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AQo bad spot or poorly played?

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  • AQo bad spot or poorly played?

    Hi Guys,

    I'm new to playing poker and PSO. I busted out of a micro SNG with this hand, was wondering if I could have played this any better and got away from my AQo? My initial thoughts were I was possibly facing a steal attempt so I raised pre-flop, then I felt with the A on the flop I was commited to my hand.

    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    Hey Dasher, if you'd like to put the whole replay in the forum, hit the link builder, and select forum, and just copy that link to the forum, it will come up like this example.


    • #3
      Pre Flop:

      You start with 29.7BB in your stack.
      A large stack in the high jack chair makes a standard raise (3BB to go).
      You 3bet to 700.
      Villain calls

      On this stack size, you still have enough chips to flat call and play fit or fold poker.
      If you try to 3bet him, a standard sizing would be on the order of 750 to 900 to go, and that has you fast approaching a comittment point.
      Your 700 3bet is not that far from that amount.
      You do not really have enough chips to like making a standard half pot C-Bet then fold if you have missed the flop (and you will miss about 2/3rds of the time).

      Because of your stack size, I think I would really prefer a flat call over the 3bet you made.

      Things that might change my mind here would be:

      1) You have the villain on a wide raise range from the HJ chair.
      2) You feel there is a strong chance he will fold IMMEDIATELY to your raise if he holds a slightly stronger hand that yours (like a small or medium pp).
      3) You feel he will fol quite frequently to a C-Bet.


      You hit exactly the sort of hand you can expect when you play AQo, top pair 2nd kicker.
      You check.

      In this spot, since you 3bet pre-flop, I really think you should lead out for at least half pot here.
      By checking you are not adding value to the pot for exactly the type of flop you were hoping for, and giving a free card may result in you being drawn out on very cheaply.
      Not only that, if the villain has a hand he might call a bet on NOW, there are many cards which could come that dry up your action.
      A 3rd diamond on the turn, a 6 or a 9, all those might make you reluctant to bet the turn, OR may result in the villain folding a hand he might otherwise have called on when behind had you bet immediately. So waiting to get your value into the pot when you have threat cards which could come is often a baaaaad thing.

      When you do check, the villain leads for a full pot bet of 1500.

      With 2320 behind, you are in a shove or fold spot here.
      You simply CANNOT call that bet then fold later on, so you either have to shove to get the most value in as possible (if you suspect you are ahead), or fold before it gets TOO expensive for you.

      Please note: the biggest mistake in poker is NOT moving all in and finding out that your opponent holds a better hand. The biggest mistake you can make is putting a large portion of your stack in, then FOLDING. Doing that leaves you absolutely no chance of sucking out or snapping off a bluff.

      Please understand, I am not saying you should immediately move in here; the villain's bet is pretty strong in relation to your stack, so he is going to HAVE to call if you shove. But what I am saying is that putting 2200 of a 2900 start stack into the pot then folding is a bigger mistake than shoving and being wrong here; by folding you have ZERO chance of winning the pot.

      You call though...

      The turn throws up a K, you check, and the villain moves you in.
      You call (as you should if you've put that much of your stack in), and you bust.

      If you are new to poker, this sort of hand is going to be a cooler for you really.
      What you really need to work on to help you possibly identify spots where you MIGHT be in trouble here is the stuff in these videos:

      To help with thoughts on the decision to shove or fold over the 1500 bet, this video should help:

      The only real mistakes you made in this hand were not really having info to effectively put your opponet on a rnge of hands here, and also thoughts on how your bet sizing decisions and your aggression decisions may move you very quickly toward a point of no return. when you range opponents, you do not let yourself fall prey to "wishful thinking" and only put him on hands that make you a favorite: that is a little bit what you did when you say "I put him on a steal". The key thing to know is WHY do you put him on that, and is that the ONLY thing you thought he might have?

      As you progress in poker, experience will teach you more about those things, and this will probably become a hand you would play completely differently. Until that time though, this is pretty much a cooler since you got what you wanted to see on the flop, and the opponent just had better...

      Check out those videos so you can move past those mistakes quicker, and turn this into a hand you see totally differently, ok?

      Hope it helps...

      Last edited by JDean; Sun Dec 04, 2011, 09:28 AM.
      Double Bracelet Winner


      • #4
        I think you need to just lead/get it in on the flop. Yeah, you got coolered, but you can get value from SOOOO many worse hands. You could have just called preflop, but then you get stuck with AQ out of position postflop, which is no fun at all. With an SPR of 2 you're definitely getting it in with top pair.

        My initial thoughts were I was possibly facing a steal attempt so I raised pre-flop
        If you think he's really wide, then the best thing to do is to keep him wide by just calling and keeping the trash in his range. 3-betting with a hand so strong mostly just folds out worse hands...And what's your plan if he 4-bet shoves? What does his range look like there?
        4 Time Bracelet Winner


        • #5
          IMO, and it is only mine, not PSOs, or mods, I'm going to say in the place you asked about, post flop, & after you put him on a steal, I think its a tough spot to get away from, hitting the ace, you almost have to think he doesn't have it.

          As for pre flop, & the betting, I'll leave to the better players.


          • #6
            Thanks guys for the super quick replys, much appreciated.

            Plenty to think about.

            The assumption of a steal was only made on the position and the guy having a big stack, I guess I probably needed more evidence of this given the small blind size?

