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AQ in the cutoff

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  • AQ in the cutoff

    bad beat or just dumb on my part?
    in a nlhe tournament at the school, only the 2nd hand i might add, i have Aq off in the cutoff position. a middle position player is first in and raises $50, everyone folds to me and i raise $250, which puts me head up against mid player. flop comes 57Q, rainbow. mid player bets $50, and i raise pot. he goes all in and of course like a dummy i call. he obviously had QQ and im out. hind sight is easy, so why should i have folded

  • #2
    Hmmmmm...why should you have folded? He comes back over the top of a pot sized raise? Let's see.... QQ? KK? AA? 55? 77? I can think of about 5 reasons.



    • #3
      Well. Here is my 2 cents worth.

      First of all, I do not think A-Q is a re-raising hand. I would CALL in the situation you described, but not raise. When you reraised you also made the pot bigger, and thus harder to get away from when you caught a card that made your hand. A-Q is just not that good of a hand, especially early in the tournament. Early on it will win a few chips or cost you a lot. About the only hands I reraise with in the first round (25-50 blinds) are AA and KK. Your opponent may have put you on one of those two hands before the flop, but he/she was not going to lay down QQ. (I reraise with other hands later in the tourny, depending on players, position, chip count, etc.)

      On the flop, he/she made a little "teaser" bet. (Now stop and look at it from your opponents point of view. He/she raises and gets reraised, then gets an almost "perfect flop"). I think the pot-sized raise you made is ok. It says "I have a good hand like top pair or two pair" When he comes over the top, you should take some time and think through the situation. I try not to make that reflex call anymore, but stop for about 10 seconds, or hit the time button and reflect on the action up to this point. In hindsight, his all-in says "I got you. I am not afraid of top pair, or even two pair".

      Yes. You made a mistake. I and almost everyone here has made the exact same mistake too. File it away in your memory chips, don't do it again, and play another tourny. Read no-limit and pot-limit holdem by TJ Cloutier.

      Shane aka Jeff


      What do you think of this situation? How would you play A-Q in this situation in a
      1) Tournament as dexcribed?

      2) Pot-limit game that has just started where you had no knowledge of your opponents?

      3) Ring game at 20-40 or 30-60 that has just started with no knowledge of your opponents?


      • #4

        The reason I have not responded to this thread yet, is that I don't consider myself an expert on tournament play by far, and I like NLHE the least of all tournament games (despite the fact that I have had pretty good NLHE tournament results). But, in the situation you mentioned, the first things I would like to know would be:
        -What are the blinds?
        -What is the average stack size?
        -What is the size of my stack?
        -Will future limit increases put me in immediate danger or not?
        -Who is this specific player, how does he usually play?
        In general, I wouldn't want to get involved early in the tournament, especially when the money is as deep as it seems to be (MP raises 50, you reraise 250, he bets the flop small, you re-raise pot and he comes over the top, i.e., the money seems to be very deep). With the blinds this small, I guess I would not get involved.

        Shane also wanted to know my opinion on how to play this type of situation in a pot-limit hold'em game, if I'm not mistaken, when the game has just started and I don't know my opponent. First of all, let me begin to say that even though I play PLHE occasionally, I think hold'em is a very bad game to offer at pot-limit betting. (I think LIMIT hold'em is OK, and pot-limit Omaha is great, but pot-limit hold'em suffers from too many drawbacks, both for the house and the -weaker- players, meaning PLHE games almost never last). To answer the question: with relatively deep money, and little knowledge of my opponent, I have an easy fold. I will take my time to get to know more about my opponent's tendencies, so I'm in better shape to try to break him.

        And in a limit cashgame (20-40 or 30-60) that has just started, and knowing nothing about the player, I would also fold. Of course, if I think the player might have very liberal raising standards, I would probably three-bet (and I might come over the top in the pot-limit game above). But knowing nothing about the player, with no money invested, AQ offsuit is not the type of hand I want to go to war with when someone has raised in front of me.

        Finally, going back to the tournament situation as described, I would not have played the hand as you did. IMO, you were playing limit poker (playing the cards) when the situation was not right. In big-bet poker, you probably should not have made this move before the flop when there was so much money left, i.e., with the money this deep. Because you gave away your hand before the flop (your opponent probably figured you for exactly the type of hand you had, two very big cards), you are MUCH more likely to lose money to him after the flop, than he is to lose money to you.

        Having said all this, I don't really like to discuss NLHE tournament situations. I have been playing live poker almost exclusively for the past five years, and actually I still consider myself a student in tournament play. (I also find tournaments less interesting, they are more vulnerable to collusion and even outright cheating, have a bigger luck factor, and for the professional player playing big live games are often more profitable than playing even the biggest tournaments. But most importantly, my strengths and abilities are best suited for cash games: I simply don't have the same edge in tournaments as I have in money play). OK, I'm off to Belgium. Take care, and good luck,



        • #5
          Thank You Rolf.

          I have enjoyed reading your CardPlayer articles and your posts here. I hope, and think that the staff will get the ring games up and going here soon, then as more of us play ring games here, we can get more into a "ring game mode" thinking as oppossed to "tournament mode" thinking.

          Shane aka Jeff