25nl QQ to an under flop



Sep 14, 2007
Total posts
This is just one example, but my question is a general question when it's monster vs. monster preflop.

pokerstars GAME #15282050235: HOLD'EM NO LIMIT ($0.10/$0.25) - 2008/02/14 - 13:17:01 (ET)
Table 'Mocia III' 9-max Seat #9 is the button
Seat 1: UnrealzE ($18.55 in chips)
Seat 3: Darkoffm ($9.20 in chips)
Seat 4: zachvac ($30.30 in chips)
Seat 5: NH Guy ($18.55 in chips)
Seat 6: Cynicism328 ($23.45 in chips)
Seat 7: Suzzee ($15.35 in chips)
Seat 8: Rumit13 ($25.35 in chips)
Seat 9: Johnny7Cash ($26.75 in chips)
UnrealzE: posts small blind $0.10
timea74: is sitting out
Darkoffm: posts big blind $0.25
NH Guy: posts big blind $0.25
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to zachvac [Qh Qc]
zachvac: raises $1 to $1.25
NH Guy: raises $1.75 to $3
Cynicism328: folds
Suzzee: folds
timea74 leaves the table
Rumit13: folds
Johnny7Cash: folds
UnrealzE: folds
Darkoffm: folds
zachvac: calls $1.75
*** FLOP *** [6s 7d 3s]
zachvac: bets $3
NH Guy: calls $3
*** TURN *** [6s 7d 3s] [8d]
zachvac: bets $6
NH Guy: raises $6.55 to $12.55 and is all-in
FxCxK joins the table at seat #2
zachvac: calls $6.55
*** RIVER *** [6s 7d 3s 8d] [8c]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
zachvac: shows [Qh Qc] (two pair, Queens and Eights)
NH Guy: shows [Kc Ks] (two pair, Kings and Eights)
NH Guy collected $35.65 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $37.45 | Rake $1.80
Board [6s 7d 3s 8d 8c]
Seat 1: UnrealzE (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 3: Darkoffm (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 4: zachvac showed [Qh Qc] and lost with two pair, Queens and Eights
Seat 5: NH Guy showed [Kc Ks] and won ($35.65) with two pair, Kings and Eights
Seat 6: Cynicism328 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 7: Suzzee folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 8: Rumit13 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 9: Johnny7Cash (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)

First off, do I need to 4-bet this preflop? The problem is that most hands that do this will keep pushing, whether it's a maniac who thinks his 99 is good, AK, or KK or AA. The problem with flat calling is obvious, as evident from the above hand. This hand I pushed postflop mainly because of the flat call on the flop, I didn't expect him to slowplay KK simply because there were 2 cards that would have been extremely ugly to him on the turn, and especially KK an A could come. So I assumed AK or something like A7 thinking top pair was good and I got busted.

But in general I have problems in these situations. Have JJ, QQ, or AK and face a 3-bet. I used to just 4-bet these and fold if I got raised, but I was thinking that made no sense just because of the logic above, that I was getting pushed off my hand too much with hands that may be worse than mine. I've started just flat calling with AK and stacking if I hit the A or K. Problem is that I still lose to AA and KK too much, and KK doesn't pay me off when I hit my A. Hell even my KK seems to run into AA more than my AA runs into KK (not saying rigged or my bad luck, I just think it's happened enough that I wouldn't be surprised if other people are folding KK to a 4-bet preflop). The problem just seems to be preflop. What should I be doing if I get played back at with JJ, QQ, or AK? KK and AA I raise and anything worse I fold. Assume average player, I realize that if he's super loose be willing to stack any of those preflop and if he's a rock fold any of them preflop, but assume just an average player with few reads. I think this is one of my hugest leaks at 25nl so far. I'll have a steady upward trend, then I'll have one hand where I lose my stack with a badly played JJ, QQ, or AK (much lesser extent with AK, sometimes I even fold that to a 3-bet, although I'm still not sure if I should be doing that). Since my winrate at 25nl is just above 2 BB/100, I've been looking at a lot of my PT stats and I think this is one of my bigger problems.


Is drawing with AK
Jan 2, 2007
Total posts
Zachvac said:
The problem is that most hands that do this will keep pushing, whether it's a maniac who thinks his 99 is good, AK, or KK or AA.
This just sounds like a case of bad reads to me. Either you're playing too many tables so that you can't sort out the nuts from the nits, or you're just not paying attention. Players who think 99 is a 4-bettable hand preflop should stick out like a sore thumb.

At this stake level, I'd probably be repopping this unless I have an excellent read, or as in this case villain's stack isn't very deep. We're OOP in this hand, and we don't really want to be playing several more streets OOP like this.

