Pocket Aces Hand #1 – Suck Out?
In an earlier post, I mentioned that I’ll do some analysis of my losses with Pocket Aces. Here’s one such analysis. To be honest, my gut feeling is that I didn’t play this too wrong, but let’s see.
Hero (UTG+1): $3.24
Pre Flop: ($0.03) Hero is UTG+1 with A A
1 fold, Hero raises to $0.04, MP1 calls $0.04, MP2 calls $0.04, 4 folds
I typically min-raise my entire range when I open at these blind levels, mainly because it achieves the same isolation that a larger raise would. Possibly should have raised more, but I try not to change how much I raise with relation to hand strength to help disguise the hand. So generally, I make the same min-raise, whether it’s AA (in this case), 55, or JT suited. The stats I have on MP1 are 64/0/0.88, over 56 hands, and for MP2, 50/16/1.46 over 63 hands. Not the largest sample base, but both of them seem to be fairly loose, and not particularly agressive. Given those stats, I might probably have gained more value by raising more.
Given the stats, it seems like the two players are going to be calling me with at least 45% of their hands. According to PokerStove, 45% of preflop hands is approximately this range: 44+,A2s+,K2s+,Q4s+,J6s+,T6s+,96s+,86s+,76s,A2o+,K6o+,Q8o+,J8o+,T8o+,98o. That’s really a lot of hands, and doesn’t narrow down their range much – I think they could pretty much have anything but randoms here. So I’m thinking I’m probably up against a suited connecter, any pocket pair, J-x or higher.
Flop: ($0.15) 8 J 4 (3 players)
Hero bets $0.08, MP1 calls $0.08, MP2 calls $0.08
The flop comes well for me, it’s relatively disconnected. The only drawing hand I have to worry about is 9-10, I think. I bet about my standard half pot, and get both of them to call. At this point, I’m actually hoping I’d get one fold, but both of them calling tells me that I’m probably ahead at this point. I think if either one of them hit a set or two-pair, they would have re-raised. As is, I think I’m up against a pair and two overs or something along those lines. Does MP2 get the right odds to call if he is on a 9-10, though? Before his bet, there is 31c in the pot, and he requires 8c to call. He has 8 outs, leaving 8/47 = 17.02% odds of hitting one of those outs on the turn. His EV for calling the bet here is then 0.1702 * 39 – 8 = -1.36c. Considering the implied odds of additional betting if he hits his straight, the call probably makes sense.
In retrospect, given this, I should probably have bet the pot here, to take out the 9-10 draw, and to extract more value from a J-x. I forgot to take into consideration the fact that I was in a 3-way pot.
Turn: ($0.39) Q (3 players)
Hero bets $0.26, MP1 calls $0.26, MP2 folds
The worst possible card for me, because it makes the straight. That said, I’m still ahead to all but one hand (9-10), and now I think a Q-x or a J-x is likely to call a bet. I bet about 2/3s the pot here, small enough to minimize my losses if I get raised (as I’d expect to if I’m facing the straight), but still a sizeable amount for value against Q-x or J-x.
Getting one call and one fold here isn’t too much of a worry. I’m pretty sure I’m not against the straight here now. I think I put MP1 on a range of J-x, Q8+, Q3, . Out of which I’m only down against the random two-pair hands. I don’t think he’s likely to have QQ because if he did, he’d probably have re-raised my pre-flop bet.
River: ($0.91) 2 (2 players)
Hero bets $1, MP1 calls $1
Having placed MP1 on the afore-mentioned range, the 2 really isn’t a scare card. I’m pretty sure I’m ahead at the moment, and up against a random J or Q (more likely J). So I bet out here, slightly larger than a pot-size bet, thinking I’m just going to get more value.
Final Pot: $2.91
Hero shows A A (a pair of Aces)
MP1 shows J 2 (two pair, Jacks and Deuces)
MP1 wins $2.81
So, obviously, him showing J-2 offsuit was a bit of a blow. But I don’t actually see how I could have played this hand differently. At the moment, I’m writing this off as a bad beat. I’m actually kind of glad I didn’t bet more on the flop (though I probably should have) or turn (marginal decision?), because I ended up losing the minimum, I think. So all in all, I’m quite happy with the way I played this, but not with the result.
But what do you think? Was my reasoning flawed here – should I have gone more aggressively or let it go at any point?