PAHWM: Flop Decisions with AKs (3 Viewers)

JZPdub

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Curious to get feedback on the flop decisions here.

1/2 NLHE, regular Friday night game, 10 players
Hero: Button - $330 in stack
V1: BB - LAG player - $230 in stack
V2: UTG + 2 - solid player - $450 in stack
V3: MP - non-aggressive player, but selectively bluffs - $400 in stack

Pre-flop:
V2 (UTG+2) raises to 7
V3 (MP) calls 7
Hero - looks down at :as::ks: - raises to 28
V1 (BB) calls
V2 (UTG+2) calls
V3 (MP) calls
Pot is $113

Flop comes :ah::8s::7h:
V1 (BB) checks
V2 (UTG+2) checks
V3 (MP) bets $76

What should hero do here?
 
V1 and V2 checks are relatively safe; you're only facing aggression from one player. There's 113 + 76 = 189 in the pot to the 302 remaining in your stack, for an SPR of ~1.6.

You built up a large pot and flopped your bread-and-butter hand in a low-SPR situation. You have too much invested to start worrying about being beaten by a player who has only put in one bet, and you need to protect your hand in this large pot.

Only play is to shove.
 
The problem with jamming is you will lose the maximum to better hands, and flush draws will be able to realize their equity and are priced in to call too. You can raise to 302, and the pot will be 491, giving the next caller a +EV call with 38% equity, and a better price to every subsequent caller. A flush draw is basically break even, sets and 2 pairs, and maybe even OESD with back doors have a lot of equity here. So you are potentially facing lots of hands that can beat you different ways or already have you beat.

I think it is better to call and take a turn. You can also see what BB and UTG+2 decide to do on the flop. If flop goes Jam call call after you call, then it’s probably ok to fold. And you are in position for the turn too. Calling gives you the most flexibility while still allowing you to get value from weaker hands.
 
Ultimately, I am with @Jimulacrum here.

It's about a pot size shove you can get called by Ax and hearts and still have the best of it. If you run into 2-pair hero still has outs.

I know there is something to be said for avoiding bets that can't get called by worse when we are discussing the river. But it's very different when discussing the flop and protection becomes another motivation with cards to come. And the bigger the pot is (and I would DEFINITELY say a pot that was 3-bet 4-ways pre counts as a big pot), the more it is worth playing aggressively to take it down as opposed to trying to keep bluffers in the lead.

I think the fact the pot is huge and is multi way tips this to a jam. Heads up against a bluffer, I might think differently.
 
SPR is still well above one with a call. I call once and shove on a non heart turn unless crazy shit like a bet and shove ahead of hero happens.
 
You said non-aggressive but selectively bluffs; what have those bluffs looked like? Complete whiff boards, acehigh boards, flush draw semi bluffs? Just curious, some of the bluffs have clearly stuck out in your mind
 
Once we call the 76, there will be 265 in there with, 226 back. So less than a pot sized bet. The play is jam or in some rare cases, fold. The fold will need a good read on villain. The bad thing is that V3 is the player most likely to have 77 and 88. But any of if them can have 77 or 88 as played pre (though V1 is the last likely cold calling 3 bets from the BB).

Ultimately, jam can't be terrible. And calling allows the others in.
 
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One we can the 76, there will be 265 in there with, 226 back. So less than a pot sized bet. The play is jam or in some rare cases, fold. The fold will need a good read on villain. The bad thing is that V3 is the player most likely to have 77 and 88. But any of if them can have 77 or 88 as played pre (though V1 is the last likely cold calling 3 bets from the BB).

Ultimately, jam can't be terrible. And calling allows the others in.
There's $189 in the pot with hero having $302 effective facing the $76 bet. What am I missing here in regards to current SPR? If hero calls, yes, they have $226 effective with SPR of less than one.

This isn't a clear jam to me. There's still fold equity on a bad turn.
 
What did Hero want to flop? TP/TK plus back door flush draw seems pretty sweet. Looks like a "go to war" flop to me.

Hero's options:

Fold? Must be joking, no one is folding the flop.
Call? Hero would be left with a less than pot sized stack. It is going to be hard to find a fold unless Hero goes into the flop trying to find an off ramp. If we are advocating a call flop / fold turn line, what constitutes a scare card? Once Hero starts a calling train, it invited all the draws on board. Lots of scare cards - maybe only eleven safe turns cards - the off suit kings, twos and threes plus the other two aces
Raise? Hero has less than the pot left once he calls the donk bet Here, raise means jam.

