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Old 03-11-2018, 11:28 PM   #1
jesse8888
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Playing Aces like a clown

40/80 texas, game is fine but nothing amazing.

Reasonable prop opens UTG. Good playing prop (was once supernova elite) 3 bets the HJ. We have red aces and cold 4 OTB. One of the blinds calls, 4 ways.

942dd

check,check, HJ bets, I just call....

I almost never do this, but it sure felt like the spot to because:

1. Two of my opponents are pretty good and merit balance considerations.
2. I have aces, so when I'm ahead (almost always) I'm WAY ahead.
3. There are two players with uncapped ranges yet to act behind me, so more action could go in anyway.

Or should I just raise?
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:45 PM   #2
Aaron W.
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Re: Playing Aces like a clown

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We have red aces and cold 4 OTB...

942dd

1. Two of my opponents are pretty good and merit balance considerations.
What other hands are you cold-capping with? AA-JJ, AK?

If you've got AK here, do you call the bet from the good prop or do you raise it?

Getting into the head of the good prop, I've got to imagine that he's betting here to avoid things being checked through. So maybe a hand like QQ-TT? I don't think he leads with overcards and a hand like 99 is strong enough to hope to check-raise the field.

So it kind of comes down to whether he's calling down with those hands if you raise right away. Is he "good enough" to fold QQ-TT if you keep firing away? Possibly, but I'd rather not assume a player is going to fold an overpair in a big pot because it feels optimistic.

This means that raising AK really isn't that good of a play, and so I like the call with AA sometimes to balance the AK that I'm calling with. But only against a player where the flop lead is probably what it feels like it is. You have to worry about an A or K falling against QQ and slowing him down so that you don't have as much of a chance to win back the money you're passing on with the flop call.

Interesting spot.
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Old 03-12-2018, 12:00 AM   #3
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Re: Playing Aces like a clown

I would never raise with over cards in this spot. I definitely have 99 in my range,and maybe even 88. AKo, AQs, and perhaps a smattering of suited connectors I don't really know how I was playing at the time (if I was on top of it enough to realize the aggressors were the only other two decent players in the game).
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Old 03-12-2018, 12:08 AM   #4
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Re: Playing Aces like a clown

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I would never raise with over cards in this spot. I definitely have 99 in my range,and maybe even 88. AKo, AQs, and perhaps a smattering of suited connectors I don't really know how I was playing at the time (if I was on top of it enough to realize the aggressors were the only other two decent players in the game).
If 99 is in your range, I think I would favor raising AA and using 99 as your balance. This would make your flop range be something like this:

Total hands: 59

Call - AK/AQs (20 hands -- 34%) and 99 (3 hands -- 5%)
Raise - AA-TT (30 hands -- 51%)
Fold - 88 (6 hands -- 10%)

I think this is better because it also gives your opponents more AA combos to potentially be holding here.
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Old 03-12-2018, 02:10 AM   #5
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Re: Playing Aces like a clown

Raise, you are leveling yourself to think flatting is best after all the action pre-flop

Also you might want to pm a mod to move this to the mid-stakes
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Old 03-12-2018, 09:53 AM   #6
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Re: Playing Aces like a clown

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Also you might want to pm a mod to move this to the mid-stakes
Not gonna happen.
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Old 03-12-2018, 10:30 AM   #7
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Re: Playing Aces like a clown

This is fine.
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Old 03-12-2018, 11:31 AM   #8
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Re: Playing Aces like a clown

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If 99 is in your range, I think I would favor raising AA and using 99 as your balance. This would make your flop range be something like this:

Total hands: 59

Call - AK/AQs (20 hands -- 34%) and 99 (3 hands -- 5%)
Raise - AA-TT (30 hands -- 51%)
Fold - 88 (6 hands -- 10%)

I think this is better because it also gives your opponents more AA combos to potentially be holding here.
I'd prefer to put 99's in my flop raise range especially with AA's possibly being out there. I'd want to try to induce action and win the max with this holding.
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Old 03-12-2018, 11:36 AM   #9
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Re: Playing Aces like a clown

I like waiting with this hand. The HJ will probably shut down if you raise the flop. He will probably bet the turn unless an action killer like an Ace hits.
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Old 03-12-2018, 11:38 AM   #10
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Re: Playing Aces like a clown

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Not gonna happen.
Why?
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Old 03-12-2018, 11:41 AM   #11
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Re: Playing Aces like a clown

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I would never raise with over cards in this spot. I definitely have 99 in my range,and maybe even 88. AKo, AQs, and perhaps a smattering of suited connectors I don't really know how I was playing at the time (if I was on top of it enough to realize the aggressors were the only other two decent players in the game).
I would fold 88's and 99's in this spot. I would cap against very laggy or bad players.
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Old 03-12-2018, 11:50 AM   #12
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Re: Playing Aces like a clown

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Originally Posted by monikrazy View Post
Raise, you are leveling yourself to think flatting is best after all the action pre-flop

Also you might want to pm a mod to move this to the mid-stakes
I did consider where to post and decided that I basically only post hands in this forum now. But normally you'd be right. I strive to select games that I could talk about here and it's been treating me quite well.
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Old 03-12-2018, 11:55 AM   #13
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Re: Playing Aces like a clown

So yes I would always raise the flop with 99 just because with that hand I can put in unlimited action. Also I feel like if I get to flat with 16 combos of Ace king and at least 4 combos of AQs, I want the full 6 AA combos as balance. I'm making that up obviously with no mathematically merit.

