Wednesday, March 26, 2008

2nd part of the AK hand and 4 betting

Last night was a pretty fun night even though on the virtual felt, it resulted in some mass spewage. A few things I discovered last night.

1) It's not a good idea to check raise a ace high flop with a gutter ball straight draw.
2) It's almost guaranteed spewage when the turn brings a card that now gives you a double belly buster.
3) If I shove the river after checkraising flop, betting said turn, and the blank falls, can I get AJ to fold? (I guess this is not discovery, this is question).
4) Talking to Fuel on the phone is entertaining.
5) Above results in spewage because I'm not focusing on tables as much as I should.

All told, I think I ended the night down 4 buy ins... So gross. Half my weekend gain. Poof. Gone. Such a cruel game. At least I came in 4th (I think) in the Bodonkey and got me some bonus T$ and much needed points.

Alright, so now back to the AK hand. Here's where we left off yesterday. The situation was that I raised from UTG+1 at a 6 max table and the button who had close to twice the buy-in reraised me. Below are the relevant stacks.

Seat 1: dirtyfolder ($761.90)
Seat 5: RecessRampage ($458.50)

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Ah Kh]
Doornail8 folds
RecessRampage raises to $14
Billy Lexington folds
dirtyfolder has 15 seconds left to act
dirtyfolder raises to $48 <--- from the button
jiggyji folds
Lvl18Wizard has 15 seconds left to act
Lvl18Wizard folds
RecessRampage calls $34

So basically, this is where I left off and Gnome and Cmitch advocated 4 betting. Well as of right now, 4 betting is really not in my arsenal so that's why you see me call.

*** FLOP *** [5c Tc Kd]

The flop was as good as it gets for my AK given the situation. Here, I asked everyone what their thoughts were and I think pretty much everyone except PokerPeaker decided that going broke here would be inevitable. To his defense, PokerPeaker said that at the levels he plays, anyone hardly 3 bets so a lot of credit is given to the 3 bet. However, I will say this. If you think people are only 3 betting with AA or KK, toss your AK preflop to the reraise. Calling the preflop reraise is the WORST thing you can do if you are gonna fold the K high board to immense pressure.

So, having said that, this is what I did.

RecessRampage checks
dirtyfolder bets $70
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage raises to $210
dirtyfolder has 15 seconds left to act
dirtyfolder raises to $713.90, and is all in

Ok, so now, I'm feeling sick. The problem is, I felt that if he's just cbetting, he'll fold to this checkraise. When he then shoved, I thought "oh shit, he's got AA." If I had gone with what everyone else said which was to check raise all in, I am not putting myself in this spot. But now, the pot is so big. There's $600 in there and it's like $200 more for me to call. I'm getting 3:1. Sure, the guy could have AA or KK but he could also have AK. I feel that I'm more or less pot committed so I make a crying call.

RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage has requested TIME <--- I thought about it long and hard though...
RecessRampage calls $200.50, and is all in
dirtyfolder shows [6c 8c] <--- BALLSY
RecessRampage shows [Ah Kh]
Uncalled bet of $303.40 returned to dirtyfolder
*** TURN *** [5c Tc Kd] [Th]
*** RIVER *** [5c Tc Kd Th] [7s]
dirtyfolder shows a pair of Tens
RecessRampage shows two pair, Kings and Tens
RecessRampage wins the pot ($920) with two pair, Kings and Tens

I actually thought this was a very interesting hand. The thing is if we were both deeper, that shove is almost masterful in the sense that it would be really hard for me to call... I checkraise for 3x the cbet and he comes over the top. Because I only had $200 remaining, there was close to zero fold equity at that point from the opponent's standpoint. I mean I am not putting that much money in there and laying down TPTK. If he has AA, I pay him off for sure. Hell, I paid off AA with JJ last night. These are such tough situations you run into, especially with a lot of aggressive players playing 6 max.

