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AQo final stages (ITM) play against button raise.

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  • AQo final stages (ITM) play against button raise.

    Hello, folks! I know Poker is all about getting your money in with the best hand and averaging better than your opponents in the long run. In this spot I was playing against a min-raise from the button, and I got rivered. That's not really my concern, but when reviewing this hand, I was ranging my opponent and on the turn I'd have removed the hand he actually had from his range, because he made a very weak call that I really wouldn't make in a million years (and he was playing pretty solid up until then). The river card gave him the nuts, but on my end I was pretty sure I had the best hand and that cost me my tournament. On the other hand, if I'd bet the (pretty harmless) flop AND turn, instead of Turn and River, the way I did, I would've won the pot, as I doubt he'd call my shove with the very gutshot that he ended up hitting. After the hand he said, you played it well, I just got lucky. I do agree with him, but I keep coming back to the fact that if I was going to bet 2 streets in this spot, it'd have to be Flop and Turn. Why give an extra card for free if you can get him off his hand on the flop and turn? I wasn't going to fold that spot no matter what. No apparent draws, nothing to really concern me in that flop. So, I'm thinking for future hands such as this, I should probably just bet and get my money in ASAP. What are your thoughts? Thanks!

  • #2
    Hi Max,

    I don't know if you had any specific reads on the villain, but most competent players will be opening very wide from the button in order to steal the blinds and antes.

    Preflop - with AQ you can just call to close the action and try and keep worse hands in the pot. However as you're out of position I prefer to 3Bet for value as you did.

    However I think your sizing is a bit too big. A typical 3Bet is 3x the original raise. By making your raise size so big, you are likely going to fold out a lot of the bottom part of his range while keeping in the top part. Also what are you going to do if he 4Bets you? I suppose you're going to fold, in which case you have lost more chips than necessary. A raise of between 6-7K is best I think.

    Flop - You have a stack-to-pot ratio of 2, so you don't have much room to maneouver before you're pot committed. You hit the flop hard and I think you should CBet this flop for about 10K with the intention of playing for stacks. I don't know if you were checking planning to check/raise, but more often than not he is just going to check back his smaller pocket pairs or AK/AJ and hope to hit something.

    Turn - Now you've got the right idea .

    River - This is just about the worse river possible. Let's think about the hands that villain might call a huge 3Bet with PF. I think PPs from say 66+ will be in there, AK, AQ, AJs, maybe KQs. With that T, AK, 99 and TT just got there while any slowplayed monsters will also have got there. Against his preflop calling range, you only have 32% equity. This is ignoring the fact that 66 and 77 probably fold the turn. If you widen his preflop calling range to include more broadways, your odds go even further down.

    Therefore I think this is a check/fold, as you need to be 44% in order to call his shove and your tournament life would be at stake.


    • #3
      Your river bet is a textbook example of a bet that's only being called when you're beat.

      I take exception to your opening comment. Every player should strive to maximize EV. Too often people take that to be maximize your winners. A essential, but rarely mentioned here (except for TheLangolier and a few others), part of this is to minimize your losses. Think of those concepts as two s ides of the same coin.

      This hand is close to minimizing wins and maximizing losses.


      • #4
        I understand your comments. I guess I have to rethink the whole thing. Maybe it's the fact that you guys don't play freerolls, so you don't understand the dynamics that are involved. I agree with both of you in all of your points, like in a regular game I'm only getting called by better hands. I think I may have to stop playing freerolls and start playing more regular tournaments, where people play smarter poker in order to develop a grasp of which plays are +EV and which ones aren't.

        In the world of Freerolls and micro-stakes, I'd definitely be called by AJ, AT, KJ, KT (yes, they ABSOLUTELY WOULD call a 3-bet pre-flop with such hands, probably even 4-bet shove). Fold to 3-bets is not a concept Freeroll players understand. As I was typing this, I won a quadruple all-in hand with ATo when a player went all in with 84s and a flush draw on a A35 two tone board, another guy called with Q5, and the other with 73o. That's what I mean. AJo is GOLD in these situations. Would you suggest that I stop playing these tournaments if it's affecting my capacity to properly range opponents?



        • #5
          Please accept my apologies for missing where you identified this as a freeroll.

          Wait just a minute. It doesn't appear to be identified as a freeroll. Please ignore my apology.

          As for your ATo hand if you overcalled an all-in and two callers with top pair and fair kicker and expected to win (you didn't know their hands when calling) I suggest you stay with freerolls. Results oriented thinking is a huge leak.

          Good decisions are necessary even in freerolls.


          • #6
            I understand your point about the freeroll dynamics Max. However this is all the more reason for CBetting the flop and turn, you're going to get all sorts of trash to call, probably including AK.

            Regarding the river, there are just so many combination of cards that have you beat that I don't think you're going to be ahead very often. Even if villain called your turn CBet with some crappy draw or one pair hand, there is a relatively high chance that he's hit some junk 2 pair+ hand that has you beat.


            • #7
              I think you should be betting that flop, whether this is a freeroll or a super-high roller in the EPT.
              You made TPTK and can get called by worse, so just bet your hand.
              It's quite surprising to see villain show up with AK, but on the turn, he can call with any Q, J or 9 (including 99), so the river is a terrible card for you, as he'll either have a straight or two pairs pretty often. Even when you're sure you have the best hand on the flop (and may even be way ahead), you should often still bet, as slowplaying misses value, can lead to suckouts, and also makes your own decisions much harder on later streets. If you define your hand with a bet, it makes it a lot easier to get away if you get raised at some point.
              Bracelet Winner



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