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Not playing too long so I probably won't provided all the detail needed. Blinds are at $200/400. Hero has QQ. Villain raises to $800 pre-flop. Hero and a few others call. Hero recalls villain has made minimum raise at BB after half the table limps in and loses with nothing to justify the raise. Hero bets $2000 on the AQx flop. Villain calls. Hero bets $2000 on the turn. Villain calls. Hero bets $2000 on the river. Villain raises leaving him with only $1100 so Hero puts him all in. Turns out Villain had AA in the hole. How badly did Hero play this one?

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I think many tournament villans would have played the same with AQ also and it is called cooler. Can you fold QQ preflop? Set over Set is the worst nightmare in tournament flops. –  Subs Aug 23 '12 at 13:57
    
+1 I'd event shove on the turn at most - wouldn't wait for the river. If the rest of the cards are blanks the only hand you don't beat is AA. Just bad luck you've ran into exactly this hand. This kind of situations when cards play for themselves. I can't imagine a player who'd fold QQ. –  Nemoden Nov 8 '12 at 7:27
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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

My first impression is there's not much wrong with the hand, if anything at all.

A reasonable case for 3-betting Preflop can be made, but that depends on the type of players behind you left to act. I'm more inclined to 3-Bet if they are mostly Loose-Passive.

Clearly, you have what most people consider a "Value" hand in this situation. From the looks of it, you seem to have around T$8000 in your stack preflop, your flop bet is about 1/2 - 2/3rds pot(?) which seems normal and a fair play. At the turn, you size the bet about T$2000 into a T$7500 pot. If I'm right then assuming the turn was a blank non-scary card, the sizing looks fine with the intention of moving all-in at the river, whatever the card.

It's just an unfortunate hand. IMO no-one, including the villain did anything wrong. It's likely it's a reciprocal situation, i.e. Villain would lose in the same manner if the roles were reversed.

Unlucky on this one, better luck next time. :)

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It would help in analyzing this hand if we knew the stack sizes of the players at the table. That could change a lot of factors. Regardless... You made a few mistakes here, but getting your money in was not one of them.

First, preflop: Against a min-raise (e.g. a raise that only increased the bet by 1x the big blind), it is almost always a big mistake to just call preflop with a hand as strong as QQ. Reads can factor in, but there are very few situations where you are justified in just calling here. Your hand is very likely to be best, and you should be looking to play a large pot against a single opponent. By just calling a small bet, you are encouraging this to become a multi-way pot with several others in the hand. Further, with about 8k in your stack at 200/400, you are in the 20xBB state. You need to be taking down pots and building your stack through aggression, not sitting back, letting several players in the hand, and hoping that your hand wins.

Also, I'm unclear about something: How did Villain raise before you preflop and then allow you to be the one betting postflop? Were you in the blinds? If so, that makes it a much bigger mistake that you did not re-raise preflop. If not, then that means that Villain checked to us. This is a very important piece of information - you should always note that he checked after being the preflop bettor.

On the flop, you now have a strong enough hand to try to find a way to get the money in. With "a few others calling" preflop, I'm going to assume that the hand was 4-way with 4000 chips in the pot (800 for each player, plus part of the blinds). You have just over 7k left in your stack at this point, so it should be pretty easy to get the chips in. It appears that Villain checked to you. If that is the case, betting 2000 into 4000 is definitely reasonable. A slightly larger bet would be ok too. Chances are good that someone at the table has an Ace and will call. If Villain was acting after you, there's an argument to be made for checking with the intention of raising once the Villain bets (as this is a flop that is likely to have someone bet, and you have a small enough stack to get all-in just from the turn and the river if everyone ends up checking).

It is a close call as to whether you are better off betting or checking (assuming that Villain did not already check...if he did, you must bet). To me, it comes down to where the other players in the hand are located. If at all possible, we want to maximize the chance that they also call a bet. So if they are between you an Villain, I would tend to bet, but if they are after Villain, I would tend to check-raise (hoping to lock up some of their chips if they call).

On the turn, you had about 5000 and the pot was now 8000. The standard play here is going to be to shove. A bet of 2000 isn't horrible though, as your hand is strong enough to warrant making a small bet to encourage action. Then on the river, you bet 2000 out of your 3100 stack into a pot of 12000. That was a mistake. You should have shoved here. Every hand that will call the 2000 will also call the 3100. Most of the time, your set is going to win here. By letting your opponent get off with calling 2000 instead of 3100, you have cost yourself 1100 chips. That's reducing your stack after this hand by somewhere in the 5-10% range for absolutely no gain. Even though it looks like a small difference, leaving those chips on the table will add up to big differences in the long run.

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+1: Wish I could answer your questions. I'll pay closer attention and remember more details with experience. –  jacknad Aug 26 '12 at 17:01
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