Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Too weak? Or good fold?

This was an interesting hand that came up. Early in the session, this hand came up. Some may argue that I should c-bet the flop here but I don't really like making useless c-bets against multiple players. Maybe that's a weakness in my game but it's one that I morphed into when my frequent c-bets started getting check raised more often than I won.

Full Tilt Poker Game #3331227750: Table Copper Mesa - $3/$6 - No Limit Hold'em - 14:47:42 ET - 2007/08/22
Seat 1: SL6767 ($697.90)
Seat 2: RecessRampage ($674.10)
Seat 3: nwoodside04 ($222)
Seat 4: THEROBBOB20 ($567)
Seat 5: dean06 ($259)
Seat 6: cheese7612 ($658)
Seat 7: chipwizard1 ($264)
Seat 8: chicagocards1 ($660)
Seat 9: doc4 ($328)
cheese7612 has 5 seconds left to act
cheese7612 posts the small blind of $3
chipwizard1 posts the big blind of $6
The button is in seat #5
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Ah Qc]
chicagocards1 calls $6
doc4 folds
SL6767 calls $6
RecessRampage raises to $33
nwoodside04 folds
dean06 folds
cheese7612 folds
chipwizard1 calls $27
chicagocards1 calls $27
SL6767 calls $27

So to set the setting here for those of you that sometimes have a hard time picturing the position, etc based on these HH, UTG limps, MP limps, I raise and the BB, and the two limpers call my raise. The good news is, I have position. Bad news is, we're going to see the flop 4 handed.

*** FLOP *** [7h Js 5d]
chipwizard1 checks
chicagocards1 checks
SL6767 checks
RecessRampage checks

This is what I'm curious about. Would you throw out a c-bet here? I think a lot of people would, justifying that they are a) throwing out a c-bet to try to take it down here and b) betting for information. Personally, I'm not a big fan of that in a 4 handed pot. It's one thing if we were heads up. Now granted, if I bet and get check raised, it will only cost me the bet I throw out there but that could get fairly pricy. So, I checked here.

*** TURN *** [7h Js 5d] [7c]
chipwizard1 checks
chicagocards1 checks
SL6767 checks
RecessRampage checks

2nd round of checks but with another 7 coming on the board, I have no reason to bet now and at this point, I've all but given up on making a play. Betting out here will make no sense since it would be obvious to all that the 7 clearly didn't help me.

*** RIVER *** [7h Js 5d 7c] [As]
chipwizard1 bets $135
chicagocards1 folds
SL6767 folds
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage has requested TIME

Now this is where it gets interesting. I finally catch my card that I've been wanting. And yet the moment that card comes out, the BB makes a pot sized bet. Keep in mind that I was the original raiser AND there are 3 others to go in this hand from the BB's perspective and yet he's making a pot sized bet? That to me screams of a monster (can you say presto?). Now granted, I don't know anything about this guy so he could be betting with an ace. But at this point, why make a pot sized bet when the one card that is likely to help someone hits? If he has AK, I'm beaten (and I shoulda thrown out a c-bet on the flop). But his play would seem consistent if he had 55 as well. At this point, there aren't too many hands my AQ can beat so, this is what I ended up doing.

RecessRampage folds
Uncalled bet of $135 returned to chipwizard1
chipwizard1 mucks
chipwizard1 wins the pot ($132)

Personally, I think it's a good fold. Again, one can argue that I shoulda bet on the flop but I stand against my decision on that one as well. I think there's a time and a place for continuation bets and blindly firing out bets "for information" is actually a leak more often than not, IMO. Any thoughts?


Mike Maloney said...

A few things popped into my head reading the HH:

-Do you ever just call preflop in a situation like that? With people to act behind you, and with the original limpers yet to call your raise, do you think a raise with AQo is your best move? To me, it seems like the best outcome for you by raising is getting everyone else to fold preflop. AQo is a tough hand to play postflop, especially in a multi-way pot. In that situation, I'd be more inclined to just play it small and call, like I would with some suited connectors, and see if I can hit the flop well.

-I agree with you on the c-bet. You totally missed the flop, there are three other people in there who could have a wide range of hands, there really is no incentive for you to bet here.

-Same goes for the turn.

-Even on the river, when you hit your ace, if it were checked around to me, I'd probably just check it anyways. If I bet on the river, more than likely the only people who will call/re-raise can beat me, and it's unlikely I'll get someone with A-x to call. I would have been done with the hand on the turn, regardless of what drops on the river. So considering all that, the river bet is an easy fold, in my opinion. I think the chances that you are ahead are pretty small, and he probably has a set of 7s or maybe even 55 like you said and tried slowplaying the hand unsuccessfully and is now trying to get some value on the river since someone probably has an ace.

So, postflop I agree with everything you did, but preflop, I'm probably just calling with AQo there. It's a weak hand postflop, and is beat easily in a multiway pot, so you want to keep the amount of money you get into the pot small until you really have a hand.

KajaPoker said...

I think you should have just called it in position pre-flop rather than raise. This way you keep the pot small and still have room for a c-bet on the flop to get some information. It would end up being the same amount combined but at least this way you can get away from the hand cheaply on the flop if there is action before it gets to you.

jamyhawk said...

I don't mind the steal attempt pre-flop. Especially because you are in MP. And I can see not betting on the flop (although my donkey ass would c-bet from last position -I probably over value position betting).

But there is no way I don't bet on turn. I can see that first to act would not bet out with bottom set. But how could he not bet out with the boat, hoping someone hit the trip 7's, especially since no one bet on the flop. I would think the board is too scary for the KQ, or K10, or A10, or small pocket pair to stay in.

Maybe I don't see it at the low limits I play at. I don't see someone slow playing through 2 streets to make a pull bet (per HOY) on the river.

Calling from the BB, I think opens up a wider range of hands he would have played with, so I would put him on A10, or AXsuited. I would have called and then maybe he would be writing in his blog "how to slow play to pay day".

Fuel55 said...

You had squat in the pot versus $135 of new money - easy fold given the way you played it. You don't have the best hand 1/3 of the time here.

Gnome said...

Man, this raise preflop with AQ is a no-brainer to me. Just calling with it preflop in position would be very weak, imho.
I don't think your opponent has AK because he probably would have raised preflop. I'd be inclined to call the river bet, but it seems read-dependent.

Alan aka RecessRampage said...

Very interesting comments.

Mike, to address your question, sometimes, I would limp. But AQ in MP, it's VERY rare for me to limp. For multiple reasons.

a) I'd like to thin the field. I'd rather be in a multiway pot with suited connectors and one gappers than AQ.

b) If my hand is good enough to take down preflop, that's ok with me. AQ is not a monster hand and I'm not trying to build a pot here but rather just taking down the pot that now includes two limpers.

c) I'd like to discourage the people with position to be in the hand. By raising, it's less likely that someone would call behind me unless they have a hand.

So, preflop, it's a no brainer here. I agree with gnome that if you're limping here with AQ, when WOULD YOU raise? That's just weak play, IMO. If you're limping for variation like 2 out of 10 times, fine. But anything more and that's just waiting for disaster to happen.

Jamyhawk, the only question I would have if I were you is why would someone with A10 or Ax bet out on the river? Bluff? Value bet? Unless the guy is a tard, there's no reason to make that kind of a bet there with a paired ace.

Mike Maloney said...

I'm not saying I never raise with AQ, I do it all the time. But with two EP limpers, I don't think it's worth it to raise there.

lucko said...


Limping behind with AQ is pretty gross IMO.

Oh and move to 6 max.

Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

1. Of course you raise preflop with the AQ. Can't imagine why you would not want to limit the playing field here.

2. For that same reason, I definitely c-bet on this flop. As I've written about many times, I am all about not c-betting on a flop where it is obvious that at least someone hit the board and will not lay down. i.e., when you raise preflop with 77, you get 3 callers and then the flop comes AKJ, and it's checked to you. Why c-bet your pair of 7s there, when you know you're behind to someone and you know there is precisely zero chance of the other 3 players laying down to your c-bet.

However, in this case the flop is quite raggy at J75 rainbow. Here, after three checks, I would put in a standard c-bet of probably around 70% of the pot in the hopes that I could take it down right here on the flop. On a better flop I am with you 100% about not c-betting, but here I think you had some chance of winning it outright.

What's more, a flop c-bet would surely eliminate one if not two of the three other players in this hand with you, which is the best reason of all I think for you to do it since your hand of AQ is only likely to win at this point if you get heads-up.

3. I believe he had a 7 in his hand, checked the flop with 2nd pair, then checked the turn hoping to get in a checkraise. Not sure how you jump right to presto (though that is clearly a possibility as well) -- I think given the action it's more likely that he picked up trips on the turn, hoped to raise someone but now wants to make up for that missed bet by betting the pot here at the river from first position. I say he had A7s, K7s or 87s or something like that.

Great post as always.

Anonymous said...

I like how you played this on all streets.

Limping AQ is totally weak you have to raise it.

In a four way pot I may C-bet 20% of the time but what you are mostly looking at is a check-raise, and facing one I don't know how you could re-raise with A high.

Check check fold, move on to the next hand, and find a better spot