Feeling sick with that AJ taste in my mouth

PescatarianPescatarian Red Chipper Posts: 83
edited October 2015 in Live Poker Hands
2/5 live, $550 effective. Villain is competent tricky player capable of creative plays.

I open $20 from MP2 with :Ah :Jh

Villain calls from CO, everyone else folds.

Flop ($47) :Js :8c :7c

I make it $25. Villain raises to $60.

This is the sort of spot I absolutely despise. Villain can have sets, two pair and straight in his range. Would also make this move with FD, OESD, Gutters, weaker Jacks, 89 and stone cold bluffs. He knows I whiff this flop a lot and it connects with his flatting range so I reckon he's raising this flop a lot and putting the pressure on IP.

Folding feels way too nitty when he has so many bluffs and weaker hands in his range. Calling means giving up the initiative, building the pot and most likely facing big bets on turn and river that are hard to stand up to with one pair. Also gives away my hand a fair bit. Raising seems best option but kind of brings whole stacks in to play and I'm not keen on stacking off with TPTK.

Would love some feedback on how to handle these spots and whether open-folding AJs is acceptable with tricky players left to act.

Comments

  • HappySumoHappySumo Red Chipper Posts: 58
    fold. You are out of position against a player who will make life difficult for you. I don't like shoving as it allows him to play perfectly. All-in is negative EV.
  • Doug HullDoug Hull RCP Coach Posts: 1,664 -
    Villain is competent tricky player capable of creative plays.
    [...]
    Flop ($47) :Js :8c :7c

    I make it $25. Villain raises to $60.
    [...]
    This is the sort of spot I absolutely despise. Villain can have sets, two pair and straight in his range. Would also make this move with FD, OESD, Gutters, weaker Jacks, 89 and stone cold bluffs. He knows I whiff this flop a lot and it connects with his flatting range so I reckon he's raising this flop a lot and putting the pressure on IP.

    If Villain is capable of all of this. The flop hits his range harder than yours. If you are not already crushed, which of these cards do you like?

    :Xc None of these.
    :T? :9? These are not good for us.
    :7? :8? These either fill him up, or counterfeit his two pair. Good luck figuring out which it is.
    :Q? :K? Mostly these scream two pair or added straight outs

    :2? :3? :4? :5? :6? are :brick but we are playing a crazy guessing game.

    :A? :J? These improve the absolute strength of our hand, but don't necessarily change anything. The Boss flush and Jack of flush will be particularly painful but at least their appearance would mean you are not getting freerolled from the flop (thought you might be getting freerolled from turn!).

    I am curious what Soto will say. Pretty sure bet-call flop is not part of the plan. [Edit, had typo of check-call before. Oops]

    Bad things about leading out include
    • Out of position
    • Board hits their range more than ours
    • Run outs will never make us happy
    • Villain willing to put you to the test with raise
    • You hate getting called too

    You have yourself a very pretty bluff catcher that will not comfortably improve in strength.
    Co-founder Red Chip Poker,
    Author Poker Plays You Can Use
    Author Poker Workbook for Math Geeks
  • The MuleThe Mule Red Chipper Posts: 777 ✭✭✭
    Extrapolating on this logic, we can't be very comfortable with an overpair either. What range are we continuing with ? I assume sets, straights, some of our own draws. Probably not enough to stop villain profitably raising any two cards.

    Is the takeaway from this that as villain you should be raising this flop with your entire range, against a thinking player ?
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 3,760 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Before we start assuming this spot seems bad, I think the poster should say more about his history with this player. The raise sizing on the flop is curious and I would think should tell OP something, and that he should be looking into his memory banks for some answers. "Tricky" is a good word but it can mean a lot of things- including a propensity to raise boards like this, often with impunity.

    To get to the main question, I don't think open folding AJs from MP is a good idea at all. If he's that hard to play against, limping is an option.

    Also, this is not a good cbet board. This is a check with AK, and therefore a check with AJ is a wise option, and the one I would take.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,502 ✭✭✭✭✭
    :Jd :6s :2c Yeah I agree that as played, raising basically commits stacks if you intend to play the hand. You'd be all in on the turn, in fact.

