Late in a tournament. Blinds at 25/50. Hero and villain are top two stacks and hero has villain covered. Like 6 or 8 handed.


Hero UTG with Q♥J♥ raises to 70
I know that is not a min raise - there must have been antes

Villain middle position with A♠K♣ raises to 220

Hero calls


pot 515


Hero check

Villain bet 100

Hero call


pot 714


Hero check

Villain bet 400

Hero call


pot 1,515


Hero check

Villain all in for 1,190

Hero ?

  • I don't have enough reputation to comment on answers, anyways. 100 on flop from Villian was to check your hand's strength & your not raising gave him a hint about a bad flop for you, he might be putting you on a small pocket pair, he was blocking & holding 2 big cards & chance of 2 overpairs in future. After the turn, he was overbetting either to induce a fold or hiding his bluff/chase. After the river, he could have got more value by a smaller bet but I guess it was a quick all-in out of excitement on the miracle. – user6264 Aug 30 '18 at 20:22

I think this hand was played well by hero and the big decision to be made is on the river.

The only thing that I would change would be the check-call on the flop. This seems like a place where the hero can protect his hand a little better by betting or check raising, but I would not call this a necessarily bad play on the flop.


I like the check by hero. Villain has been betting all 3 streets, and 2 pair is a relatively safe hand on a board like this. Unfortunately, villain hit runner-runner for the nuts.

I would call all day here as hero, there are so many hands that would triple-barrel this board that top two-pair beats. for example AA, KK, AQ, and any missed flush draws. I would not consider a set in this case because it is very unlikely for villain to 3-bet 22 or 66.

Hero covers villain, so hero's tournament life is not on the line. seems like a very standard call for hero, finding a fold here would be miraculous.


Honestly... It depends on your goal on flop. Why did you check-call down him two streets with a medium strength hand? Are you hoping to catch a bluff or are you unsure about your strength? If you read him for weak and check-call to induce bets, you literally have to call on river because that was your plan on flop and he literally acted according to your wises, you expect him to do that with any 2 cards (if that's your read on him and decided to check-call all the way).

Where you are at river is a very bad position. There are enough hands from semi-aggressive players that you can beat; there are enough hands that obviously beat you.

You needed to reraise on flop to polarize his range to identify your actions further down the stream. You let him bluff AK and then turn a bluff into a nut straight value bet that's perfectly disguised. At this point (on river), you can't really fold without folding wrong a good percentage of the time.

Some players at this point will have AA / KK / AQ / KQ, some players will have QQ / JJ / TT / AK, there is literally no real correct answer without knowing the villain's preflop reraise range and style. If we consider ABC poker ranges from a "normal" player, then it's 50/50 almost and you are pretty much have to call on river.

Don't get in that situation without a solid read on the opponent because your hand is medium strength and you gave him so so many outs without raising him and protecting your hand.

  • I don't thing c/r the flop in 3bet pot UTG vs MP is a good play unless you are prepared to play all-in. What about leading the flop ? – Laxmana Aug 31 '18 at 15:32
  • It's about identifying the opponent's hand. If you ask yourself ahead of time, will I call three streets of bets, and the answer is YES, then you might as well reraise on flop (which is cheaper than calling three pot size bets). The idea is to polarize the range so much that you can comfortably fold. If you reraise and he goes over the top or calls you, you virtually KNOW you are beat, you can fold easily. Leading out achieve the same thing but with less certainty. if you check-raise someone, they are unlikely to call you with a bluff (unless they are Tom Dwan or something) or a weak hand. – Ying Li Aug 31 '18 at 15:37
  • So to clarify, leading out is also ok, but it loses the value of "catching a c-bet bluff". If you know your opponent is likely to c-bet with any flop, check-reraise to catch a bluff is a good move. If he calls or goes over, it's not a bluff, if he folds, he's weak or bluffing and you get one extra bet out of him. So it really depends on how often you think he will c-bet with air in that situation. – Ying Li Aug 31 '18 at 15:39
  • Call the flop makes I think makes you harder to play. If you only raise medium strength hands then you can get 3 bet and pushed off the pot. – paparazzo Aug 31 '18 at 20:14
  • That's 100% the same logic with any action if you do it all the time. Simply don't do it all the time. Reraising is to polarize his range, so your decision can be easier afterwards. There's always a chance someone can dry bluff reraise you off a medium strength hand with air, but in reality, it doesn't happen often enough to be a real consideration. You can't win every situation, but you want to at least win the "common situation". Commonly if you reraise a pot and gets called, he beats medium pair, and that's good enough mathematically to make it a +EV play. – Ying Li Aug 31 '18 at 20:20

Will not accept my own answer.

If I am the hero I cannot find a fold on the river. He must have had a read.