For this particular hand, I don't think there's much you can do about it. You either shove into him preflop, and run into his KK+. Or you can play a flop, and get pushed off of your hand when an ace comes. Or when there's no A on the flop, you bet & scare off AK and get stacked by AA & KK. Since his stack is only 74BB's, I'd probably just stick him in preflop, so we don't have to worry about flops with overs.

If stacks were deeper, you really need to have some good reads. Word on the street is you play a lot of tables, so maybe cutting back to get a better idea of what your opponents are doing is a better idea?


I'm sweet enough!
Feb 18, 2007
Total posts
Zach, I have similar issues as yourself. As I have listed in another thread, the hand I have most difficulty with are AKo/s. I'm not to worried about the JJ/QQ hands as I will fold these most of the time to 4-bets even in 6max. I will of course push these hands hard if I'm up against mr/mrs donktard, but even then they usually flip over KK/AA or AK and they've hit an ace etc etc. These hands usually become impossible to play at times especially on a downswing (yes that's me, feb has been horrendous).

The problem with 4 betting QQ,JJ and AK is what the hell do you do if you see a flop. You have put in a big %age of your stack, folding to aggression here is like horrible. I probably only play these hands in 3 bet pot's and evaluate the flop then. Yeah there are times when I will deviate from this but that is usually villain dependent.


Sep 14, 2007
Total posts
I think I'm going to start 4-betting these and folding to a raise and fold to 4-bets. The problem is I've seen 4-bets flat called with AA, which makes sense because then hands like mine will assume they're ahead. Folding to a 3-bet just seems incredibly weak. To c9h13no3, when I have a good amount of hands on people I can make reads, but for example this hand I have is literally the only hand I have on this guy now. After 50 or so hands I start to get an idea and 100+ gets me confident in their general playing, but that's over an hour at a table, and for me AND my opponent to be there that long is rare. Against a regular would be different, but I'm talking about situations where I have few stats on my opponent, which is probably the majority of the time.

But no matter what, without any reads, I do not want to be stacking preflop with JJ, QQ, or AK with a full buy-in (if the guy has like $10 I'll stack easily with AK or QQ and most likely with JJ as well).


Sep 14, 2007
Total posts
Well after reading a post by AG in another thread about shortstack advantage, I've thought about perhaps buying in short basically so I will be able to stack off with QQ and possibly JJ and AK preflop. Now I'm not going to get better by simply buying in short when I find a tough situation, but in terms of short term profits, buying in short may just be the answer. I don't know.


May 16, 2005
Total posts
Thing is unless we are playing a maniac we should be mostly calling 4 bets with AA and KK anyway ! It gives hands like QQ/JJ/1010 a chance to stack off on most flops even flops that have overs where as they fold to 5bet shoves more often.

I really dunno about buyin in short, even on nl$100, with all the nitty shortstackers out there there is only one (1) in my database thats a winning player with over 1K hands. There is an art to playing shortstack players as much as there is to playing shortstacked. The thing is most people tend to think thats its a magical forumla to winning, it isnt, especially if you know the hand ranges yourself.

As far as playing the 1010-QQ type hands, the thing is lots of times you correct in playing them the way you do, check you DB they should be some of your biggest winning hands without taking the times that you run into KK in isolation.

My other issue is just how many hands have you played on nl$25 ? You winrate seems very small, and with a win rate like that on nl$25, personally I dont think you could beat nl$50 let alone nl$100. Maybe you simply have some holes that need fixing, or your on a cooler. Just interested why you think its so low.


Sep 14, 2007
Total posts
QQ: had 115 times, net of -16.40

Yet JJ and TT have very decent winnings of 82.35 and 147.25 respectively. If QQ simply won as much as TT (KK has won 175 and AA has won 250) I would be winning at over 5 BB/100. Just because of that one hand not winning as much as I think it probably should, my winrate is cut in half.

I did mention that my goal was not to start playing as a shortstack and expect to win that way, I just was saying that I think short-term it could make a profit for me. It won't make me a better player, there's not much skill involved, and although I won about $25 in 20 minutes or so, it's frankly quite boring. I narrowed my hand requirements but loosened the shoving requirements. I was folding hands like AT and 88 but shoving AQ+, TT+ to any raise and open raising to $2 when it came to me. I realize this won't work at higher levels or against decent players, but people are calling down extremely light to shoves. For example:

