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Pocket Aces - fold or call a giant raise after the flop?


Trying to figure out if I made a mistake on this hand. Blinds were 100/200 and it was down to 8 players out of 52 in an APT tournament. I had pocket aces in UTG+1 position. I raised, big blind and UTG both called. Flop comes 5, 9, jack (rainbow). UTG bets 1250 into 2500 pot and I raise to 3500. Big blind was deep stacked and raised to 9200. UTG with 6300 chips folded. Should I have called all in with my remaining 2800 chips or fold? The choice I made was to call since I thought the big blind likely had a pair of jacks with an excellent kicker (Ace or King) and I felt pot committed. Chances of an opponent ending up with a flush or straight on this board were very low and I was willing to risk that number of outs. Turns out he had pocket fives and beat me with a set. Is this just a bad beat or should I have folded to such a big raise? Thanks in advance for your thoughts!


  • monkeysystem
    You needed 2800 to call with a 10,050 main pot. That's roughly 3.5:1 pot odds, needing equity of 22% to break even. However, you're right that the check/shove sends up red flags all over the place.

    Much depends on V's BB flatting and 3-betting ranges, and how his capped flatting range interacts with his check/shoving range.

    If his preflop flatting range is 40% with TT+, AQ+, KQs capped away:

    If he's check/shoving with TP+, it's an easy call with 64% equity. If he's only doing this with 2P+, you have 19% equity and a fold.

    If his preflop 3-betting range includes 55+ because he likes light 3-bets, then you have a break-even call and should wait for a better spot.

    If he's also 3-betting 99 preflop, you have 25% equity and could strongly consider a call with the pot odds. Somebody 3-betting that often preflop is probably also shoving a J with a good kicker on the flop and you have him almost crushed.

    To make a long story short, calling here is very villian-dependent.

    In general, it sucks to be put into a position of having to call with 25% equity with your tournament life on the line. Because of numbers like those stated above, you commit yourself to pots when you raise with over half your remaining stack on the flop. When effective stacks get down to around 40bb or so, sizing becomes critical to avoid these predicaments.

    However given the effective stack sizes here, with AA you should be eager to get all the money in ASAP. So you were correct in trying to build a pot the way you did.

    Was this tournament on the money bubble? If so, survival becomes crucial if you're short stacked. But with the effective stack sizes, you had some wiggle room.
  • bigslickvicb

    Yes it was on the bubble so perhaps I should have been more cautious. I thought V's range for shoving definitely included top pair among other better hands and that he was maybe trying to bully me out of the pot so I figured I had enough equity to call.

    I think that was the first time V 3-bet at the final table so I could have given him more credit. If there was a good chance of him having a straight or flush I would have folded, but to be honest I didn't really think much about a set in his range.

    Thank you for your thoughtful analysis. It is helpful to work through hands this way, and I still have a lot to learn.


  • monkeysystem

    Working in Flopzilla, I added filters to keep TPTK as possible holdings, while filtering out other TP. You would have 39% equity and a call.

    All in all, V's check/shove made this a tough spot. The elephant in the living room was AA with about 40bb effective. Get the money in early, call the check/shove against non-nits, and pray.

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