My question on this hand is whether I made the right play, even though I lost?
The hand took place on the first deal of the final table of a long underground, self-dealt tournament. Despite a relatively large field (four tables of 8-9 players each) for an underground game, it pays only the top four places unless a deal is struck.
Seven players have 20-30 BB, plus there are two short stacks under 10 BB. As such, I expect something of a random outcome to the tournament to the extent that we’re not going to see that many hands before people who play too tight start getting blinded down to shove/fold territory.
Antes make the starting pot slightly more than 2.5 BB. UTG guy (who came over from another table, so I have no history with him) goes all-in for just 7 bigs. I have 24 BB and look down at AQ suited.
I figure UTG’s 7BB all-in range here includes almost any pair, most Ax, maybe even some suited Broadway cards... He of course could have AA or QQ, but I partially block those. I’ve got outs against AK or KK; it's basically a coin flip against 22-JJ, and I’m 60-70% against A2-AJ depending on whether they are suited.
Overall, this struck me as a good spot to isolate him, and get some breathing room if I win. In the worst case scenario, I should still have 18 big blinds to work with—which is short, but not particularly short in comparison to the rest of the table.
Also, I generally find that people play tighter on the first orbit of a final table, so though I am early to act, I should have more fold equity against the remaining seven players than usual. They would all be all-in or only cover me at most by 5-6 BB.
So I go all in for my 25BB, UTG+1.
To my surprise, UTG+2 (who just barely covers me) also goes all in.
Everyone else folds.
UTG shows AA, UTG+2 shows KK. I am completely screwed, could only win if two queens come out, or I suppose Broadway, but UTG+2 has the KK blockers. Or the case A would let me beat the guy to my left. 8-9% chance.
Of course, the board hits no one, and I go home.
Was the all-in a mistake? I still think it was the right play, despite the results. The odds of running into this nightmare scenario seem exceedingly low; most of the time, I think I should be ahead of enough of the UTG’s range to justify it. Getting sandwiched between the top two starting hands ideally will never happen to me again...