Come on, read me...you know you want to...
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The mail bag!  Jeez people, get your minds out of the gutter.   It is Tuesday, so it must be time for reader mail.  Remember, the question of the week gets answered right here in the blog.   Now on to today's question.

Third hand of the game ,blinds 10/20, I'm in the big blindwith AQ spades. Under the gun bets 90 folds around to me, I call ,flop 8 9 2 rainbow. I check, UTG bets 90, I call , turn card Ace ,I bet pot,UTG calls, river Ace, I shove the rest. UTG calls. He shows A2,full boat . Now other than coming over the top of him with 2 over cards pre flop,what else could I have done? This was a semi final to a $250,000.00 tourney. I planned on playing conservitavely with 80 people in and the top 24 seats move to the final.

Several problems here, so I'll go with them one-by-one.

1.  The first problem with this hand is that the big blind simply called.  A-Q of spades, with one random hand on the board raising from under the gun, and everyone else folding.....you should have reraised.  I know, his raise under the gun usually meant power...but this is online.  People raise under the gun more often online than anywhere you'll ever play live in your life.  So I still say his hand was random.  I would have made it 250 or 300....and seen if he was willing to take a shot at it. 

Then when the flop came, and you didn't hit, you could easily check, he could bet, and you could fold.  It is far too early in the game to take stands with nothing.

2.  The flop came 9-8-2 rainbow, you checked (mistake #2), he bet, and you called (mistake #3).  You didn't hit ANYTHING on the flop, yet you elected to continue to play.  A pair of 7's beats you right now, and his small bet indicates that he wants you to continue to play.  I don't care if it was 2's or 8's or 9's....you should have folded after the flop and he bet.

3.  Turn an Ace.  Now you're in trouble.  You have no idea where you stand in this game, because all you've done so far is call.  You haven't established anything for yourself or the other guy's hand.  But I'll tell you this bit of advice:  He raised preflop and post flop.  The odds of him having a better hand than you is amazingly large. 

4.  Turn on the river.  You shove, without any indication what the other guy is holding.  If he has trips (which would have been my bet if you hadn't have told me), you are beat.  If he has A-K (another GIANT possiblility), you are beat.  If he has A-anything on the board, you re beat.  And you shoved all in without any consideration as to what the other guy might be holding.

So, to answer the question "Without coming over the top of him with two over cards on the flop, what else could I have done?"

You could have folded after the flop because he indicated he had a pocket pair at least, and you had NOTHING.  Or, you could have raised big preflop with a great starting hand and gotten him to fold his A-2.  Had he called the raise anyway, then you still had plenty of folding equity after the empty flop and his bet.

Additionally, it was FAR too early in the tournament to put your entire tournament on the line for a semi-bad hand.  Remember this:  You shoved with what you THOUGHT was a great suckout, when in fact you were behind ever moment of the hand after the flop.  Why risk all that for a 10-20 round?  See the flop, don't hit it, press on to the next hand.  Its that simple. 

Anyone else care to chime in?

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