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Playing QQ in APT versus a live game question?


I just joined APT less than a week ago and I'm gradually changing my $1/$2 no limit live game and hoping for improvements. When I have QQ or KK on APT it seems to me that if no overcards flop the advice is to push your hand. Sometimes this works to get the villains off the draws but occasionally you run against Aces or Kings and lose most of your stack. Prior to APT training the tight player in me would never go all in against a raiser with QQ unless a Queen came out.

So today I'm at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas playing the $1/$2 game and sitting with $220. Villain 1 raises to $11 and with one caller in between I re-rasie to $27 with QQ. They both call. The flop comes 8 high and villain 1 bets $30 and villain 2 calls. I'm tempted to re-raise because APT advice would tell me to raise approximately to $70, but I just call. The next card comes out a Jack and villain 1 bets $30. Villain 2 calls and I call. The river card pairs the board with a 4. Villain 1 goes all in for $90. Villain 2 goes in the tank and folds. I study him and go into the tank and feel he is weak. I call and to my dismay he has aces and I lose all but about $30 from my stack.

Prior to APT training I would never have raised the $11 pre flop bet and just called. Because the pot would have been smaller he might have only bet $20 or so on the turn and river and I would not have called an all-in on the river. So instead of only $30 left in my stack I would have had around $170.

My question to you guys is: Is there a flaw in the APT program that would recommend playing Queens so hard or because being aggressive with Queens will get villains off the draws and it is the correct way to play? Your thoughts?



  • pgearan
    edited November 2017

    To me, 3-betting pre-flop with QQ would be a fairly standard move and is not specific to the APT programming. You generally should be well ahead of original raiser's complete range (there's only 2 hands you are behind) so you want to push this hand for value and make players pay to set mine or draw to their Ax. Here Villian 1 gets tricky when he just flat calls pre-flop with AA when he does not 4-bet - which by the way I don't think is a great play as even if he is trying to balance his play a bit, there is a third player in the hand (who now is definitely calling getting 4 to 1 odds to call on the reraise and call). I'm going to try to isolate you if I am Villian 1 and protect my equity.

    After that I think you just get bad luck - all unders on the flop and you are getting almost 5 to 1 to call the $30. Yes, I think raising would have been perfectly fine as well even if we know it would not have worked. But potentially that raise to $70 could have saved you some money. If you get reraised or even flatted, you have to be worried you are facing a big hand. Now more likely a set, because AA and KK unlikely given preflop action, but with the board you describe and the preflop action does not seem like a draw. The raise on the flop could help you define your hand and potentially you could decide not to invest any more into this pot. You would have lost about $100 instead of $190 if you decided you are not putting in anything else after the flop.

    But pot control by flatting the flop is also logical after a bet and call as you have to figure when someone is leading out with only a 40% of pot bet they have something, and then they get called - even more worrisome. And on a board that is unlikely to have straight draws, and you did no mention a flush draw but even if there is, not a probable holding for the initial better (maybe for the caller). But you now have to be worried about 88, sets with the other 2 cards, and remotely about KK and AA (even though that is indeed what Villian 1 has). So you can beat 99 1010 and JJ which would also lead out on that board, but lose to 5 pairs, and other 4 low pairs that have not hit a set are unlikely to lead out into the pre-flop aggressor.

    Then on the turn, now a bet of less than 20% of pot and a call by the time it gets to you, you are getting over 7 to 1 on a call. Ugh, brutal spot, impossible to fold. I'll give it to Villian 1 he got max value from this hand. And the river, you are praying that everyone checks and you get to show down. But $90 goes in and the pot swells to $360 and you are getting 4 to 1 and you only have to win 20% of the time to profit and the bluff odds alone may get you there never mind about the chance of AJ (unlikely) and 99 and 1010 still being a possibility! Also one of the sets you worried about turned into the less likely quads on the river. Only if you can look at him and sense that there is nearly no chance they have a worse hand can you fold. Once you sensed weakness you had to call even if was the wrong read.

    My take is you did not do a lot wrong here and just got very unlucky because on every street you were getting the right odds to call. The only play again I think is worth considering is raising the flop bet, and folding to a reraise, just put him on better than your overpair and get out. So this is where I feel that the aggressive take on the overpair is not necessarily wrong even if you are betting into a better hand.

  • wsgambler

    Thanks for your explanation. When you help me realize that I'm getting correct odds on all of my calls it makes me feel a little better.

  • mactheknifem
    I will add a few thoughts and hope to get some advice in return. First, just because I'm getting the right odds to do something doesn't mean I don't get better odds doing something else.

    First Playing Here and On Line. I am not always meeting my target for profit with QQ, so I am trying different strategies. Phil Gordon says in his Little Green Book that a five bet means aces. That is not always true but when I get five bet while holding AK or QQ then I'm usually a dog, so I just call if I'm deep enough that makes any sense at all. If I have AK and see an A or K on the flop or QQ and don't see A or K, then I fold to a bet of 20% of the stack or more. I think it's working better than putting the pedal to the metal. However, any suggestions are welcome.

    Playing Live games 2/5 or 5/5 - I do play these games differently. They are soft compared to 0.25 / 0.50 games on line. The nits are easy to spot, looser with opening hands and very tight getting it in, so if I'm five bet they probably do have aces or at least Kings. Many of the players bluff way too much and play way too loose. With them I just get it in the middle and suffer the volatility.

  • mactheknifem

    Comment above had conditions for fold reversed. Sorry for the error in posting.

  • highfive

    Great news! You are playing at a table with a player who won't 4bet aces. He is a weak player.
    1. Your bet sizing is incorrect. 3 bet should be $44 (3x plus 1 caller.) Oop maybe $55.
    2. When V1 leads V2 calls I raise or ship although given stacks it's a big ship. After raise if V1 ships you can nit fold. ( in this case the boogie man IS under the bed) I raise call it off.
    3. 3 betting QQ is standard not an APT idea.
    4. Because you lose a hand doesnt mean you played it poorly. Variance (good & bad luck) happens.
    5 .If V1 is a rock who hasn't played a hand in 2 hrs. I might 3 bet fold to a 4 bet. ( not likely. i just get stacked here.

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