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Poker Hand Of The Week: 1/30/14

You Decide What's The Best Play


Give us your opinion in the comments section below for your chance at winning a six-month Card Player magazine digital subscription.

Ask any group of poker players how you played your hand and they’ll come up with dozens of different opinions. That’s just the nature of the game.

Each week, Card Player will select a hand from the high-stakes, big buy-in poker world, break it down and show that there’s more than one way to get the job done.

The Scenario

You are in the money and seated at one of the final six tables in a major European poker tournament. With 740,000 in chips and blinds at 4,000-8,000 with a 1,000 ante, you are well above average and have almost 93 big blinds.

A player with about 350,000 raises from the hijack to 17,000 and villain no. 1, a short stack with 155,000, moves all in from the cutoff. Villain no. 2, a player with 640,000, then moves all in from the button to isolate.

You look down at QDiamond SuitQSpade Suit in the small blind.

The Questions

Do you call or fold? How does the initial raiser affect your decision? Is it possible that the initial raiser and the two all-in players are sharing outs? What does villain no. 2’s all-in overbet tell you about his hand? What kind of tells are you looking for to help you make your decision? Against what kind of players would you make the call? Against what kind of players would you fold?

What Actually Happened

After seeing a raise and two shoves in front of him at the EPT Deauville main event, Luca Moschitta opted to call with his pocket queens. Jose Carlos Garcia, the initial raiser, folded and all three players revealed their cards.

Moschitta was up against short stack Miha Gabric’s ASpade SuitKSpade Suit and Tatu Maenpaa’s KDiamond SuitKClub Suit.

The board ran out AClub Suit8Diamond Suit5Diamond Suit6Heart Suit7Spade Suit and Gabric tripled up. Maenpaa won the sizable side pot, boosting his stack by about 50 percent. After paying off both players, Moschitta was left with only 100,000.

Moschitta was eventually eliminated in 42nd place, earning €12,080.

What would you have done and why? Let us know in the comments section below and try not to be results oriented. The best answer will receive a six-month Card Player magazine digital subscription.



5 years ago

I would probably have folded. I have had bad luck with queens before. I would make player no. 1 with a pair of Kings or Aces. If bet had not been preflop I would have called to see the flop, if not another queen then I would have folded. If trip queens had fell on flop and were the highest overcard I would have moved all in. In the prescence of a overcard I would have folded.


5 years ago

The action certainly reads like one or more players have aces or kings. A button four-bet with an all-in player does not read like a bluff to me. I am pretty sure that I would fold after a long thought.


5 years ago

Anytime my best-case scenario is a coinflip for an all-in preflop, I muck. There's no way, seeing the action in front, that I could figure I was facing AQ or worse or JJ or worse, so it must be AK or better. Not only that, but I take a bit of solace in knowing that I'll get to see both hands because of the already called all-in, and while my curiosity shouldn't be a deciding factor, the fact that it will be satisfied does help.


5 years ago

Having plenty of chips and lots of action in one hand, I would probably choose to fold and wait for a better spot.


5 years ago

With such little information presented in the hand i would have to opt for a focld. Unless I have a great read on the players,i would call but i will approach this hand as if im new to the table. There are 6 tables left, and I have a ton of chips. I dont want to call off most of my tournament chips in a non dominate position. I would rather be patiant and wait for a better spot.


5 years ago

You have to figure there are aces and/or kings in at least one of the two all ins. So with only a slight edge (only if there were no overpairs) I'm not risking my tournament health especially considering I have to beat two hands. Its a definite fold.


5 years ago

1) Do you call or fold?

Fold. If you consider the opponents hand ranges, you really need a best case scenario for a call to be correct....

Basically, you're hoping the original raiser opened light and will fold, you're hoping the all-in raiser either reraised all in a little light or with a hand you dominate like an underpair or Ax (where x is a Q or lower), and finally, you're hoping the cold 4 better has a hand you dominate like JJ or AQ, or a hand you are flipping against like AK. That's the best case scenario! And it's just too many things that need to go right when you have very little money invested in this pot (and no voluntary money put in).

2) How does the initial raiser affect your decision?

This is a huge factor. Although he raised in relatively late position, it's always possible he has a hand. But I think it's the action his initial raise causes that is a big factor. It's gone raise, re-reraise all in, cold re-reaise all in.

If the original raiser just folds, then the all-in 3 bettor probably just min-raises from the cutoff, and the cold-4better just 3 bets from the button.

So if the original raiser doesn't raise, it goes raise in cutoff and reraise from the button. That's a HUGE difference from raise, rereaise all in, cold 4 bet all in. If the original raiser just folds preflop and doesn't raise, then the situation just looks like some late position battling where Queens from the small blind is probably the best hand.

3) Is it possible that the initial raiser and the two all-in players are sharing outs?

Of course it is. It's certainly possible that the initial raiser opened with an AX hand, and the two all-in players have AQ and AK or both have AK, but as I indicated in question 1, this is a best case scenario for your hand and it's not a good idea to call when this is what you need.

4) What does villain no. 2’s all-in overbet tell you about his hand?

It's hard to say and could be player dependent. Villian No. 2s hand is going to look strong no matter what he does. Some, might think it looks weaker to just call with a hand like Aces or Kings and will therefore just call. These types of players will probably shove unpaired or more vulnerable hands like AQ, AK and JJ. Other players might realize they will look strong by calling and will shove their entire calling range.

5) What kind of tells are you looking for to help you make your decision?

