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You Decide #30

Let's have fun picking over Jordan's play, shall we (you judgmental bastards)? What we have here is the Thirtiest edition of You Decide. For earlier You Decide posts, click THIS LINK. Please share your thoughts and opinions, and together we can grow as poker players and as a civilized society!

So, I'm playing in an MTT on Doyle's Room. I have just short of 9k in chips, with blinds of 200/400, 50 ante. There are about 12 to 14 people left, and 9 spots pay. I'm the second chipleader at the table and maybe 3rd overall, with one guy at the table ahead by 400, and one guy behind me for 10 or so.

I'm dealt QQ in the Big Blind. JHawk, who is the gentleman with all of10 chips less than me, raises from UTG+1 from to 1200. I've been playing with him for a while and we have a good rapport. On a couple of hands, I raised preflop to his call out of position, only to win with a continuation bet and in one instance, a bluff re-raise on a AK4 flop. In both instances, he claimed to have KQ, and I lied, claiming that I had AK on the AK4 flop and pocket 9s on a useless flop that he checked to me. In truth, I had crap both times, but he doesn't know that. In fact, as he put it, "You got my number." My response: "Lady luck has good timing."

So JHawk raises in UTG+1 from 400 to 1200. Everyone folds to me and I raise to 4000 total. He pushes all-in to $8855 total. If I call, I'll be committing all of my chips essentially, leaving a whopping 10, which won't even cover the next hand's ante.

So, here is the question. In this situation, is it smart to call off the rest of your chips with QQ preflop, so near the money when you had a huge chiplead. If you fold, you'll still be middle of the pack.

On one hand, he is showing strength and AA or KK will end the tourney for you before you get to the money. If he has AK, it's almost a coin toss against one of the only players that can effectively take you out. Against a shorter stack and its a no brainer. Against this guy, it's a game-changing moment.

Yet, if you take the hand, you have a monster chiplead. What to do?

I'm going to do things differently today, and ask that you give your responses before I post what the result was. If you think that any of my play was foolish, do tell. Thanks for reading, and thanks for sharing.

posted by Jordan @ 10:06 AM,


At 11:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you've got to call here.

Assuming there are 7 players at your table, the starting pot size is $950, making your effective M around 6.5. It's time to play aggressively and go for the double up if you can get it - and you may not find a better situation than this one.

There are only three hands that you fear at this point: AA, KK, AK. Your opponent's play could indicate one of these hands, but he may also make this play with 99-JJ, AQ or a slightly smaller suited Ace. It's possible that he could even make this play with a pair smaller than 9s looking for a race.

I think your play to this point in the hand was right on. If you don't call here, you're down to an effective M of around 4 and solidly into push/fold territory. I don't like your chances of getting a better opportunity to get your money in. Call!

At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At this point you're getting like 2.5-1 on your call and there are only two hands your a dog to, so I don't think you have a choice but to call. I know the third raise is supposed to mean aces, but based on the earlier play you described I'd give him a much larger range of hands here.

At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stink at tournaments, quite frankly, but I think you have to call here, for the reasons Chris gave. Personally, with an M of less than ten, I would have gone all-in right away.

Perhaps a show of strength like that might scare your opponent off if he's got other than AA, KK, or AK?

At 1:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you have to know if you re-raise here and get re-re-raised, you have to push.

If you weren't prepared to push, wouldn't the better play here be to call and push on any non AK flop?

Unless you have this guy pegged as a serial blind stealer and you were just trying to push him off his hand, which seems like a pretty silly expectation with QQ.

Since my range of hands for this player in this situation is considerably less than AA or KK, I'd have to call here.

At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have to call here. Even if you assume his range here is is AA, KK, AKo, AKs, you are a 40-60 dog, but the 2.5:1 odds here triumph that. Add on the likely AQ, JJ, TT, and 99 hands here and you become a favorite, making the call even easier.

BTW, I would have pushed all-in for the reraise instead of raising to 4K.

At 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that no one considers the benefit of folding into the money, but I guess that is because we poker bloggers are a smart and aggressive group. Well, as I said, I called, and he had AdQd, so I was in decent shape. The flop had two diamonds, and I sat there ringing my hands and praying that luck didn't screw me. It didn't and I was a huge chipleader. I eventually went out in 3rd, which would probably be another interesting hand to examine, but I didn't copy it.

As for all fo the analysis, I guess this one was easy. Everyone agrees that, given the odds, I had to call. My thought at the time was that his re-raise was uncharacteristic, and he was conditioned to fold to me. I didn't think about M too much (generally, I focus more on the amount of BB I have only, which may be a shortcoming).

