Queen trips disaster

Second hand of a MTT:


I’m the BB. Dealt KQ. Player in early position raises, I re-raise to 6BB, he re-raises me to 10BB. One other player calls.

The flop comes up, trip Queens for me. I’m first to act, I bet the pot with likely the best kicker to the trips. The early player shoves, SB calls, I call.

Early player is holding AA, and is eliminated. I correctly assessed that they likely had Aces, based on his shove pre-flop, and felt I had a good chance to bust them with the trip hand. I correctly assessed that the SB had a Queen, based on their call, but since I had KQ I assumed they were calling with a worse kicker than me. The SB hold Q9, and pairs his 9 on the Turn for a boat, and I’m out of luck, and am left with a cripple stack, just 80 chips left.

Great reads, great cards, -2920 chips to show for it. Being right is so great, and then you lose anyway. :grimacing:

The 9 came on the turn?
That’s weird. It should have came on the river.
A glitch in the software maybe.



I’m finding that shoving loses way more chips than it ever wins, at least on this site.

It’s too all-or-nothing. If you scare them, you win, but you win a small pot and leave a lot of value off the table.
If you’re right, and you get a call you win a big hand. But this is balanced by the many times you’ll be wrong, and out of the game.

Unless you’re perfect, it’s much better to take risks but not tournament life risks, so if you’re wrong you can just fall back, tighten up some, and get back into it.

So you should fold anytime anyone shoves ever.

Which makes you vulnerable to the shove.

So then people will always be shoving on you.

So then you call. And they still beat you.

Maybe only shoving/calling in heads-up hands is the way to go, at least there the odds are a bit better defined, and you can have a good idea of where you stand in the hand.

But here, I knew exactly where I stood, and I still got beat.

Well, that happens sometimes. That’s poker. That’s life.

But, whatever, calling a 10BB preflop raise with just Q9 is pretty suicidal. I guess it is possible when the blinds are so small. SB got lucky.

I’m not sure that I like the 3bet squeeze with KQo from the BB. If you get calls you’re not necessarily ahead. If you get 4bet then you’re likely behind and maybe dominated. It’s a tournament and you’re the last to act preflop so I think just flat calling is ok.

If you do 3bet, make it bigger as there are multiple callers already. You could go to 5-6x the original raise.

Once you get min 4bet I think your read is pretty accurate - you’re likely up against AA/KK. You’re getting a great price to call, you’re closing the betting and your opponent’s hand is virtually face up so calling seems fine to me.

No idea what the player in the SB is doing preflop.

I think you could go for a check-raise shove on the flop. When you donk lead for pot you pretty much are telling everyone that you have a Q here. The stacks are so small compared to the pot that even if it checks around you can plan to lead the turn and jam river, and the only real scare cards for you are an A or K.

In the end you got your stack in in fantastic shape and got an unlucky runout. When the chips go in, you have about 68% equity which is huge in a 3-way pot. Still, you’re going to lose (or even chop) a good amount of the time.


Is there an agreed-upon definition of “3bet”? I seem to see the term thrown around a lot, but in different ways.

Does it mean:

  • a bet equal to 3x the BB? (if so, how do you make a “bigger” 3-bet, since the BB is a fixed amount?)
  • a bet after two previous bets on the same street?
  • betting the flop, turn, and river on the same hand?
  • betting 3x the previous bet?

Also, what did you mean here?

It means specifically making the 3rd bet (not call) in a round of betting.

So in this hand, preflop, the big blind is bet 1, the initial raiser is making bet 2 and you are making bet 3. When the player with AA raises again that is a 4bet since it’s the 4th bet in the round.

When I said to 3bet to 5-6x the original raise, I meant that your raise size should be bigger. When you make it 240 and several players already called for 80, it only costs them 160 to call to try to win a pot that is already over 400, so you are giving them great odds to call with pretty much any hand. If you instead raise it to at least 5x80 = 400, you are not making it as attractive for them to call.

Thank you that makes total sense now. You make a good point. I think Q9 should have folded regardless, but perhaps shoving after AA made it 10BB would have gotten it properly isolated.


Bit of a terminology quibble: “Shoving” refers to going all-in. ZMAN didn’t shove pre-flop - he “opened” (made an initial pre-flop raise), and then 4-bet to 10BB over your 6BB 3-bet. Shoving can be fairly profitable, but you definitely have to choose your spots. It’s generally better to make a shove than to call one, with some exceptions. Bounty tournaments where you cover the other player’s all-in comes to mind - due to ICM, if you’re in the very early stages of a tournament, but you have way more chips than the all-in player, it can even be profitable to call an opponent’s aces with 7-2 offsuit.

Back to the hand… quite a bit to unpack here. Trying to squeeze with Q9o is probably a -EV play, since you’ll likely only get called or re-raised by better hands, and you’ll be out of position for the rest of the hand. As @love2eattacos mentioned, if you are going to squeeze, you need to pick a larger size, since the pot has now ballooned to 9BB, and again, you’re out of position. Going for a 12BB 3-bet, 6x the original raise size, makes more sense. Best-case scenario, everyone else folds, and you’ve scooped a healthy pot.

Calling ZMAN’s min 4-bet makes sense, though if he’d gone bigger himself - as he should have with such a premium holding, facing so many people behind him who’d called his open - I would have definitely sent Q9o into the muck in the big blind.

