QQ facing heat early in tournament

MrBo

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Looking for a little advice on a hand from earlier today. MD Live was running a $65 (+$10 dealer add-on) 10k guarantee, 15k starting stack, 20 minute levels, rebuys through first 8 or 9 levels, ended up with over 400 entries.

Hand occurred during Level 3. Hero had played 3 hands, primarily a decent-sized one where he had AA, raised 100->700 over 5 limpers, got 4 callers and was still good at showdown heads-up on an iffy board. He likely has a pretty TAG image. Villain seems like a competent LAG and was observed opening his button and triple barreling pretty big with 65o on 985K9 board. Seems pretty solid overall, but capable of making moves.

Blinds at 100/200, Hero has a little over 22k, Villain has 14.6k.

UTG player limps, Hero is UTG+1 with :qh::qs: and raises to 800. Folds around to Villain in the CO who raises to 2100 (fun fact: this was the first pre-flop 3-bet at our table). Blinds and UTG fold, Hero calls (?:confused:?).

[Pot = 4600] Flop is :4c::8h::4d:. Hero checks (?:confused:?). Villain checks.

[Pot = 4600] Turn is :4c::8h::4d::6c:. Hero checks (?:confused:?). Villain bets 3500. Hero calls (?:confused:?).

[Pot = 11600] River is :4c::8h::4d::6c::8s:. Hero checks (?:confused:?). Villain shoves for exactly 9000. Hero... (?:confused::(?)


These probably aren't necessary, but each (?:confused:?) signifies a spot where a different line could've been taken. For instance, folding pre-flop and avoiding a big pot OOP against a decent player, or 4-betting small-ish with intent of folding to a jam. Maybe leading the flop with a "feeler", as transparent as that usually is.

Thoughts on (1) different lines as well as (2) river decision as played would be much appreciated. Thank you all!
 

Mojo1312

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I don't quite understand why Hero did not 4 bet pre-flop. IMO, that is his biggest mistake. What was Hero's plan for his hand?
 

grandgnu

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This is your first 3-bet pre at your table. You raised UTG+1, indicating a significant amount of strength. Villian is LAG, but LAG's pickup good hands too. The hand he barreled with is one he was the original pre-flop aggressor. In this hand, he is reraising you when your range is extremely strong, which makes his range stronger imo.

Given that, I'm ok with a fold pre. As played:

Flop: looks good

Turn: You should be taking the initiative after villain checked the flop. I'd lead for 2500. As played, Villian is betting a significant amount of the pot. I'd again lean towards fold (perhaps he was delay-betting his Kings/Aces, figuring the flop wasn't scary and it might confuse you into putting him on AK). But if you're calling, it's because you believe you have the best hand. Villian has bet an amount that is setting stacks up for a river shove. So if you're calling on the turn, you should be prepared to call on the river. Who knows, maybe this is one of those guys prepared to rebuy multiple times who likes to just take really aggressive lines to build his stack early (although this being the first 3-bet at your table after three levels makes that less likely)

River: If you were good on the turn, you're good on the river. As played, I would be calling.
 
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We're still fairly deep & it's a rebuy, I think we should raise bigger; 1200 seems better to me. Calling/3-betting seems fairly meh to me. I'm never folding pre.
Flop check to PFR is fine. LAG checking back here is kind of unexpected.
After he checks back, we should be betting out hand for value on the turn I think. Given we checked, calling seems by far the best option to me.
River's an obvious check/call imo.
 

MrBo

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Thanks for all the feedback. Always interesting to see an array of opinions.

I'm inclined to agree with the thought that Villain is ranging Hero pretty tight, probably 99+/AQ+, and is likely to be ranged even stronger, mostly AA, KK, AK, but perhaps JJ/TT and the fewer combos of QQ/AQ as well. For this reason I don't think folding pre is bad, given position, stack sizes, and the fact that there are much fishier opponents at the table to be tangling with.