    The basic problem is having a tricky player to your left in general. On this hand specifically, I check the flop. That doesn't guarantee you can easily play the hand out, but it certainly keeps things from escalating, at least right away. Villain can still make our life miserable if he wants to.

    colldav raises an interesting point, "Is the takeaway from this that as villain you should be raising this flop with your entire range, against a thinking player ?"

    So not only that, but sneaky villain can make our life difficult even on extremely dry flops, like :Jd :6s :2c. Then any strength (call flop, raise turn) can represent a set and again we have to ask ourselves if we want to stack off with a pair of jacks.

    I think a lot of it depends on how many hands we've gotten into with this guy, and what our read is on his range over those hand, and at what point do we have to start playing for stacks against him, and if that's a game you even want to play.

    Also, I'd say that if you're in a game where you can't raise first in from MP with AJs, then find another game (in other words, no I never fold here preflop unless the table sucks bad and I'm waiting for another table.)
  • Morgan_BMorgan_B Red Chipper Posts: 262 ✭✭
    If you do decide to bet the flop I think it needs to be more like $40 instead of $25, it's a $47 pot. The small bet size could have induced a bluff/ semi-bluff. A 85% pot size bet seems much less likely to be raised.

    Seems like we should be betting the flop for value since we're going to be semi-bluffing our draws.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 1,615 -
    Morgan_B wrote:
    If you do decide to bet the flop I think it needs to be more like $40 instead of $25, it's a $47 pot. The small bet size could have induced a bluff/ semi-bluff. A 85% pot size bet seems much less likely to be raised.

    Seems like we should be betting the flop for value since we're going to be semi-bluffing our draws.

    Hmmm. Depending on the exact nature of villain's trickiness it seems likely that if a small bet invites a raise then a larger one will invite a float. It's just a horrible board for a OOP pre-flop raiser.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • Rello242Rello242 Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 595 ✭✭
    persuadeo wrote:
    Before we start assuming this spot seems bad, I think the poster should say more about his history with this player. The raise sizing on the flop is curious and I would think should tell OP something, and that he should be looking into his memory banks for some answers. "Tricky" is a good word but it can mean a lot of things- including a propensity to raise boards like this, often with impunity.

    To get to the main question, I don't think open folding AJs from MP is a good idea at all. If he's that hard to play against, limping is an option.

    Also, this is not a good cbet board. This is a check with AK, and therefore a check with AJ is a wise option, and the one I would take.

    I think you said the magic word when you said check, i 150% agree with you especially against an aggressive player who has position on you.
    -Rello

    "Its better to give than to receive, so bet more and call less"
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  • Jimmy3150Jimmy3150 Red Chipper Posts: 362 ✭✭
    I agree sizing for cbet needs to be >=40 on such a wet board. If still get raised then agree folding is best line.

    Check/fold line on flop with TPTK seems way too passive/conservative even against tricky player.
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 3,760 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It's not a check to fold, and b/f is the worst line against a tricky player, because now you've burned up two bets with a strong holding in a spot he can raise all day, leveraging the board and position. Folding here is crazy, but letting him blow up the pot is equally unnecessary. I check to call or raise, I check to protect other hands, I check to see what he will do.
  • Jimmy3150Jimmy3150 Red Chipper Posts: 362 ✭✭
    Fair enough, good point
  • EazzyEazzy Red Chipper Posts: 934 ✭✭✭✭
    To me the size of his raise on such a drawy board is the thing....yeah maybe he's raising because you bet small...have you seen him do this.

    The small raise, he's making it only slightly more then min...and 35 into 90...this does not look like a draw or a big hand given how drawy the board is . It looks like top pair ok kicker lets find out where I'm at. (that's may default read, if you seen him make small raises into drawy baords and bomb the turn or show up with big hands then by all means fold its going to be hard to play against him.)

    Otherwise i'm calling planning to check fold the turn and if it goes check check...bomb the river make him think I've missed my flush draw. Against some players I will check the river and then raise his small small river bet , its one of the few times players read check raises as being week.

    its 35 into a $90 pot how often does calling have to be right.
  • FilthyCasualFilthyCasual Red Chipper Posts: 871 ✭✭✭
    Jimmy3150 wrote:
    I agree sizing for cbet needs to be >=40 on such a wet board. If still get raised then agree folding is best line.

