This hand came up in a local WPT event (not the main event for the series) that had a $340 buyin. Everyone started the tournament with $15K in chips and the structure was good with 40 minute blinds. At this point of the tournament the blinds are 100/200 and there is a 25 ante. Hero started the hand with around 13K in chips and was in the small blind on this hand.

It's folded around to the cut-off who calls the big blind. Button also calls. Hero looks down at A:hearts: Q:clubs: and also calls. (Hero did not want to raise here and give the cut-off and button the opportunity to re-raise). Big blind checks. Pot now has 1025.

Flop is A:diamonds: 8:clubs: 7:spades:. Hero checks the big blind bets 500. Cut-off and button both call. Pot now has 2525. Hero raised to 2500. Big blind and cut-off call, button folds. The pot now has 9025.

Turn is the 7:clubs:. Should the hero now check or bet? If betting how much and why?

  • 2
    Limp by Cut-Off and Button ? That's kind of weird... – Radu Murzea May 19 '13 at 9:43
  • I agree with Gaz Winter and Radu that the limp and call are kind of weird. I think not raising pre-flop is a large mistake here. I could also see an argument for re-raising on the flop or donking out. The hand is played so passively and really the cut off/button have such good odds they could be playing anything, same for the big blind – hmmmm May 19 '13 at 9:57
  • 1
    I did re-raise on the flop. I check raised the 500 bet to 2500. – DonkeyFish May 20 '13 at 13:56
  • The button and I played a hand before the break where I bet two black aces the whole way and she called a flop bet with AJ offsuit on a two diamond flop and the turn and river went runner runner to give her a flush. The cut-off has a wide calling range I think and the button was a bit of a calling station at times (though her stack had been trending up most of the beginning of the day). – DonkeyFish May 20 '13 at 14:04
  • @DonkeyFish Sorry I misread that, yeah that popping it up to 2500 was what I would have done in this situation I suppose. – hmmmm May 21 '13 at 8:30

I think the biggest mistake here is not raising pre-flop. With three people in the hand and AQ out of position I think this has to be a raise, relating to some comments that I read I would be raising here 100% of the time, I don't think playing AQ out of position is great (obviously you play it, it's a monster) and so narrowing the field would be the first thought in my head.

After that I would have to agree with the re-raise on the flop but it is worth bearing in mind that once the big blind calls the cut-offs range is still pretty wide as they are getting pretty good odds to call (although there aren't too many draws out there). The call from the BB should tighten their range quite a bit though (maybe Ax or a set or something), really they shouldn't be calling with any draws here.

I think when the second 7 comes down it is a bit of a brick really, it's not changing anything at all (the only hands it helps are ones that are already ahead of you and it just makes them slightly likely). I think that betting out here is definitely the best strategy and based on stack sizes probably an all in shove, although somewhere in the region of 5-6k would do the job as well.

I would say that not raising pre-flop and not raising on the turn would be big mistakes here.


Depends on many factors. Like if you have any history on these players and how they play.

Personally I would have raised pre with that hand to at least get rid of any silly hands for the big blind. He could be sat there with 2 7 for all you know. But back to the actual question.

I would say that you have the strongest Ace. I would expect anyone else to have raised if they had AK or AA. So I would be expecting to get all of my chips in on the turn or the river. You want to put pressure on them if they are just chasing a flush draw or a straight or playing a weak Ace. There is no way you want to be giving a free card here in my opinion.

I think I would just shove to be honest.

  • I agree, I would just shove all in but I really don't like how this hand has been played up until then – hmmmm May 19 '13 at 9:58
  • I was shocked when I had two callers of my check raise. I tanked on the turn for a minute trying to decide between shoving and checking. The big blind had me worried as she was moved to the table recently and had a free look at the flop. Hard to determine if she would defend her bet with just a 7 in her hand after my flop raise. The call of my raise definitely signifies that she wasn't betting air on the flop. The calling range of the 2nd player is tough for me to define. He had good pot odds both on both streets which probably means drawing hands if he's a straightforward player. – DonkeyFish May 20 '13 at 14:11
  • What was the result in the end? Did you shove and get called? – Gaz Winter May 20 '13 at 14:17
  • I probably should have shoved. I checked and both players checked behind. So I was ahead at that point. The river brought a 6 and I put out a (what I thought was) a value bet of 4K. The big blind folded and the Cut-Off went all in (had me covered). The Cut-Off ended up showing T9 and the big blind claims she folded a KQ. Of course with the knowledge on the turn I have no way to know they have these hands exactly. Big blind could have had a 7 and betting would have been wrong, but Cut-Off played the hand like a draw all the way and checking is mistake against him. – DonkeyFish May 20 '13 at 14:29
  • That was the tricky part for me. I have a player that I don't know if betting is right and another player where I need to bet to prevent the draw. – DonkeyFish May 20 '13 at 14:29