I also think 4-betting may have been better than just calling. Question is can we 4-bet-fold any amount or do we have to cry-call if we assume Villain is shoving only AA/KK/AKs? I'd probably range a 5-bet shove here as only AA/KK and fold. What if Villain just calls the 4-bet? Plans for different flop textures?

I agree with leading out on the turn as well, though that could have created it's own questions depending on how Villain played back. I'll admit that Villain's flop check behind did surprise me, though I had my suspicions. It is a pretty dry flop for a big pair (or 88) to check back for future value, whereas I think pairs like 99-JJ would be more inclined to bet rather than allowing a free card for AQ/AK to get there.

To answer Mojo, I guess Hero's plan was to (1) take a chance at building a big stack on any Qxx or 9TJ type of flop, (2) check-call or check-raise most safe flops depending on Villain's c-bet sizing, and evaluate from there, or (3) check-fold most A/Kxx boards if Villain c-bets a decent size.

I'll reveal more later today or tomorrow.
 

Chippy McChiperson

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You're thinking like a nit, not a lag. I might three bet you with a wider range knowing you're more likely to fold than the average calling station. I think four betting pre is good, but so is check jamming the turn.
 

MrBo

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You're thinking like a nit, not a lag. I might three bet you with a wider range knowing you're more likely to fold than the average calling station. I think four betting pre is good, but so is check jamming the turn.

If it was you 3-betting me this whole thread would be replaced by pictures of me smiling with jam all over my face as I ship my jammy chips into the middle :)
 

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UTG player limps, Hero is UTG+1 with :qh::qs: and raises to 800. Folds around to Villain in the CO who raises to 2100 (fun fact: this was the first pre-flop 3-bet at our table). Blinds and UTG fold, Hero calls (?:confused:?).

[Pot = 4600] Flop is :4c::8h::4d:. Hero checks (?:confused:?). Villain checks.

[Pot = 4600] Turn is :4c::8h::4d::6c:. Hero checks (?:confused:?). Villain bets 3500. Hero calls (?:confused:?).

[Pot = 11600] River is :4c::8h::4d::6c::8s:. Hero checks (?:confused:?). Villain shoves for exactly 9000. Hero... (?:confused::(?)


These probably aren't necessary, but each (?:confused:?) signifies a spot where a different line could've been taken. For instance, folding pre-flop and avoiding a big pot OOP against a decent player, or 4-betting small-ish with intent of folding to a jam. Maybe leading the flop with a "feeler", as transparent as that usually is.

Thoughts on (1) different lines as well as (2) river decision as played would be much appreciated. Thank you all!

Here's my 2¢

Preflop - I'm never folding. Calling Villain's re-raise is OK. You could 4-bet, but all that's going to do is build the pot without giving you any more information since Villain probably already has you ranged as a premium hand and he's calling the 4-bet anyway. I'm giving him a slightly wider range than he is probably giving us. call > raise >>>>>> fold.

Flop - I'm OK with checking here to see what Villain does. His check behind is interesting - eliminates AA and KK from his range imo. AK or AQ seems more likely now.

Turn - Checking here is AWFUL unless you are planning to check-raise. There is NO WAY that Villain isn't going to bet if you check again. I would bet around the same size, 3/4 pot and expect a fold or a raise. If Villain raises, I'm considering a fold depending on the size of the raise and how long he takes to make it.

Turn as played (Hero checks, Villain bets 3500) Shove. Villain is asking a question - give him an answer. As played (Hero calls) you have given Villain a bunch of information about your hand and gained none whatsoever about his. Shove > raise > fold > call.

River - Again, checking here is awful. If you were ahead on the turn, you're still ahead now. Now that we're in this spot, shove to put Villain all-in.

River as played (Hero checks, Villain shoves) - Villain believes his AK is good (4s and 8s with Ace kicker) and/or believes Hero will fold. Call.
 

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I too though about the "Villain thinks he's good with AK with two pair on board." But a LAG will have considered this and if he did narrow your pre flop holdings to big pairs, may be crying quietly on the inside for you too call. I, too, tend to be a bit of a not and have MUBS or whatever Dr. Strange calls it. I'm calling though and if I'm shown AA or KK, so be it. If you believe Doyle, the reason QQ is dangerous lies in the A and the K hitting the board. Neither of those came, so if you have to lose your stack here, so be it. Call river, but next time bet turn or river rather than check, IMO.
 

