PAHWM: AK on the button against an any-two-cards passive player (2 Viewers)

Beakertwang

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Played this online hand last night.

.5/1 NLHE

Relevant players:

Villain 1: UTG $298
Solid winning player, somewhat LAG, but knows how to pick spots
Villain 2: HJ $426 Loose/passive pre, lots of limp-calls with any two from any position. Only raises the strongest hands pre-flop.
Hero: BTN $304

V1 opens to $5, pretty standard. Folds to V2 who flats. Hero has :as::kd: on the button.

Action?
 

Legend5555

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Standard 3 bet to $20.

If UTG 4 bets, our next action will depend on sizing. If 8 or 9 handed, and 4 bet is large, I can see an argument for folding. But i'd never be 5 bet jamming unless I know something about the villain that's not written here. Likely I'd be calling most 4 bets to play IP.

If UTG 4 bets and HJ calls the 4 bet, I may jam with the dead money out there. This may seem crazy given the stack sizes, but the large open has really cut down on the SPR already.

But more than likely, this is going to go UTG call, HJ call. And we play IP with AKo in a 3-way pot.
 

Beakertwang

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Played this online hand last night.

.5/1 NLHE

Relevant players:

Villain 1: UTG $298
Solid winning player, somewhat LAG, but knows how to pick spots
Villain 2: HJ $426 Loose/passive pre, lots of limp-calls with any two from any position. Only raises the strongest hands pre-flop.
Hero: BTN $304

V1 opens to $5, pretty standard. Folds to V2 who flats. Hero has :as::kd: on the button.

Action?
Pretty clear 3-bet for hero here. 3.5x-4x is pretty typical for me here, but hero considered bumping it up to account for the caller. Instead, hero chooses to go to $20.

UTG calls, HJ calls.

Pot $61.

Flop :ah::2s::3s:

UTG checks, HJ bets $42.

Action on hero.
 

Legend5555

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Pretty clear 3-bet for hero here. 3.5x-4x is pretty typical for me here, but hero considered bumping it up to account for the caller. Instead, hero chooses to go to $20.

UTG calls, HJ calls.

Pot $61.

Flop :ah::2s::3s:

UTG checks, HJ bets $42.

Action on hero.
HJ is loose passive pre, but what is his game post? Most LP players tend to be trappy post. So I generally don't think this lead is strong unless he thinks to some extent and leads 22 or 33 here into what should be AK.

Way ahead way behind typically. No reason to raise as our call should be enough to shed UTG if he has anything other than AQ+.
 

Beakertwang

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HJ is loose passive pre, but what is his game post? Most LP players tend to be trappy post. So I generally don't think this lead is strong unless he thinks to some extent and leads 22 or 33 here into what should be AK.

Way ahead way behind typically. No reason to raise as our call should be enough to shed UTG if he has anything other than AQ+.
Honestly, it’s hard to tell what this villain will do. Check call 3 streets with an ace and a weak kicker? Sure. Go crazy and gamble with a gut shot or middling flush draw? Yep. Get sneaky with a set? Definitely. He’s kind of all over the place.

He literally could have any two here.
 

Legend5555

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Honestly, it’s hard to tell what this villain will do. Check call 3 streets with an ace and a weak kicker? Sure. Go crazy and gamble with a gut shot or middling flush draw? Yep. Get sneaky with a set? Definitely. He’s kind of all over the place.

He literally could have any two here.
Given you have the As, then I think the plan is to call flop and call down if he continues to fire. Bet pretty much any turn he checks. If he check raises turn, then I'd be tempted to fold unless I picked up the spade.

Against good players, I'd check most spade turns for pot control. But against an any 2 kind of guy, you just have to go for value.
 

Moxie Mike

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Honestly, it’s hard to tell what this villain will do. Check call 3 streets with an ace and a weak kicker? Sure. Go crazy and gamble with a gut shot or middling flush draw? Yep. Get sneaky with a set? Definitely. He’s kind of all over the place.

He literally could have any two here.
Pre: Is a 5x open standard? That's a pretty big open in most games.

Pumping it to $20 seems fine. With an extra opponent I might go to $25 just to deincentivize a call from both players but from the description inducing one or two folds sounds excessively ambitious.

Post: When a passive player donk bets into two opponents it's usually not a made hand. Villains will usually check ridiculously strong hands (in this case aces up, sets and the wheel) with the reasonable expectation that PF 3-bettors will bet the flop. I suspect Villain holds a weaker ace or a flush draw.

Calling is pretty standard here. If you're ahead, you want to keep him betting and if you're behind, you want to limit your losses when it's going to be difficult to find a fold. Raises will only get called (or worse raised) by better hands and an idiotic Ax. Folding is out of the question since you're going to have the best hand here a lot of the time.
 

