I feel like I played top pair poorly

Hello! I’m terrible at poker, I’ve never posted here, and I’ve reviewed a hand, so tell me if something is unclear or anything like that. Here’s the replay:
https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/614561272/pair-queens
I think that has to be on a line of it’s own.

I don’t know if the raise pre-flop is bad or not, but I’m pretty sure that I made nothing but mistakes post-flop. l don’t know what I was thinking on the flop, but on the turn and river I thought I was beat, and sometimes when that happens I become a calling station. IDK what else to say, I’d just like to be told what I did poorly. Forgive me if this is the wrong place for this post.

I think you played it fine, mostly. Facing strong betting, it’s easy to feel like you might be beat when you’re only hold top pair, Ten kicker. You could be, and were good, though. The board texture doesn’t read too bad - - you’re not looking at an obvious better hand, like a straight, or better, but he could have a set or two pair, or a stronger Queen, or an overpair, and still been ahead. But I think paying off those types of hands to the tune of what your opponent was offering was about reasonable. I don’t think raising the post flop bets is a good idea with this hand.

How would you have felt if you had folded the river and he showed?

I think maybe the only suggestion I’d make is to open a bit bigger preflop. You were facing multiple limpers, and got just one of them to fold preflop with a 3BB raise. If you’re playing QT here, you can probably need to open it to 4-5BB or so.

That said, on a lot of tables I’ve played on this site, limpers don’t back down as long as the first one calls, they’ll mostly all call, and now you’re just playing for an inflated pot. If that happens, you can expect larger bet sizes postflop, which can make you feel more threatened than you were, and if you’re prone to over folding against strong bets, that’s not great. Plus, if you raise that much and get multiple calls, then likely someone has better than QT, and your raise only served to isolate you against KK+ and flopped sets. If you know the table well enough to know that raising bigger won’t result in enough folds, then don’t bother with it, and play for smaller pots where you can feel comfortable with what you’re holding. And in that case, consider folding QT yourself preflop and playing a tighter range but with stronger openings.

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Thank you, like so much. This sounds stupid, but I feel like that suggestion you made is gonna help me more than it should, especially the last part. IDK what else to say.

You played the hand pretty well, but there is always room for improvement. You took the initiative by raising before the flop, which is great to see and kind of unusual on Replay. You raised to 3 times the big blind, which is a fine standard open, except that there were other players who had already limped in. Once there are more players in the pot, you need to raise bigger to put them under pressure for their weak/passive play. A good rule of thumb is 3x the big blind +1 big blind for every limper before you, which in this case would have been a raise to 250 I believe, but on Replay you sometimes have to raise even bigger to get anyone to fold. Raising bigger can get players to fold so you don’t have to face multiple opponents after the flop and can make the pot bigger for when you do have a big hand.

After the flop, you played fine. Your hand is good enough to call and not good enough to raise. The way the other player bet, it did look like they had something big, but if you had folded your top pair, you would end up folding too often. Here on Replay you can exploitatively fold a lot of hands when your opponent bets this way (like JJ/TT/99/88 or 77) because they definitely look like they have top pair or better. But as you saw, sometimes they will do this with a weak top pair or maybe even a draw or weird bluff, so you have to call some of the time, which you did. So, you did well.

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I ran your hand through an odds calculator, and at the flop, you were 84% to win against any two cards, and 72% to win against your opponent’s Qd8d, once the other two players folded. But before that, you were only a 48.5% favorite to win the hand, not knowing what cards your opponents folded.

Hi @WeirdAlfanboy,

As @JoeDirk said, you really need to think about the size of the preflop raise. There’s no shortage of examples of nearly a full table calling a 10BB open so you need to get used to putting a fair number of chips in the middle!

It’s probably worth the exercise of playing at the 5/10 tables (to minimise your losses) and getting used to opening big! The danger of following our advice about opening big is that there’s plenty of players around who will see the big pot and shove all-in with any 2 just to steal it. As much as I like QTs, I don’t like it so much that I’m going to put my stack on the line - having said that, if it becomes a habit and I really strongly believe that the shover is going all in with a wide range then I’ll start playing back with most or all of my raising range.

To show you the advantages of raising preflop and getting people out of the hand, I also ran the numbers through an equity calculator. Equity isn’t the probability of winning but it’s correlated and close enough for us to use as an approximation.

With 6 opponents going to the flop, you have 19% equity vs their 13%.
5 opponents gives you 22% vs 16%
4 opponents gives you 25% vs 18%
3 opponents gives you 30% vs 23%
2 opponents gives you 38% vs 31%
1 opponent gives you 55% vs 45%

These numbers are based on a conservative estimate of the limping range of players at your stake level. If they limp even wider than the ~67% of hands I’ve allowed then your equity increases.

Be warned! Against me and, probably, Joe and Puggy, if we raise first or call your raise preflop, your heads-up equity is about 40% to our 60% - you obviously need to have some idea of the type of opponent that you’re up against. This preflop equity is a definite call for you if someone raises before you but I’d be wary about continuing against a 3 bet. Not saying that you shouldn’t call a 3 bet but think about it before you do and be prepared to let go if you don’t hit the flop really hard.

So, preflop, your play was fine but start trying to reduce the number of players you’re up against.

The others have said it already - it’s a good hand to stay with but definitely not worth re-raising. For what it’s worth, assuming you were playing against me, your hand with that flop now has 69% vs my 31%! There’s a fair chance that, if I were the villain in this hand, I would have raised that flop hit or miss so you calling here is great.

The turn card isn’t great but you still have 66% equity so keep on calling :slight_smile:
And a brick on the river gives you 75%!

All up, well played and you got rewarded for it. You don’t have to re-raise every time you have a good hand. If your opponent is doing the work for you, let him keep on building the pot for you :slight_smile: You will sometimes lose, that doesn’t mean you played badly.

Hope this helps
Regards,
TA

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First, thank you @JoeDirk

And second, thank you, analyst. That response had a lot of substance and advice in it, and the part about playing at 5/10 is, like, really helpful. I say this too much, but IDK what else to say.

Be careful with your open sizing as well as your opening range, with limpers ahead of you, though.

Tables tend to take on a personality over time, and what works well at one will not work at all on another. Get a good read on the table you’re on, and don’t take general advice and apply it to every situation.

I’ve been at tables where, in an attempt to get limpers to stand down and isolate to a single opponent so I could play them heads-up, I kept having to increase my open size, and it just didn’t work. Everyone just called the bigger open, and all it did was lose me chips faster. Multi-way, unless your hand coordinates to the board very well, you’re in a vulnerable spot.

Also, you can get to a point where you’re raising to a level where the only hands that will call have you beat. You can raise QT to 10BB if you want to, but do you really want to be in a hand with someone holding something that can call a 10BB raise? You have to stop and think about what they could possibly be holding. If you’re 300-400BB deep, it might not be much, but if that’s half their stack, then it’s likely you’re up against something better than QT.

If you’re at such a table where large raises are called by a lot of hands, you’ll want to tighten up and open even bigger. A nitty range like QQ+ and opens to 15-20BB, and a lot of 3- and 4-betting and jamming will help.

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