Thursday, August 5, 2010

What would you do? #156 - Holding pp KK to a flop committing bet

In reference to my comments about What would you do? #146 - Holding TPTK vs. a nit, I think this hand will cause some discussion as well...

Full Tilt Poker $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em - 8 players
The Official Hand History Converter

SB: $17.00
BB: $36.80
UTG: $35.50
UTG+1: $68.40
MP1: $25.45
Hero (MP2): $161.10
CO: $50.75
BTN: $63.35 - 16/10 / 25% steal / 3.1% 3bet / 100% fold to 3bet / 2.2 AF / 80% lead flop / 530 hands

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is MP2 with Kc Ks
3 folds, Hero raises to $1.75, 1 fold, BTN raises to $5, 2 folds, Hero raises to $13.25, BTN calls $8.25
What hands does a 3.1% 3betting BTN flat and not shove PF?  3 hands: AA, KK (less likely), QQ (most likely) or JJ (most likely) or AK.

Flop: ($27.25) 3s 4h Qs (2 players)
Hero checks, BTN bets $18, Hero requests TIME, Hero folds
If I bet here, it has to be a big bet, and I'm essentially committing myself, like he is.  If I raise, it's all in.  Believe me, I kicked myself for not outright shoving all in PF...  I don't know that I want to do that, though.  I just have trouble believing any other hand (other than QQ) is betting like this where they're committing on the flop.

The only other hand worthy of consideration is AK of spades - where he's drawing to 9 + 3 outs; essentially a race.  I'm putting him more likely on QQ though than on AKs.

Let the controversy & flames begin!  First one will be from anonymous, no doubt: "can you be more afraid of the monsters under the bed? you've got the nut pair with the nut kicker. don't play like a pussy."  Before you write that, though, give me a reasonable range that you think he has that I beat here.

Final Pot: $27.25
BTN wins $25.90
(Rake: $1.35)


  1. Fair enough...

    I'd add 1010, AQ, and maybe 99 (call it half of them) to the preflop range.

    Your hand looks so much like AK here (with the outside chance of QQ for the flopped nuts), however, that I think you need to call or jam. If you call, you re-evaluate on the turn, but you might need to call a shove just in case he is bluffing.

    If he is a thinking player (even a poor one), he is going bet his whole range because your hand looks like a whiffed AK. If he is a non-thinking player, he will bet AA, KK, QQ, AsKs, and AQ.

    Looking at his stats, I'd guess he pays attention enough to know what your hand looks like and can act accordingly.

  2. I think the point I failed to get across was that you need to account for some bluffs in his overall range. You tend to focus on value ranges and sometimes seem to forget they can have bluffs in their range too. And you definitely encourage those to stick around with your flop check.

  3. I think your logic is sound. One point hit me, though - why does QQ lead on a Q34 flop? There's only one draw, and flush draws are discounted anyway b/c this is a 4 bet pot. QQ has an equity lock here.

    Maybe he just never slowplays, ever.

  4. I signed on to get coaching with SplitSuit last night. I am also getting a LeakFinder session with MpethyBridge. This type of situation is going to be my NUMBER 1 issue: playing big PPs OOP. Moreover, playing hands OOP continues to be a struggle for me.

  5. LOL - I am in the process of signing up with MpethyBridge/SplitSuit also.

    My #1 topic is 3betting, and playing AK.

  6. Nice! We'll compare notes afterward.

  7. To add to Matt Tag's point, if villain has QQ here [and I still expect a value bet a lot of the time] is it really for 2/3 pot or actually close to 1/2 pot to leave room to float, come over the top, etc. Villain's Fold to 3bet % is 100% at over 500 hands. I don't think he is ever defneding with JJ- or AK- [disagreement expected]. With a Q on the flop and given that I think villain bets less when flopping the nuts [QQQ], am I the only person who thinks this is AA more than QQ here?

  8. I am with matt tag in that I think the flop lead is the biggest thing arguing against QQ here.

    I don't think this is a flame-worthy fold necessarily, but it is a very, very tight one, and one that treats your read as more or less solid gold at him having precisely KQ. Personally I don't think the fold is terrible here, and I don't think the Anon pussies saying you "have to call or jam" know what to do in this spot. Folding, if you feel really sure you are well behind already, is never terrible at this point in the hand I think.