Moving along.....(hand has another decision point).

I just call....BB calls, gun raises, hj 3 bets, i just call again (remember there is a diamond draw on the board....that's the hand I'm supposed to credibly have and these guys have seen me cap 87 suited). BB now folds, gun caps, we call.

4 ways, 14.5 big bets in the pot.

942dd-Jr

Gun leads and HJ raises again.....3 town?
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Old 03-12-2018, 12:23 PM   #14
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Re: Playing Aces like a clown

I'd raise the flop. Pot is getting big and I think the value of folding weak draws is greater than getting action from those same weak draws.

As played I'd call the turn. The liability of uncoordinated cooperation by utg and HJ vs your strategy is very real. However, since you don't know for sure that they are cooperating, you must, imo, protect your turn calling strategy by calling this hand in order to dissolve such cooperation before it happens. In other words, if you 3 bet this turn and showdown, then next time this situation happens they may cooperate if you just call; your turn calling range will become significantly capped to the point that you may be exploited.

I think this may all be avoided by raising the flop.
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Old 03-12-2018, 12:33 PM   #15
Aaron W.
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Re: Playing Aces like a clown

Quote:
Originally Posted by mongidig View Post
I'd prefer to put 99's in my flop raise range especially with AA's possibly being out there. I'd want to try to induce action and win the max with this holding.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jesse8888 View Post
So yes I would always raise the flop with 99 just because with that hand I can put in unlimited action.
Good point.

Quote:
I just call....BB calls, gun raises, hj 3 bets, i just call again (remember there is a diamond draw on the board....that's the hand I'm supposed to credibly have and these guys have seen me cap 87 suited). BB now folds, gun caps, we call.

4 ways, 14.5 big bets in the pot.

942dd-Jr

Gun leads and HJ raises again.....3 town?
I don't think you're behind here. AA-QQ are still on the table. I don't think you've got enough information to believe that JJ/99 dominate their ranges.

I go ahead and 3-bet it now, even though it ought to freeze the action. If you *knew* you would be caught in a raising war by just calling, I'd go ahead and call. But I don't think you can assume that UTG is going to keep firing after being raised here.

It sucks if anyone caps you because that action skews the hand ranges towards sets and you're never folding. But I'd rather get the extra bets in the pot than not, and the risk of running into sets is small enough (with two villains putting money in) to make it worth attempting to squeeze the extra bets. (And maybe they read your raise as LOL-AJs... who knows?)
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Old 03-12-2018, 02:07 PM   #16
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Re: Playing Aces like a clown

It's important to remember combo counting here. There are 6 combos of 99/JJ. 18 combos of TT/KK/QQ. Possible that baby sets are in play also
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Old 03-12-2018, 02:27 PM   #17
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Re: Playing Aces like a clown

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It's important to remember combo counting here. There are 6 combos of 99/JJ. 18 combos of TT/KK/QQ. Possible that baby sets are in play also
A 3:1 winning ratio against two players is easy money. If you include *ALL* set (include 22 and 44), then you've got 12 total set combos (3:2 winning ratio).

Taking all of those set combos into account, you're 60% ahead and 40% behind. It's not perfect, but assuming that both players' hands are independent of each other, you're still +EV against two players (36% winning chances putting in 33% of the money). You would have to include J9 in the mix to tip the scale, which I suppose is possible if UTG is loose up front.

Any amount of lowering the probability that UTG opens with 22/44 increases your margin. Lowering the probability of TT will cut back into that. But I think in any equitable splitting of those probabilities, you remain in good shape against two players.
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:46 PM   #18
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Re: Playing Aces like a clown

If you care about balance considerations, should also consider flatting pre. Now when you raise flop, you often induce them to 3b with worse, or induce a turn xr when you can 3b.
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:50 PM   #19
Aaron W.
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Re: Playing Aces like a clown

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If you care about balance considerations, should also consider flatting pre.
I have exactly zero hands in my cold-call-3 preflop range. So there's nothing to balance there.

Balancing is not about playing hands differently just to play them differently. You want whatever hand range you have given the particular action to be a mixture of strong and weak hands.

Edit: More precisely, if I add cold-calling 3 preflop with AA sometimes, I will also need to cold-call 3 preflop with other hands to have a balanced range. Otherwise, my coldcall signals that I have AA.
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Old 03-12-2018, 09:13 PM   #20
jesse8888
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Re: Playing Aces like a clown

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A 3:1 winning ratio against two players is easy money. If you include *ALL* set (include 22 and 44), then you've got 12 total set combos (3:2 winning ratio).

Taking all of those set combos into account, you're 60% ahead and 40% behind. It's not perfect, but assuming that both players' hands are independent of each other, you're still +EV against two players (36% winning chances putting in 33% of the money). You would have to include J9 in the mix to tip the scale, which I suppose is possible if UTG is loose up front.

