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You Decide #49

Hey folks. I'm actually going to use a hand mentioned in my last post for this Degree You Decide moment. I re-read my last post and just couldn't fully wrap my head around whether I played this hand well, okay or just plain horribly. So, really, You Decide, and while I don't usually beg for comments, I'd really like people's input on this hand, even if it is just to agree with someone else, because I think we are going to potentially see a lot of varied opinions. Or not.

So, we are playing the Mookie and we have 1800 chips and the blinds are 20/40. We were just moved to a new table, so we don't know what's been happening at the table. We generally have a loose image, though.

We are dealt AQo in CO+2 or so. There are two early position limpers followed by a raise in middle position from to 110. It's an odd raise, less than 2x the BB, so I opt to simply call. Should I have raised here? Should I have folded? What do you do with a potentially-dominated but also potentially-profitable hand like AQ? My logic at the time was that a call would lose me little chips, but give me more information to work with when the flop came down. Everyone else folds.

The flop is 28Q, with two spades. The original bettor bets 220 or so. We call. Here, I see that I have top pair, but I figure that I could be facing 88 or even an over pair. Also, I could be facing TT or JJ and therefore, I want to induce him into putting more money into the pot on the turn. A call allows me both of these possibilities, but it doesn't really define where I am at. I'm not particularly worried about the flush, but I'm cognizant that the possibility is there.

The turn is a blank undercard. The bettor hesitates and bets 500 into the pot. I think it over, and decide to call, leaving me with 1000 behind. At this point, I just went passive. I figured my AQ was good, honestly, but I didn't feel the need to push the hand since he was doing the betting for me.

The river is a low spade, completing the spade flush draw. My opponent checks, and I'm all too happy to check. I don't see the point in betting, since the pot is good enough and I'm not 100% sure I'm ahead. I'm willing to go to showdown rather than risk more money on TPTK. He has KK, and I lose the hand.

So, maybe I should've pushed on the river. Maybe I should've folded preflop. Maybe maybe maybe. But what do you think? Cause, really, I'm just confused.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 5:38 PM,


At 7:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well in my opinion I would have pushed on the turn. That being said he would have most likely called and you would have lost all your chips. If you think you are good on the turn then you want to chase out any draw that can beat you. With the pot size already larger then your stack it’s a good time to just take it down. But like I said, in this instance you would have lost so it’s a good thing you didn’t listen to me. As for the all in on the river I say no. You will only get called with a hand that beats you, and depending on how he plays he may still call with kk. I don’t know how many chips he had but if he had a set or AA there is a good chance he would call.

One more thought, would you have called him if he went all in on the river? If the answer is no then you should have pushed on the turn to protect yourself against a big play with a busted hand

All in all considering how you lost the min with the worst hand you must have played it perfectly. Something made you play right, maybe you should listen to your instincts more.

At 12:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The way I see it, the only street you played well on was when you checked the river.

He just about min-raises preflop after two limpers. Doesn't that almost always smell fishy? You call, missing the opportunity to either reraise to find out where you're at or fold your questionable hand.

You flop top pair. He bets, and again you just call. You have NO idea where you're at here. He could have a big pair, he could have a big Ace like you, he could have a set. How are you going to find out by calling?

He bets a blank on the turn. He's not afraid of you. That should suggest to you that top pair is no good. Easy fold.

Now if you can put him on a hand like AA or KK at this point, if you raise the turn instead of calling, it might look to him that you're slowplaying a set and MAYBE he lays it down.

I think it's reraise or fold preflop with this hand after a suspicious raise, and I'd lean toward folding.

At 7:55 AM, Blogger Pokerwolf said...

A solid rule for internet play: Anyone who bets small is usually trying to be tricky. If nothing else, always keep that as a possibility in the back of your mind, especially if they're in EP.

The worst play of the hand is the call on the flop. That led you to your doom. You're at a new table, with no reads, so you need information. "Getting as much into the pot as possible" shouldn't be your priority when you have top pair with a hand like AQo. Raise on the flop. I don't mind winning a small pot here because there's a flush draw and I'm playing with AQo against a guy who I know nothing about.

