Perfect example of how easy it can be to fold QQ and KK.

Apr 05 2012 |

QQ vs KKToday’s hand is brought to us by a player who wishes to remain anonymous (no problem, we will just call you HERO), who came up with a really good hand that shows us how easy it can be to fold QQ and KK.

The game is an 18-person sit-n-go tournament and the information we have is as follows:

Seat 1: “Louie” (4136 in chips)

Seat 4: “Stevie” (14162 in chips)

Seat 5: HERO (3290 in chips)

Seat 7: “Victor” (30 in chips) is sitting out

Seat 9: “Ona” (5382 in chips)

HERO got dealt KK with seat 4 and our hero in the blinds. Everyone folded to seat 4 (the SB) who instantly raised all in. What was HERO to do?

Well, the thing is that you play an 18-person sit-n-go to cash before you look at winning it. Sit-n-go tournaments are generally not top heavy in payout (in contrast to multi-table tournaments) so your first objective is to cash in the game. Top four people will cash out in this setup, so HERO wants to pay attention to that.

The player in seat 7 is guaranteed to be all-in the next hand (because HERO will be SB and #7 will be BB), and is also guaranteed to bust, as on this poker site there are no all-ins for people sitting out. So his hand will be auto-folded on the next hand. With this in mind you know you are guaranteed to cash after the next hand, which makes the KK a pretty easy fold.

This has a lot (if not all) to do with ICM (independent chip model), which teaches you what kind of plays you need to make on the bubble and once you reach the money.

As you can see, ICM in this case states that you need to FOLD and curse a few times doing so.

The question HERO struggled with (which is understandable) is that KK is an excellent hand to double up with, especially as the raiser is raising Any Two Cards (ATC) here. That is just not up for debate, as we know this is the correct play for him or her. HERO wondered if there was no way to find a call here and the thing is, there really is no call!

With KK you are no more than an 82% favorite against ATC and that means you bust nearly 20% of the time (even if raiser has 2-7 for example). This is a REALLY bad ICM spot and what makes it worse is that with a call and a double up you are still not chip leader. IF you would become chip leader with a double up in this hand the balance shift SLIGHTLY to a call as you will be able to run over the table more and better. Having a chip lead when you reach the money in a sit-n-go is VERY important as you will be able to bully a lot and making the correct plays will almost certainly increase your stack.

Because of the fact that KK busts 20% of the time AND the player in seat 7 will be busting the next hand, HERO needs to fold KK here to make the correct play.  Of course, it is understandable that if you play an only an occasional game, you could take the risk and call. For regular players that might play 10-15 games at the same time, or anyone who wants to be certain they’re playing it right, this is a clear fold.

Thanks to HERO for sending us this interesting hand.  We would love to see YOUR question here next week so please send us an email at

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