Struggles with Ace Queen: Post the First

Jordan PowerJordan Power Red Chipper Posts: 530 ✭✭✭
In what is going to be a clinic on how NOT to play AQ, please enjoy the first of three posts detailing my struggles over the weekend in which I played atrociously for 6 hours at the MGM.

$1/$3 MGM National Harbor, Saturday evening, about an hour into my session, getting an absolutely ridiculous amount of premium hands. I only note this because I have 3 bet six times since sitting down and people are grumbling about it. I'm sitting with $810 behind and dealt AQ of spades on the button.

It limps and folds to me. I open to $15. Big Blind, who I have never seen before but in the hour I have played with him, he's 3 bet a ton from the BB, 3bets to $45. It folds back to me.

Villain started hand with ~300 bucks.

So my first question is should I have pursued a 4 bet here? I think his 3 betting range is pretty wide and V has been notably frustrated by the amount of aggression I've employed.

If I reraise to $120, I think V is either going to fold or shove. I don't see him just calling OOP. Is AQ of spades enough of a hand to want to be 4-betting there?

In any event, I just called and the flop came 8-2-3 rainbow. BB checks and I decide to check back. My decision to check back here I personally think is okay. I don't see V folding here to me betting. I don't think he will believe my range connected with that board. Thoughts appreciated here as well.

Turn comes 5d, true rainbow board so no flush possibilities. V checks again. And I inexplicably decide to check back for the same reason on the flop. I realize this is a mistake. But I still don't see how my range hits the board unless I have a set and I think V is going to continue with pretty much all his range, so I take the free card.

Well the river is a 4, making my straight and V jams all in. And ya know what? I folded. In the moment, I thought he could have a six but afterwards, I don't see what he is 3-betting with a 6 unless he was 3-betting 6s or just outright bluffing with a hand that contained a six.

I wasn't going to post this hand because I was (and am) 100% sure this is a call and a likely chopped pot but I've had two people saying that for $250, it's worth a fold. But I don't agree with this and would love some feedback on this poorly, poorly played hand.


  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,308 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Your 3 betting range has many pairs that want to bet on turn for value and protection, they work with your ace highs to justify a bet.
  • Jordan PowerJordan Power Red Chipper Posts: 530 ✭✭✭
    persuadeo wrote: »
    Your 3 betting range has many pairs that want to bet on turn for value and protection, they work with your ace highs to justify a bet.

    But doesn't villains as well? I know he's checked twice but I don't see how I am going to get a fold out of him there.
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,308 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Well, the perfect answer would be knowing each of your ranges and then we could answer the question as to whether he as any folds or not against a specific price. However, since that is a fantasy, let's look at it more conceptually.

    The more money that goes into the pot pre, the more worse combinations fall away.

    Therefore, the top of his preflop range is highly incentivized to bet into your calling range for value and protection because you will have arrived there with a condensed range of hands that can call here for at least one street. He'll also have bluffs that diminish over streets to incentivize you to call in the first place.

    So his slowplays are fewer and fewer the more reraises there are, and, yes, there are the bluffs, but he is also going to have a subsection of ace high hands, like some AK/Ax that want to showdown vs your merged hands like KQ, since you're expected to do a lot of calling and he doesn't want to bet his whole range necessarily. He'll also slow down with some of them because they can improve for nothing when you don't set a price for that realization of equity.

    Perhaps he's also underbluffing - if your calls of three bets are few, or the game culture is that defending is very limited or overly trapping, he may not feel he can do anything to get you to fold. You can see that logically, this means he has more folds, not fewer, when you bet turn.

    We can't know his exact strategy, and I can't know your game culture, but as you can see, it's far more likely that he has a hand on the weaker side of his range after two checks, than a stronger one.

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