10centguitar

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Did you end up folding?

As always with these types of posts there is not enough info to really give you an solid answer. But here you go.



You showed weakness on every stage of this hand with the exception of your PFR to 800.

4-bet PF, if villian flats, C-bet 3/4 pot on the flop. If he flats he could be floating. What do you think his float percentage to be?


Looks like standard position play from a good player. He has way more hands in his range that connect with that board than you and he knows you know that.

If you don't know how often he is 3-betting PF, his bluff, or float frequency, (estimates obviously) then you really have to either nit it up and fold or get the action on.

Put him to a decision OTF and re-buy if necessary.


I say this because by the time the turn comes you could have let him draw out on you with 57s for the str8.

Or him thinking he is well on his way. Think a hand like A5 or A7 of clubs. On that turn he has made a gutshot str8 and nut flush draw. With position and the weakness youve shown, you better believe he is going to fire another bullet.

(you checked the flop, and didnt 4-bet pre. Smells like you have AKs-AJs to the villian) Although in the 3 hands you had played up to this point you showed down a big pair, you never said how much you had been playing OOP or been folding to 3-bets or mutli-street aggression. Something a good LAG will notice a mile away.


On the river if he thinks you have AK-AJ he has a good chance of getting you off your hand and there is a good possibility that you guys will chop. More reason for him to fire away.

In the vacuum that has been provided I say:

Put him to a decision OTF and re-buy if necessary.

By not regaining control of the betting you were at best guessing.
 

grandgnu

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If you don't know how often he is 3-betting PF

You're missing that this is the FIRST time ANYONE at this table has 3-bet pre. That's a pretty big deal, especially considering:

Hero has shown down AA
Hero raised UTG+1
Villian is reraising Heros raise

Can Villian be bluffing? Of course. But I still think Villians hand range is VERY strong a greater majority of the time than Villian is bluffing here, given the information provided.
 

Chippy McChiperson

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Define very strong. Is it AA and KK only? Is AK in his range? JJ, tens? Hero has made no aggressive moves other than the original raise, it's possible villain is ranging hero for a far weaker hand than he has. Also, if villain had AK, couldn't he play this hand the same way, turning it into a bluff in the river, knowing that hero is likely to fold? Not saying AA and KK are out of the question, but in my opinion villains range is far wider than just those two hands.
 

10centguitar

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You're missing that this is the FIRST time ANYONE at this table has 3-bet pre. That's a pretty big deal, especially considering:

Hero has shown down AA
Hero raised UTG+1
Villian is reraising Heros raise

Can Villian be bluffing? Of course. But I still think Villians hand range is VERY strong a greater majority of the time than Villian is bluffing here, given the information provided.

Ahh missed that. Sounds like a nitty table if they are in level 3.

Still villian check behind on the flop.
Sounds like 99-JJ AK-AJs

Id still put him to a decision
 

grandgnu

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Define very strong. Is it AA and KK only? Is AK in his range? JJ, tens? Hero has made no aggressive moves other than the original raise, it's possible villain is ranging hero for a far weaker hand than he has. Also, if villain had AK, couldn't he play this hand the same way, turning it into a bluff in the river, knowing that hero is likely to fold? Not saying AA and KK are out of the question, but in my opinion villains range is far wider than just those two hands.
Yes other hands including bluffs are in his range. But i weigh aa\kk more heavily given the OP
 

10centguitar

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I agree with chippy. His range is definitely should be wider than KK+.

The villian has already been observed triple-barrel bluffing. This helps to negate the fact that he is super strong solely because it is the first PF 3 bet.

If i was the villian in this spot, i would certainly be considering ripping off the bluff even if it took 3 streets against a player being so weak. I would however need to see some baseline deviation in the heros reactions to my bets to continue bluffing.
The hero just sounds so weak and easy to push around.

