$2.75 NLHE MTT: Tough Spot with Top 2 Pairs

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sundizzel

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Hey, guys! Been a minute since I've posted, but I ran into a rough hand in one of my tournaments today where I didn't really know what to do. I'd love to hear your guys' input with results hidden before sharing the run-out.

He had been playing the hand very aggressively, so I thought he probably had AA. Of course, the other feasible hands that we're losing to would be the 16 combos of AJ, 1 combo each of KK and QQ, and the 3 combos of TT. I figured with that few hand combinations we were behind that we were good to get all the chips in. That being said, I felt very uncomfortable in the position and would appreciate any input from the community.

Thanks for taking the time to review and for any input you might have. Cheers!

Winning Poker, Hold'em No Limit - 60/120 (16 ante) - 8 players
Replay this hand on CardsChat

UTG: 17,702 (148 bb)
UTG+1: 16,231 (135 bb)
MP: 19,065 (159 bb)
MP+1 (Hero): 22,536 (188 bb)
CO: 24,252 (202 bb)
BU: 19,954 (166 bb)
SB: 19,064 (159 bb)
BB: 20,007 (167 bb)

Pre-Flop: (308) Hero is MP+1 with Q K
UTG raises to 240, 2 players fold, Hero 3-bets to 720, CO calls 720, 3 players fold, UTG calls 480

Flop: (2,468) 6 Q T (3 players)
UTG checks, Hero bets 617, CO raises to 2,468, UTG folds, Hero calls 1,851

Turn: (7,404) K (2 players)
Hero bets 1,851, CO raises to 9,463, Hero raises to 19,332 (all-in), CO calls 9,869
 
FernA9ndo

FernA9ndo

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You need to be in the top of your range to put 188bb all into pot. That being said, I would check and call the turn and the river, not going all in.
 
Poker Orifice

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Not sure why we're 3-betting preflop in this hand?
 
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fundiver199

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Preflop
The first thing to notice here is, that KQs is way behind to the UTG opening range. So the only reason, why we might want to get involved here, is, that we have position and we have pot odds because of the blinds and antes. So I am not completely in love with the 3-bet. We have a hand, that play decently well postflop, and if we get 4-bet, we need to fold.

So I would probably just call here, and even folding is completely fine. I guess, we have decent blockers, but we just dont need to be doing a ton on 3-betting against an UTG open in general. You did 3-bet though, CO cold called your 3-bet, which is extremely strong action, and UTG called as well. This is absolutely terrible action, and even before seeing the flop you need to realise, you probably dont have the best hand, so postflop need to be played in a fairly defensive way.

Flop
You flopped top pair, but you still lose to sets, QTs, AQ and the occational slowplayed KK-AA. You dont also have any kind of flushdraw, which would have been nice. I lean towards checking here, because you are behind to a lot of different hands, which are certainly in their range, and you cant get more than 1-2 streets of value from worse. You went for a small bet of 25% pot, which I guess is ok as well, and now CO raise. Now your hand is clearly only a bluff catcher, but at least UTG folded, and I guess, you have to call, but I am already hating this spot.

Turn
You improved to top two pair, so you now beat QTs, AQ and the unlikely AA. It is worth nothing though, that AJ and J9 just made a straight. For that reason leading out here into the guy, who raised you on the flop, is an overplay. And if you are going to lead, I dont understand, why you went for this blocker sizing of just 25% pot.

He raise you again, and now you cant really continue without committing your entire stacks, and the whole situation is just weird. I guess you do beat a few hands like a stubborn bluff with A9 of diamonds or something similar, and QTs which thought, your sizing looked weak and is raising for value and protection. But I think, you are looking at a lot of straights and sets here, so as played I guess, I fold and live to fight another day.
 
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Badday94

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I agree with what the others said, I would have folded this hand preflop, but even though this doesn't look pretty at all for you, for some reason I still think you won this hand.

I believe he had A K of diamonds, so after your bet on the flop he decided to go nuts, hoped to get maximum value from you before he made the flush on turn. Then the K came on the turn, he had top pair with top kicker and the nut flush draw, hence the big reraise and call to your shove.
 
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fundiver199

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The key mistake in this hand is leading the turn. Even though you improved to two pair, you should still be in bluff-catching mode. Give him the rope to hang himself and try to get to showdown without risking all your chips. If a bad river card like an A or J rolls off, and he make a huge bet, its totally fine to call turn and fold river.
 