POKERSTARS GAME #15288769873: HOLD'EM NO LIMIT ($0.10/$0.25) - 2008/02/14 - 18:44:36 (ET)
Table 'Lohja III' 9-max Seat #4 is the button
Seat 1: Kesjan ($14 in chips)
Seat 2: zachvac ($4.65 in chips)
Seat 3: SIDFCP ($23.65 in chips)
Seat 4: danielbres ($15.10 in chips)
Seat 5: dc7543 ($33.35 in chips)
Seat 6: flairsou33 ($29.45 in chips)
Seat 7: Danv007 ($7.85 in chips)
Seat 8: choochoochar ($16.25 in chips)
Seat 9: TRIKAAL ($21.30 in chips)
dc7543: posts small blind $0.10
flairsou33: posts big blind $0.25
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to zachvac [Ah As]
Danv007: folds
choochoochar: folds
TRIKAAL: folds
Kesjan: folds
zachvac: raises $0.75 to $1
SIDFCP: folds
danielbres: calls $1
dc7543: folds
flairsou33: calls $0.75
*** FLOP *** [4h 6c Qc]
flairsou33: checks
zachvac: bets $3.65 and is all-in
danielbres: folds
flairsou33: calls $3.65
*** TURN *** [4h 6c Qc] [5d]
*** RIVER *** [4h 6c Qc 5d] [Tc]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
flairsou33: shows [2s 4s] (a pair of Fours)
zachvac: shows [Ah As] (a pair of Aces)
zachvac collected $9.90 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $10.40 | Rake $0.50
Board [4h 6c Qc 5d Tc]
Seat 1: Kesjan folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 2: zachvac showed [Ah As] and won ($9.90) with a pair of Aces
Seat 3: SIDFCP folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 4: danielbres (button) folded on the Flop
Seat 5: dc7543 (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 6: flairsou33 (big blind) showed [2s 4s] and lost with a pair of Fours
Seat 7: Danv007 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 8: choochoochar folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 9: TRIKAAL folded before Flop (didn't bet)

POKERSTARS GAME #15288844133: HOLD'EM NO LIMIT ($0.10/$0.25) - 2008/02/14 - 18:49:36 (ET)
Table 'Philippina II' 9-max Seat #2 is the button
Seat 1: Dracolea ($4.65 in chips)
Seat 2: zachvac ($5.05 in chips)
Seat 3: Bo Boba Dang ($17.25 in chips)
Seat 4: YankeeinPA ($20.85 in chips)
Seat 5: simmeth ($24.40 in chips)
Seat 6: davinskiCode ($26.65 in chips)
Seat 7: xxcem22xx ($32.10 in chips)
Seat 8: ErinJeff ($23.25 in chips)
Seat 9: 4sakind ($16.45 in chips)
Bo Boba Dang: posts small blind $0.10
YankeeinPA: posts big blind $0.25
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to zachvac [Qd Qh]
simmeth: folds
davinskiCode: folds
xxcem22xx: calls $0.25
ErinJeff: folds
4sakind: folds
Dracolea: folds
zachvac: raises $1.75 to $2
Bo Boba Dang: calls $1.90
YankeeinPA: folds
xxcem22xx: folds
*** FLOP *** [7d 2s 4c]
Bo Boba Dang: checks
zachvac: bets $3.05 and is all-in
Bo Boba Dang: calls $3.05
*** TURN *** [7d 2s 4c] [Jh]
*** RIVER *** [7d 2s 4c Jh] [Tc]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Bo Boba Dang: shows [Kc Qs] (high card King)
zachvac: shows [Qd Qh] (a pair of Queens)
zachvac collected $10.10 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $10.60 | Rake $0.50
Board [7d 2s 4c Jh Tc]
Seat 1: Dracolea folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 2: zachvac (button) showed [Qd Qh] and won ($10.10) with a pair of Queens
Seat 3: Bo Boba Dang (small blind) showed [Kc Qs] and lost with high card King
Seat 4: YankeeinPA (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 5: simmeth folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 6: davinskiCode folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 7: xxcem22xx folded before Flop
Seat 8: ErinJeff folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 9: 4sakind folded before Flop (didn't bet)


plays poker on hard mode
May 16, 2006
Total posts
zach, you don't have to 4bet. just call and play poker. 4betting with something like QQ/JJ usually just sucks the hand of all value because you push out the hands you crush and only build a pot vs. a range that has you in very bad shape. it's basically playing to not lose instead of playing to win. there's just no value in it and it mostly comes from an irrational fear that the other guy always has AA/KK and you want an excuse to get away from it

the other thing is, with most any stacks 100BB effective or less, you can rarely 4bet-fold a pair in a cash game if we assume the raises are even close to reasonable size. by the time you 4bet with these stacks you're usually getting odds such that folding any pair vs. a range of AA/KK/AK would be wrong