Monday, May 14, 2018

The case of the overplayed Aces?

Let me preface this retelling of last week's session by saying I *NEVER* run good at MGM National Harbor.  Since it opened around a year and a half ago, I've run like dog poop.  I have no problem frequently getting my money in good, but my hands simply don't seem to hold.  Ultimately, this bout of poor like leads to my strong preference to play at Baltimore's Horseshoe.  There, in addition to having less variance, the games seem easier and I can often get my money in with my opponent drawing stone dead, in effect cutting out variance altogether.  Enough of the sob story at MGM, let's get to the meat!

I decided to hit up MGM because my buddy Josh was in town on business for the week.  We decided to play a session together, go for dinner, and generally catch up a bit.  He was working in Tyson's Corner, and I work out of Sterling -- both in Virginia; therefore, it made the most sense to forge through the traffic and venture out 30 miles to MGM rather than travel the ~60-70 miles to Live! or Horseshoe.  Although we didn't wind up at the same table, it was good catching up with him in the car sitting through traffic, and eating dinner.  We're finally sitting at separate $1/$3 tables and about 3 hours in, the following hand comes up:

I have about $1000, and the villain in the hand has around $900, so we're VERY deep.  I'm in the SB and the villain, from MP, raises to $18 after a limp or two.  I'd been watching the villain for awhile; he seems competent, and more ABC.  Never once in the three hours did I see him get out of line, nor he me.  Most of my money came from the 2 aggro Asian guys to my right who were trying to out-piss one another.  At this point, there was only one of those guys remaining, and he was on his 5th or 6th $200 buy in (trips to the ATM EVERY TIME!!!!).  Anyway, as I was saying, MP raises to $18, gets called in 4 spots and action is to me in the SB.  I look down at two Aces (no idea the color).  Interesting; $100 in the pot and action is open.  I think a raise is 100% in order here, no?  How much?  A mid-pot sized raise seems good - I 3bet / squeeze to $100.  Given my deep opponent, I think he can technically call a wide range because he's getting decent implied odds, but reality-wise, he's going to manage losses and fold a wide range including small pocket pairs and smaller than AQ-.  I realize I'm out of position here, and I don't want him to fold THAT wide of a range, but I also don't want him in there with any two cards because that will prompt everyone else [and their brothers and sisters] to call along side.  I'm looking to isolate here and narrow ranges of my opponents in the hand.  Ultimately, it folds back to him; he thinks for a bit and calls.  The remaining Asian dude shoves his remaining $157 and action is back to me.  I pause for awhile, but I've already done the math - I can't reopen the pot.  I look at the dealer and say, "raise," with a smile on my face, knowing full well that the dealer will decline the request.  He shakes his head "no," and repeat more firmly, "raise!"  He verbally says, "no, you can't do that," and I chuckle a bit, making the call, as does the table at large (including the villain).  The villain makes the call and we see a flop with $368 in the middle.

Jc 9c 5 flop.  I'm not worried about a club draw - again I don't remember the particular suits of my Aces, but I have an unimproved hand that's going with its preflop valuation.  I want to continue betting here, as I want all the money in the middle.  I'm a bit concerned about him holding a pair of Jacks and less so 9's or 5's, but that's a very small portion of his overall range and should not stop me from trying to get all in.  I also don't want him to fold the flop, so I opt to bet $205, little more than half pot.  He thinks & calls.  I pretty clearly know what he has at this point: QQ (less likely) or KK (more likely).  We see a turn in a wildly unmanageable pot or $778 with $595 effective behind.

Turn is let's call it a deuce.  Not sure the color, but it wasn't a club.  I rip in the last ~$700 and he reluctantly calls.  This would be the worst slow roll in history if he has a set.

Thoughts?  Overplayed Aces or make your read and go with it?

I wait for the blank river and flip over my Aces for the scoop, one of the bigger pots I've won in recent years.


  1. You are deep but SPR on the flop is under 3. Nice hand.

  2. I agree with Matt. According to Miller, Mehta and Flynn, any SPR below 7 is great to commit on the flop with Aces. Don't need to know anything else.

  3. Great to have you posting more again. Sometimes hesitation is real and sometimes it isn’t. On the balance of probabilities, for him to call that size raise pre he generally has a narrow range as an ABC player, so edge towards KK and QQ more than JJ 1010 which he can fold more often. You have to go for value knowing that.

    Keep posting! Paul

  4. I think you maths must be off too as not sure how many callers but even 3 way there is over $500 in the pot preflop. Any proper sized bet you make on the flop commits the villain IMO and you can’t fold to his range. Paul

  5. Haven't played much poker in a few years (kids). But checked in to read this. Trivial stack off spot here. NH.

    Hope all is well.


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