    But I don't think I fold here. With the Queen on the flop and then him leading out, I think QQ is not as likely as I thought before the hand. I might call or I might raise, dependent on the situation, but it's asking a lot for me to fold right off the bat because I think my opponent flopped top set without much else to go on.

  9. We all agree that 500+ hands is an adequate sample size [I hope]. That said, is a 16/10 - a fairly tight player - calling a 4 bet with AQ? AsKs, yes, but AQ? I just don't see it. I see a 16/10 4bet flatting AsKs of course, QQ, *MAYBE* JJ, KK (less likely) and AA (which would be off-norm and well played, though didn't get me, tricky BTN!). He's 3betting 3.1% of the time in those 530 hands. I can see him leading the flop to protect against my 4bet PF hands like exactly what I put him on: AsKs. He also could be going for value on the hands like KK & AA - against most players, is he expecting a fold from them holding overpairs to a Q high board? I would imagine not.

    Finally, if he holds QQ, he absolutely wants to see a flop rather than get it AIPF. Even if he puts me on AK, I'm threatening stacks with my 4bet here. Again, his hand is too strong to fold, but too weak to shove and flip for 120BB stacks...

    Situation in reverse and I'm him holding QQ against my opponent's 4bet PF: I'm checking through the flop or betting much less; like half pot here. I'll tell you though, I'm probably playing this hand the identical way, PF if I hold QQ.

  10. 16/10 / 25% steal / 3.1% 3bet / 100% fold to 3bet / 2.2 AF / 80% lead flop / 530 hands

    Pokermeister: Most of the players who discuss poker deals with you know what the above means. Some of us cavemen don't. 16/10, um he's 16 years old and has a 10-year-old sister, right?

    Have you considered doing a v-e-r-y basic post on what all this means. I don't have software and a HUD because (I think, but not sure) it's more valuable for cash game and I play mostly tournaments, so I don't know if it's worth the learning curve. If you do this post, maybe you could adress in which situations it is most valuable.

    Thanks for considering it.

  11. @Mojo: Thanks for asking. You're such a good straight man :-) Check out:

    I have most of my posts categorized with labels. Of particular interest may be "Strategy." If you look on the blog, on the right side, under "Labels" you'll see all of the different topics covered in the past. FYI - you can also review prior WWYDs, Live poker, etc. Not that it would help in this specific instance, but there is also a search feature that enabled on this blog so that you can look for specific hands, etc.

  12. Two things I'll bring up because I think you are restricting his range too much in this spot:

    #1) Your 4-bet was a bit weak: $8.25 more into a pot of $19. With about $50 behind, he's not going to fold as much as his 100% fold to three-bet indicates.

    #2) There is always a non-zero chance a player will go off the deep-end and play against his stats. 100% fold-to-three-bet is in itself suspicious -- doesn't he ever have AA/KK and not fold to a three-bet?

    Those two items allow hands like TT, JJ, AQs, even KQs into the mix. For me, I think it is a call or shove if you check the flop.

  13. Awesome hand and typical trouble spot for me too.
    I do not have an answer for this problem and frankly, I think folding or shoving is fine. He could have 99+ IP here. I think you are putting players on ranges that you would play.

    I think I have a solution. Playing oop, you should 4 bet much bigger to either let him get it in, fold or make the spr so small on the flop that you should not fold. This makes the decision much easier and simplifies playing oop. Thoughts?

  14. @Poker J: "Playing oop, you should 4 bet much bigger to either let him get it in, fold or make the spr so small on the flop that you should not fold."

    The idea is interesting to overbet 4bet OOP. It really polarizes me to more nuts PF than bluff. The problem with it is that it folds out all of the hands I want to call - only AK (sometimes) AA (always) KK (always?) and QQ (sometimes) can continue. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

    Back to the hand: I don't know that my position really changes the equation that much. If I'm IP here, am I betting / folding the flop? I'm more likely checking through if checked to, which gets me 1 card closer to showdown.


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