Poker Tips & Analysis: QQ under the gun go against a raise & an all-in

This week the hand of the week comes from Tony M., who writes us all the way from Australia. Howdy Tony!

Tony was playing in a very low buy-in 45-man tournament when he “woke up” with QQ under the gun (aka UTG), which is the first position after the blinds. The blinds were 15/30 and he raised to 90. The person two seats away raised to 330 and the person two seats away from that person went all in. What to do?! Well, Tony, I did some digging and found some stats on the two people that raised you and went all in. Both players have played roughly 500 games and have an 18% ROI.

That is the first piece of information we will need. The second information we need relates to the value of the tournament. We know it is a $1.50 45-man tournament. This often means that “people” think something along the line of “we have QQ, and we never fold here”... which in a general game might well be fully true, but with the stats we have on the TWO players we are up against I think it is safe to say that a fold is the best play you could do here.

If we look at it a bit more deeply, we can probably pinpoint the 3-bettor’s range to one of the following hands: AK-JJ-QQ-KK-AA, and maybe we could put AQ or even AJ suited on that list as well. Against most of these hands we are bad shape. QQ is highly unlikely to come out on the board as we have two of them already, so often it will be AK (QQ is still slightly favored) or AA/KK, in which case Tony is getting it in in a horrible position.

Looking at the person that went “all in,” this is something we can only read as AA or KK, so even getting it in against this person Tony would be in a hopeless situation.

So, Tony, it might hurt to fold QQ, but at this level of the tournament you will get better chances to get your chips in the middle in situations where you are much more likely to double up. If you have NO information on your opponents you might be tempted to just call with your QQ, but always make sure you have sites open which give you free information on your opponents at all times. This is especially handy when your tournament is just starting as you will, in general, have about a minute before the game starts, which gives you enough time to look up some opponents. A site like will give you even more detailed information although some of the information (or if you want to look up more than 5 people) needs to be paid for.

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