Over pair on a paired board
I was playing short handed no-limit holdem against a loose and aggressive player who was raising constantly and I finally picked up QQ on the big blind.
He raised to $21 from the button, I re-raised to $99 and he called. The flop came 8h-Ts-Th. I bet $99 and he re-raised to $188. I thought for a while and then pushed all-in. He quickly called showing AA and I lost a big pot.
How would you have played the hand?
Would be thankful for your thoughts on the matter.
Hi Miss Lee,
That's a very interesting hand you've sent us. Let's take a closer look.
I like your re-raise on the big blind, you have a strong hand well worth a re-raise against a loose aggressive player. When Padirk calls, that doesn't give you much information. If he is a loose player he will call with a lot of hands here.
This is a decent flop for your queens. If you had the best hand pre-flop there is a good chance that you still do. Your main concern is that your opponent called with something like AT or JT.
I would say that your bet of about half the pot is decent here, but you could maybe have bet a bit more to protect your hand against possible draws. So far, so good. I have no objections of your play until this stage. But the mini-raise changes the whole setting.
What does the mini-raise mean here? It can be an attempt to steal the pot if you missed with your AK, but not likely. A thing that is important to remember is that your opponent has more information about your hand than you have about his at this stage. Your re-raise preflop usually narrow down your possible holdings. But the call of a loose player pre-flop doesn't. I would say that the average player only re-raises with hands like high pocket pairs and AK from the blinds - especially against loose players that usually calls.
If your opponent makes the same assessment, his mini raise is pretty disturbing. My read is that he wants you to call here because he believes his hand to be the best. Meaning that he has either slow played something like AA or KK pre-flop, or managed to hit a ten.
A fold here would be weak, but if you call you basically pot commit yourself (with your opponent in position). So I would say that you should either go all-in (as you did) or fold, depending on how you read the situation. It comes down to what hands you think your opponent will mini-raise with here.
Assuming your opponent's got a decent read on your holding (after your re-raise pre-flop) I would say that you should fold. Because it's unlikely that he will pull a bluff here, at least by making a mini raise (you said he was aggressive). But this is always easy to say afterwards (when you can see the cards) and I don't think your all-in on the flop is that bad. As I said, it would be my second choice after folding.