For me jam > call >>> fold. Hero's SPR was less than three. The flop was favorable. Yes, I am a little concerned about the passive guy coming out with a bet. Not concerned enough to fold.

Win or lose, I am not looking to find a reason to fold without a rock solid villain read. Passive villain might have AK, AQ, even AJ/AT and think he is good. That flop seems like a poor choice to bluff. But a fine place to bet top pair vs Hero's range with has a lot of under-pairs given Hero's three bet preflop.

Let's not over think this, even as a posted hand. Hero flops exactly what he wants and the low SPR makes the hand play itself. -=- DrStrange
 
There's $189 in the pot with hero having $302 effective facing the $76 bet. What am I missing here in regards to current SPR? If hero calls, yes, they have $226 effective with SPR of less than one.

This isn't a clear jam to me. There's still fold equity on a bad turn.
If this was heads up, then I guess you can make the case for calling for a safe turn IP. Heads up, the V3 can potentially jam draws on blank turns. Which makes calling more attractive.

But there are two players behind still. This denies max equity and forces them to fold or call off with a draw. Two pair and sets are never folding, so worrying about them is inconsequential. If we let them call, then the pot is even bigger on turn. And then no one is going to fold any draw.

This is the "issue/blessing" playing with short effective stacks of ~100bb. The pot is massive now. And trying to find reasons or lines where we potentially fold TPTK is ridiculous.
 
Glad there isn’t a clear consensus here, which is why I posted the hand.

To answer the bluff question, I have seen V3 lead bet with open ended straight draws and mid-pairs, trying to name his own price.

To pick up…

Pre-flop:
V2 (UTG+2) raises to 7
V3 (MP) calls 7
Hero - looks down at :as::ks:- raises to 28
V1 (BB) calls
V2 (UTG+2) calls
V3 (MP) calls
Pot is $113

Flop comes :ah::8s::7h:
V1 (BB) checks
V2 (UTG+2) checks
V3 (MP) bets $76

Hero is debating between a call and a raise. Hero’s read is that V3 is not strong; this is either a weaker A or a draw trying to name his own price. If it’s a weaker A, going all in blows him off the pot while calling might allow him to his draw, but hero can evaluate on the turn.

Hero is not worried that V1 has a set; with 77 or 88 would have expected him to re-raise pre (he can be that aggressive). A little worried about V2 having a set, in which case a shove only gets called by better.

Ultimately Hero feels like a raise only gets called by better hands or draws, and if that’s the case then let’s call and re-evaluate the turn.

Hero calls $76
V1 (BB) shoves for $193
V2 (UTG-2) folds
V3 (MP) tanks, and then reluctantly flat calls.

Hero?
 
V1 has to put you on an ace or big pair from the pre flop action (if they're paying attention). They're probably hoping for a call which makes me think 87s or, more likely, a set.
 
Once we call the 76, there will be 265 in there with, 226 back. So less than a pot sized bet. The play is jam or in some rare cases, fold. The fold will need a good read on villain. The bad thing is that V3 is the player most likely to have 77 and 88. But any of if them can have 77 or 88 as played pre (though V1 is the last likely cold calling 3 bets from the BB).

Ultimately, jam can't be terrible. And calling allows the others in.
Agreed and I just want to add to the emphasis about not looking for a fold here too often. You should really only be folding here if you spot an immutable tell.
Like Teddy eating an Oreo level tell.

There aren't many flops that make sets impossible. (Maybe in a 3 bet board when you know players won't play EVERY pocket pair. But that requires a pretty good read on players.). If you talk yourself into folds because "there could be a set" you will talk yourself into too many folds.
 
Hero calls $76
V1 (BB) shoves for $193
V2 (UTG-2) folds
V3 (MP) tanks, and then reluctantly flat calls.

Hero?
If you don't think V1 has a set, the call is clear,. Pot is laying crazy good odds and V-3 didn't take an aggressive action against the v-1 shove.

You will probably be behind given the action, but it's like 120 to call to win 570 or so. Between being ahead and draw outs, you don't have to win a ton for the call to be right. The times you are ahead you are probably facing hearts. Maybe the occasional AQ or AJ. Tons of outs against 87 and you are certainly not dead to a set aside from AA which we doubt.
 
You took this line so you could find an excuse to fold.

Well, here's an excuse to fold. What are you waiting for?

