$11 NL HE 6-max Deep Stacked: I played Pocket AA horribly and it cost me
I have pocket AA; cutoff position. guy in front of me raises 3xBB; I call. Dealer calls. BB raises 9xBB. Everybody calls. Flop comes 9Q9. I figured--and was hoping--that nobody had a 9. (Why would you be calling 9xBB with a 9?). BB bets half the pot. I call. Button re-raises. BB goes all-in; I go all-in and the button goes all-in. Everything happened so fast I didn't have time to pause and think about what was going on in front of me. BB shows pocket KK (which is the kind of hand I put him on), and the button shows Q9. Button flopped a full house and basically had pocket AA and KK dominated. Might be one of the worst hands I've played, and cost me my stack and the tournament.
I could have played the hand much more differently than I did. If I were to do it again, I would change several things.
First, you can assume that I basically slow played the aces. If I were to replay this, I should have re-raised the guy behind me. When he bet 3xBB I should have come over the top with a MASSIVE reraise. I'm talking 500Xbb to 1000XBB-- with blinds at $30 and a stack of $4100, I would bet $1500. That way I'm signaling to others that I have AA, and would prevent guys with a weaker hand to commit to the pot with an inferior hand (ie Q9 offsuit). You could also argue that I should have just shoved all-in at that point--and it would basically be the same thing.
Instead I acted as a follower pre-flop with the highest hand and it came back and bit me in the ass. In my mind, I did not expect someone to call 9xBB with Q9 OFFSUIT but you have to be ready for any possibility when playing online (so many donks calling with junk to begin with). Notwithstanding that my mistake pre-flop was not re-raising MASSIVELY or All-in.
When the flop came, I was also reacting and not taking charge of the pot. I was putting my opponents on high pocket pair (KK QQ or JJ) or some sort of high card (AK, AQ). So when the flop came Q9Q and I see guys going all-in, I should have taken a deep breath, paused and evaluated the situation. I was reacting and not leading or thinking, and just made the call like a donk.
In my defense, when you're playing online the action can get so fast-paced that you don't stop to think about your hand and what you have and what your opponent has. You're just too busy clicking furiously. Next time when I'm involved in a big hand, I'm going to initiate a rule for myself to not press a button until after a 5-10 second period. This will allow me to make better-informed decisions instead of reacting without really thinking things through.
For me, this hand is a great learning experience and have drawn two lessons from it that I hope will benefit me in the future.
First: Never slow play pocket aces. I have the best hand pre-flop so I'm going to either shove or come in over the top with a massive raise. (In this case had I done that, I would be up against KK and not have some donk suck out with Q9 offsuit). I'll gladly go head to head with AA against KK--if the guy sucks out then so be it, but at least I would have played fundamentally sound poker.
And two (and maybe the more important lesson here): TAKE THE TIME TO THINK ABOUT THE ACTION. The big mistake I made on the flop was to react without thinking. I think if now I were to take just 10 seconds to think about that flop, I would have prob folded AA. Two reasons: the guy could have pocket QQ (very likely) and may have therefore hit a full house; or the donk actually did have a 9 (maybe he played A9) or maybe the guy had pocket 9s and just made quads (unlikely but I've flopped quads in the past and it's not something that can be ruled out).
At the end of the day, that donk should not have been playing Q9 offsuit when the raise came to 9xBB. But it was my mistake to not have put in a massive re-raise to make sure that he doesn't.
So moral of the story: Massive re-raise with AA and take the time to think about your next move and don't just react to other players.
Thoughts on how else I could have played this hand, and what else I could do to make sure I don't get into this kind of situation again are appreciated. GL out there.