Monday, September 24, 2007

A Comment Response

In response to my horror story about the player at my table going broke in the first 3 minutes on Sunday's Event EB commented: "Out of curiosity, do you see yourself doing anything differently if you are either of those two players? (Except that if you'd been the player with the aces, of course the river would have been a non-pairing club).

Heres a recap of the hand if you've forgotten the details: Someone at my table went broke with AA vs KK on the third or fourth hand. We started with 15,000 chips and blinds of 25/50. One player raised to 130, the player with AA went to 230, and the player with KK made it 500. The initial raiser called, the player with AA made it 2,500 and got called by the player with KK. The flop came Q high with 3 clubs and they both had a club. All the money when in on the turn which happened to be a K.

I would have done a few things differently. First of all I would have made a slightly larger initial reraise if I was the player with the AA, going to maybe 350 instead of 230 and I would have gone a little bigger with the reraise if I was the player with KK also, but that's not really important. Since I didn't include them, let me fill in details of the remaining action. On the flop the player with AA bet 2,500 and got called and on the turn he went all in for 10,000 and got called.

The all in on the turn is a big mistake. When a player in front of you raises, you reraise, someone else raises again and then calls another BIG raise what they hell could they possibly have? Given that action and the fact that I already have AA if I'm that player, I'd put it at 70% KK, 15% QQ, 5% AA, 5% JJ, 4% AK, 1% all other hands.

So on the turn when the board has a K and a Q on it and your opponent called a bet on the flop what they hell can you beat? You have to hope that he's got JJ with the J of clubs or AK with the K of clubs, or the other two aces which are the only hands he could possibly have that you could beat. You wouldn't mind giving any of those hands a free card since you're a 22-1 favorite against the first two and freerolling against the other aces. On the other hand, in the extremely likely case that your opponent has KK or QQ you'd like to see the river for as little as possible to see if it's a non pairing club. It seemed painfully obvious that this was a case of AA vs KK or QQ to me.

In the actual hand if the player with AA had checked there's no way the player with top set and a second nut flush redraw would have gone all in. He'd probably bet something like 5,000 (or even something less like 3,000) and there's some chance (maybe 10%-15%) he might even check as a slow play. This would give the player with AA the chance to see the river and either win by hitting an ace or a club or survive with at least a third of his stack.

If the player with AA faces a bet of more than 5,000, the play would be to fold and preserve his chances. Of course it would be a tough, frustrating fold on the river (assuming he calls the turn) with an overpair (if he missed) when he'd put 2/3 of his stack in. But given the preflop and flop action, folding on the river would be the only reasonable play. Trusting your read in a spot like this can be difficult and most players let their emotions come into play too much. They get attached to those aces and forget that they're just a pair.

I just put up this hand because it sucks to go broke with AA so early, but it's actually a very interesting hand.

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