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Badday94

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Exactly. I want to add to my earlier comment that I hope he didn't have A K of diamonds and made the flush on the river, that would suck. If you still lost the hand, better to lose to trips than to a flush on the river :) also what if he had K Q but of diamonds who gets rivered the flush, that would make me lose it, happened to me but with K 10
 
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fundiver199

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Exactly. I want to add to my earlier comment that I hope he didn't have A K of diamonds and made the flush on the river, that would suck. If you still lost the hand, better to lose to trips than to a flush on the river :) also what if he had K Q but of diamonds who gets rivered the flush, that would make me lose it, happened to me but with K 10

Kc and Qd were on the board, so at least there was no risk of being freerolled :)
 
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sundizzel

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Thanks everybody for the input. He did, indeed, have TT for the flopped set and was stubborn enough not to fold it against the flush draw and straights that got there.

I'm surprised everyone is so surprised about the pre-flop raise--the tournament had started quite recently, and everyone was sitting on almost 200 BB. However, this is valuable information as I over-valued KQs. I suppose after that point I was just confused given the action, but TT was probably the most likely hand for them to have given the snap call pre and flop and turn action. It just seemed weird that he wasn't given any credit for straights or trips that I could have made that had him beat. Like I said, he had been playing pretty aggressively every hand, so maybe that was too much in my head.

As always, I greatly appreciate the analysis. Good luck out there on the tables!
 
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Badday94

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I believe that once he put 12k into the pot, there was no going back and he had to put the remaining 12k after your shove. If you let's say shoved on turn initially instead of the 2k raise, it would have been harder for him to make the call, but I think he would have made it anyway if you say he was more of the aggressive type.

It's hard to fold trips even when you feel you should, but in this situation I would have done the same as him. You raised the flop, you would have to be pretty insane to have the balls to raise the flop with a straight draw with A J in a 3 way big pot, especially with a flush draw on the board also. You check and hope to see the rest of the cards for as few chips as possible and pray for a K. Heads up would be another story, but in a 3 way pot I would be convinced you didn't have A J. I would have been afraid only of pocket queens or kings, but if you fold trips thinking this way it's almost paranoya and bad in the long run. He went big on turn to avoid you rivering a straight or a flush. Personally I love how he played it, I don't think he expected you to shove on turn, but at that point it was no going back. Very nice post, looking forward to see others like this :)
 
Jon Poker

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Before I read into the other responses for a spoiler reveal or other points of view - as usual I like to keep my response honest and focused on the OP's original post.

Preflop has me a little mixed - we can certainly 3b KQs on some frequency when we are this deep as we are IP vs an EP range that we block the top portion of very well and our OOP villan is going to miss the flop quite often and allow us to cbet and win a large majority of the time and get better hands like Ax and middling pairs to fold - so taking the aggressive initiative here is not all bad but that being addressed we can certainly flat here as well, avoid potentially facing a 4bet and realize our hands equity by going to a flop.

The thing that stand out the MOST for me is the cold call behind us after we 3bet and EP open -- this should convey alot of strength as GTO strategy will often elect to 4bet alot of hands rather than cold call 3bets -- that said, alot of players (including myself) are not doing this often enough and are cold calling here rather than 4betting. Our villan could have hands like AKo, AQs - AJs - or middling pairs like 99-JJ since QQ+ will likely be putting in the 4bet. Since we do have some heavy blockers I think villans cold call range is pretty polarized to those middling pairs and maybe AJs or an ambitious ATs since we block the AK and AQ combos.

Anyhow - I've been talking alot about multiway pots lately and how we are supposed to play MUCH tighter and passively than usual in them since we are against multiple ranges and villans simply should not be bluffing almost ever in multiway pots - that includes ourselves as well.

So - with that noted - this hand shows EXACTLY what I am talking about in these scenarios. I know from multiple simple 3 way Sims that we are checking this flop in the middle almost 100% of the time - its definitely in the high 80%s here. Villans in multiway pots ARE supposed to bet in position closing the action and are supposed to bet roughly 30% pot almost always when action checks to them -- this in mind we just get to check/call our top pair good kicker combo.

Now I know some of you are affraid of letting flush or straight draw combos get there on the turn - in reality this is a 3b pot and villans SHOULD not be showing up with QJs and KJs and hands of that nature facing an UTG open and a 3b in front - therefore, it just isn't too likely of a scenario and the only one who could have those combos would be the EP raiser - and again, we block QJs so if we are up against the flush and straight combos it is likely only a hand like AJs and so we just don't need to care as much. So what if the flush card falls on the turn?? We just get to check/call and pot control - the lesson here is don't fear the reaper. You are going to fade those draws more often than they will come into play.

