Monday, July 2, 2012

Tricky AA Hand

Here is another submission by a student.  The play is standard from pre-flop to turn, but the river action is where things get interesting, especially when we begin to consider alternate paths that this hand could have taken.


Player Commentary on Turn:

Opponent is a pretty solid reg.  I'm not sure what to do at this point.  I feel like if I bet I might get some value from a worse FD calling but can't really think of a Kx or Qx hand that calls the flop here.  I'm free rolling against all other Ax hands but still felt like I shouldn't bet here since I can't think of almost any hand that can call, so I check.

Short Stack Hero's Analysis:

With a reg in the BB, he can have almost any hand in a 3-way pot, but you can be reasonably certain that his cards are almost always suited and/or connected in some way.

I don't suspect he has a set or made straight yet, because this is not the kind of flop that a reg (hero) c-bet bluffs at when up against two callers. If he was already there, and especially with the size of the pot already, I suspect he check/shoves and merges his range with all his draws. More likely, he has a pair/gut shot combo, or some kind of flush draw that he doesn't feel is good enough to check shove, which incidentally is probably not enough good enough to flat the flop, in my opinion.  For the record, I don't think he has a flush draw and I would weight the option towards the former.

The turn card sucks, even though you picked up a draw. Your straight has absolutely no value, obviously. If he were to lead more than 1/2 pot, you clearly have to fold, since he would be challenging an ace or overpair to call, and holding the nut draw, your implied odds are terrible. Your nut draw blocker also significantly reduces his holdings going into the river, but as you can see, it is pretty irrelevant to the way this hand plays out.

The river overbet is a must fold and only fish, amateurs, and low-level pros would make this call. Does he have it? I think maybe like 20-25% he has the straight, and like 10-15% he has a flush, at the most. More importantly, he has a pretty good idea of what you have, so he can purposely twist your arm into making a bad call or bad fold, but he also knows you literally can never profit here. I think he has nothing a majority of the time, but he has laid you such poor odds that you are helpless.

If he were to check, I would shove, for the opposite reason. Since he would likely lead out all bluffs and made hands, a check to you is a hope for a free showdown. And even though you never have a 7 here with the unlikely exception of exactly 77 (and he knows it) he can't be certain you don't have the flush, since this would have been the optimal way to play any flush/overcard combo. You could lay him such awful odds to a chop that he can't possibly call, even if he literally never believes you.

In an alternate scenario, I would make slight overbets in favor of shoving vs. fish, ironically, because they don't read hands as well, so a shove isn't necessary. On this particular board vs a good reg, he has a stronger awareness of ranges, lines, and odds and thus is more apt to call the overbet. With the shove, however, I suspect he is more likely to shy away due to pot odds, even though you are repping the exact same thing. 

Note: When in position, I make slight overbets here 100% of the time when checked to, and I would say that it gets folds about 75%. More importantly, it is very rare that you will bet and be beat at showdown.  This is VERY profitable, use it! 

No comments: