blind. So, I’m guessing something like suited broadway gappers probably like K9++ or A3++ maybe Q8++ but I view that as the least likely, decent pocket pairs like 88 or maybe 77 or 99 would do this too.

So, anyway, everybody calls w-oats min-raise (unsurprisingly). I’m a little surprised Nomad81 didn’t 4-bet, that’s perplexing to me, but maybe his hand really is strong and he’s intending to trap? Or maybe he’s actually just really weak and was trying to squeak in on a limp?


This flop probably did not hit w-oats and it may or may not have hit Nomad81.

w-oats puts in a continuation bet of 150 - 15% of the point. This amount isn’t enough to do anything - basically nobody is folding to that and it’s barely building the pot. That type of paltry bet signals one of two-things almost always. Either they are very strong and trying to induce a raise by feigning weakness that they can then call or even re-raise. Or the flop didn’t hit and they are just praying for a fold. I doubt he’s holding a queen based on the pre-flop. Maybe he’s holding A5 and he’s on two-pair, but I’d think that would call for a bigger c- bet to protect your hand. I would also more aggressively bet a pocket-pair here thinking I have the best of my opponent, so I discount 77/88/99 here but I wouldn’t rule it out like I would him having a queen.

Nomad81 re-raises to 300 - or 26% of the pot now. That’s again pretty paltry. I view this two ways - if Nomad81 didn’t hit the flop and read w-oats for weakness, he’d go for a bigger sizing to steal. So, my inclination is to say Nomad either did hit the flop and is on like AQ and wants to keep him in the hand or he’s holding something like JJ/TT or AJ and still thinks his hand is good here. Or he limped in on pocket 5s and he has a boat now - but limping on pocket 5s so many behind pre-flop is weird. Either fold it or bet to open, but I doubt that’s a limping hand pre-flop with that many behind unless everyone is basically a calling station behind.

That w-oats just calls the raise is interesting. On the one hand, you should be calling this often. You can’t let your opponent buy pots for that cheap, on the other hand, you shouldn’t just always call if you think you are behind with no real way to improve. That suggests to me he stills thinks his hand is good. I think I’m leaning towards he’s holding A3 and think ace-high might be good or maybe a pocket pair he still thinks is good like 77/88/99. But I think a pocket pair (or two pair on A5), would call for a re-raise personally to protect my hand and garner information. So, I’m leaning towards A-3 now.


w-oats bets 150 - or less than 9% of the pot. This I don’t get at all. It’s functionally a check, why even bother betting such a paltry amount?

This bet is screaming feigned weakness now, it’s just too trivially small for the pot-size. It just looks like it’s trying to induce a stealing bet and the fact the 9 appeared just tells the story. 99 is near the bottom of the raising range for a tight BB against limpers and might still make some uncomfortable going for a big-raise preflop; he would still think his hand is good in the flop; and he’d feign weakness now. I’d proceed very cautiously if I were Nomad.

Nomad81 then bets about 70% of the pot. It’s clear now he has trip queens to me. But I’m unclear why he went for this sizing at this point. You could’ve done this in the flop and now the 9 scare card is there. Either just call and pay off a value bet on the river and hope you are best or go for more modest sizing here to accomplish 3 things - (1) minimize my losses if I have to fold to a shove, (2) minimize the value-bet I’d have to pay off later, (3) maybe taking the pot now on the off-chance my opponent is actually weak or get paid off if they are on like two-pair with A-5.

w-oats shoves. I think it’s clear here he’s holding the full-house with pocket 9s. This is hugely sophisticated play if he’s not holding pockets 9s and I’d rarely give my opponents credit for it.

So, I think this was well-played by w-oats. I have some quibbles with the pre-flop and flop plays, but he read his opponent well and induced him to call the shove. Nomad, I think, could’ve easily gotten away from this.

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I agree with a lot of what has already been said about this hand. Both players played this hand very badly, but in ways that are very common on Replay.

