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Trouble hands AQ and AJ. To 3-bet or not to? [2 hands]

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  • Trouble hands AQ and AJ. To 3-bet or not to? [2 hands]

    While analysing my play I found I often find it quite hard to play AQ and AJ from a late position pre-flop facing a raised pot. I have found 2 hand examples from my yesterday session. Hand 1 Reads of the important Villans: Villan 6: 34/20/11.0 Villan 8: 37/6/0.7 Less important: Villan 2: 17/11/0.2 Villan 3: 19/7/7.1 My image at the table was quite tight since it's early stage. Reviewing this hand, when I would have 3-betted villan_6 his raise. The others might not have called, I would have isolated villan 6 (and possible 8?) and would have had a good chance of winning the hand. How is your opinion on this? Hand 2 The read on villan 8 was 50/42/2.3 Folded to 3bet 1 out of 3 times. C-bets postflop 3 out of 3 times and C-bets the turn 2 out of 3 times. Reviewing this hand, I think I played this quite weak. General question: To 3-bet these kind of hands versus tight or loose players, 2-handed or multi-handed? Thanks for your thoughts!

  • #2
    Hey GuuZ88,

    So with AQ facing an UTG raise to 4x the big blind I will often fold AQ to a tight player, but to a player with these stats I will call, I won't 3bet because a 4x raise UTG is 9 times out of 10 a strong hand, and if the opponent 4bets me then I'm not going to be happy about getting it all in with just AQ and a 75 bb stack.

    I like your call preflop and your fold on the flop. With 6 players to the flop it is safe to say that our AQ high is no good on this board. The original raiser c bets to 120 'a very fishy looking bet that smells of weakness' however with 4 other players in this pot it's best to fold the AQ high and give up on our 5:1 price of hitting an A or a Q.... if we do indeed call and spike an A or Q on the turn , them cards can sometimes improve other players hand into 2 pair hands, so folding the flop is waaaaay the best line to take, nice hand. We could also be drawing dead vs sets on this flop, especially versus 5 villains!

    Hand 2....

    AJo on the dealer button vs an extremely loose aggressive player (54/42)... I assume you had a few hands on this guy? If these numbers are just from a few hands then we cant use these stats to influence the way we play against him as he may just be on a nice streak of cards, if we have 15+ hands on the guy and he has these sort of numbers then we can start looking at non standard ways to play the hand.

    The way I would play AJo against a guy with these numbers is to 3bet the button with our AJ, against more solid opponents I'm more inclined to just call the raise in order to not scare them away from hands that we dominate, (Ax and Jx hands) and of course all other worse hands, but a loose recreational player won't fold these hands so I love 3betting for value in this spot.

    I like a 3bet to 150 - 180 and c-bet to around half the pot size if he checks to us. If he leads into us then I like calling instead of raising as this allows us to get to showdown/hit our hand vs the opp cheaply.

    As played....

    Call flop and folding turn is standard. We can raise villains flop bet which is a pretty cool way to play the hand as we can get a fold there and then, or if villain calls he is very likely to freeze and check it to us on the turn which allows is to see a cheap river card or continue with our semi bluff.

    Vs a player like this I'm not going to semi bluff the flop AND turn as I feel like we are wasting chips, if a player like this has middle pair + or any draw on this board then he just isn't going to fold a lot of the time and as we are in the early stages of the tournament I much prefer to sit back and wait for a hand we can get all his chips with ' hoping no one else at the table takes them before we do'.

    Hand number 1... standard, like the way you played it.

    Hand number 2... play more aggressively vs these opponents, they can and will call your 3bets out of position with much worse holdings than AJ.

    Can I ask what tournament or tournaments that these hands were taken from?

    Cheers, Chris.


    • #3

      Thank you very much for the detailed analysis. I'm glad to hear I played hand 1 right, since it really confused me. For hand 2, you confirmed my presumption. In the early stages I sometimes tend to play a bit prude.

      The hands were both taken from $1.50 STT SnG's. I play these since I am a beginning player and they are perfect for someone with my bankroll. (Sometimes I run into a very weird type of unpredictable player though.. very confusing..) At the moment I'm slightly below breaking even (since I started) although I'm trying my utmost to improve my game.


      Last edited by GuuZ88; Tue Sep 11, 2012, 06:33 PM. Reason: addition



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