After my post regarding the hand where the hero had T9s on a board of JJ9J I got the following comment.
Good point about the stack sizes preflop.
I'm mostly a sng player, and there it is very common for the big stack to float the flop the take the pot away on the turn if the raiser missed the flop since the stacks aren't deep enough to fire 2 bullets without committing to the hand. Perhaps I overestimated the chances of it happening here.
Also, since this was a small buy-in tournament I probably don't give the players enough credit.
You never mention the possibility of him having a smaller pocket pair. I thought this was a likely holding for him. He would just call before the flop hoping to hit a set, and call a c-bet hoping I missed with big cards. You also don't mention the possibility of him having a 9. When he calls the flop bet am I really beat almost every time here? I considered the fact that he was slowplaying but thought my hand was often good. I was more worried about him having a 9 with a higher kicker but when the Jack came on the turn we would chop.
If I check the turn and he bets, I think he's going to have a smaller pocket pair or a 9 a large % of the time so I don't see how I can fold. I agree that I should have had a lot more chips at the start of the hand then I could have still been alive by the time I realized I was beat.
Interesting that you didn't mention his actual hand. He had QQ.
Thanks for the feedback.
First of all the reason I didn't mention QQ is it's very rare for anyone to smooth call a raise with QQ because it's virtually always a terrible play, but a play bad players almost never make. So you have to have a someone who is at least a fair player making a bad play. It seemed likely that you were up against a big hand and whether it was QQ or AA was irrelevant given your hand and the board.
The reason why I didn't think an underpair was very likely (so unlikely that I guess I didn't mention it) is the stack sizes and the stage of the tournament. Most people give up on cold calling a standard raise trying to flop a set once the blinds go above 25/50. In this case I would expect pairs 88 and lower to either go all in (assuming there were no other massive stacks waiting in the blinds) or fold.
Similarly in order for him to have a 9 he'd have to call your raise preflop with a hand that contained a 9. Maybe A9 is a slim possibility, but only the very worst players would cold call 600 here with K9 or 89 or whatever. Given that you have a 9 and there is one on the board, it seems very remote that your opponent would have one too. Even if it was more likely your opponent had a 9, risking your whole remaining stack hoping to get half the pot is clearly not a great idea.
Of course there is always a chance that your opponent could be doing something that makes no sense (I've mentioned a few hands recently that proved that point). But I think the key to this hand is when you make it to the turn do you think it's more likely that you opponent has a hand like AK or AQ or an over pair. Both are somewhat likely. If you think it's 50/50 or even 40/60 given the money in the pot and the 5% chance that you could be up against a wacko then it's go time. If you think there's a 75% chance its an overpair, it's time for you cards to hit the muck.
I always find it interesting to think about these hands in great detail. That way when I come across a similar situation in the future I've already worked out what I think is the right play and can feel confident making it. Thanks for the comments!