The thing is, I'm not too crazy about how I played this hand. I am personally not a big fan of the checkraise because as spritpot mentions in the comment, you don't get much value from worse hands. So by checkraising, you are announcing your hand and so you might have extracted the extra cbet but beyond that you don't get anything unless you are beat (or the guy loves his draws). So, in hindsight, I kinda like the idea of betting into the pot initially. However, I am not a big fan of betting into the pot with the intention of calling a shove. I'm not sure that you get much value out of that either. You either get a guy who may call for one street with QQ but if you bet again on the turn, most likely he'll go away. But if you bet out on the flop and the guy shoves, can you really call? How often are you ahead there? Plus, he'll have a lot more fold equity so in this instance, if I bet out and he shoves, I only have about $100 in there (assuming I bet $70 like he did) and I would have to call off another $300? I don't know that that's a good idea either. Which is why AK is so hard.

So, based on this, I thought about the idea of the 4 bet. I don't mind incorporating 4 bet into my arsenal but I'm somewhat skeptical of the 4 bet. I'm probably skeptical because it's not in my arsenal. But my initial thought is that by 4 betting, don't you just get the worse hands to fold and better hands to stick around? Unless you can 4 bet with a wider range, it really allows the opponent to zero in on what you have. Gnome mentioned that with AK, he would like to 4 bet preflop if he's out of position. Basically though, let's say you just bought in to the table so you have $400. Let's assume your opponent has the same amount. Action comes, you have AK. You are in the CO and you put in a standard raise of $14. The button who you don't have much information on but you know plays a fair amount of 6 max puts in a standard pot sized reraise, bumping it up to $48. Let's say you put in another pot sized raise, bumping it up to approx $150. If the villain calls now what?

Now, the pot is over $300 and you have approximately $250 remaining. Let's say the flop comes Q high, what do you do? Do you shove and play it like AA or KK? Same question with an all low flop. Do you shove anyways? In other words, are you turning AK into AA/KK? Or are you done with the hand if you don't hit an A or K? I feel that 4 betting AK especially OOP would put you in a very tough spot. What would you do?

God, people say they hate playing JJ but AK seems just as hard. So much easier in a tournament where you can just shove and pray with either hand because there's value in stealing blinds unlike a cash game where the blinds are static.

Ah well. Some more stuff to think about. See you at the Mookie tonight!

Oh, and I almost forgot. Congrats to Tilt Away who is a buddy of mine for winning the Skills series last night. Way to take down razz Greg. You suck but at least you now have a TOC seat and I don't. But I'll be there and it's nice to have some dead money in the TOC. :)

17 comments:

AnguilA said...

I truly hate AK in cash games. I think it's the most difficult hand to play correctly, so I mostly stick to playing it like the premium hand that it is, 3-betting and 4-betting with it. I also usually do it with AA and KK, so yes, you could say that in many occassions I play AK exactly like AA or KK. And I'm always wondering if that's correct by the way...

Shrike said...

Another example of how AKs is difficult to play out of position.

I think you have to plan ahead and decide preflop, if you are going to call a RR, that you're committed (doubly so given your stack size) if you hit the flop. So I prefer the line of leading out with the intention of coming over the top myself, because you get to put in the last raise without having to make any difficult postflop decisions.

Eric a.k.a. Bone Daddy said...

Agree a/k is a bitch in cash games. I find a couple of interesting things about this hand.

I like everything about the way villain played the hand, I like the 3-bet preflop, in position with a connector rather than an easily dominated hand like ace queen, I like the re-pop on the flop, as it looks rather value-ish by not jamming. Are you calling the jam? You sure you weren't playing Lucko in this hand?
He had outs, and he put on enough pressure that the fold equity combined with 9 outs was a solid play.
That being said, you have to relay on your initial read, and I think that is why gnomie and mitch endorse a 4-bet here, your read is that you have the best hand and he is making a move; you need to play the percentages and push that edge. 1 way or the other, a lot of money is getting in the pot on this one, good read and call.

Alan aka RecessRampage said...

Shrike,
What would you do if he shoves so you can't put in the last raise? In other words, you lead out for $70 on the flop and he shoves. You really call $300 more? IMO, that's a pretty significant leakage/spewage.

spritpot said...

I'm suprised with how aggro the games that AK is not an auto 4b. I think that most regulars are going broke with AK preflop for 100bbs in most NL400+ game.

When you chose to just call PF and you miss the flop, do you just check fold? I think this highlights the importance of a 4b with AK when OOP.

-Brackchips

Alan aka RecessRampage said...

