Q♥Q♣ vs a 3-Bet, what do you do here?

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In the first hand of a Tournament at a 9-handed table, you raise first to act with Q♥Q♣ , the Button reraises and action is back on you. What do you do?

PRO ANSWER: The first thing to do when there is preflop action to us in a hand preflop is ask ourselves the question "can we call?"

In this case we have a pocket pair that could be played speculatively for set value (you could treat this hand the same as 22 for the purposes of preflop calling). There is only one person in the pot so it is not multiway, but since they raised us and we were an early position raiser it's fairly safe to assume they have a very narrow hand range.

Pocket pairs do not require a multiway way pot to be played profitably as a speculative hand, particularly against narrow hand ranges. The call is also only 3% of effective stacks since we are so deep stacked. This is well below the standard 5% threshold for the calling criteria. We know calling should be profitable here even if we only played QQ purely for set value postflop in all cases.

Continued below...

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What about 4-betting? Well, against an unknown player we would assume a 3-betting range against an early position opener to be something like JJ+/AK and not much wider. We would need them to be able to reraise us wide enough for hands like 99 or AQ to be included in their range before 4-betting started to become profitable, and even then it is tough to say it would be MORE profitable than calling.

We should default to calling here, and ONLY if we have opponent specific information that our opponent is 3-betting as wide as 77+/AJ+ should we consider reraising here as a viable option. This is especially true given the 200 big blind starting stacks - there is significant downside to engaging in preflop raising war against what is likely a narrow hand range.

Calling is the best play.

What would you do here?
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