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Game is $1/$3 NL Hold'em

Hero is BB with $440. Villain is UTG with about $310.

Pre-Flop:

Villain raises UTG to $12. 4 callers. Hero happily discovers that he has KK and raises to 110.

Villain thinks for about 30-60 seconds while Hero calmly stares into space. He even asks if our hero has a great hand. Finally, he calls.

Flop:

A-J-10. I think rainbow.

Hero is disgusted at how awful that flop is. He thinks for about 10 seconds and decides his opponent has JJ, QQ, or KK.

Hero decides to push.

Question:

Would you have pushed?

Hover over the block below to see what happened to our hero:

The villain fairly quickly calls the Hero's all-in and reveals JJ. The hero desperately hopes for a Q but none hit. Based on some post-hand chit-chat with the villain, it seems like he was going to play JJ no matter how much the hero raised pre-flop. In retrospect, it seems like the hero should have simply check-folded the flop and moved on.

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Given the blinds size, raising 110 preflop with that was very, to put it mildly, questionable. –  Jubbat Mar 19 at 1:13

3 Answers 3

up vote 10 down vote accepted

My standard raise in this spot preflop would be something like $84. With reads that villains are bad (i.e. will call 3bets like this way too often) that number becomes bigger. So $110 probably isn't a bad raise size, but you should realize that you're putting in 1/3 of effective stacks and you really don't want to play postflop when that's the case.

Under the assumption that villain is fishy/not thinking too deeply I would check/decide on this flop. I would be sort of stubborn/hard pressed to fold given how much we put in but with some more reads on the opponent it could certainly be best. Shoving doesn't do us any good because when he has better he's not folding and when he has worse it's pretty tough for him to call.

Also, if you think he has JJ-KK, why would shoving accomplish anything good for you? He probably won't call a shove with QQ, he'll instacall with JJ, and there's only one combo of KK so that's pretty much irrelevant. Plus AA, TT, AK, and some other hands certainly aren't out of the realm of possibility.

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1  
I think your analysis here is spot on, particularly the risk of putting in 1/3 of my stack pre-flop. –  Craig Nov 5 '12 at 2:50
4  
Can you elaborate why do you raise to 84? are you doing some calculation to get that number? –  rodrigoq Nov 6 '12 at 19:40
    
I assume that the OP discounted AA because the villain hesitated for so long pre-flop (assuming he's not faking a tell). AA would normally be an insta-call or even a push. –  Chris Taylor Mar 13 at 15:03
    
@Chris Taylor AA has 0.85 prob of winning against a random hand and obviously less than that against a good hand. While you have positive expectation, being comfortable with a +20% prob. of losing a good chunk of your stack seems unlikely if you decided to play low stakes in the first place. –  Jubbat Mar 19 at 1:28

First, $110 is too much. $70 (~6 times more than the initial raise) would be enough here to make other players fold their hands (obviously, they are trying to catch something with Axs, small connectors, small pairs, etc. - it's hard to call 3bet for them here). KK is a good hand but it seems like hero is so afraid of losing with this hand, so he can't play it wisely.

Second, how can the UTG have KK here? I'd bet on a pair like 99, 88, 77 or AK, AQ, AJ, TT. If he had JJ, QQ and AA seeing hero is so committed to the pot, he'd probably shove all-in. Personally I think he had AQs.

Third. Assuming hero didn't do this wrong move betting 9 times more than Villian's raise and made it something up to $80 (at most, let's say the reraise was $70), I'd bet on this flop something close to 5/8 of the pot (a little less than 3/4). 70 + 70 + 12 + 12 + 12 + 12 = 188 $ (size of the pot, and hero has $370, Villian has $240 at this point). If hero bet something like $120 it's a little less than 3/4 of the pot and at the same time it's a half of Villian's stack and we keep the aggression line - at this point hero forces Villian to take decision right now on this scary board. Villian can go all in now or fold (calling is a madness). Now he has to take very hard decision (hero might have AA, JJ or AK). So even if Villian had AQ - it's tough decision anyway. If he's flopped monster, he obviously shoves all in and hero saves some money with easy fold.

Check is not an option so as all in, but hero should learn to leave some space for self for the maneuver.

Of course, this is my IMHO.

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Obviously the flop here is terrible for the hero. The hero is behind A-x, JJ, KQ, 10-10. Villain raised under the gun making AK, AQ or high pockets the likely holdings.

An all-in bet will likely immediately chase away 9-9 pockets and below, leaving the likely holdings of AK,AQ, AA, QQ, JJ , 10-10 remaining. I excluded KK, since this holding is very unlikely for the villain given the hero has KK. But this is almost all the hands we put the villain on in the first place. So we suspect the villain will call this all-in.

Of these 5 likely holdings, QQ is the only holding giving the hero the advantage. So therefore it is far more likely the villain will win, if he calls the all-in.

This leads to a tough decision. I would check and be prepared to throw the hand away. Hero shouldn't have raised so much that he can't afford to define his hand post-flop.

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Also not to forget that most villans will fold QQ(and KK) to a shove which makes the raise even worse. –  Daniel Mar 13 at 13:04

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