Monday, June 11, 2007

Would you? Can you? Fold Aces?

I think there are situations where folding aces may be easier than others. Having said that, it's never easy, especially if you're heads up. Also, I think there are few ways to play them based on the position but this interesting hand came up yesterday...

FullTiltPoker Game #2630757753: Table Canyon Run - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 16:15:06 ET - 2007/06/10

9 handed - I'm on the big blind - I've built my stack up to $623 and the villain here has the 3rd largest stack at the table with $451. Villain is in MP.

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Ah As]
Villain raises to $12
Button calls $12
RecessRampage raises to $48
Villain calls $36
Button folds

I hate that move because I feel like it tips off my hand but I don't want to play aces 3 handed out of position so I bumped it up, hoping to either take it down or make it heads up. Mission partially accomplished (heads up).

*** FLOP *** [4s 8h 5s]
RecessRampage bets $85
Villain has 15 seconds left to act
Villain raises to $403.35, and is all in
RecessRampage calls $318.35

What do you do here? Do you consider folding? I mean you just tipped off your hand preflop by more or less announcing that you have AA or KK, you bet a big amount on the flop, basically confirming that, and the guy thinks about it, then pushes. I obviously called. But what do you think? Would you have folded?

Initially, I thought, man, that's sick... did this guy hit a set? But then I thought it was kinda weird that he pushed all in. If he had a set, and he thought I have AA or KK, he shouldn't be afraid of another spade so wouldn't he raise maybe 2.5x my bet or something to try to reel me in? I mean why push for $320 more? That made me wonder if he wanted me to fold here. In all honesty, this whole thought process didn't hit me until now as I'm typing. But I sensed that something wasn't quite right. Something didn't seem right and so, I called. This is what I saw:

Villain shows [3s 2s] <--- OESD with a flush draw (14 outs)
RecessRampage shows [Ah As]
*** TURN *** [4s 8h 5s] [8c] <--- ok, that takes away 3 of his outs (the two aces and 8s)
*** RIVER *** [4s 8h 5s 8c] [Qc] <--- phew...
Villain shows a pair of Eights
RecessRampage shows two pair, Aces and Eights
RecessRampage wins the pot ($911.70) with two pair, Aces and Eights

Big pot and definitely made me sweat. I don't think it was a bad move by him but this could be dangerous in that next time, in a similar situation, he could do the same and push on the flop with a set. So, then the question is, on a board like that, would you have folded? What if he check called the flop and then check raised all in on the turn, would it be different?

I'd love to hear the thoughts of some people.


Mike Maloney said...

I've actually been in that situation before, and I called, similar to your situation. He ended up hitting his flush and I lost a big pot. I don't know if calling there is right or not. I probably don't think it's real likely that he hit a set, unless he's overbetting for value, because he would want you in the hand still. I definitely think draws have to be considered when someone pushes like that.

I guess a call there is probably the right move. Check call and check raise on the turn, maybe I lay that down depending on the situation. Like I should talk, I just lost a pot earlier today because I couldn't lay down my aces despite being fairly sure my opponent hit a straight like the luckbox that he is.

WillWonka said...

I agree with the bump preflop... playing 3 handed oop definitely stink...

It always seems that bets like that indicate a made straight and doesn't want a flush drawn out on him. Preflop kind of negates that. I'm guessing (without looking) that you a little over 65%. I guess that kind of answers it. Get you money in.

WillWonka said...

missed the flush draw part... now he is probably the slight favorite.. not it definitely a tough call... I'm interested to see what others say..

And what you think of a guy that calls big raises with 32s

Anonymous said...

"What if he check called the flop and then check raised all in on the turn, would it be different?"

Well, he acts behind you, it would be tough for him to do a check-call, check raise all in.

Alan aka RecessRampage said...

Good point, Mr Anonymous. However, instead of pointing out my oversight, I'd rather just have your input... but that's just me.

Anonymous said...

What did u think his range for calling a 3-bet after raising first in would be?
I figure you have to put him on bigger cards. AK,AA,KK,QQ,JJ,TT,99 maybe. I think the only hadn you are way behind with here is 88. Given the fact that you are most likely ahead of his range you have to call. To fold AA here would be a mistake. I was SHOCKED to see him turn over 2s3s, but it fit with what seems like a push with a draw. Nice hand.

Alan aka RecessRampage said...