I wouldn't worry about the short-stacker. With all this action, sometimes the initial raiser will give away their next move by giving off signs that they are going to fold. If I don't see any of those signs, it's possible he will have a real decision.

Obviously with a hand like Queens in this spot you're going to be thinking about it for awhile. I think this will generally come as a surprise to the cold 4 better as he knows his hand looks strong and expects fairly quick folds from the players behind him. When this doesn't happen it will come as a surprise and I think we can get a good read as to how confident he is with his hand.

6) Against what kind of players would you make the call? Against what kind of players would you fold?

I think all 3 villains have to be loose-aggressive type players in order for me to make this call. LAG 1 opens. LAG 2 knows LAG 1 will open light and therefore moves all in. LAG 3 knows that LAG2 knows that LAG1 probably opened light and call therefore call lighter than usual. If any one of these players is on the tighter side, then I don't think this leveling war works and you have to fold.

7) What would you have done and why?

I'd fold. This just looks like a very high variance situation and in your current position, you don't need to take it. There has been significant action. It's possible your Queens might not be the best hand. If they are, they need to hold up against 2 (or possibly 3 players). And the player who can hurt your chip stack the most cold-4 bet. I think this is a must fold hand without considering the results.


5 years ago

I would have folded the Q,Q's. Would have put the small stack on a weak A, and the 2nd villian on K,J or K,Q. Either way, there would have been at least two over cards and two players to beat. It also would have required the majority of my chips and I can probably pick a better spot.


5 years ago

I would have to fold. I'm not going broke on this hand or risking most of my stack. The first midraise doesent bother me I would have just called that to see a flop. But the next two allins allmost surley has at least overcards.they could be sharing some outs with initial raiser but with a mid raise I could put him on any pair.I'm allways looking for tells but I would realy need to have some history with these players. Like if they play super loose or crazy I may consider a call. But in this situation, I'm looking to move up in the money and even win this tournament! I have the stack to do that and again I'm just not going broke with this hand.


5 years ago

Very hard to say what the right play is here first thing that comes to minds is fold but I'm a terrible player so id prob have ended up calling

But if you have a good feel for the table and you know they are playing this way fold is easy but if everyone is loose then well its a easy call
Its the top 3 hands hard to lay down if you have loose players who are doing this however if they are solid players fold is easy


5 years ago

Jerardo, fold.


5 years ago

Okay fold, 80 BB push is substantial. Some people represents squeeze isolate all-in play by QQ+, AK+ type real hand. Don't be taken substantial amount bet. Keep patient. under 50BB effective to obviously call. 60BB is border line.


5 years ago

I think it is 100% fold given the info at hand. We don't have extensive background info or a history of play on any of the players apparently so we can't deduce anything there.

The initial raiser making it 17 to go is pretty standard from that position. Unless he is playing a TAG style he could be representing most of the deck so I'm not too worried about his range when he raises.

I doubt that they initial raiser and BOTH the other all ins are sharing outs. Maybe two of them, but usually not both.

Villain #2's overbet tells me that his range dominates the isolation range of villain #1. He has a strong hand but not so strong that he wants to play post flop against the initial raiser or other big stacks.

I don't think the question posed about tells, and what types of players I'm going to call against really makes much sense here. I'm in a major tournament with 54 people left being forced to put my tournament life on the line preflop in a multiway pot!!! Hello? I'm guessing since it is a 'major' tournament that the blind structure is pretty slow. Having 96 big blinds left, I'm not sure I'd call with AA here...ok that's a lie, I always would but QQ?? Not for 90% of my stack. I might call if it were for 50% but that would be about the max I'd be willing to risk to scoop that pot.


5 years ago

This is a tricky spot, as a holding like QQ is strong enough to be worth calling in many cases. Any other pair or combination and the decision would be straightforward: KK or better, you call, JJ or worse you fold. If the player with 155,000 shoves alone, you obviously call, as you are risking a relatively small percentage of your stack. However, when a player shoves on top of the all-in, holding 80 percent of your chip stack, and you have 93 big blinds behind, the only rational thing to do with QQ (after all due consideration) is to fold.

First of all, if the player with 640,000 was holding a hand like JJ or AK there is a good chance that he would simply call. 155,000, while not a huge stack, is a considerable investment and enough to isolate against 95 percent of holdings in the blinds.

There is certainly a possibility that cards could be shared between the two all-ins (as it turned out there were). However, given the earlier raise and the blind and ante money already in the pot, the player on the hijack seat will be shoving with a fairly wide range of hands with less than 20 blinds behind (probably a middle pair or better). For this reason, there are many possible holdings between the two all-ins and shared outs should not be a major consideration.

While a fold with QQ is usually best play, the decision ultimately comes down to history between you and the button. If your opponent has been pushing all-in with a wide range consistently, then this could be a fairly easy call as you are likely to have his range beat. However, if he has been playing a TAG style or a strategic LAG style, you have to lay down in this situation. If he is a wild (or inexperienced) player, by all means take your time and make a "soul read" before making the decision.


5 years ago

EZ fold.....more than likely an ace in play and possibly even aa or kk....5 cards can also change everything....why risk?,if were to lose to big stack i'd be crippled....initial raiser yet to act, no money but small blind involved, glad to fold and wait for better situation.


5 years ago

it's a clear fold..


5 years ago

With all the action going and unless he's a rock that only plays kings and aces, it's likely the initial raiser will give up.
It mostly depends on villain 2 here imo. If you think he'd make that move with say 99+ AJ+, CALL. If on the other hand :) you put him on KK, AA, AK, FOLD.