Spectacular (& partly self-inflicted) bad beat



Rising Star
This post is a bit long, but I thought the hand was so full of lessons for me that it was worth posting and talking through my play to see if it rings any bells with anyone else out there.

I played the hand below (see bottom of post) last night on Party Poker.

This starts off as a story about the danger of trapping, and ends up as a really classic bad beat horror story, though in this case it was a bad beat for my opponent, not me. What made it interesting and educational for me is that it was partially self-inflicted.

Apart from an good example of the danger of trying to trap on a two-suited flop, it shows even more clearly just how dangerous it can be sometimes allow someone (in this case me!) a cheap draw. In this case, as you’ll see, I was arguably playing as dangerously as my opponent, at least at the start.

Anyway, I’m dealt QQ in the big blind. All fold except one player, who raises. I call him and flop the set. I reckon that I want to keep him in the pot, and decide to check on the flop, so as to trap him into putting more money in. This is a dangerous strategy, I know, as there’s obviously a flush draw and possibly a straight or even a straight flush draw on the board, but I decide it’s worth the risk. There’s $6.50 in the pot and I think I can get more. I very nearly came to grief on this decision, as you will see.

I reckon from his initial raise that he has a good pair, or Kor A flush draw, and not 98, so I discount the straight/straight flush, which seem to me unlikely. The turn is 7c, and now I know I’m in the s***t! But I need to find out for sure, so I bet into him...and he just calls!

If he’d raised me at this point, I’d definitely have folded, figuring he had a strong flush, and he’d have walked off with the pot. Maybe he was hoping, like I had been earlier, to trap me into making more bets on the river. In the event, the river comes up with a Q and I take him down for the max, as he’s clearly totally convinced he still does have the best of me.

#Game No : 2584503992

***** Hand History for Game 2584503992 *****

$1/$2 Texas Hold'em - Tuesday, August 23, 15:37:03 EDT 2005

Table Table 34441 (6 max) (Real Money)

Seat 1 is the button

Total number of players : 6

Seat 1: glassinator ( $51.25 )

Seat 4: agima ( $11.50 )

Seat 6: tbarron10 ( $55.98 )

Seat 3: venturer49 ( $71.75 )

Seat 5: RoyalAKQJoff ( $32 )

Seat 2: youngjk22 ( $48 )

youngjk22 posts small blind [$0.50].

venturer49 posts big blind [$1].

** Dealing down cards **

Dealt to venturer49 [ Qs Qc ]

agima folds.

RoyalAKQJoff folds.

tbarron10 raises [$2].

glassinator folds.

youngjk22 folds.

venturer49 calls [$1].

** Dealing Flop ** [ Qh, Tc, 6c ]

venturer49 checks.

tbarron10 bets [$1].

venturer49 calls [$1].

** Dealing Turn ** [ 7c ]

venturer49 bets [$2].

tbarron10 calls [$2].

** Dealing River ** [ Qd ]

venturer49 bets [$2].

tbarron10 raises [$4].

venturer49 raises [$4].

tbarron10 raises [$4].

venturer49 calls [$2].

tbarron10 shows [ 8c, Ac ] a flush, ace high.

venturer49 shows [ Qs, Qc ] four of a kind, queens.

venturer49 wins $25.50 from the main pot with four of a kind, queens.

I can hardly imagine how tbarron10 must have felt about this hand…I have a lot of sympathy for him (or her), as I’ve definitely been there myself, in the 2-3 months since I started playing, and it was equally expensive! I am totally clear how lucky I was in this case.

I'd be interested to hear of similar situations or anyone's comments on how they would have played this hand differently in my position.
Dorkus Malorkus

Dorkus Malorkus

I'd have played this totally differently. I don't hate your line (barring the flop check, which you seem to know yourself was pretty bad), but it's just not the way I see playing it at all.

- 3-bet preflop. (a) because QQ is the third best starting hand in the game, and (b) because if he doesn't cap the betting you can discount AA/KK from his holding range most of the time.

- Bet out on the flop. You say you put him on a high pair or flush draw, well if he has the flush draw he'll call you, if he has an overpair he'll call/raise - all you're doing by checking is risking giving him a free card if he has the flush draw and elects to check behind. If the 3-flush hits on the turn you're going to be scared of excessively further betting and if it doesn't, well maybe AA and KK are going to pay you well, but anything else won't.

- Check/call the turn. If he had a flush draw you have redraws, if he hasn't let him bluff at it.

- River is fine, obviously.


First; will explain the postflop decision in a minute, you should have reraised him preflop, with big pairs in limit you must get as many bets as you possibly can in the pot before the cards come out. Now you could have gone either way on the flop, you hit top set and while there was a flush draw it was only the small betting round, but I would have reraised the flop this guy was coming along for the ride regardless of the flop betting. Callin and then re-raising the turn regardless of what falls is the other ok move, reason is even if he hit his flush you still have "outs" in this case 11. Board pairs or you hit your queen you win. In his position the pot was too small to call if you bet the flop so IF he continued he needed to bet his draw. Crap will continue in a few gotta run 4 a bit.....


Rising Star
About the pre-flop bet, I should set this in context of my previous play at this table. I'd been winning several pots in relatively quick succession with pretty good cards, almost every one of them preceded by a pre-flop raise (I've been experimenting with the Phil Hellmuth theory of betting!!), and by the time this hand came round, I thought I was beginning to detect, from the reactions around the table, that this was leading to a lot of folding and less action for me, so I thought I'd just call the Qs, to vary things a bit. It made no difference preflop in this case, because practically everyone folded anyway. But yes, you are both right I should have reraised at the start, based on the "book". You may say, of course, that there are better ways of varying one's play, and you are probably right.