Actually, that's a very good point. Admittedly, when I was in the hand, I definitely feared 88 but the overbet made me think it didn't seem right. I also wondered if the villain would raise from MP with 67. I also worried that presto is gold... :) If I didn't have the As, I would've thought maybe AKs but obviously, that wasn't possible. Admittedly though, amongst the range of hands that I've given him for the hands that I would be ahead, what he flipped over wasn't even in the calculation...

Astin said...

Tough call. Against any two random cards you're 81%, but you obviously have to put him off crap like 23s. Even giving him a wide range like AA-55, and any suited connectors from AKs-JTs makes you 82% on this flop, and I just can't see someone in a 2/4 game calling a re-raise of 9 BBs on top of a 3 BB raise with pairs less than nines or tens (and that's iffy) or A-face suited, so that makes you 93%. If you're not going to call as a 93% favourite, then you're playing the wrong game.

In reality you were only a 54% favourite against 23s, but just like you can't assume your opponents always have aces, you also can't assume you're always facing total donkeys.

As for the pre-flop bump, I'll do that any day. You want to be heads-up with aces, and a big raise like that is actually a good overbet for value. I'd do that hoping I met AKs or KK and get re-re-raised all-in

Good call.

Alan aka RecessRampage said...

Interesting points. One thing I don't always like to bump AA is because it's almost like advertising the hand. I guess I need to start doing that with a bigger range of hands. But if I were him, I certainly would call that reraise with any pocket pair. Because we're both deep, even with the reraise, there's clearly enough implied odds to call with any pair. If I don't hit a set, I'll muck. But if I do, I'll play it like I also have an overpair, knowing that I'm gonna get all my money in the middle if I hit a set and make the AA draw to a two-outer...

Sia said...

I was at a 1/2 NL table in Vegas last weekend and got dealt JJ. Pre-flop raise to 25 and I just call. Flop comes 9,9,2 and the guy bets another 25. I just call again (not sure why I didn't come over top here but that's not the point of the story). Turn comes a 10 and the guy bets another 25 and I come over top for 80. I guess the guy thought I was setting him up with the trip 9's so he folded his pocket aces after much deliberation. I was pretty shocked. I didn't call many pre-flop raises so for him to think I had a 9 underneath was pretty silly (no way i call a preflop raise with that big with A/9 so he really should have put me on QQ or KK when I raised...or even maybe A/10). The guy was pretty much demoralized when I told him what I had.

oossuuu754 said...

Gotta Call, Your raises should have cleared all the pairs out below 1010, with that bet I would put him on KxKs and in that case you are more than 4 to 1 on him. He made a crazy call prflop and if he stacks you then he stacks.

Nice hand

Fuel55 said...

This smells like a big draw. Folding AA is fine and calling is OK too. Lower variance player folds.

He almost never has a set here.

Fuel55 said...

*** HOLE CARDS ***
groinal: folds
lange4me03: folds
FRiaR SKanK: folds
jucifer: folds
HipHipHooray: checks
jess112234: folds
Fuel55: calls $5 from SB with [Ts 7s]
Born2DogBaby: raises $50 to $60
HipHipHooray: folds
Fuel55: calls $50

*** FLOP *** [Kd 7h 7c]
Fuel55: checks
Born2DogBaby: bets $60
Fuel55: raises $130 to $190
Born2DogBaby: calls $130

*** TURN *** [Kd 7h 7c] [6d]
Fuel55: bets $200
Born2DogBaby: calls $200

*** RIVER *** [Kd 7h 7c 6d] [Js]
Fuel55: bets $207 and is all-in
Born2DogBaby: calls $207

*** SHOW DOWN ***
Fuel55: shows [Ts 7s] (three of a kind, Sevens)
Born2DogBaby: mucks hand [Ah Ad]
Fuel55 collected $1326 from pot

Alan aka RecessRampage said...

Fuel, you GOTTA be kidding. That flop is impossible to fold with AA, no? I know I can't. He sensed something was wrong so he seemed to have slowed down but nonetheless wasn't able to throw his hand away. But if you fold AA there, then IMO, you shouldn't even play... I mean I think some hands, you just gotta accept that you're gonna be felted. Fuel, I think I have your email address somewhere... I'm gonna find a way to get in touch with you.

Klopzi said...


Six months late and I haven't read the other comments, as I'm sure no one will read mine.

However, I'll just say that unless your opponent is the tightest of all tight players, folding AA on this flop is a mistake. The pot's too big and you're going to see draws and overpairs enough times to justify your call.

In situations like this, I tend to trust the math.