Anyhow - if we DO check and villan bets in the back seat and UTG calls....we just need to fold. Suuuper awkward spot for us to overcall in the middle and there will be a decent chance when UTG makes the call that we are not in lead and even if we are, its going to be difficult to us to face a second bet in the middle. Don't be affraid to fold the best hand once in a while especially if you are playing a multiway pot. The second scenario is backseat villan bets and UTG folds - its an easy check/call for us. The turn card helps us out, but also brings in AJs for the nuts - so easy check/call spot again - and on a brick river if villan triples off at us, we likely have to call it off as long as villan does not bomb about 70% pot on the river. A triple barrel in what was a multiway pot should be very strong, we can still beat AK, AQ and QTs even tho we block those holdings so heavily. Just find it very hard for us to be good in that spot alot - but we are too high up in our range to fold to alot of appropriately sized bets.

Noooow...for how the hand actually played out -- as I mentioned we were supposed to be checking this flop in the middle almost all the time - so when we cbet and get raised in the back seat like this - you HAVE to hear alarm bells at this point...villan isn't raising us heads up...villan is raising into two opponents while stacks are suuuuper deep and their raise sizing clearly shows they are willing to get it in here. Some villans are goofy and don't know how to play post flop properly in multiway pots - but flush draws should NEVER be doing this here - they have too much equity to risk getting re raised and having to fold their hand -- our villan should ONLY be raising with a polarized range of 2 pair or better and should have zero bluffs here. All of this tells me villan has QTs -- which is HIGHLY unlikely because it would have to be QT of hearts only -- a set of 66s or set of TTs and given that this was a 3bet pot, a set of TTs is veery likely.

Anyhow, now that the worst possible thing has happened to us - UTG folds and we are simply too strong to fold so we make the call. Turn card does help us but as I said, brings in AJs for the nut straight and doesn't change much for us if we are up against TTs here. So, this is a spot where I HATE the turn lead - its an easy check/call spot for us - this is called pot controlling and gives us a chance to see rivers without being raised.

So when we lead turn - and villan raises you AGAIN - this is a clear-cut snap fold...you could not ask for your villan to be any more straight forward with you here...raising the turn lead is always TTs or AJs and we are virtually dead...drawing to 4 slim outs once. Take that to the bank.

So once the worst has happened already and then we decided to one up that one and make it a horrific situation...we decided we hate our tournament life and that suicide by shoving turn is the best play. My question here is that after the flop raise, and then the turn raise, now you are 3b shoving turn - what hands that you are beating are going to call you off?...what's worse than top 2 that's going to call?...NONE!! It's only going to be a set or the nuts because J9s should not be in a 3b pot.

In conclusion this is what I've been ranting about alot lately - you cannot get out of line multiway, it ends up being a disaster. Playing heads up vs multiway are two different animals and players don't seem to recognize this and end up making alot of mistakes. I deduce the most likely hand our villan shows up with here is TTs - and if they got lucky, then AJs (diamonds) is the 2nd most likely candidate.

All in all you're going to lose alot of chips in this hand, but you certainly don't need to be shoveling in 200bb and going broke here.
 
Jon Poker

Jon Poker

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Thanks everybody for the input. He did, indeed, have TT for the flopped set and was stubborn enough not to fold it against the flush draw and straights that got there.


Hot damn!! I will take my gold star now! Lol :D
 
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fundiver199

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He did, indeed, have TT for the flopped set and was stubborn enough not to fold it against the flush draw and straights that got there.

This is a key statement, because if you are kind of surpriced, he called your turn jam with TT, then why on earth were you jamming? If a set fold, then all hands worse than yours fold as well, and then you are per definition turning your two pair into a bluff :)
 
FernA9ndo

FernA9ndo

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He's never folding sets, straight draws and flush draws, he is playing aggresive and is decided to not folding this hands. You should not leading and check some streets, you will be able to lose minimum in this hands.
 
Jon Poker

Jon Poker

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He's never folding sets, straight draws and flush draws, he is playing aggresive and is decided to not folding this hands. You should not leading and check some streets, you will be able to lose minimum in this hands.


I would disagree in a sense of him being able to fold his draws on the turn with one card to come. He's too deep stacked to be willing to get it all in on a draw with one card left to peel. This is a spot where you are simply only being called by better and getting worse to fold.
 
theANMATOR

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Was I the Villain ?

Thanks everybody for the input. He did, indeed, have TT for the flopped set and was stubborn enough not to fold it against the flush draw and straights that got there.

I'm surprised everyone is so surprised about the pre-flop raise--the tournament had started quite recently, and everyone was sitting on almost 200 BB. However, this is valuable information as I over-valued KQs. I suppose after that point I was just confused given the action, but TT was probably the most likely hand for them to have given the snap call pre and flop and turn action. It just seemed weird that he wasn't given any credit for straights or trips that I could have made that had him beat. Like I said, he had been playing pretty aggressively every hand, so maybe that was too much in my head.

As always, I greatly appreciate the analysis. Good luck out there on the tables!

Hey SD - was I the villain in this hand - or possibly we were on the same table together, and I witnessed it.
I certainly remember this hand, as if I was the villain. :cool:
 
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