MrCatPants

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Agree, its a call here. Is this V a good enough player to recognize that with your 3 Bet, you should be heavily weighted to Ax hands? (and that if he's on Ax with a weak kicker he's probably not getting a fold?) And also that you'll be C-betting this flop with super high frequency so if he's made, he's going to get action anyway?

Sets and flush draws are possible - but so is 45 and 56 suited, and also a2/a3 hands. Turn card and action will say a lot.
 

Beakertwang

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Agree, its a call here. Is this V a good enough player to recognize that with your 3 Bet, you should be heavily weighted to Ax hands? (and that if he's on Ax with a weak kicker he's probably not getting a fold?) And also that you'll be C-betting this flop with super high frequency so if he's made, he's going to get action anyway?

Sets and flush draws are possible - but so is 45 and 56 suited, and also a2/a3 hands. Turn card and action will say a lot.
I guarantee you this villain does not consider such things. He's more of a "feel" player. :D
 

Beakertwang

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Played this online hand last night.

.5/1 NLHE

Relevant players:

Villain 1: UTG $298
Solid winning player, somewhat LAG, but knows how to pick spots
Villain 2: HJ $426 Loose/passive pre, lots of limp-calls with any two from any position. Only raises the strongest hands pre-flop.
Hero: BTN $304

V1 opens to $5, pretty standard. Folds to V2 who flats. Hero has :as::kd: on the button.

Action?
Pretty clear 3-bet for hero here. 3.5x-4x is pretty typical for me here, but hero considered bumping it up to account for the caller. Instead, hero chooses to go to $20.

UTG calls, HJ calls.

Pot $61.

Flop :ah::2s::3s:

UTG checks, HJ bets $42.

Action on hero.
Hero chooses to call and evaluate on the turn, feeling fairly confident I have the best hand. (Still, in the back of my mind, I'm thinking he could have 23o. :p)

UTG folds.

Turn is :jh:

HJ bets 60.

Action on hero.
 
Last edited:

JMC9389

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Call. I still think hero is ahead here.

Did UTG fold out of turn? :wtf:
 
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Hero chooses to call and evaluate on the turn, feeling fairly confident I have the best hand. (Still, in the back of my mind, I'm thinking he could have 23o. :p)

UTG folds.

Turn is :jh:

HJ bets 60.

Action on hero.
I read the comments but honestly don’t why you wouldn’t raise the flop for value here. There’s a lot of cards he could have that will call a raise and a lot of cards you might not want to see. He could easily have something like AQ, AJ, two spades, maybe some other rando Ax hands. Put in a raise to $110 or so leaving a stack you can easily jam on the turn.
 
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Keep thinking about more reasons to raise the flop:
- your hand isn’t really strong enough to give away free cards, AK spades, sure flat, but with one pair and no obvious redraw you gotta put money in while you’re ahead
- a spade ♠️ is a bit problematic; if he’s on the flush draw he just got there. Since you’re holding the A of ♠️, you still have outs and have the blocker to the nuts. If he bets you are stuck with a bunch of not great options. If he’s not on the flush draw, the ♠️ will likely be an action killer and it will be more difficult to extract value with your hand.
- a raise here might cost you less than just calling down in the unlikely case you are behind. Gauge villain’s response to the raise. If V 3-bets you can be more confident he either has 2pr+ or a flush draw he’s going with. You will still need to decide which and if you’re going to let it go. If you do fold it will cost you less than just flatting another bet on the turn and river. Most Ax hands that lead flop will flat your raise (somewhat villain dependent).
 

Legend5555

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Keep thinking about more reasons to raise the flop:
- your hand isn’t really strong enough to give away free cards, AK spades, sure flat, but with one pair and no obvious redraw you gotta put money in while you’re ahead
- a spade ♠️ is a bit problematic; if he’s on the flush draw he just got there. Since you’re holding the A of ♠️, you still have outs and have the blocker to the nuts. If he bets you are stuck with a bunch of not great options. If he’s not on the flush draw, the ♠️ will likely be an action killer and it will be more difficult to extract value with your hand.
- a raise here might cost you less than just calling down in the unlikely case you are behind. Gauge villain’s response to the raise. If V 3-bets you can be more confident he either has 2pr+ or a flush draw he’s going with. You will still need to decide which and if you’re going to let it go. If you do fold it will cost you less than just flatting another bet on the turn and river. Most Ax hands that lead flop will flat your raise (somewhat villain dependent).
We have the As, so we aren't really scared of a spade coming on the turn. It also means our villain can't have a nut flush draw.

