No Limit Tournament

Around 20 people left in total (started with ~30), 8 at my table.

Average stack size is ~30 BB; I have ~40 BB.

I am UTG +1. UTG - who is loose and raises a lot of hands pre-flop - raises to 3 BB.

I have QQ and re-raise to 6 BB.

Everyone folds until someone in late position, who goes all in with ~30 BB stack. New at the table, so not sure about his playing style, but my impression is that he is also quite loose.

SB and BB both fold; original UTG raiser thinks for a long time and then folds.

I call. Guy in late position has KK - and actually wins the hand with a flush. I hit the flush also but obviously with a Q.

How bad of a call was this? In hindsight I think I should have folded immediately after the all-in 4-bet.

How would you play this better? Would calling the 3 BB initial raise have been sufficient with QQ in early position? I think UTG had TT or JJ if that is relevant.

  • If everybody is playing correct. This is a very easy call. Against average people in this spot, still pretty standard call. You played the hand fine.
    – Raymond
    Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 20:50

4 Answers 4


3bet is good behind a loose player. If you think you have UTG beat then you want to isolate. You want to fold out suited connectors.

An early raise and 3bet is pretty strong. Good chance one of you have JJ+. KK does not know UTG is loose.

Since UTG had to think about it he probably had blockers to JJ, TT or AK.

To call that all in they need to be pushing with TT+. With ICM they need to be pushing even wider than that.

In position I think 22-JJ AKs would just call. You have a block on QQ. Call 6 BB is only 1/5 of his stack. This is not fold shove situation.

If he was at less than 20 BB he might be shoving his entire range and I think you can call.

AA, KK and QQ are the most likely hands. A min raise would be 1/3 his stack so might as well go all in. I think this is a value bet.

You have him covered. Would he really risk his tournament life to pick up a pot of 10BB with JJ or TT?

I think you should fold to see another hand. If you lose you are down to less than 10 BB. If you were deeper I could see a call.

In a cash game it is a call.

  • 30 player tourney with 20 remaining is pretty much cash game. Payout is way later.
    – jf328
    Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 15:16
  • 2
    @jf328 I don't agree.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 15:23
  • 1
    Interesting your range for the 4-better here is AA-KK. So not only is the 4-better never shoving as a bluff, hes never even shoving to deny any equity at all. These kind of plays (incorrect applications of ICM), where you give up huge amounts of equity to protect your "tournament life" are a big reason why tourneys are so much more profitable than cash games nowadays. Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 16:31
  • 1
    If someone was always shoving for value you could always fold (with almost all of your entire range). If someone was always shoving to deny equity or bluff you could always call (with almost all of your entire range). Anyone (who isn't completely useless) when they decide to make a bet in certain spot will need to come up with a betting range so that bet is well-balanced between value bets and equity denial bets (generally preflop not all equity denial bets are bluffs) and a size well suited to that range.In a good GTO strategy, a higher bet size actually means a HIGHER percentage of bluffs. Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 17:18
  • 1
    @PVAL-inactive I did not say never shove for bluff. This is getting off track. Shutting down.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 17:25

On the one hand you had the third best starting Hand in Poker No Limit Hold'em. That makes me feel that you did nothing wrong here.

But on the other hand whenever I got 4 bettet and I hold Queens and I called. I was up agains Aces or Kings and I lost my hand.

If you are not sure about the players, I would really recommend a fold in that situation. I mean you invested 6 BB's from your 40 and you would still be above average and you could wait for better spots.

In some rare cases the 4 bet could be Ace King, in this case you would have a flip, which is not ideal as well. Jacks for example are just one rank behind Queens and it feels so easy to fold Jacks in this situation, so why not fold Queens?

I know a lot of player would disagree with me here, but my experience tells me, a fold is right. Statistics probably would go for a push/call here.


Think for a moment that you were in this guy's with KK position and you see an early loose bet and a 3-bet. With what ranges are you going all in with? An average player would say something like:

AA,KK,QQ,JJ,TT, sometimes 99
AK, AQ, maybe AJs
KQs once in a while

If you compare this average range, with your QQ, you are definitely justified to call. In fact, it looks pretty standard.

Edit 1: Mathematical Approach:

-- Estimated Opp Range: TT+,9d9h,9d9s,9h9s,AQs+,AcJc,AsJs,KsQs,AQo+
(I assumed he shoves 50% of the times with 99, 50% of the times with AJs and 25% of the times with KQs)
-- Me: QQ
--> My Estimated Equity=57%

That makes the call profitable regardless of stacks (since it is > 50%)

Edit 2: Estimated Calling Range For Me

I need to call 24BB to get a total of 24+6(my original)+30(the Opps)+3(initial bettor)+2(blinds/antes assumption), thus I need an equity of 24/65=0.37

An example of a range with 37% equity against the assumed initial could be this one: 55+,33,A2s+,KJs+,A8o+,KJo+

  • Great answer. It really depends on the opponent, but usually 30BB deep against the average joe, it is indeed standard.
    – Raymond
    Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 10:58
  • let's see the math behind your evaluation. 6 out of 10 spots you are ahead. I the 10 I counted 99 and KQ in. Which I don't agree with Anyway In the end phase of a tournament the payjumps are ridiculous and you had only 6 BB's in. Better fold and stay above average than risking a 60 / 40 Situation if it is even 40/60... Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 12:39
  • Thanks for the comments, I have updated/edited the answer to cover them all Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 13:10

In this particular situation a fold would be totally ok. Calling someone's all-in with QQ is never quite comfortable, unless you are big stack. You could go all-in after the loose player raised, but then it would end up the same way. But as you actually had a chance to fold after the new guy shoved, you should have done it, as he shoved after two (!) players raised and reraised, so he was obviously not afraid of having two opponents of his stack-size in this hand. I don't think someone holding AK, AQ or JJ would do that.

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