Before the flop, raising with KQs is standard. Raising to 315-400 would be good based on stack depth. As played, 99 is a hand strong enough to raise, but you do not want to go multiway to flop (and you would be happy to get folds preflop), so min-raising over 2 opponents is inflating the pot without gaining any fold equity and putting yourself in a really tough position on most flops. Checking is better than min-raising (still not good), but I would like to see a raise to 450-500 here instead.

On the flop, w_oat continues with a min-bet. Min-betting is almost always a bad play because it makes you look extremely weak, extracts no value when you are ahead, and gets no better hands to fold when you are behind. Unless it is a 2-way limped pot with no antes (so the pot is 2.5 bbs), a bet of 1 bb is never a good decision (and even in that one scenario, it is pretty questionable).

So then nomad raises by 1 bb. Again, this is never the right play. If your opponent is as weak as they look they could just fold. If you think they are going to bet bigger on the turn then just call and let them do it. But really, nomad should be raising and making it bigger (850-900? or 1200). They could get their stack in good against AA/KK/QJ/QT, and maybe even a badly played JJ/TT/99. Raising 1bb gets very little value when it appears that the opponent has a hand (like a pocket pair) that will not fold to one bet.

Nomad’s tiny bet makes w_oats marginal decision to continue ok because w_oats still has 2 outs, which he then hits. He bets 150 again, which still looks like he does not want to gain maximum value, but I suppose it could be trying to look weak to induce a bluff. Based on the flop raise, he should just bet 1000 and look to get stacks in. But now nomad decides to raise, which is fine I guess. It is pretty much just a cooler at this point because KQ should only be losing to AQ/99 based on the hands that w_oats might be raising from the BB (probably not raising Q9 or 55). So it is fine that it goes for stacks because w_oats could still be playing this way with a weaker queen or KK/AA.

w_oats put himself in a very bad spot with the tiny raise preflop, the meaningless min-bet on the flop, and looked like he might win the minimum with his tiny bet after turning a monster. But he was lucky that his opponent also played passively by limping preflop and barely raising the flop and that nomad had a hand strong enough to stack off. If KQ raises preflop and then continues on this flop, nomad wins a bunch and w_oats has to fold the flop.

That’s why people talk about all the car crash spots that occur on Replay, because people play passively and stick around (and allow others to stick around by not betting) to see more cards than they should.


Thank you for the great analysis. Looking back at what I said, what I regret wording the way I did was about w_oat and the 9’s. 99 is mediocre to start and plays pretty well heads up, but does not hold up well at all multi-way, even just 3-way. Agreed he put himself in a tough spot.
I agree w_oat, in general, bet all streets poorly. I hate everything that happened pre-flop and on the flop for the most part. Given the previous action and mistakes already made, I don’t mind w_oat calling the re-raise from nomad81. Didn’t make a lot of sense leading up to it, but you just need to call here because he re-raised so light…it was light enough to see the turn and try to catch the cards. nomad81 should have nailed him to the wall, but let him get lucky. I guess this is kind of where I felt w_oat did a decent job digging himself out of his grave.

I would also like to see him bet the turn larger. Like I said, I do believe w_oat had him on a Q, and getting him to fold is ok, and he should bet to extract value. Betting 1000 would likely still get nomad81 to call, or also to shove on him, which is exactly what w_oat wants him to do. It wasn’t a good spot for w_oat to start getting strange or perhaps ‘fancy’ with the min bet, I don’t think. 1000 is actually a safer play to extract max value IMO.

Agree with last paragraph as well.

Again, you spelled it out in a way I could understand it better. Retrospective thinking. It’s already helped me here.


Thank you for your analysis on this hand and taking the time to write out details. I read JoeDirk’s one first unintentionally.

I see this whole hand differently. I always thought it was played weird and initially thought that they both made silly bets and mistakes…and I kind of initially thought w_oat did a good job digging himself out of his grave, but now after thinking harder about it, not so much at all. Indeed everything was just too strange and didn’t make sense, as every person who replied has said or hinted at. Why not a check on the turn if you’re gonna bet that small amount. Check or bet 1000. Betting 1000 is better than checking.

Basically agree with most of everything you mention here. I come back to these read these kind of posts after a while to see how my thinking has changed. It changed just in the short time reading the responses. Thanks again.

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