Now if the villain will over commit with just TP, then I agree that raising has merit. But given our villain can be all of the place, and is capable of bluffing, we don't want to take the play away from him. We have position and don't have to be afraid of playing later streets. It also protects us from the times he has something like A2, A3, or a set if he won't play his hand for value well. And while we shouldn't be overly worried about the UTG here given our hand and the board texture, calling also protects us against him if he actually has a set for some reason.

I'm not saying a raise is terrible. It's +EV against a fish for sure. But I don't think it's the most +EV given his "range," our hand, and the board texture.
 
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Hero chooses to call and evaluate on the turn, feeling fairly confident I have the best hand. (Still, in the back of my mind, I'm thinking he could have 23o. :p)

UTG folds.

Turn is :jh:

HJ bets 60.

Action on hero.
As played, this is a call. I don’t like the J as falls right in the range of Ax hands that call a raise pre and donk an A-high flop but you’re getting too good of a price to fold. Also it doesn’t complete any obvious draws, other than AJ and JJ.

Raising here would be weird given the passive line on the flop.
 

Beakertwang

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Keep thinking about more reasons to raise the flop:
- your hand isn’t really strong enough to give away free cards, AK spades, sure flat, but with one pair and no obvious redraw you gotta put money in while you’re ahead
- a spade ♠️ is a bit problematic; if he’s on the flush draw he just got there. Since you’re holding the A of ♠️, you still have outs and have the blocker to the nuts. If he bets you are stuck with a bunch of not great options. If he’s not on the flush draw, the ♠️ will likely be an action killer and it will be more difficult to extract value with your hand.
- a raise here might cost you less than just calling down in the unlikely case you are behind. Gauge villain’s response to the raise. If V 3-bets you can be more confident he either has 2pr+ or a flush draw he’s going with. You will still need to decide which and if you’re going to let it go. If you do fold it will cost you less than just flatting another bet on the turn and river. Most Ax hands that lead flop will flat your raise (somewhat villain dependent).
Looking back, I would have liked a raise on the flop. I'm always torn between the risk of letting weaker hands and draws catch up, and the risk of scaring them away, and not maximizing value.
 

Beakertwang

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Played this online hand last night.

.5/1 NLHE

Relevant players:

Villain 1: UTG $298
Solid winning player, somewhat LAG, but knows how to pick spots
Villain 2: HJ $426 Loose/passive pre, lots of limp-calls with any two from any position. Only raises the strongest hands pre-flop.
Hero: BTN $304

V1 opens to $5, pretty standard. Folds to V2 who flats. Hero has :as::kd: on the button.

Action?
Pretty clear 3-bet for hero here. 3.5x-4x is pretty typical for me here, but hero considered bumping it up to account for the caller. Instead, hero chooses to go to $20.

UTG calls, HJ calls.

Pot $61.

Flop :ah::2s::3s:

UTG checks, HJ bets $42.

Action on hero.
Hero chooses to call and evaluate on the turn, feeling fairly confident I have the best hand. (Still, in the back of my mind, I'm thinking he could have 23o. :p)

UTG folds.

Turn is :jh:

HJ bets 60.

Action on hero.
Any merit to a jam here?
 

Beakertwang

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I don't think so. Both effective stacks are still too deep for a jam.
If I call, the pot is $245, and I have about about 180 behind. If the river is essentially a blank, I don't think I'm folding to any bet? Why not charge draws?
 

DrStrange

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It strikes me that hero should have been asking how many streets of value he is getting from this villain with top pair. There are villains who will pay 300bb over three streets with a hand worse than top pair/top kicker, and other villains will not pay off a one pair hand outside of bluffs / semi bluffs.

Seems like Hero should be starting his plan for the hand with an idea about which type of villain we are facing.

Similarly, what type of Hero does the table think they are facing? Will He stack off 300+bb with only one pair or not?

It is too easy to get wrapped up in the tactics street by street and not take a larger perspective about how the game generally trends.
 
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If I call, the pot is $245, and I have about about 180 behind. If the river is essentially a blank, I don't think I'm folding to any bet? Why not charge draws?
This is another reason to raise the flop. Now the stack sizes are weird. If you jam now, it’s an over bet with one pair. If you raise here you’re even more committed. And if you call the turn you’re calling the river. I can’t think of a card that comes on the river that you’re folding to (as played.)
 

JMC9389

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This is another reason to raise the flop. Now the stack sizes are weird. If you jam now, it’s an over bet with one pair. If you raise here you’re even more committed. And if you call the turn you’re calling the river. I can’t think of a card that comes on the river that you’re folding to (as played.)
A spade could get a fold out of hero, but the villain in this scenario is playing his cards like he has a made hand and not on a draw. I'd actually argue that hero could turn any spade or heart on the river into a bluff.
 
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