Q♥Q♣ In a Multiway Pot, what do you do here?
DECISION POINT: Blinds are 50/100 in a tournament and an Early Position player open raises to 350. The UTG+1 player calls and you decide to call from Middle Position with Q♥Q♣. MP2, the Button, and the Big Blind also call. The flop is 6♥T♦8♠ and action checks to you. What do you do here?
PRO ANSWER: We are fairly early on in a tournament with 50/100 blinds and no ante in play. We are dealt QhQc in the first middle position seat. The Under the Gun player raises to 350 and UTG+1 calls. Our first interesting decision comes here.
With pocket queens, we should often reraise in this spot. However, calling is also profitable. If an ante was in play or the standard raise size was smaller we can assume a wider opening range from the Under the Gun player which would make reraising most of the time fairly mandatory.
With no ante and a 3.5x open raise sizing, UTG's range should be narrow enough that we can mix in calling a reasonable amount of the time.
Reraising here should be our default line absent any compelling reads on your opponent, however in this particular hand we elect to call and play a more passive preflop line.
MP2, the Button, and the Big Blind also call and we take the flop 6 ways. The flop is 6hTd8s, an absolutely terrible flop for our hand. Even though we have an overpair, this is a board that connects very favorably with our opponents likely calling ranges including pocket pairs such as 66/88/TT and speculative hands such as 97s/T8s/86s. Looking at this likely calling range a little closer, we see that may hands we are currently ahead of on the flop such as T9s have a significant number of outs to improve against us.
The Big Blind, UTG, and UTG+1 check the flop and action is on us. Given how unfavorable this board texture is for our hand, how many players saw this flop, and how deep stacks are relative to the pot, we should be reluctant to begin building a pot.
One of the biggest mistakes players make at small and mid stakes is over playing one-pair hands in deep, very multiway pots.
Checking is the best play.
How would you play it?
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