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Playing an 8 player cash game where blinds are 1-1. People tend to bet aggressively on this table so a normal raise pre-flop would be from 6$ to 12$.

I am UTG with a stack of 100$. My cards are AA and I raised to 8$. UTG+1 who is a tight player 3-bets to 24$. His stack is about 200$.

Everyone folds and here is my question What is a good bet in this situation ?

In the game I shoved and the other player folded. Still I feel like I could have made way better on this hand.

My main concerns are that if I raise to 50$, how should I play the flop especially if it has straight or/and flush odds. What if two kings or two queens appear on the flop. Or even one is enough for him to achieve three of a kind with a pocket pair in hand.

If I raise to 75$ I'm so commited I have to go allin on any flop if he calls.

I was thinking of something like a raise to 62.5$ but still I would have trouble choosing how to play on the flop.

If you have any advice, you're welcome

  • I guess it really depends on what you want to achieve. You can min-click back here, but it really depends on what you want to achieve. I'll put an answer up when I get some time, but effectively if you were going to min-click back you'd be playing a stop and go, and just shoving on any flop pretty much, provided it's not like smacked your opponents range right in the face. – Grinch91 Jul 15 at 13:12
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Im not sure if shoving here is the best play. Its definitely +EV, but with AA its hard to be -EV unless you really screw up the hand.

With AA in UTG, im looking to get stacks in with as wide a range of my opponent as possible. The reason i don't quite like shoving is that you're almost playing your hand face up, showing extreme strength opening UTG and 4-betting a UTG+1 3-bet. A tight UTG+1 may fold a big part of his value range (99-JJ, maybe QQ, AJ-AQ), and call you with AA-QQ, which you should have no problem stacking either way. You also force him to fold his bluffs (A5s, QJs, etc.), which he may flop equity and barrel.

By calling the flop, you have 1.5x pot behind, and should have no issue getting it all in even with only 2 streets of betting (i.e. check/calling, and leading when opponent checks behind). Your opponent may also incorrectly perceive your range as capped, if he expects you to shove JJ+, which may get him to overbluff. Checking also protects your checking range. If you shove all JJ+, AK, then the best hand you can have when you do call a 3bet is TT, AQ.

Of course if you are not familiar with post-flop play OOP, or if you know your opponent is much better than you, then its easier/smarter to avoid the confrontation and just shove preflop.

I've also thought about a click raise (raise to ~42-45), which puts your opponent in really tough spots with a hand like 99/TT, which dont have equity to call but are not quite weak enough to fold.

Last note: Based on the phrasing of your question, i think you have the wrong mindset worrying about weaker hands catching up to AA. Your goal is to get the biggest pot when ahead, by either making your opponent over-value his hand and call, or inducing him to bluff, not pushing him off the hand. Sometimes he will get there and win, and thats just poker.

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    I really like this answer. I like how you're approaching the problem, discussing likely ranges and your analysis here. – Grinch91 Jul 16 at 14:32
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Shoving all in is the correct play. You cannot re-raise to $50 in any real balanced way, because if he goes all in you're getting 3-to-1 on a call (you have to put in $50 more to win about $150 already in the middle) and you're pretty much already committed. At that price, even your bluffs are getting the correct pot odds to call. Bluff hands like A5 suited and 76 suited each have about a 30% chance to win against even a super strong shove range of AA, KK, QQ, AK.

That being said, calling the 3-bet with aces occasionally is okay too, especially if people are too aggressive. It makes more sense to flat aces than it does kings or queens, since kings and queens will see overcards on the flop about 22% and 41% respectively, making them harder to play; with aces you're still going to want to get the money in on just about any board since your stack-to-pot ratio is so low anyways, even more so against hyper aggressive opponents.

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    Perfect answer. I agree. Indeed shove or slowplay. Mix in both depending on your strategy/opponent/table image. – Raymond Timmermans Jul 15 at 19:57
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You have two options here with your stack size.

a) raise all in.

pros: you get worse pairs to commit that could give up on scary flops, plus villain has shown significant interest in committing already. At the same time you get in Ax broadways that could give up when they miss the flop. The chances of villain having such hands are very slim though, because you block a lot of those combinations.

cons: you fold out all bluffs or worse hands that put you on a nutted range. If you're a very tight player who only ever 4bets with ~KK+ etc, then you won't get much action from worse hands. How is your perceived range and how does villain respond to it usually?

b) flat, i.e. just call.

pros: you keep in all worse hands that would fold pre-flop. This is not a bad situation considering that the stack-to-pot size ratio will be very small, small enough to get it in on the flop, usually as the favorite.

cons: worse pairs might give up on scary flops and unpaired hands could give up that miss.

Conclusion:

There are pros and cons to both options. You should switch between these options depending on who you're playing against and what perceived range they can put you on.

Going all in is usually the right play, because villain has put in such a significant part of his stack and few players raise to 24% of the effective stack with the intention of folding to a raise, but an aggressive 3-better can have a very wide range here and against those kind of players you want to keep them in with a wide range so in that case you should flat call the raise and get it in on the flop or the turn which is very easy with such a small SPR.

Position also plays a huge deal here. It's usually better to flat when you're in position because villain can't just check behind so he'll be forced to make a move a lot of the times whereas he could check behind when he's in position. Flatting out of position would mean that villain could get a free turn card if he wants and effectively takes control over the hand. That's a good thing, however, with a strong hand against someone who always fires in position.

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