Bit of a misnomer as I consider Joe to be an excellent player. He commented to me that his raise to 50 was "bush league" but if we analyze the hand, it turned out to be a good play. To recap the action, the hand went as follows:
Chuck under the gun raises to 8, Martin calls behind, and I see QQ and raise to 28. Joe has the button, I really don't want him to call behind me and I figure my raise will entice Martin to try to bust me with action from Chuck unknown. Joe won't call unless he has a monster and I may be able to accomplish one of tonight's missions which is to steal Marsh's big blind of 2 chips.
Joe of course gets AA and raises to 50. Everyone folds to Chuck who also has QQ. No problem with Chuck's call as he also has QQ and right of first stab. In Chuck's mind he may be up against AK and AK from myself and Joe. If the flop is all low cards, he can bet and see if he gets called or raised. Martin has 88 and decides to call as well and set mine. A bit expensive to set mine in my mind for the 42 chip call. He is getting about 5 to one to call, assuming I call, but he is up against 3 other live hands with likely one or two higher pairs. His implied odds are also unknown as Joe is capable of making amzaing laydowns. Let's give Martin the benefit of the doubt and say his call was OK. I call of course with the extra 22 chips.
Now let's look at the hand from Joe's point of view. He has successfully built up the pot to 203 chips. The hands out there are relatively easy to deduce. Chuck and I can really only have big pairs or AK. I raised to 28 with UTG raising to 8, a caller in front of me and Joe and the blinds left to act. Chuck was the original raiser and then called a preflop raise of 50 with just 8 invested. Only Martin's hand is a true unknown but is likely a pocket pair set mining with an outside chance of suited connectors.
As it turns out Joe's hand is about an 87% favorite to win on the flop. Chuck and I are drawing dead on the flop and can only win on the turn or the river. Martin can hit a set which will likely put him in front unless it is set over set. 203 chips in the pot preflop and an 87% favorite to win after the flop is a fantastic result. Joe could only have built the pot preflop to 203 chips with the raise to 50. A bigger raise would have likely got Chuck and Martin to fold. An all in would likely had all of us fold. A smooth call would have built the pot to 129 chips.
Granted it was lucky for Joe that Chuck and I had the same hand. But even if I have we have Queens and Jacks, it is possible that Joe would be able to fold his AA on a flop with a Q or a J in it and an all in comes on the flop or on the turn. Joe will likely lose all of his chips if an 8 is on the flop but this is a chance worth taking, especially in this case as Joe is an 87% favorite after the flop.
The rest of the action is somewhat uneventful as Joe hits a virtually perfect flop where he can only lose to bottom quads on a flop of AJJ. Plus he would have the one outer suckout chance for quads over quads if someone does have JJ. There is honor in losing to quads so I am sure Joe is not concerned. I take my stab after seeing Chuck and Martin with their deflated checks after the flop. Joe calls and the hand is essentially over. I realize I really can't beat anything and Joe's call tells me that the 1 in 1000 chance that he raised to 50 preflop with 4,6os is not a reality.
I like Joe's play as given this set of preflop hands and the action before him, I see no other way to maximize more value.