    Check/fold line on flop with TPTK seems way too passive/conservative even against tricky player.
    If we choose to bet...

    I'm really not sure increasing the size is going to get any more folds. More floats than raises, but if/after they call, we're not in a happy place. Initiative and a turn that can make us queezy in a lot of different ways. FD, pair w/GS, Ac with a middling kicker,and XX which opponent can represent a lot of run outs can all be valid reasons for V to call (edit) almost regardless of sizing. If we are betting larger, we're starting to turn our hand into a bluff, imo. TPTK just isn't that relatively strong here.

    Half pot protects us from having to bet bigger with our draws and air as well. I don't think our hand is strong enough to start polarizing with larger bet sizing. Personally okay with the sizing if we choose to bet.
  • drd66drd66 Red Chipper Posts: 3 ✭✭
    I was struggling in these situations too, and can't find a consensus in this thread. Here's a theory, (see if you can guess what book I've been reading):

    You've got AJs in a pot with an SPR of 11.3.

    I read this thread because I am well aware of that sick AJ taste. Started looking at the Range, I think what others have constructed are reasonable. His PF range is pretty wide, the raise doesn't narrow it much. I think we can all agree we're ahead, perhaps as much as 2:1. So Equity is positive. Now how to Maximize. This is where I (and it seems this thread) get stuck. There's a reason top pair hands just suck at an SPR around 12, and this is it.

    So, maybe we can get a better SPR. Alternatives don't seem great me. If we raise smaller , say to $15, maybe we get one more caller and end up with roughly the same SPR. We could raise silly to like $50, and maybe villain will still look us up. Game/villain dependent. SPR of ~5, better for AJs. Maybe we limp to get a bigger SPR, but I'm not opening the limp debate here.

    I'm not thrilled with how any of these scenarios play out. God help me, I'm thinking of folding AJs with 100BB stack and tricky player to act. Someone talk me out of this.
  • billconklinbillconklin Red Chipper Posts: 102 ✭✭
    This is a very interesting hand, and I'm probably over my head in answering, but I want to get the most out of the forum, so here goes:
    There is talk of raising here. Is :Ah :Jh in your 3-betting range here OOP? And if he 4 bets you have to fold. If he calls, what do you do on a blank turn?
    If you call his raise on the flop, how will you play the turn?

    The dominant fact here is you are OOP and very vulnerable, with a hand that is hard to play in this spot.

    While one excellent player on here says you can't fold, maybe that's your best option here.
    Why risk going down with the ship?
  • PescatarianPescatarian Red Chipper Posts: 83
    Thanks for all the replies and it's good to see that this is clearly a tough spot.

    As for my c-bet size I have generally always gone for that 55-60% size on all c-bets as a balance thing. I've found this works pretty well in MTTs but as I play more cash I'm starting to see that it's probably a poor amount. Would love to hear feedback on c-bet sizing in cash games.

    I can definitely see the merit in check-calling the flop and probably two more streets as well if T and R aren't obvious murder cards. Although I hate to give free cards away I think in this particular spot it seems the easiest path to take.
  • FilthyCasualFilthyCasual Red Chipper Posts: 871 ✭✭✭
    drd66 wrote:
    REM
    What a beautiful acronym! Welcome to RCP (or at least, to the non-lurking side)!
    drd66 wrote:
    I'm not thrilled with how any of these scenarios play out. God help me, I'm thinking of folding AJs with 100BB stack and tricky player to act. Someone talk me out of this.
    Hero doesn't want to put stack into play (can't blame him), and 3 bet essentially does this. Really, the other option is the CC a few streets, which can't be a good 'strategy'. Have to be some kind of Viktor Blom aggro villain for me to think this was/is a good line
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 1,615 -

    As for my c-bet size I have generally always gone for that 55-60% size on all c-bets as a balance thing. I've found this works pretty well in MTTs but as I play more cash I'm starting to see that it's probably a poor amount. Would love to hear feedback on c-bet sizing in cash games.