Once you reach the flop, I’m not loving either the decision to lead out as the big blind, or the size. Let’s start with the first part - the decision to lead. If you’re betting only for value, people can “profitably” fold when you bet, so you need to choose some bluffs to work into your range. On a QQ2 rainbow board, in which you 3-bet and called a 4-bet, what bluffs could you have? AKs with a backdoor flush draw comes to mind - you’d be blocking both overpairs and have the potential to improve on later streets. However, there are only three combos of AKs with backdoor flush draws, and those will become tough to play on later streets if you get called and the turn bricks off, giving you neither flush nor straight draws. What other hands with low showdown and high equity might make a 3-bet and call a 4-bet - AJs? ATs? Both would be drawing very thin to KK or AA.

Because it’s tough to construct a flop lead range in this spot, standard practice is to check to the last preflop raiser - in this case, ZMAN. That would allow him (and maybe even tatt2b) to commit chips to the pot, which you could then check-raise, and possibly induce a fold or two.

Also, consider that with your exact hand, there’s only one other queen out there, making it unlikely your competitors have one. What hands worse than yours do you expect to call your pot-sized bet? AA and KK? You’re drawing very thin to the hands that would call and have you beat - tatt2b might have 22, and either tatt2b or ZMAN could have AQ - and if your opponents fold off hands weaker than yours, then you’ve missed out on a lot of value.

On paired rainbow boards like this, if I’m going to raise out of position, I’ll do it with a wide range of holdings, but I’ll choose a very small size, like 1/4 pot. That will allow me to get some folds when I miss - A4s, A5s, AK, 99, TT, JJ could all be in my squeeze-and-call-a-4-bet range that missed this flop - and value from my opponents’ hands like KK or AA when I have AQ, KQ or QJs and make a set. If I bet with my missed hands and get re-raised, I don’t feel so bad about letting it go, since I’ll still have a healthy chunk of my stack behind.

Does it suck when you’re way ahead after the flop, all the chips are in the middle, and someone else sucks out on you? Absolutely. However, you probably have a bit less equity in this spot than you think. tatt2b could have caught a 9, or made a backdoor flush. ZMAN could catch an ace. Plugging this into an odds calculator, at the flop you only have a 60% chance of winning outright, and a 17% chance of chopping with tatt2b. tatt2b had a 15% chance of winning outright, and ZMAN lagged with a 9% chance. Those are still odds I’d take all day long for the chance of tripling up early in a tournament, but if you only have a 60% chance of scooping the pot, 40% of the time you won’t. Being able to handle that other 40% of the time - whether mentally, or with your bankroll - is key to being successful at poker in the long run.


[quote=“WannabeCoder, post:8, topic:11482, full:true”]
Bit of a terminology quibble: “Shoving” refers to going all-in. ZMAN didn’t shove pre-flop - he “opened” (made an initial pre-flop raise), and then 4-bet to 10BB over your 6BB 3-bet. [/quote]

I know; I was saying that perhaps if I had shoved after he 4-bet the SB might have folded the winning hand, Q9, putting my KQ in a place to beat the Aces.

But I only called his 4bet, because at that point I suspected strongly that he was on AA, and I hadn’t seen the flop yet.

I agree with you, Q9 should have mucked it preflop. I can’t help that he didn’t. I could have raised again, but I didn’t want to go all-in with KQ preflop strongly suspecting the opener held Aces. And if Q9 is unskilled, he may just call there too. Either way, i get beat in this hand.

I lead bet the flop precisely because of the flush possibility. I hoped to make it -EV to call with a flush draw by making a pot-sized bet. I didn’t want more value here, I wanted to shut the hand down. Apparently so did Aces, who did shove after my lead bet.

I wasn’t worried about AQ in this hand, as I was figuring one player held two sces, it made the SB holding AQ less likely. With KQ, only AQ or Q2 is beating me at this point. And I doubt Q2 is in this hand. This is one of those hands where I did nothing wrong, and just plain got beat, beat by SB misplaying Q9 preflop, and sucking out. Arguably the only thing I could have done better would have been to lead shove the flop. Maybe that ends the hand, but I’m inclined to believe that if anything, Aces folds, Q9 calls, and I’m still beat.

I’m with you on this one. I’d be 100% on board squeezing to limps but that min-raise open thing would make it a call for me. Well, unless I knew the raiser was just a goofball raising any 2 cards. KQo is a great hand to squeeze against limpers but its not so wonderful against an EP open. That set the hand up and then it went all sideways from there. I’d also go with check-calling the flop and release it on the turn assuming IR continued and SB shoved when he made 2 pair. TP 2nd kicker is just never good facing that action.

I got the hand confused with another one and therefore got the end wrong here - I’d still check-call and release when jammed on by the SB. It stinks to have to do this and you may be letting the best hand go sometimes. People are so passive here with paired boards that when they not only bet but raise, its pure strength (or overvaluing an over pair). I look at situations like this one and know I’m ahead of one of the players but not both. Since they don’t hand out chips for 2nd place, I fold.

you take this all way too seriously, at least that is what I am “correctly assessing”.

why do you call the person raising on any 2 cards a “goofball”? that is their perrogative!

Why do you assume the term “goofball” is a pejorative? Substitute in whatever phrase you wish that doesn’t offend your sensibilities. Wow.