Thanks for all of the comments. Next time, I'll keep an eye out for a more ambiguous situation.

At 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mathwise I think u have to call.

If you have 4865 or so left, you have to push all in the next time you have a decent hand. Are you really going to get a hand better than QQ? Unless of course you are playing to just make the money, which you aren't.

My play here is raise him all in...don't give him the chance to put the decision on you. If you run into AA, AK, or KK oh well. This is a chance you have to take.

He probably has QQ and hits his 4 Flush to knock u down to 10 chips...

At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Must have been working on the comment at same time...nice results!!!

At 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate your raise here. If you REALLY think he has AA/KK/AK then just fold to the 1200 raise. If you think he is going to play weaker hands this way go all in. Once you bet the 4K like everyone is saying your committed.

At 2:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Waffle for bringing out another point. I disagree with you that the raise to 4k was a bad move. If I push all-in, he might fold. By making it look like I wasn't willing to commit all of my chips, I allow one of two things to happen.

Either (a) He calls, and then I see the flop and can let go of my hand with some money left if the flop is AKx all of one suit that I don't have (i.e. a terror-flop). I am confident of my abilities, from there, to eke into the money and use my shorter stack skills (and remember, I'd still be middle of the pack) to advance until some decent money.

OR, (b) I induce him to push all-in preflop, because I've been picking on him for a while. I HAVE to call his preflop all-in, which I did, but I also got him to commit the chips with AdQd. He may've folded, facing an 8k raise. If he had AA or KK, I was not super happy, but willing to accept that fate had shtupped me.

On the other hand, raising all-in preflop against him could have screwed me. He would probably fold any poor hands instead of making a play at a re-raise bluff or semi-bluff with an underpair. OR he could call easily with AA or KK. In other words, an all-in raise gives him an opportunity to get away from his crappy hand and leaves me no room to manuever. Instead, I sort of baited him.

At 3:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your re-raise (instead of pushing) induced his push.

Now a stop and go might have produced a different result if he's smart/good enough to fold KK on an ace high flop or fold AK on an underboard.

That comes down to how well your know your opponent.

At 4:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Drizz, but my question to you (and everyone else) is, what was the optimal move for me? Should I have pulled the stop and go (i.e., called), raised (which I did), or pushed all-in? I'm pretty sure we all agree that folding would be overly cautious, although I could see someone arguing (not me, mind you) that against one of the few opponents who could take me out, folding wouldn't be a horrible move.

At 7:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess it depends on what you consider "optimal." You got him all in with a worse hand, and you doubled up, so you might consider your play optimal.

Personally I consider a hand where you've taken significant chips from your opponent without seeing a showdown an optimal play also. I still have yet to lose a hand when my opponents all fold.

A stop-and-go type play might have been optimal if you wanted your opponent to fold.

But this is basically one of those situations where you can't really make a wrong move. I wouldn't say folding to his initial raise would be wrong, cold calling wouldn't be really wrong, re-raising isn't necessarily wrong and pushing definitely wouldn't be wrong, so there's no real mistake to be made here. Maybe folding such a strong hand, but considering your proximity to cashing, not a blatant error.

At 3:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jordan, I think the better question is What the eff was this guy calling your 4000 chip raise for with just Ace-Queen? I'm trying to imagine the "You Decide" on his blog about this hand, and all of the comments would have been like "What? Are you crazy man?!" and "Just FOLD that crap, donkeyboy!" Ace-Queen is not a smart hand to be moving in with against someone who has already shown some solid strength by reraising the original raise, and lifting it up to 4000 chips to play. He has to figure, either you have a pocket pair in which case he is less than 50% to win, or you have AK in which case he is a large dog. This guy forgot to ask himself what reasonable hands he could beat. Would you really be in there raising to 4000 chips (i.e. almost half the entire stack youve accumulated in the tourney thus far) with just AJ or A-10 or KQ? I doubt it. That's a horrendous move.

And yeah, I think with the pot odds what they were, you pretty much have to make the call once you've already sunk the 4000 into the pot with your justified reraise.

With QQ though, everyone is right, you should have probably just pushed instead of the 4000 raise. As far as I'm concerned, when I have QQ preflop, my main concern is usually to win the pot without seeing the flop. Queens is a great hand to play *before* the flop, but a pretty rotten one to take to a flop and beyond with someone who has already indicated some kind of strength preflop.

See you tonight in HUC3!


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