    You bring up an important general point here. C-bets are much smaller in MTTs relative to cash games, mostly because of differences in stack depth. In fact in MTTs your 55-60% is on the high side.

    Bet-sizing in cash games is obviously a huge topic that needs its own thread, but as a general rule, SplitSuit would like you to bet more.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • ChipDouglas1ChipDouglas1 Red Chipper Posts: 95 ✭✭
    Great hand to post!

    What are people's thoughts on a X/R here....not sure I love it but it could solve a few challenges discussed in the thread.

    Personally against a "tricky" villain I think I call the raise and then reassess Turn and River based on the run out...tough spot!
  • FilthyCasualFilthyCasual Red Chipper Posts: 871 ✭✭✭
    Great hand to post!

    What are people's thoughts on a X/R here....not sure I love it but it could solve a few challenges discussed in the thread.

    Personally against a "tricky" villain I think I call the raise and then reassess Turn and River based on the run out...tough spot!
    Hero didn't want to put the stack in play, which the XR does. The thing is, anything that calls the XR either crushes us, or has fine equity against us. I know we are not always getting called, but if we take this line, let's look at the stacks on the turn

    2.5x = 150 which would be 175 of our 550 initial stack and give us a stack of 375 with a 350 pot for the turn.
    3x = 180 , 205 of our initial 550 stack invested, 345 behind in a 400 pot

    I guess we can jam if these don't hit the turn:
    Doug Hull wrote:
    :Xc None of these.
    :T? :9? These are not good for us.
    :7? :8? These either fill him up, or counterfeit his two pair. Good luck figuring out which it is.
    :Q? :K? Mostly these scream two pair or added straight outs
    Not to say that the other cards won't improve or allow V to play really well against us when we do jam, but this seems like ugliness to me. Or, we can turn our TP into a bluff on these cards, assuming V can fold. Not really good at figuring out good times to turn hands into bluffs though, personally.
  • ivandurstivandurst Red Chipper Posts: 124 ✭✭
    Good thread here boys!

    I think we're getting a little too worked up about just how bad this spot is. True, if villain is a 3-barreling champ, he can send us through the gauntlet here, but how often do we expect a 2-5 player to actually do this? We know he's "tricky," but he's not barreling every turn - not by a longshot.

    We can't fold to this raise, and I agree his raise size on our small cbet on this wet board is not telling a believable story yet. We're definitely seeing the turn. Depending on his turn bet sizing, we may get a better idea of if he's trying to get stacks in.

    He also checks back the turn plenty here, and we get paid on the river sometimes when that happens.

    I can't see open folding AJs here, and I can't see b/3b flop unless lots of history. What are villain's perceptions of you? As that matters a lot here
  • ivandurstivandurst Red Chipper Posts: 124 ✭✭
    jeffnc wrote:
    :Jd :6s :2c Yeah I agree that as played, raising basically commits stacks if you intend to play the hand. You'd be all in on the turn, in fact.

    The basic problem is having a tricky player to your left in general. On this hand specifically, I check the flop. That doesn't guarantee you can easily play the hand out, but it certainly keeps things from escalating, at least right away. Villain can still make our life miserable if he wants to.

    colldav raises an interesting point, "Is the takeaway from this that as villain you should be raising this flop with your entire range, against a thinking player ?"

    So not only that, but sneaky villain can make our life difficult even on extremely dry flops, like :Jd :6s :2c. Then any strength (call flop, raise turn) can represent a set and again we have to ask ourselves if we want to stack off with a pair of jacks.

    I think a lot of it depends on how many hands we've gotten into with this guy, and what our read is on his range over those hand, and at what point do we have to start playing for stacks against him, and if that's a game you even want to play.

    Also, I'd say that if you're in a game where you can't raise first in from MP with AJs, then find another game (in other words, no I never fold here preflop unless the table sucks bad and I'm waiting for another table.)

    Jeff, sometimes I agree with you and sometimes I do not, but this was an excellent post.

    Also, if I ever see a seat open to the left of a red-chipper, I'm taking it and raising every one of their wet board cbets 2.5x with air :)

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