Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What would you do? #138 - When to fold AK?

Full Tilt Poker $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

UTG: $110.90
UTG+1: $44.30
Hero (UTG+2): $91.80
MP1: $50.00
MP2: $75.65
CO: $17.50
BTN: $49.75 - 19/13 / 32% steal / 4.5% 3bet / 2.8 aggression factor @ 257 hands
SB: $50.00
BB: $50.75

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is UTG+2 with Ah Kh
2 folds, Hero raises to $1.75, MP1 calls $1.75, MP2 calls $1.75, 1 fold, BTN raises to $9, 2 folds, Hero requests TIME, Hero calls $7.25, 2 folds
Anyone folding here?  I think this is a viable option; 32% steal does not smack that he's steal-aware, but he's not shy about 3betting, and is somewhat aware of stealing and position.  Plus, to him, I have 24 / 20 stats.  He could be 3betting my range light.  Therefore I see a flop.

Flop: ($22.25) Th Qc 8c (2 players)
Hero checks, BTN checks
I have to believe that he's betting this flop if he has an overpair or connected with this flop.  There are many broadway hands the connect here in addition to the [less likely] made J9 :-) straight.

Turn: ($22.25) Kc (2 players)
Hero bets $12.50, BTN calls $12.50
I want to get some value while I perceive to be ahead here.

River: ($47.25) Ts (2 players)
Hero checks, BTN checks
I have no idea where I am in this hand!  I give up.

Final Pot: $47.25
Hero shows Ah Kh (two pair, Kings and Tens)
BTN mucks 2d Jc
Hero wins $44.90
(Rake: $2.35)


  1. this is a good time to shove ace-king, because of the dead money in between you and the button.

    If he flipped over his hand and showed pocket queens before you made your decision, a shove would be +EV.

    Add the fact that it's an obvious squeeze situation - putting more garbage into his range, as well as "good hands" (like AJ/AQ) that he may be forced to call b/c of the dead money as well.

  2. I hate flatting in these spots. I'm much more likely to 4-bet with the intention of getting it in or folding right then and there. Against this opponent, I agree with Matt Tag, that there is no reason to be afraid to 4-bet this villain. Now if villain's stats were 10/7 with a 3-bet% of 1-2, I'm ok with a fold pre-flop.

  3. You know, it's easy to say once the cards are dealt, but I think in retrospect, flatting was optimal. If I shove, [I think] he folds.

    If I bet the flop, he folds, just the same as if he bet the flop, I likely fold.

    On the turn, he turns an open ender (does he really think he's getting paid for a 4 straight if he hits his Ace or 9?), which I value bet. Looking at the hand in a vacuum, this was the only place in the hand where I can possibly get value, with his turned OESD.

    By the river, he's folding to any bet by me - I'm pretty sure I'm looking to check / call here, as it is the only way I'm getting value for the hand (i.e. he turns his hand into a complete bluff).

  4. I am in the 4 bet camp.

    Getting him to fold is not a bad thing. You can't let J2 get there for cheap.

  5. Being OOP and facing a pretty large squeeze I would much rather shove than flat pre. It's going to be a nightmare to play postflop if you flat, and although it's probably a minor point at 50NL, you become pretty unbalanced if you're presumably shoving KK+ and flatting stuff like TT-QQ and AK.

    Let's quickly run the maths - assume he's squeezing a polarised range here (which he should be), and his value hands are AK, QQ+ which he always calls a shove with. Also assume MP1 and MP2 are folding if we shove (which is a decent assumption vs most villains). We have 42% equity vs that range so we are risking $48 to win about $42 after rake when called, i.e. effectively risking $6, to win the $15 dead money, so he has to fold about 28% of the time for a shove to be +EV, and I think he folds way more often than that. You can tweak the ranges and numbers a bit, but I think it's still going to be easily +EV.

    So that leaves the question, is flatting more +EV, and I would venture to say flatting isn't even +EV to begin with.

  6. @Happy: Point taken. I've been so gun shy with PF shoves - check that - *COMPLETELY* gun shy with PF shoves. Lately, I'm hardly shoving AA or KK even... I'm getting killed on the variance where very clearly, my EV <<<< results. It sucks that I've been trying to avoid AIPF situations - perhaps the larger issue is that I need to get out of this mindset.


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