To be clear though, nothing has been said about physical tells and timing of bets and the raise etc.
It is such a huge part of my game that its hard to say with the info provided.



ABC poker says fold.
 

grandgnu

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I don't quite understand why Hero did not 4 bet pre-flop. IMO, that is his biggest mistake. What was Hero's plan for his hand?

Effective stack sizes are 14.6K Hero raised to 800, Villain reraised to 2100. What amount do you plan to 4-bet to preflop?

Lets say you 4-bet to 4600 and Villian 5-bet shoves. The pot is now 19,200 and hero needs to call 10,000. I don't see how you can 4-bet without planning to play for stacks. Should we be playing for stacks preflop here in level 3 with pocket Queens? Given the right situation and opponent, certainly. But I don't think this situation and opponent meet my criteria for playing for stacks here.

Is that exploitable? Sure. Are you going to find opponents competent enough to have the skillset to exploit you in this manner in a $65 buyin tourney? I guess anything is possible, but my experience leads me to believe it's going to be few and far between getting on with the fancy play syndrome this early in the tourney against a player who can bust them (yes, there are rebuys, but it's not like Villian needs to double up or rebuy straight away)

I agree with chippy. His range is definitely should be wider than KK+.

The villian has already been observed triple-barrel bluffing. This helps to negate the fact that he is super strong solely because it is the first PF 3 bet.

If i was the villian in this spot, i would certainly be considering ripping off the bluff even if it took 3 streets against a player being so weak. I would however need to see some baseline deviation in the heros reactions to my bets to continue bluffing.
The hero just sounds so weak and easy to push around.

To be clear though, nothing has been said about physical tells and timing of bets and the raise etc.
It is such a huge part of my game that its hard to say with the info provided.



ABC poker says fold.

I never said Villians range was KK+, I said I weighed KK+ more heavily in opponents range than other hands. Given that Villian is LAG, it could be ATC in his range.

But given that Hero has played a whopping three hands through three levels (one being shown down as AA) and Hero has raised in very early position, and it's been three levels (what is that, 60 minutes, 90 minutes?) and this is the first time anyone has 3-bet, I think we're putting too much stock in the LAG's one button raise where it was folded to him preflop.

Does Villians hand look like AK on the flop and turn given the way it's been played? Sure, that could certainly be in his range of holdings. Would villain shove the river after Hero has refused to fold preflop, on the flop and on the turn? Maybe. Villian might also just give up (yes, LAG's don't always constantly bluff, sometimes they take their foot off the gas)

For me, the time to fold was pre-flop. As Hero has played it, on the turn when he calls, with a blank river, Hero should be calling since he felt he was good enough on the turn and the river doesn't change that.

Hero should've fired the turn after the flop was checked. As played, Hero should NOT fire the river, Hero should check and let Villian bet. Because if Villian was bluffing, why would you want to give him an opportunity to fold? If you believe he's bluffing, let him continue to do so. A river bet by Hero is just value towning yourself (but what if Villian checks behind? you say? Well, then it's unlikely Villian would've called Hero's river bet anyway, the value is in letting Villian bluff the river)
 

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Hero should have four bet. He definitely should have bet on the flop. Two clear mistakes IMO.

(Fixed my post)
 
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grandgnu

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Hero should have four bet. He definitely should have bet on the flop when the villain checked his hand. Two clear mistakes IMO.
Read what i just posted. Hero can't 4-bet without playing for stacks

Hero is first to act postflop and can't bet "when villian checked the flop" because villian is last to act
 

Mojo1312

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Read what i just posted. Hero can't 4-bet without playing for stacks

Hero is first to act postflop and can't bet "when villian checked the flop" because villian is last to act

Pardon me Gnu, but I read your book "Play Poker Like the Schmoes!" According to your book, we should be stacking off Villain with pocket Queens by moving all-in pre-flop.
 

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I wouldn't say the table was terribly nitty (other than myself and probably the guy on my left who was the only one not to take advantage of the $10 dealer add-on for the extra 5k), mostly loose-passive with 2 or 3 major calling stations.