            Would all in pre-flop been a better play? I was thinking with 30BB I could get away with a small re-raise and fold to a shove. 10BB I think I would have justed shoved. I might have called AK but AQ I think I'd have folded.


            • #7
              On 10BB, yes all in pre flop would have been better.

              On 30BB, I would say no, it would not have been better; a flat call to "fit or fold" would be.

              You have some decent value in your AQo hand. That alone means there are probably some hands in a typical big stack's raise range in LP at the micro stakes that are likely to CALL a 3bet by you that are weaker than that AQo. For this reason alone, you really do NOT want to blow the opponent out of the water with a HUGE all in raise over his open raise of 3BB. All that will tend to do is get called when the villain has a BETTER hand than your AQo, and it will fold out worse hands.

              Think "Fundemental Theorrem of Poker"...
              (see link here: )

              If you click on that link, you'll see that this states: "any time you act in a manner which you would if all cards were known, you GAIN VALUE."

              If you "knew" you were a 70% favorite to win a hand, would you go all in on 30BB over a 3BB raise? Or would you try a more standard type betting line to keep the opponent around so that he does pay you off?



              The problem with the 3Bet for you here is that it pushes you too quickly to a committment point when you do not really need to go there. So in essence, on a 30BB stack you are in that "middle zone" on your stack size.

              If you are on a 20BB stack, up to MAYBE a 25BB stack or so, and you felt that AQo had good equity against the entire RANGE of what this opponent might raise, you can justify that shove for value. This is because you simply do not have enough chips in your stack to play any sort of standard call/bet line without putting yourself VERY near the 30% to 35% committment threshold.

              (Note: by "standard" value line in betting I mean a pre-flop bet/raise/call, then an approximate half pot flop bet/call/raise)


              You start with 20BB, instead of the stack you had here.
              You hold a hand you feel is an equity favorite over the Villain;s range here.
              You face a call of 3BB pre flop, which will put the pot on the flop at about 6 to 7.5BB (depending on if you are in the blinds or not) at least; more potential callers could make it more.
              A Half pot bet/raise/call by you means you;d be investing at least another 3BB, for a total of 6BB invested.
              That is 30% of your stack, and puts you right at a committment point.

              Because you can see the pot developing, and because your range for the opponent gives you solid equity, on a 20BB stack you can justify a pre flop shove. See?

              On a 10BB stack or less here, you have a different consideration when faced with an open raise by the big stack...

              In this spot, the fact he has already put 3BB into the pot means there is a much GREATER chance he will call if you jam. Why? Simple...

              After he (the villain) raises, there are 3BB + the 1.5BB from the blinds in the pot.
              A 10BB shove puts the pot at 14.5BB give or take (again, depending on if you the shover are in one of the blinds).
              The Villain will be facing a call of 7BB in order to possibly win 14.5BB, or he will be getting a price of right around 2 to 1.

              2 to 1 is a "magic number" in terms of sheriffing an all in.
              That marks the price where it becomes reasonable to call on any 2 "live cards".

              If the raiser had 23o and was jsut trying to pressure a tight short stack into folding, and the tight player jams a 10BB stack over the 3BB raise, if the open raiser knew that the short stack had jammed on AKo, he'd be getitng the right price to CALL that all in with even his incredibly weak holding (so long as it is a relatively small % of his big stack of course).

              The big stack's chance to win by the river with all 5 cards seen (a call guarentees the raiser gets to the river, see?) is right aorund 33%...EXACTLY what is needed to make a call "break even" if it is getting 2 to 1 odds.

              For the 10BB stack that means before he jams he must ASSUME the big stack open raiser will call. If you are pretty sure to get called, you need to have a BETTER hand to make the jam on; one that has some sort of positive equity against the top half of the total open raiser's raise range. To get more info on why that is true, see this link:

              (Note: if a re-raise is almost certain to be called, it is pretty much the equivalent to a CALL. Your lack of fold equity means you really only have 1 way to win - by holdign the best hand.)


              I've rambled on here a lot, but in trith, that is because the REASONS behind bet sizing and stack management in tournament poker type games is a pretty complex subject. I am trying to help you out by answering your questions as fully as possible, and by showing you examples, rather than just saying "30BB is too big to move in, 10BB might be too small to move in weakly, but 20BB a pre flop jam is fine".

              The long and the short of it though is: 30BB IS too big to really like jamming pre, unless you are pretty certain you will get called by WORSE (that generally happens only when your opponent is a bad player, and you have a read on a leak in his game).

              3Bet is a bit too committing for you oop position, because it puts you quite CLOSE to a committment point (ip around 20% or so of your stack in). Plus, you are stuck with a hand that will be un-paired about 2/3rds of the time on the flop; if you miss, ANY continuation of your pre-flop aggression will put you past a committment point. More often than not, you will be UN-PAIRED when you cross that committment point with a C-Bet, and if the villain calls or raises, that puts you in a ugly spot indeed.

              THAT is why I said that a 3Bet pre flop on the stack size here is a bit too aggressive without an effective rage on the opponent here.


              Last edited by JDean; Sun Dec 04, 2011, 05:46 PM.
              Double Bracelet Winner


              • #8
                Thanks JDean. This does make sense, hopefully with time this will become easier to think about in game. At the moment, in the heat of battle, I struggle a bit thinking about all this stuff



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