I’m at a 4-seat ring table, 500/1000, sitting UTG with the big stack 175k, effective stacks 70BB, and am dealt pocket KKings.
I open to 4BB, and the Button calls behind me.
SB 3! raised to 17000.
I 4! to 56000.
SB has about 90k in front of them, and 5! shoves.
I call, SB flips up QQ. The board runs us both out a spades flush draw, but I’m still ahead if it fills, which it doesn’t, and the river pairs the board, TTens. QQ doesn’t suck out; I get V’s stack for a nice 185k pot with KKTTA over QQTTA.
This is a pretty good example of a textbook hand going as-expected.
My open to 4BB from UTG is a very reasonable standard open; Button’s call is likewise reasonable. I like the 3-bet raise from QQ, and the sizing is fine:
500 + 1000 + 4000 + 4000 = 9500, + 4000 to call = 13500, so SB’s re-raise to 17000 (4000 to call, + 13000) is about a pot size bet, and makes the new pot size 26500.
I like the SB’s bet sizing. It’s a reasonable sizing for QQ, and relative to the effective stack size, it’s a good size to set up getting all-in by the river. At a 4-handed table, it’s pretty unlikely anyone has a better hand (even though I did this time), and playing QQ out of position against 2-3 other players isn’t ideal, so raising here to isolate and get chips in the middle while ahead of most opponent’s range is a good play. Plus, this sizing has a chance of closing the hand and taking a decent pot with out a showdown.
I also like my raise to 56k with pocket KK here. I’m ahead of everything but AA right now, it’s a good enough hand to 4-bet with. The sizing isn’t totally out of line. With the 3-bet to 17000, the pot is 26500, and it’s 13k for me to call, which would make the pot 39500. Going up to 56k is just a second 13k on top of that, basically a 1/3 pot bet on top of the call. This gives QQ really good pot odds to call, 39k to call to have a chance of winning a pot of 121500 = about 2:1 pot odds, but also intimidates the button into not putting in another 52000 to see if they can realize their equity. In the face of two very strong raises, and the SB still behind them, it’s a very good idea to fold here unless they have a very strong hand.
Since the BB folded in the face of the SB’s raise, this matches me and the SB up for post-flop. Since 56k is already well over 1/2 of SB’s total stack, there’s no pointing in keeping chips in reserve if they do decide to call, it’s going to be all-in by the river anyway, so I like them shoving back. QQ is too good a hand to fold 4-handed, and if you know you’re going to be stacking off by the river anyway, you might as well do it preflop when the opponent has the least amount of information. The shove doesn’t have any fold equity, but it does remove any possibility that I could hope to win the hand without a showdown, making me more vulnerable to lucky river cards. But offsetting this, it also removes me from over-folding the Kings when the board texture looks especially bad for me/good for my opponent – I see suited, paired, and Ace-high flops very frequently, I don’t want to put that many chips in the middle preflop and then get cold feet if the flop is miserable for me, so I don’t mind at all being committed to seeing a showdown before any of that can happen.
I’m fine with calling the shove, of course, because I have the 2nd strongest possible hole cards.
I don’t very often see 4- and 5-betting preflop at the stakes and stack-sizes I play, so this was an interesting hand. Usually when someone 3-bets, the table either folds, or someone shoves, so my 4-betting here, while I’m confident it was good, wasn’t something I was used to doing, so I wasn’t totally confident that my sizing was good. But in retrospect, I think it likely was close to the optimal sizing.
My other option would have been to re-raise to a size that puts SB all-in to call, around 90k, but a raise from 17k to 90k might have been enough to get even QQ to fold, keeping just KK/AA and maybe AKs in, while the sizing I went with induced a shove from QQ after they’d already committed about 1/5th of their stack to their 3-bet raise.