The turn call is your next mistake, obviously. You're playing blind, so you have no idea what his bet means. You "figured your AQ was good" even though the only information you had was his weird raise pre-flop. Bad move. If he bets the turn, I'm immediately trying to figure out what the guy has because we're representing a lot of stregnth (what's calling him here? Top pair at least, with a set more likely. The flush draw is possible, too.)

The river is where things get interesting. He essentially telegraphs that he doesn't have the flush. A flush draw wouldn't put that much money on the line on the turn, usually. How much did he have in his stack at this point? It's a river push if you want to take a shot at winning the pot, obviously, so there's a risk. You can't really pull the trigger because you don't have any information about the guy due to your passivity on earlier streets, so you have to check at this point. You have no other options. If you had re-raised on the flop or turn for information, you could probably get away from the hand right there because only strong hands will call those moves with that kind of board.

At 11:08 AM, Blogger WindBreak247 said...

I think I would've played the hand the exact same way.

But keep in mind, I suck.

I've been having a lot of trouble lately w/AQ. I'm in the middle stages of realizing that this hand is a rag. I almost certainly would call the PF bet, hoping to pair up on the flop and reassess. The only thing I might've done differently than you is to raise the flop for a little more information. With the funky preflop raise I probably would actually be wary of AA or KK (the kids love barely raising these hands so they can get action). Problem is, if I'm not reraised, I am still probably not getting away from the hand. If he calls, I'm putting him on KQ, AQ and probably not KK or AA. And at this point I'm so passive, I've committed myself to calling down the rest of the hand. I probably would draw the line at going broke, but assuming the hand played out just like it did here, I'd probably play it exactly the same, and get an advanced lesson in the school of "AQ is a rag".

At 2:50 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

I dunno, guys. I see a lot of the points out there, and to me, the best is that I needed to play back at the bettor preflop or post flop. Calling down is definitely a passive play, which is never ideal. However, when you look at some of the suggestions given, I think I would've been in worse shape. Now, results are not always a sign of a smart play in poker, but when we are using hindsight, it results should be considered.

1st Rule says I should push on the turn, but as he correctly points out, I am likely to be called and therefore be busted, as opposed to losing less than 1/2 my stack.

Anonymous makes some good points. I agree that a raise pre-flop would be good. But I don't agree with a post-flop raise. If I raise post-flop, I can't post-flop min raise. At least I can't see that as the smart play. If I raise him 2x his bet, then maybe that would work. I'd love 400 and then get re-raised probably and fold, instead of calling and calling 500 on the turn.

Wolf and Anonymous make the point that the min raise preflop seemed weird. Well, first off, it isn't a min raise. But second, I disagree that a small bet means a big hand here. It could easily be a pot builder for suited connectors (if he's aggressive), a lower pocket pair, or AK. Of course, it COULD mean AA or KK, but it doesn't have to mean AA or KK.

They are both right, however, that the flop call leads me deeper into an expensive hand with no information.

Finally, windbreak says he would've played it the same way. In that case, clearly I'm wrong (I kid, wind).

Thanks for the comments.

At 6:08 PM, Blogger surflexus said...

You are not looking for pressure ahead of you with a hand like AQ. I would probably fold pre-flop with the two limpers and the very unusual raise. If you re-raise, you are well-invested and a multitude of bad things can happen before you even see a flop. You can't comfortably re-raise enough to drive players from this pot pre-flop and AQ is usually going to be a dog post-flop to this many opponents in a raised pot.
If you do just call and hit top pair with top kicker, you have to go ahead and re-raise him on the flop to see where you are. If he calls you or re-raises you, it's very wise not to invest any more in to this pot. Think about it, what would he hold and stay with after a re-raise....probably AA, KK, or less likely a set.

At 10:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 1:36 PM, Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I think Surf has it right. You want to be at the point where you're folding AQ preflop to two EP limpers and any kind of a raise ahead of you. You're almost surely behind at least one of those hands, and IMO there is just so little to be gained from playing a hand like that, and potentially so much to lose, that in my mind it's a pretty quick fold. AQ is a hand I love to open with, but hesitate to call anything with, and surely don't like to call three EP and MP players including one raiser with.


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