Thanks grandgnu to responding to a few of the things I was just about to hit on. I think even 4-betting small and then folding here is -EV in the long run, given the odds situation we're creating by doing so and just how often Villain is ahead when we do face a 5-bet or sneaky call (which, btw, if Villain calls a 4-bet we really can only shove or check-fold the flop with an SPR close to 1). Another thing that hasn't been mentioned yet though is the fact that Hero covers Villain and will have about 35 BB's behind still if he stacks off here and loses, or will be the big stack at the table by a long shot if he wins. Playing for Villain's stack in this spot my be more gamble-y than some players would like, but isn't game over at all for Hero.

I will agree with others that I played this very weak all along, but that also means my hand is fairly under-repped other than the EP raise and calling the only pre-flop 3-bet up to this point. Still worth considering in deciding whether or not to call the river.

To the point about Villain thinking his AK is good here, I'd say then why would Villain bet instead of checking down if he thinks he has showdown value? Much more likely Villain is shoving with AK to get 99-JJ or a sticky AK (maybe AKcc) to fold.

I also think it's very unlikely Villain has a hand with an 8 or 4 or 57 (or even 66) here. Yes, I labeled him as a competent LAG after about 45 minutes of observation, but like grandgnu said there is a big difference between 3-betting an apparent TAG's EP raise and open button raising and 3-barreling light.

Results tomorrow morning... :)
 

10centguitar

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Hero should've fired the turn after the flop was checked. As played, Hero should NOT fire the river, Hero should check and let Villian bet. Because if Villian was bluffing, why would you want to give him an opportunity to fold? If you believe he's bluffing, let him continue to do so. A river bet by Hero is just value towning yourself (but what if Villian checks behind? you say? Well, then it's unlikely Villian would've called Hero's river bet anyway, the value is in letting Villian bluff the river)

I agree with this to a point. You are absolutely right about getting him to bluff again if you put him on the bluff. Way ahead or way behind situation. He will always raise a better hand and fold a weaker one thus losing hero value.

but it doesn't seem like our hero has been calling the whole way because he's putting villain on bluff as much as he is just hoping that his QQ holds up until showdown at a cheap price because he hates to throw them away.


A good aggressive player can and will 3-bet early position raises from time to time with tricky hands hoping to flop good if the original raiser calls behind.

In this case it seems that the villain has checked flop to avoid a check-raise and then when faced with another check decides that someone needs to pickup the pot.

What i think the situation is:

Everyone folding to the heros PF raise, and villain knows he can isolate the hero and then outplay him. Simple.

Not to say Lags don't get good hands, true, but with as aggressive as villain has been described, I doubt he would check behind on the flop if he had QQ beat.


BTW
I have seen many a player play hands like 810s and J8s like this when stacks are deep enough, and if villain has something like that, all that checking the hero did just made villain the winner.

I've lost some huge pots in situations like this where I let the player with a weak top pair on the flop boat up when I had an overpair and was scared to bet it on a paired flop. Even with the PF action.

(depends on the style of player, but a good LAG will try this with 30-40 BB against an opponent they feel is a weaker player particularly in position in a re-buy tourney.)


Also, lets not forget that many low limit players have their favorite hands that they will play for ridiculous amounts, (I sometimes run into players who still hold weird superstitions, even though they are otherwise very solid)
Not to say that it is common or my opinion for this case, but a possibility.



One more thing and very importantly, a ton of players in tourneys this size do not realize the significance of an UTG raise versus a UTG+2 raise.
And a ton of great players could care less if they think that they can isolate and that the original raiser will buckle under pressure postflop.

I know that I don't weigh early position raises very heavily if I feel the original UTG or UTG+1 raiser is going to play weak post-flop.

If they bet big I fold, if they check I start hammering them if the read is right.



I am curious as to what everyone thinks villain would have done had hero bet the turn. There is a good chance if he feels hero's turn bet was post oak he would 3-bet that too. A good player could do this with any hand.