For future hands like this, consider:
  • Raise more preflop, or don't reraise. It appears this crew likes to gamble and will call wide if you go with a 3x or 4x reraise. Make it $40 or $50 to go next time. If you're not willing to do that, consider flatting the $7. Yes, with ace-king. It's not really a monster 10-handed and deep-stacked.
  • Have a plan to take it down post-flop. The build-a-huge-pot strategy and the call-and-see strategy don't play nice together. If you're building a huge pot, you're building it to take it down, not to call and hope the board doesn't get scary.
  • If you're not going to take it down, just get out. Calling that $76 on the flop was the worst of all options. You'd have been better off folding right then if you felt there was too great a chance you were beat—which is a fair concern against a usually-passive player who suddenly bets 3/4 pot in a large pot, with two players left to act behind you. Get out then, and it's a net loss of 28 (8.5% of your stack) instead of 104 (31.5%).
 
You took this line so you could find an excuse to fold.

Well, here's an excuse to fold. What are you waiting for?

For future hands like this, consider:
  • Raise more preflop, or don't reraise. It appears this crew likes to gamble and will call wide if you go with a 3x or 4x reraise. Make it $40 or $50 to go next time. If you're not willing to do that, consider flatting the $7. Yes, with ace-king. It's not really a monster 10-handed and deep-stacked.
  • Have a plan to take it down post-flop. The build-a-huge-pot strategy and the call-and-see strategy don't play nice together. If you're building a huge pot, you're building it to take it down, not to call and hope the board doesn't get scary.
  • If you're not going to take it down, just get out. Calling that $76 on the flop was the worst of all options. You'd have been better off folding right then if you felt there was too great a chance you were beat—which is a fair concern against a usually-passive player who suddenly bets 3/4 pot in a large pot, with two players left to act behind you. Get out then, and it's a net loss of 28 (8.5% of your stack) instead of 104 (31.5%).
Damn!
Definition of "Tough Love" :love:
 
Not sure this hand requires analysis. The range of hands you’re up against contains A8 A7 (which you block combos), :th::9h:, :5h::6h:, 7’s, 8’s and bluffs there’s some other heart hands out there but these are the hands that have you in a tough spot.

Either way, it’s just one of those annoying spots that’s going to happen from time to time. Nothing you can do about that without a really really good read on your opponent.

SN: As played, V3 is almost always set mining so there’s that.
 
Interesting @Jimulacrum

I probably should clarify - I called with a combination of 1) being able to fold if I thought I was beat and 2) bringing in draws to build the pot for the times when I’m ahead. But, let’s finish the hand and then get to where I may have made the mistakes.

Pre-flop:
V2 (UTG+2) raises to 7
V3 (MP) calls 7
Hero - looks down at :as::ks:- raises to 28
V1 (BB) calls
V2 (UTG+2) calls
V3 (MP) calls
Pot is $113

Flop comes :ah::8s::7h:
V1 (BB) checks
V2 (UTG+2) checks
V3 (MP) bets $76
Hero calls $76
V1 (BB) shoves for $193
V2 (UTG-2) folds
V3 (MP) tanks, and then reluctantly flat calls.

Hero goes into the tank. His read on V1 is that this is a flush draw, but could be a two pair. Don’t love the call by V3, but if he had a set (and probably two pair) then he is going to raise and not just flat call. Hero’s read is also that he isn’t that strong.

Hero ultimately decides to shove; calling doesn’t leave much in our stack and read is that V3 is either too weak to call or behind.

Hero shoves $110 (or so)
V3 calls (much to hero’s surprise).

It’s about as good as hero can hope for.

V1 has :8h::th:
V3 has :ac::5h:*

So, positive is that hero’s reads are pretty good and we’re in a good spot. Negative is that we’re actually not the favorite (didn’t realize that at the time, but in looking it up afterwards V1 is 49% favorite to Hero’s 41%).

I think the mistake was trying to do two things with the call - both giving an opportunity to get out of the hand if the turn was scary and trying to be greedy to get draws to call. So was playing both scared and tricky at the same time. That was why I was looking for input from folks. Not one way to play it, but helpful to clarify the the thought processes.

To finish the hand:
Turn is :4h:
River is :jh:

Hero loses.
Not necessarily upset, because a heart coming was always a possibility of losing the hand, but unsure if the line was good (no hearts and hero almost triples up).

*PS - hero doesn’t actually know V3s hand. Cards aren’t actually tabled until the river. Hero tables his hand, knowing he’s beat. V1 tables the flush. V3 mucks his hand. Main pot is pushed to V1 and side pot is pushed to hero. As cards are being shuffled and dealt for the next hand V3 tells the table he had an A with a low heart, not realizing he should have won the side pot (if that is what he actually had).
 