Any amount of lowering the probability that UTG opens with 22/44 increases your margin. Lowering the probability of TT will cut back into that. But I think in any equitable splitting of those probabilities, you remain in good shape against two players.
Doesn't all this "math" ignore the fact that when I'm behind (and pretty much exactly when I'm behind) more bets are going to go in? It's sure starting to "feel" pretty close to me.

And yeah I never call a 3 bet preflop outside of the big blind really. These guys probably think I'm wider than I am, and that probably helps here.

It would be pretty hard for either player to have the baby sets or J9s. They're obviously possible but need to be discounted AND aren't many combos to begin with.

So yes on the whole I feel like I'm in good shape until exactly one more raise goes in, at which point I am in pretty bad shape.
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Old 03-12-2018, 10:01 PM   #21
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Re: Playing Aces like a clown

I didn’t realize the B.B. was in. I like the flop call more three handed. The B.B. can Gabe some nines in his range and I’d hate to get runner runnerd. I’d probabky just call the turn here.
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Old 03-12-2018, 10:14 PM   #22
Aaron W.
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Re: Playing Aces like a clown

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Doesn't all this "math" ignore the fact that when I'm behind (and pretty much exactly when I'm behind) more bets are going to go in? It's sure starting to "feel" pretty close to me.
At some level, yes. At another level, not quite. It all depends on how you see things playing out. As the hand ranges get smaller, small changes in assumptions can have significant impacts on the calculations involved. And depending on how optimistic or pessimistic those assumptions are, you can get vastly different conclusions.

Let's say you cold-call the turn. There are basically two primary scenarios you're thinking about.

C1) UTG calls. River action is check-bet-call.
C2) UTG 3-bets. Expected action is call-call, bet-call-call.

I think turn capping is pretty rare, so I'm not really giving it much consideration.

If you 3-bet the turn, there are another two scenarios that you're thinking about.

R1) Someone caps. It doesn't matter how this plays out. One bet is going in on the river.
R2) Nobody caps. You're also getting one bet on the river.

So with these four scenarios:

C1 -- You win with high probability.
C2 -- You win with moderate probability.
R1 -- You win with moderate probability.
R2 -- You win with high probability

Now let's look at how many bets are going into the pot on the big streets:

C1 -- 9 BB
C2 -- 12 BB
R1 -- 15 BB
R2 -- 12 BB

At this point, it's impossible to proceed precisely unless you have exact winning probabilities.

But intuitively, If calling/raising both led you to the same winning frequency at showdown, raising is clearly better because you win bigger pots on average and you win at the same rate.

So the question is how less frequently you win when you 3-bet. Including *ALL* sets gives you something like a 36% win. Excluding baby sets gives you something like a 60% win. Your calling win% is probably closer to 60%, but how far off does it drop if you 3-bet? Down to 50%? 40%?

To take this to the next level, you can calculate the two-variable EV for both calling and raising based on assumed win percentages. You can then see how the balance of the probabilities impacts the EV.

Quote:
So yes on the whole I feel like I'm in good shape until exactly one more raise goes in, at which point I am in pretty bad shape.
Maybe try coming up with numbers for C1, C2, R1, and R2 above. Who knows whether or not they're real, but it would at least give you a concrete number to play with.

My intuition (which could easily be wrong) is that I do better driving the action on the turn (bigger pot size, slightly smaller win %) than I do calling on the turn and watching UTG shut down (smaller pot size, slightly larger win %).
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Old 03-12-2018, 11:03 PM   #23
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Re: Playing Aces like a clown

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I didnít realize the B.B. was in. I like the flop call more three handed. The B.B. can Gabe some nines in his range and Iíd hate to get runner runnerd. Iíd probabky just call the turn here.
That's actually a good point; I don't recall if it was SB or BB or really anything about that player, but yes he can have all sorts of sloppy 9s. The thing is he's not folding anything for 2 bets....like if he has 98s he's not putting it in the muck just because I raise. If he has a wheel draw. AXs that made a pair. Basically anything...he's going to call. So I dunno.

I actually elected to just call the turn.
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Old 03-12-2018, 11:55 PM   #24
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Re: Playing Aces like a clown

I think you should raise the flop, the problem with waiting until the turn (well, at least the one that's less obvious) is that the bettor is directly to your right, so you don't ever collect those extra missed bets on the turn when you raise and everyone has to face two cold. If the flop bettor/raiser was directly to your left and everyone called the flop (e.g. the BB cr'd the flop and everyone called), then it makes more sense.
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Old 03-13-2018, 01:49 AM   #25
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Re: Playing Aces like a clown

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I think you should raise the flop, the problem with waiting until the turn (well, at least the one that's less obvious) is that the bettor is directly to your right, so you don't ever collect those extra missed bets on the turn when you raise and everyone has to face two cold. If the flop bettor/raiser was directly to your left and everyone called the flop (e.g. the BB cr'd the flop and everyone called), then it makes more sense.
surely having 2 uncapped ranges left to act behind me helps, doesn't it? i mean, i get what you're saying, but a raising war can break out on the flop even if I don't go go bananas.
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