Spritpot,
Great question. I'm not a believer in building pots preflop OOP in a cash game. That's just not my style. I don't 4-bet (currently) with AA or KK so I have no reason to do so with AK. I actually like to see more cards. In other words, I'm more comfortable playing the flop and the turn than just trying to jam it in preflop with a predetermined course of action for the flop.

However, if the flop is all low, it's a different story and I might try to rep a pocket pair. However, if he jams, I'm not going to war with AK. So what if I get bluffed off with a suited connector? I only had A high (if I don't hit). Trying to go broke with AK is not in my formula for success in cash games. I do question the profitability of all the people that advocate pretty much committing to going all in regardless of the flop with AK.

Shrike said...

Alan, on this particular flop I am willing to felt with TPTK if I call the preflop RR out of position.

Otherwise, it makes no sense to call the RR preflop and I should have just dumped it and saved $34 earlier in the hand.

You are ahead of a chunk of the 3-bettor's range with TPTK by my way of thinking. Now, would I be all that comfortable calling a shove? No way. But I'd stick with my plan and call. If anything, you do gain some meta-game value for future situations against this opponent and other players at the table when they discover you're willing to stand up to them in spots like this.

WillWonka said...

It seems like the thing with AK is and I think this is why 4 betting may be right is that AK is definitely a hand that you want to see all 5 cards.

An example might be similar to me last night. I raised with AKs and got reraised. We were similarly stacked at about 100BB. I ended up pushing and he called with QQ. I spiked my K on the turn or river where I might have folded to a flop bet.

Not sure if that means anything. I'm just saying that 3 betting obviously doesn't means AA or KK.

I apologize if this has already been stated or is already obvious.

Alan aka RecessRampage said...

Willwonka, I agree about AK being a hand you wanna see all 5 cards. That's obvious. If you can see all 5 cards, then against most, you are only a slight dog to a coinflip. The thing is, 4 betting doesn't mean you're gonna see all 5 cards unless you are saying 4 bet shove. And that is one thing I thought about and maybe one thing that I'll include in my post tomorrow.

spritpot said...

I think bet-folding the flop in this case is the worst possible line. You're turning your hand into a complete bluff, are you not?

-bruechips

spritpot said...

Also regarding not wanting to build a pot pre-flop OOP with AK, I disagree again. At a loose-aggressive game where you're not up against AA or KK that often here (and from what I've seen, the average 2/4 6-max game is such a situation), you want to get in a ton of money pre-flop with AK, ESPECIALLY out of position. I think you want to get to a point where you can shove all-in on the flop for about pot. Being out of position for the rest of the hand is a huge disadvantage, but the shallower you are relative to the pot size when you see the flop, the less of a disadvantage it is.

Just for argument's sake, if you want to keep the pot small OOP, why not limp?

-bruechips

pokerpeaker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pokerpeaker said...

I agree with what you said about calling a three bet with A-K. Which is why I don't. :)

At my levels, It's almost a guarentee that the guy would have had QQ-AA, and you're probably beat with the shove there.


I need to move up! Your levels look like a lot more fun. Come on, Bodog, gimmie some love.

Gnome said...

AK is a premium preflop hand that loses value as soon as the flop hits.
I'm not saying you have to go broke with AK every time preflop, but it's definitely a hand to play strongly.
You asked, "If the villain calls now what?"
The reality is that very few villains will call a 4-bet. Usually they'll either shove or fold. If they shove, calling off with AK isn't the worst thing in the world, and folding is still an option depending on your read.
For those opponents who will call a 4-bet, you can generally put them on a tight range. Proceed on the flop accordingly depending on your read, being especially wary of JJ and TT, which are notorious 4-bet calling hands.

Greg said...

As I said last night, I think I found my calling in poker. I'm such a donkey when trying to have the best hand, it makes sense that I can win with the worst hand.

spritpot said...

Great pt by Gnome here about villains flat calling a 4b. You will RARELY find yourself in this situation unless you are both DEEP (200bb+).

spritpot said...

Also - if the flop comes Q high and your villain happened to flat called your 4b and you are OOP...do not pass go, do not collect $200, SHIP IT IN. (assuming 100bb-ish stacks). Villain might be dumb enough to try to set mine with a PP, or try to hit a big draw with a sooted connector. They could also have something in the AK-AT range as well.