I think that I played this hand (link to replay) quite well and my opponent did a mistake because he didn't protect his two pairs.

If he would did a good raise or reraise on flop or turn, I would have folded.

Or did I do anything wrong and had just luck?

Gametype: MTT
Hero: Q♣J♣ (position: button, stacksize: 10k)
Villian: A♠8♣ (position: button -1, stacksize: 3k)

2 villians limp and hero raises 2,5 BB ($150) on button.
All but SB are calling.

Flop: A♣8♥4♠
All check and hero bets 423. I had 3x of everyone's stacksize, so I thought a little bit pressure would help to see who got something.

All but villian on position button -1 are folding. He just calls.

Turn: T♦
Both player checking. Since I had now a straight draw and villian called on flop, I bought me a free card - and I took it. Because if the villian really slow plays then this would be a good position for him to play check-raise and get me out of this hand - just because of this straight draw now.

River: K♦
Villian bets $780 and Hero raises to $1760. I thought at this point that he might have same cards like me. But it was much more likely that he got aces with a good kicker or maybe a two pair. Maybe my bet was a little bit too high and that was a good spot for villian to lay his hand down. But he went Allin and I called.

I think villians mistake was that he did not protect his two pair. I had no reason to call or re-raise on flop if he would have re-raised my bet.

  • 2
    It would be great if you could post the native hand history within this question as well. There are many examples to copy from this site relating to format, thanks.
    – Toby Booth
    Feb 9, 2014 at 3:28
  • With hand history do you mean the output pokerstars send you by mail? Could you point me to a question that fits best as a good format?
    – Jurik
    Feb 9, 2014 at 3:34
  • Yes, those HH's. Take a look at some of the questions on my profile. I've posted many Q's of what I believe is an appropriate format for this. Also, thanks for the editing you've been doing, it's appreciated :)
    – Toby Booth
    Feb 9, 2014 at 3:46
  • 1
    Updated my question.
    – Jurik
    Feb 10, 2014 at 10:40

6 Answers 6


While you were definitely lucky in the hand, I think you played it ok preflop. A raise on the button with QcJc seems like a standard play to me (calling is probably fine as well).

The flop is great for the opponent. I think the check from the villain is fine as you will most likely continuation bet. Once you bet 423 into a 600+ chip pot I think the villain should probably go ahead and go all in. The pot has over 1000 in it now and the villain has around 2600 in his stack. If you fold he increases his stack by 38%. If you have a hand such as AK, AQ, etc you would have a hard time folding top pair good kicker in this situation. If you have a hand such as KK, QQ, JJ, etc. he's potentially losing an extra bet by raising here. I would still raise all in as it is more likely you have an Ax type of hand.

On the turn the villain has to determine whether to check or to show aggression for the first time. I don't the villain has enough information to determine if you will fire another bet again. Similar to the flop I think he could expect a bet from you if you have Ax, and maybe a high pair. If you have nothing at this point you will bluff an unknown percentage of the time (to get hands such as 99, 66, 98, etc. to fold). If I'm the villain I would have bet here as there are a lot of scare cards on the river that kill the value of A8 such as a K, Q, J, 9, etc.

Once the K hits the river there are many hands that are helped by your range. It really depends on what range you have been put on to determine if betting out is a good play here for the villain. You could easily have AK, AQ, KQ, JJ, JT, AT, or a number of other random hands (such as your QJ). A8 beats some of these and loses to most. The villain bets 29% of his stack to find out (780/~2600). The problem with this bet is what hands are you going to call that he can beat? Probably only AQ, KT, and rarely AJ. I think the villain would have been better served to check again at this point and give you the opportunity to bluff.

Overall though I agree that the opponents biggest mistake was playing the two pair so passively on the flop and turn.


I have to go against the flow on this one.

I dont think you played it fine. I have not palyed the specific tournament and am not aware of the table dynamics at the given point but raising 2.5bb vs 2 limpers is not really ok in my opinion. Against 2 limpers you need to raise more (at least 3.5-4bb I think) in order to have fold equity. Since JQs is not an amazing hand you can easily call but if you know what you are doing rasing is fine too (just bigger). Postflop vs 3 oponents your c-bet is EXTREMELY optimistic. You have nothing and almost no chances to pick up anything on turn or river so I would give up and check and check-fold almost any turn card.

As played turn and river are ok.

In this case you got very lucky but I believe that in the long run you will lose money from such situations.

  • These are excellent points. If I could highlight one thing from this answer it's being "aware of the table dynamics". I've had tables where multiple people fold to any continuation bet on the flop and some where no one will fold before the turn or river. I agree the OP did get lucky, the villain slow played a hand he should have been betting for value against the OP's possible range.
    – DonkeyFish
    Mar 6, 2014 at 15:11
  • This popped back up and I now agree even more with Daniel's analysis. The way the game is being played today almost everyone will float a flop continuation bet. Fold equity is very low especially in the 2.5bb range (probably 0). A continuation bet only bloats the pot having way the worst of it with no way to catch up with just one card. Very fortunate to have been able to see both turn and river.
    – DonkeyFish
    Jul 12, 2016 at 18:18

I think you played it right and got lucky.

