Folding AQ offsuit Preflop
[update: After some discussions on the forum, I realized I was missing something, and so I've taken a closer look at the hand. You can read the new analysis here.]
I was playing in a live cash game a few days ago, and was put in what i felt was a difficult decision pre-flop. So I thought I’d do some simple analysis to see if I made the right play.
Here’s how the hand went. It’s a 10-man game, $0.50/$1 blinds. I’m in the small blind, with AQ offsuit. There are a whole bunch of limpers, and I raise to $5.50, in an attempt to narrow the field, figuring some of the limpers are weak and would fold.
Firstly, was this raise right? There were about at least 4 limpers. And even against 4 more random hands, AQ is only about 30% favorite, and I didn’t want that risk. I wanted to narrow it down, and that was why I made the raise. My equity increases exponentially the more players fold, and it gives me more information.
The big blind, a moderate-tight player, who does bluff at times, but not very often, re-raises to $21. UTG, who has been quite tight passive so far, calls, and the rest all fold to me. After some consideration, I folded. I was basically thinking that, I’m either against a lower pocket pair, where I’m in a coin toss, a hand similar to mine, or a higher pocket pair, where I’m crused. So I figured I was either 50-50 or crushed, and so I folded. But was this the right decision?
Let’s take a look at it. Right now, the pot is about $48.50. I’m left with $15.50 to call.
That means that for me to call, I need to have an equity x of
EV > 0
x * (15.50+48.50) – 15.50 > 0
x * (64) > 15.50
x > 15.50/64 = 24.22%
What kind of ranges would I have a 24% equity against? If I put both players on a range 99+, KQ+, that gives me an equity of about 23%. At 23.2%, a case can be made for calling, because of the implied odds of the flop (if I hit an A against KK, for example, I’m bound to win a bit more). So even if both players are on 99+, KQ+, I think I can call here and see a flop.
Obviously, however, the two players would have slightly different ranges. I would think the big blind is on a range like 77+, AT+, QJ+, and the UTG player on a stronger range of 99+, AQ+. Even then, I still have 24.25% equity. Again, that’s not counting the implied odds, the odds of the big blind bluffing, etc.
So, it seems like the fold was a mistake, based on the numbers. What do you think? Would you have folded?