OK open from hero.

I think villain could have just called. Small stacks with pockets pairs are going to call or shove and hero is going to call. If AK hits want it to be disguised.

Hero has a clear call.

I would put each player on 55+ any two face cards. Villain should not be messing with the big stack weak.


OK with check by hero but not OK with the small bet by villain. If hero has any piece of the flop or a draw they will call. Hero might consider a re-raise with a flush draw on the board but time play a small pot.


Hero check for pot control is good. I am not getting why villain is building the pot here. Yes can get the hero to fold a blank but can get stacked by QQ, TT or a flush.


Miracle card for villain. Villain over bet and lost value. Should have bet like 1/4 the pot.

Hero is behind AK, QQ, JJ, and TT. K9d maybe gets there. There are diamond bluffs. If cannot call here then don't play QJs. I cannot fold here. Hero is not me and found a fold.

The fold was very much based on ICM. As the large stack can ladder up. If hero calls and loses he would be one of the small stacks.

  • 1
    I don't think without any read that it is a clear preflop call from Hero. Do you have any stats or reads on the Villain ? – Laxmana Aug 31 '18 at 14:24

Preflop: You raised to 70 in when blinds were 25-50? Huh? There is some kind of malfunction in the description. In any case, a re-raise to $220 was called with QJ UTG. First of all, 6 or 8 handed makes a difference. You should probably muck QJ here, but it depends on how fast the tournament is [which you didn't tell us]. So let's just say that playing QJ for multiple bets in the worst position isn't a good play.

Flop: You have flopped top pair, bad kicker out of position with a flush draw against a pre-flop re-raiser. You have him covered for $1690 more. It would be nice to know your stack and the average stack and some info about the tourney. He bet's $100 or 1/16th the effective stack and only 20% of the pot. This looks like what it is, a continuation bet. His most likely holding here is exactly what he has, AK. So you have two choices: Call, and allow the over cards to continue for a minimum price. Or raise. Raising is clearly a better play here. If you call, it's because the opponent is predictable, and won't likely fire two barrels. If he is the kind of person who fires two barrels [and we know in retrospect he is that kind]. Then folding isn't going to ever be an option in this hand [unless a A,K or diamond comes]. Raising on the other hand, puts pressure on the exact hand he is representing and forces him to much a hand to which you are very vulnerable. The question is, how much to raise. The answer is either $300 [if you plan to fold against this person], or shove if he is a tricky player who might do something weird. Raising to something like $600 is just foolish because he might have a draw here and might shove. Are you planning on folding for $600 more? No. So shoving has the best chance of getting him off AK, and your money was going in the times you're beat anyway.

Turn: You check. Now he increases his bet amount and percentage. You need to ask yourself what you think about this opponent. We already pointed out that the reason to call on the flop, was because you think he is a non-tricky opponent and won't fire a 2nd barrel. Here he is, firing a 2nd barrel! You seem to have the check call button taped down here. If you're going to fold, now would be the time to do it, not on the river! I think your chips should already be in the middle to prevent exactly this situation from happening, but here it is. At this point, you should fold. Which is the reason to raise on the flop, to escape this trap of the "aggressive" player. We know in retrospect this player is an aggressive player.

River: The 2nd worst card in the deck comes off. You check call. The only way this is logical is if you had already determined the player is a stone maniac [in which case you should have min raised the flop]. It should be noted you haven't really had a consistent strategy here, but from his point of view, you're check-calling. He shouldn't bet anything except what he has here on the river, which he does: the nuts. Either you think he is a maniac, in which case you never bet top pair against a guy who could call you! Or you think he is a passive player, in which case you check called him down for a huge pot.

  • You are a rude individual. And hero was not me. This was a final table at major tournament. – paparazzo Aug 31 '18 at 19:55
  • Lol, then why is one guy the "hero" and the other guy the "villain", you just didn't like the one guy? Maybe you should call the donkey the "villain". – John Dee Aug 31 '18 at 19:58
  • 2
    there are much better ways of correcting someone if you think their numbers are wrong @JohnDee – Clarko Sep 1 '18 at 0:56
  • 1
    this kind of abusive criticism does not belong on this site – Clarko Sep 1 '18 at 1:04
  • 1
    I'm not a huge fan either of people who go around calling other people donkeys. You called hero a donkey, whoever he is. You attempt to belittle him to try to appear smarter than hero. That should never be the goal with hand reviews and you shouldn't do them altogether with your attitude. You may think that people will accept you as a smart man when you do it, but it has the reversed effects. It does not matter who hero is, although it should be very obvious what "hero was not me" means. In the end of the day it doesn't matter, the fact that you put emphasis on that tells a lot about you. – Jonast92 Nov 15 '19 at 10:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.