I was recently at the final table of a 40 person freeze out tourny and wonder if I played the following right.

Background: When this hand came up I was 3rd in chips out of 8 players on a final table. My postion was small blind.

Situation: Big blind was $2K with a $200 ante and my stack was 26K, cutoff 3 bet to 6K and I had AK suited in small blind. Cut off was chip leader and fairly unkown to me. Also doubled my chips. I called for $5K. Flop came down K Q 7. I bet $8K cut off went all in. I called. Cut off had KQ off. I did not hit on the turn or river and was knocked out in 8th place. After review I think I should have shuffed all in preflop. Did I play this wrong?

  • 1
    3rd in chips with 13 BB ? What was that, a super turbo ? Commented Jan 2, 2014 at 16:19
  • did you have a flush project after the flop?
    – DPM
    Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 14:53

6 Answers 6


I think I would have shoved preflop.

You only had 13bbs. So AKs shove in this position is good in my opinion. I dont think he would have been calling you once you shoved over the top either.

So in my opinion yes you played it wrong.


When you say cutoff 3bet 6k i guess you meant he bet 6k.

At that point you have 13bb you could push which would increase your stack of about 23% if he folds. If his stack is between 26k-46k your fold equity is pretty high.

Against an unknown player it seems to me the best play for you is to push and don't see a flop.

Playing post flop would be hard for you to play, if you missed the flop what would you do ? since the pot is already 14.600 and you only have about 20k left. You are first to act there aren't many possibilities here(I will try to explain the 2 situations when you hit the flop and if you had missed the flop).

1.Possibility (I would recommend this if you called PF bet)
You push on flop whatever comes. (Risky but since he most likely missed the flop you have great chances to win the pot) People only hit 20% of flops. Most of the time when people raise higher than normaly it means his cards are high cards like QJ+. But it realy depends on the player it differs from one to another some have 56s hands when raising more. This way you can easyer found out what flop you can push or not. The key to make better decision is to know his betting pattern. So since i would think he hit that flop but i don't want to risk him to get a free card i think all in is best decision since if he hits he calls your all in and if he missed he folds and doesn't get his free card and you move up 23% of your initial stack.

2.Possibility (There's no way this could work unless you are playing against scary player)
-You raise some amount like 3bb and the other guy folds. (I don't think this could work because he's the chip leader)
-If he doesn't fold you could still check fold turn and survive with 7 bb if you didn't hit flop/turn.

-Since you hit flop if it's not a scary card(T,J,Q) you could check raise all in or check turn, bet allin on river.

Check and see what he will do. Depending on the player you will have 3 answers.

-He pushes. Even if you didn't hit the flop i wouldn't fold instantly, you could still be ahead(which is why its better to take the initiative to push to have some fold equity). Since he's chip leader he could have tried a move here with air(nothing hit on flop).

-But since you hit the flop it is an easy call. I don't see how you could fold here unless you have a monster read on him that he had KQ.(Easiest way to know this is his betting pattern like Does he go only all in with good hands etc.. and if his 3bb PF meant good hand because normaly 2bb is standard)

-He raises some amount <4BB. You could push or fold. Since you don't know him i would push.(At that point your fold equity is pretty nonexistent and it would seem like he's trying to steal but doesn't want to commit your whole stack.)


Firstly, the cutoff raised to 6K, not 3bet. With only 13bbs and a monster hand this is an easy 3bet shove preflop. The cutoff will call with plenty of worse hands and even if he holds you pick up a nice pot. This is a fist pump situation.


As Radu says, 3rd in chips with 13BB is low, the simple rule is under 10 bbs you either push or fold. you don't want to give anyone the chance to see a flop for only 3 bbs with that hand. Anyway you lost with the better hand, what could you do besides calling, putting it away was not in option since you had only some chips left and you hit the top pair.


I think you should have re-raised pre flop.

After the flop you had 2 to 1 pot odds and only 5 outs which is about 4 to 1 odds in the river. Not enough to call. Besides, with K, Q in the flop there is a good chance your opponent had a better hand (AJ, J10, KK, AA, KQ, QQ, K7, Q7, 77 -KK, Q7 or 77 are unlikely though-).

Also, if you would have folded, your stack would have still been big enough to keep playing.


Definitely all in preflop, you had a very strong hand and a stack big enough to make him fold.

I can see the villain calling there quite often (depending on stack and nature), but at least you get your chips in while you're ahead.

Ask yourself, what happens if you completely miss the flop and he fires again? Do you fold with two more cards to come and lose half your stack on what is likely to be one of the few chances you have to get back in to the game?

You could have folded preflop if you were super-cagey and willing to fold your way to the highest figure possible, but that was the only time you could have folded - postflop it was not an option with almost 50% of your chips in and the hand that you had.

To reiterate, you certainly should have shoved preflop because of the size of your stack and the hand that you had. Adding in fold equity, which is useful at the final table when people don't want to ruin their image by calling with air, I believe it is always the correct move to make in that situation - unless you have more information about the villain.

To put it another way; by calling preflop you had committed yourself to the pot anyway, but you had done so at less cost to the villain; they only had to call half your stack to try and hit a card that'll knock you out. They also know that if they do hit it, there's a very large chance that you're calling with whatever you were willing to call with preflop. Finally, if you do let them see 60% of the cards to come (the flop), and they miss it and you hit it hard, they're just going to escape for the meagre 3 BBs and you're going to be left holding your [ick] and cursing - "why didn't I shove? I could have doubled up there!"

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