Interesting @Jimulacrum

I probably should clarify - I called with a combination of 1) being able to fold if I thought I was beat and 2) bringing in draws to build the pot for the times when I’m ahead. But, let’s finish the hand and then get to where I may have made the mistakes.

Pre-flop:
V2 (UTG+2) raises to 7
V3 (MP) calls 7
Hero - looks down at :as::ks:- raises to 28
V1 (BB) calls
V2 (UTG+2) calls
V3 (MP) calls
Pot is $113

Flop comes :ah::8s::7h:
V1 (BB) checks
V2 (UTG+2) checks
V3 (MP) bets $76
Hero calls $76
V1 (BB) shoves for $193
V2 (UTG-2) folds
V3 (MP) tanks, and then reluctantly flat calls.

Hero goes into the tank. His read on V1 is that this is a flush draw, but could be a two pair. Don’t love the call by V3, but if he had a set (and probably two pair) then he is going to raise and not just flat call. Hero’s read is also that he isn’t that strong.

Hero ultimately decides to shove; calling doesn’t leave much in our stack and read is that V3 is either too weak to call or behind.

Hero shoves $110 (or so)
V3 calls (much to hero’s surprise).

It’s about as good as hero can hope for.

V1 has :8h::th:
V3 has :ac::5h:*

So, positive is that hero’s reads are pretty good and we’re in a good spot. Negative is that we’re actually not the favorite (didn’t realize that at the time, but in looking it up afterwards V1 is 49% favorite to Hero’s 41%).

I think the mistake was trying to do two things with the call - both giving an opportunity to get out of the hand if the turn was scary and trying to be greedy to get draws to call. So was playing both scared and tricky at the same time. That was why I was looking for input from folks. Not one way to play it, but helpful to clarify the the thought processes.

To finish the hand:
Turn is :4h:
River is :jh:

Hero loses.
Not necessarily upset, because a heart coming was always a possibility of losing the hand, but unsure if the line was good (no hearts and hero almost triples up).

*PS - hero doesn’t actually know V3s hand. Cards aren’t actually tabled until the river. Hero tables his hand, knowing he’s beat. V1 tables the flush. V3 mucks his hand. Main pot is pushed to V1 and side pot is pushed to hero. As cards are being shuffled and dealt for the next hand V3 tells the table he had an A with a low heart, not realizing he should have won the side pot (if that is what he actually had).
This is great news for you!
 
Not that we should be results-oriented, but now that you know their hands, notice how much better a shove would be here.
Yes - if my read is that no one has flopped a set (or two pair) then a shove probably is better. And with four players, trying to trap the draw(s) is probably a sub-optimal play.

Also trying to analyze if my reads are that good (felt that way when the hands were tabled) or if I just got lucky with the best possible outcome of holdings (and then unlucky on the flip that was the turn and river).
 
2) bringing in draws to build the pot for the times when I’m ahead.
That's not the strategy you want to take against multiple opponents when the pot is already huge compared to stacks.

Waiting for the safe turn is something you do when very deep multiway and OOP. You also do this more in Omaha.
 
Yes - if my read is that no one has flopped a set (or two pair) then a shove probably is better. And with four players, trying to trap the draw(s) is probably a sub-optimal play.
Draws want to play multi-way pots, by flatting you are playing into what they want, not what you want. Now I don't think :th::8h: is ever folding on that board, but a lot of us that were saying there is a lot more out there than just sets are making the point here.

And you will fade the hearts often enough where the shove would show a profit.

Bottom line, don't get cute in multi-way spots. If you have the goods get the money in. If you do anything else, you are doing a favor to anyone that is taking the worst of it.
 
Thanks all for the feedback. Agreed that this may have been a case of “overthinking” and probably not focusing enough on the multi-way dynamics at play. But given that I ended up getting all the money in with the best hand (at the time, though not the most equity), it felt like one that needed to be reviewed to figure out just exactly how much of the hand was a mistake vs a bad runout.
 
Thanks all for the feedback. Agreed that this may have been a case of “overthinking” and probably not focusing enough on the multi-way dynamics at play. But given that I ended up getting all the money in with the best hand (at the time, though not the most equity), it felt like one that needed to be reviewed to figure out just exactly how much of the hand was a mistake vs a bad runout.
Indeed. The pot size really matters when you consider plays that aren't straight forward. You may have had the best hand, but you are certainly sacrificing equity to let other players come along. Sometimes that's a good trade off, particularly in smaller pots where it's far less of a big deal if you get outdrawn. But bigger the pot, the less willing you should be to trade any equity when you have the best of it in pursuit of maximization. The risk-reward just isn't there. Get it when you have the best of it always when the pot gets big.
 

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