I would definitely raise PF to see where I am. If you dont raise you allow trash to see the flop and secondly you have no idea if your AQ is the strongest A. If you are re-raised you can tighten your villains range PF without second guessing OTF. That alone puts you in a tough spot OTF. I would much prefer to be re-raised and knowing where I am. As someone else said I would prob donk bet OTF and then gii OTT although woudnt be happy with the situation.

  • 1
    Would you 100% of the time raise PF or is this a situation that's an 80/20 between raise and call? – DonkeyFish May 20 '13 at 14:12
  • What were the chipstacks of CO and BTN? Also what type of players were they? Would they normally try to trap or slow play? It is very unusual for both CO and BTN to limp so I would raise in all cases. When you slow play a hand you really want someone to raise ahead of you. Your call here just allows everyone to see a cheap flop when really you need to build the pot PF. – Philip A Barnes May 20 '13 at 14:44
  • BTN had about 22K and the CO had 17K. The CO was recently moved to the table and had not played many hands at all. I think in the 20 minutes or so that he was at the table he say two flops before this hand and folded to action on both. The BTN played relatively tight player that would see the flop after putting in chips. The button and I played a hand before the break where I bet two black aces the whole way (until the river) and she called a flop bet with AJ offsuit on a two diamond flop and the turn and river went runner runner to give her a flush. So she had shown the tendency to call draws – DonkeyFish May 20 '13 at 15:16
  • and was relatively selective in her hand selection. – DonkeyFish May 20 '13 at 15:16
  • raise PF and cbet OTF then review. Make them pay for any draws. Very risky playing PF passively then in a 4 way pot coming out with a c/r of 100% pot! The only hands that will stay in will be hands you are beat by: AA, 88, 77, 78, A7, A8, AK maybe AQ for a split pot? That is unless villain is a complete fish so read dependant. – Philip A Barnes May 20 '13 at 16:02

Let's think what could they hold. I think the most likely hands are connected pair for a straight draw, Ax or maybe a low pair. I don't think they hold high or even mid pair or a strong Ace or one of them would have raised PF.

You beat all pocket pairs, you beat all but AK, tie AQ and the straight draw is 16% likely to hit.

The obvious question is what if one of them has a 7 with A7 or a junk hand. I don't think a relatively tight player would have called a 2500 bet with a pair of 7s with an Ace on the board.

That means you have to worry about A7, A8, AK, AQ splits the pot or a straight draw.

The pot is 9025 and you are in for 2700, so you are not pot committed yet, but you are out of position and short stacked. Obviously you want to charge the straight draw, but that will commit you and there are a bunch of hands that beat or tie you, so I think the safe thing here is to check.

Would you call a 2500, 3 way bet if you were one of them with Ax, pocket pair, AJ or something like that? I wouldn't that early in the tournament.

All in would scare away a straight draw but will play right in the hands of A7, A8, AK. A half a pot bet might be better option.

Again, that early in the tournament, with short stack and out of position, I would be very cautious and would probably check, given that the two against me are tight players.


Not going to dwell on preflop as others already have done and that's not the decision your interested in.

Heros stack should be about 11,300 ish at this point. I think the turn 7 is a check/fold line for sure. It's fairly early on in the tournament and you have over 50 bb in what you say is a decent structured tournament. There will usually be much better spots than this before your forced into small stack play and I don't like aq being ahead here that often.

If it checks round on turn I would be cautious but re evaluate the river. Check call small bet or fold to bigger bet on river if it's a blank most probably.

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.