I also think it's very unlikely Villain has a hand with an 8 or 4 or 57 (or even 66) here. Yes, I labeled him as a competent LAG after about 45 minutes of observation, but like grandgnu said there is a big difference between 3-betting an apparent TAG's EP raise and open button raising and 3-barreling light.

You're probably right that villain doesn't have and 8,4, 57, or 66 but its not terrible important if he feels he can win, but the TAG image is one you might hold for yourself and LAG doesn't even consider it, and if he does, could care less if he thinks he can get you off your hand.

But none of us will know until you tell us what happened.

BTW,
How many hands had the villain been involved in more or less up to this point?
 

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Good points, 10cent, you're definitely willing to play the LAG's advocate :) I can't give you an exact number for Villain's hands... each 20 minute level was lasting about one orbit, so let's say out of about 50 hands Villain had VPIP about 20-25% and PFR 4 or 5, probably no more than 10%. As already mentioned, this was the first 3-bet at the entire table.

My general feeling about Villain's range and the flop check is the stronger his hand, the more likely he is to check back, and vice versa. Say for instance Villain does have a random LAG 3-bet hand like T8s. 844 is a great flop after getting your loose 3-bet flop, but does not want to give a free card for Hero's potential AK/AQ hands, and can c-bet with the threat of bigger future bets against Hero's 99-JJ holdings. 844 is also a decent flop for AK to c-bet if Hero also has a lot of AK/AQ in his range. 99-JJ would probably c-bet since a fair amount of turn cards would be overcards. The flop check back definitely surprised me a little bit, but my gut was telling me that Villain's range was either very strong (AA, KK, 88, a random 4x), or something like AK/AQ that was giving up.

RESULTS:

...
[Pot = 11600] River is :4c::8h::4d::6c::8s:. Hero checks. Villain shoves for exactly 9000. Hero tanks for a little bit, his nit-gut feeling suspicious and telling him to fold, but also considering how under-repped the strength of his own hand is + Villain's ability to make this move + it is a re-entry (for Villain) + being in a spot to build a big stack / still have 35 BB's if wrong...

Hero calls. Villain shows :kc::kh:.

I think in a lot of ways all the chips could have gone in and we'd just consider this a little bit of a cooler (i.e. if Hero leads turn and either gets raised or called and then jams river). I don't know though, my gut was telling me to fold the river and in hindsight I don't totally hate folding pre to the 3-bet. This of course would be exploitable and -EV in the long run against the average LAG. So in general stacking off one way or the other probably isn't that bad here, but in this specific spot I think Villain is going to be ahead most of the time. I have to give a lot of credit to Villain though. I think he played it very well, especially the sneaky flop check and the bet sizing to get stacks in and make it look bluffy.
 

10centguitar

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I meant villain absolutely has KK and hero should fold to post flop betting. lol


Just kidding, yeah I like to see good lag play early in tourneys. Flip the tight is right until the blinds get high then loosen up on its head.

I sometimes play tourneys loose in the beginning and tighten up real nitty for the middle levels. Get payed off on my good hands for more often and stack up nice for the final levels to make it into the cash.


Maybe the villain's check behind on the flop was a bit of him sweating AA from you as well?

Once he took you off that he was just value betting you down.


I feel that maybe I play with maniacs far too often!



I will say this, if the villain had been a nit you probably would have folded PF, and most certainly would have folded to a big river bet. So his LAG image payed off a bit.

Definitely one of the main reasons to play a LAG style. Look like a gambler, get others thinking you must be up to something and slam them.
 

grandgnu

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Maybe the villain's check behind on the flop was a bit of him sweating AA from you as well?


Definitely a possibility that Villian feared AA and when Hero checks flop and turn Villian feels confident he's not facing AA and can bet for value. Also possible he checked the flop to make Hero put him on AK that whiffed, making his turn bet look like a bluff to induce action.
 

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My guess is Villain's flop check was more a bit of misdirection going for future value rather than fearing Hero has AA. If I'm Villain there's no way I'm not putting my stack in with KK here, even if Hero only raises pre with QQ/AKs+ (I'm not that big of a nit btw :D).
 
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