AA and pot commitment (1 Viewer)


4 of a Kind
Nov 9, 2014
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Outlet Mall in San Marcos
Playing Texas Hold'em $0.25/$.50. Normal type of game, loose, sticky, over values one-pair hands.

This question is mostly not villain dependent but for completeness:

The game is ten handed.

UTG+1 is about as Bad LAG as they come. Really, really bad but he will make you make hard decisions while you take his money.

MP is semi loose, semi aggressive. Marginally profitable.

Both villains cover Hero.

The situation:

Bad LAG raises to $3.50. MP calls. Hero is in the BB with :as: :ac:. Hero raises to $13.50 or $10 on top. Both villains call. Pot is $41.25.

Flop is :js: :tc: :9s: (You could substitute any yucky wet flop here)

How big does hero's stack have to be for Hero not to be pot committed? I doubt there is a precise answer but more generally what is everyone's opinion?

Is Hero always going to c-bet here A) when pot committed or B) when not pot committed?

Curious minds want to know -=- DrStrange
I'd think if Hero's starting stack was over $180-200 I'd be looking to avoid becoming pot-committed here.

While it's always possible we are beat, it's also possible villians like these could push hard with a KJ holding because they have a "straight draw" and top pair. So we're not necessarily behind, but this type of board can be easy for us to be put to the test.

Against these villians I'm not checking, I'm definitely leading. I like a bet of $25-27 here. It might induce the LAG to get frisky and try to take the pot away with a holding we have beat. Either way, it keeps control at the outset in our hands. I'm sure someone might advocate betting larger ($35+) given the wetness of the board, to "protect" their Aces, but I don't think that's necessary. If one of the Villians has us beat that's not really going to change much, and it might scare off a Villian who was going to make a play against our smaller bet from giving us their money.
Do you think Hero can "stop" with $200 if the turn is an ugly card? {Say a non-spade eight or queen}


It would be like swallowing something rotten, but yes. Those cards make too many completely possible straights.
Do you think Hero can "stop" with $200 if the turn is an ugly card? {Say a non-spade eight or queen}


I do think we can definitely extract ourselves from this hand, at least at the moment. I guess it really depends on the flop action and if we get to the turn what falls and so forth.
Hard to define what represents "pot commitment" here - I'm leading flop for ~$35 here. There are very few circumstances where I will ever end up folding to UTG+1 regardless of stack sizes, although if stacks are deep and he gets aggressive I will try to pot-control as much as possible. If raised by MP I'll be flatting and bet-folding or check-folding on the turn if stacks are deep enough for that - so I'd say minimum $300 (maybe slightly less?) At $250 I'm jamming over any flop raise.

Note: having the As matters a lot here. If we have red aces, I probably c/c flop, then see what happens on the turn.
This is a nasty situation for sure, but if your SPR is somewhere around 5 to 5.5, then I think that you can take "pot commitment" out of the equation. I like a lead of right around $30.

As Ben pointed out, it's lucky for us that we have the As so no one can be drawing to the nut flush except us with a backdoor draw.
I'd like to distinguish between being pot committed and still having hope for the hand.

If Hero can bet the flop but check/fold {or bet/fold } on a bad turn then he isn't pot committed.

If Hero is playing for all of chips no matter what cards fall or villain actions come, then he is pot committed.

This is a surprisingly interesting situation to think about.

If our stack is, say, $250 (nice stack for a $.50 game), and we're not pot committed, we don't necessarily want to be much.

There's an argument for controlling the size of the pot by making a smaller bet, with the hope that villains will simply call. Then, given an unfavorable turn, it will be easier to get away, protecting the stack.

There's also an argument for checking - this may be a good flop on which to induce a bluff. A strong bet is likely to fold away the hands which are no threat, but good draws are likely to call (properly) based on the odds plus the implied odds of getting some of the rest of your stack. And, of course, a strong bet is going to lead to ruin if they've flopped a 5-card hand, or even two pair, which can't be ruled out on this board. But a check (or a small bet) can induce a LAG to bluff, especially the UTG+1 villain, and that bluff can come from a gutshot with an underpair, not just from a proper straight or flush draw. I'm strongly drawn to the idea of a smaller bet a a check; if I suspect a bluff, I can snap it off with a reraise or a check-raise; if I'm just called, it's keeping the pot small for me, and I can have some measure of control on the turn.

On the other hand, if your stack is more like $100 ($87 after pre-flop bets), and you bet $30 ($67 left), and even one villain calls, you've got a $101 pot. It's going to be hard to get away from a scary turn card if you check and they make a small bet, but it's going to be hard to shake them off a blot on the turn, because you only have $67 behind. It's just a weak situation for you. With two villains calling your $30, you have a $131 pot, and it's even worse. It'll make you wish you hadn't bet the flop, or put it all in while you were ahead...

Which, again, suggests an argument for checking or betting small. If they're on draws and you induce a bluff, a bit check-raise or re-raise can either take down the pot, or get one of them to put a lot in while you're getting the best of it. Either of them may forget they're getting no implied odds from you and call - or, if they both call, you're probably no better than 50% to win, but you're putting in 33% of the money. It's good, no matter how it ends.

I know I'm avoiding the question - I'm not trying to narrow the range which is a cutoff between pot-committed, or not-committed... but trying to find that range led me to find I like to induce a bluff fairly often in this situation, which lets me play similarly on the flop, which is also interesting to me.
Depends on the range hero assigns villain and # of times we think one pair is ahead.


Cbet always if pot committed. I wouldn't Cbet oop vs two opponents on this board if not. This particular board KQ is well within the range of many villains, not just LAGs. Of course small pp, straight and flush draws, two pair combos are all possible. Spitballing here but hero is at best 25-35% vs two opponents and could be in very bad shape.
I'll do some math tomorrow, but my gut reaction is a lot more cautious than the general thrust of the thread. I was expecting a discussion about an SPR of 2 {a starting stack less than $100}. There are gobs of hands that have 50%+ equity that are possible for either villain to hold.


PS spoiler - not that it mattered, but the turn is :qs:.
*** Results ***

{Keep in mind this is a $20 max buy-in game}

Hero started with $55 and has $41.50 left. Hero feels pot committed with an SPR of one, so he shoves. Bad Lag folds, MP calls.

The final board: < :js: :tc: :9s: > :qs: :th:

CO tables :kh: :qd: for the flopped straight and scoops the chips.

As counter intuitive as it seems, this is a long term good result for Hero. KQo vs AA is a terrible mismatch with a low SPR. This time villain flopped perfect {a bit worse than 100-1 to flop a straight )and wins but there are lots of K-x-x and Q-x-x flops where KQ stacks off with top pair as a 4-1 dog. I'd guess Hero gets to stack villain 15 times for every 6 times he gets stacked, that is my kind of deal.

As for pot commitment - - - - I was thinking Hero might find a way to fold vs CO with as little as $100 (200 bb or an SPR of 2.5) if the turn was ugly enough. Hero would be a little more foolhardy/brave Vs Bad Lag. Hero plays the hand differently with $150+, checking the flop and seeing what develops.

Hero problem is he barely ahead, at best when the villains don't fold and there are not so many bricks in the deck (off suit 2-3-4-5-6). Being OOP in these circumstances makes matters worse.


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