Monday, January 26, 2009

Online Hand History... Overvaluing AA (Part 2 of 2)

In Part 1 of this Story EMG examined the following hand from the point of view of djp4516, the player who's pocket aces were cracked in a large pot near the very end of the tournament. EMG and I thought it might be fun to examine the hand from the point of view of pireslousa and that's what I'm gonna try to do

Larger Version

Pre Flop: I've done as much thinking as I can about this mini raise to 2k. I don't like it. I know that professionals like Daniel Negreanu say that a min-raise has its place, but as I understand it he advocates this when the blinds are significant amounts of the stacks and the size of the stacks at this table certainly don't fall into that criteria. I'd have rather pireslousa made a raise to 3500 - 4500, but I can imagine a few thought processes that would lead to this action:
  1. Really Tight table - They'll toss anything if they're not willing to play a big pot with me. If the respect my stack, they'll leave, and if any of the small stacks shove, I'm not so invested that I can't leave, or if I really think they'll shove with hands like AK, I'll race for up to 12k.
  2. Scared of Jacks - Maybe this stands on its own, maybe in combination with scenario 1, the min raise is just enough to say I'm interested in this hand, but let the other players at the table make the next move and let me see where I fit in and gauge my comfort level.
Regardless, the call after the raise from djp4516 and the shove of k9luvr's short stack make it at the very least acceptable. Folding here isn't a bad play either, not wanting to get mixed up in a three way pot with JJ is understandable, but if you're gunnin' for the top prize, the call gets you into a pot that can put you in really nice shape, especially since I don't think the all-in was enough to allow a re-raise if flat called.

Post Flop: This is not the flop JJ was dreaming about, but with 2nd pair and a redraw to a flush, it might be worth the 6k bet into the (fairly) dry side-pot to isolate against that short stack. The more I've thought about it the more I like the bet. It represents about 1/5th of the pot, and a little less than 1/4th of djp4516's stack. It's just enough that it should eliminate the flat call from djp4516's arsenal and if pireslousa get raised here, folding leaves him 24k in chips at 1k/2k blinds puts him in 3rd or 4th place at that table, not optimal, but in good shape to make the money. The call, however is something I can't believe happened. djp4516's shove should make pireslousa hit the fold button. The only defense of pirelousa's is the pot odds. If I do it right, there's about 63k in the pot, the call for about 20k makes it just over 3 to 1, close enough for the flush redraw if it's good, add two more outs for the other Jacks in the deck and it's a decent price ... but that's cash game talk and I don't think you can even believe your flush would be good if it got there in that spot. In the late stages of a tournament, when you're one big mistake from zero, I think it's a reckless call. Let me know in the comments what I'm wrong about.


  1. He's got jacks so calling it reckless is a bit excessive...however, I like the "scared of Jacks" commentary. To me (in a live game of course), regardless of the stacks, I'm probably pushing at that point in the tournament in a 7 handed table. Really its 6-handed because UTG folded if I recall. If I run into aces-oh well. I do like the alternative option of making a raise that you can get away from if necessary but I would say around 5 or 6 grand. Regardless of table "personalities" only a good hand or short stack will play. Either way, djp and his AA should push.

  2. My understanding is that he just arrived at the table and knew nothing about anyone else at the time, and no one knew anything about him. Therefore, without a heart, AA can't push there. JJ maybe can make a read based on the fact that DJP took so long to push, then call assuming that he's not up against a heart draw or a made hand. If he had a bigger heart, it's an instapush, not a 25 second tank job...