His big mistake was giving you the free card on the turn or not check raising on the flop. Two pair often wins, but when the 10 came he was vulnerable to a lot of additional four-straight hand combinations (A, 5, and T are used in every straight) and he wouldn't know where he was at the river.

He probably was going to check-raise the turn but didn't get the chance.


I don't think you play the hand very well


  • QJs is good drawing hand but not a great heads up hand 9 handed.

  • So 4 had folded - still you most likely have an ace or king out and even a good chance of both.

  • 2.5 the BB with two calls is only going to drive out very weak hands.
    With two calls you need to add add one for each call for 4.5 if you want to force out medium hands.

  • Player 2 should not have called in the first place if they were not going to call that raise.

  • Yes you got isolation cheap.
    I would have just called and played for big hand - have 4 deep stacks in the hand and position.

  • Another problem with taking lead is if they check to then you you don't get as much information as they may just be letting you cbet.
    In a way you kind of give up position. Good if you want to isolate - I just don't think isolate was best plan and certainly not the right bet if that was the objective.


  • You missed and there is no straight or flush draw.
    All you are beating is J high.

  • Villain checked but given you are the preflop raiser you don't know much.

  • I get taking a stab at the pot but that was really strong call by the villain.
    There is no draw on the board - villain has to be on at least a pair.
    You are representing 88 or better and you got a call.
    A smooth call represents monster.
    If villain had a lone Ace then yes they should have protected with raise from you drawing out on two pair or set - or finding out if you had two pair or a set.

  • Villain only smooth calls because they are only afraid of pocket AA or 88 and not likely as there are only two of each out.
    If you did had pocket AA or 88 you would have put out a smaller value bet.
    Villain is correctly trapping you.


  • 10 fills in double gutter for you - that is a great card for you.

  • All villain would be afraid of is TT and you would have played TT that way but that is just one hand.

  • The good news is the way you played the hand no way villain puts you on KQ or they likely would have bet out to make you pay for the draw.

  • Villain is just hoping you will continue to bet.

  • Check by you is good.


  • Your dream card.

  • You got runner runner to make a straight.

  • Again no way villain puts you on KQ.
    Villain is more afraid of pocket KK as you would play it that way but only one hand. Villain has to assume he is good.

  • For sure you should value bet the nuts.

  • And for sure villain should push.
    Villain played that hand fine.


  • No, villain did not make a mistake by not protecting top two pair on the flop. Only behind pocket AA, 88, and 44 and was not going to get you off those hands. No draw on the table. Unless you were on a pocket pair or a 4 you needed runner runner. And villain still had 4 outs to a boat. You sucked out 22:1 for the straight from the flop. You also could have sucked out club club so you were probably more like 18:1. That's poker.
  • You finished with the nuts. You probably would have made more if you had not chased off 3 with the pre flop raise.

All depends on how his play style was during the whole game but in general I can say that he made a mistake by not protecting his two pairs. I understand his check because he probably didn't put you on a straight draw at that point. He probably wanted to check to get higher value on the river. In general: you got lucky to hit a runner straight, but he made a mistake as well, although it's comprehensible.

  • Yeah, like I said, if he'd raise, I'd fold. But is there a way he could have protected his hand and I pay him any chips?
    – Jurik
    Feb 14, 2014 at 15:01

I'm new here but i've been a profitable player for about 10 years. I usually post on 2+2 or reddits /r/poker.

I'm going to break down the whole hand based on how you played it, not on what the villain had.

Firstly, 2.5bbs in position against 2 limpers is low. You should be raising 3-4 BBs plus 1 extra BB for every player more than one in the pot. Here, that would make it a 4-5bb raise to start with. You want to build a pot here as you have an OK hand and are in position.

Onto the flop. Here, you say you bet 4 x the pot?? This could be a better bet. There is a good chance someone has an Ace here (I won't go into ranges as I don't think that's your level) so you should bet less here. 2/3 to full pot bet is fine if you must bet, but 4x the pot is pointless. What do you beat here? Any low pair that's come along beats you still. The villain calls though, and this doesn't tell you anything? Huge over bet, the villain calls? That's like a warning sign right there.

On the turn your check doesn't make sense. Bet to make your image consistent. Sure here you got a draw but in every case when you bet 2 streets you are showing consistent strength which will win you more pots. By checking you're letting draws in for a free card (in general on all hands not just this one).

On the river you should be getting it in with the best hand and that's what you did, but this was very lucky.

If we look at the villains actions here we see he played a good hand in fact. He called the low flop bet which makes sense given the odds. He flopped a big hand and then didn't get aggressive with it as he knew you'd get scared off if he did. He called and only bet on the river when he was sure he was ahead.

You have a long way to go but don't we all!

The most important thing is not to get results-oriented. You can't look at a hand and go "oh I won that, so I played it well!" as you can always improve.

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