Folding KK preflop

SprinklePonySprinklePony Red Chipper Posts: 75
(Maybe this is best for general concepts, not really sure.)

A first for me last night: I folded KK preflop. I'm still debating if it was the best play, although I don't think it was bad at all, but would love to get some thoughts on what would it take to get you to fold KK preflop.

In a cash game, I would have to have a very specific read on a player, although there are one or two spots where my KK ran into AA pre in the past that I believe I could have found a fold. The one I recall was vs a tight player, and unfortunately I don't remember the player, limit, or even my position, but it was online on Nevada, which isn't worth much at all. As I recall, I ended up 6bet jamming, so based on this we must've been deeper than 100BB, and he almost certainly was reraising smaller than what I normally encounter, it's one of the only times I can recall even seeing a 6bet, let alone firing one. Just the sizing seemed to be trying to keep me in, plus what tight players range 5bets?! Plus, having KK, there's only one combo of KK left, 2 combos of AKs, and 6 of AKo. I doubt he would do that with QQ.

Anyway. Today it was in a $3 rebuy and add-on tourny with the option of doing a double buy-in, and just after the add-on break had ended. I had seen this guy shove pretty light during the rebuy period, but that doesn't really tell me all that much. Shortly after this hand I did see him raise a river bet then call a 5x shove (he had them covered) with a A9o for a rivered two pair in a 5way limped pot of QK8A9, the flop had checked through and the river bettor fired the turn, it was HU on the river. So he does seem to overvalue hands, which leads me to believe his range may have been wider than I was thinking at the time of my fold.

Anyway, I was UTG, open-min-raised with 88BB (I've started min-raising in tournaments a lot more and like how it's been working for me, although it wasn't my default until very recently), the CO called, and he jammed with well over 100BB and it folded to me. If this was a cash game I would've snap-called. My logic is that,

1) I don't have a lot of history with this player, but he hadn't been 3bet jamming pre much at all once he built a big stack off of some maniac plays;
2) His range is clearly strong, and I'm blocking KK & AK;
3) I have 88BB which is a decent stack and above average, plus the players in these events are very weak and so I'll have tons of opportunities to chip up;
4) 175BB is nice and helpful, but do I really want to risk losing my whole stack to double up?
5) The equity of KK vs QQ+, AK is 57.2%; vs KK+, AK its 47.2%. I have to call 86BB to win 93.5 (assuming the button folds which is VERY likely), so I need to win 86/(93.5+86) = 47.9% to break-even. Of course it gets better if we include JJ, giving me 62.6%, or if we only give him 3 combos of JJ, which I think is better if I'm going to include it at all, then 60.2% EQ with KK.

I recently realized that the primary thing that gets me far in these events is my ability to pick up a ton of small and medium pots early by playing a LAG style where I attack limpers a TON (esp when deep, or I am very likely to go HU or 3way to the pot; at times I can't attack as much since no matter how much I raise their limp, it'll go 5way to the flop so I have to tighten up my isolating range considerably), as well as being able to develop decent reads quickly on new players, and use the extensive notes I have on 75%+ of the field to win big pots, attack leaks, etc., but more than anything its being able to steal well, consistently, and a LOT once the blinds get bigger, the bubble is nearing, and everyone starts to tighten up a TON.

Realizing this, I've been really looking to preserve my stack so I can focus on these tactics. It's also helped me realize that against most of these players, I get the hell out of the way when they show any interest in a pot and I don't have a premium hand (there are exceptions, of course). So ... have I taken this too far? I'm really seeing more and more value in Hellmuth's tight style of play in wanting to have a huge edge before committing my stack, and having 12.3%, or even 14.7% seems to thin for me when most all of your opponents are quite soft and you have a large stack.

As it turns out, I didn't cash in this tourny, and having doubled up with KK may have helped me to make a much deeper run. I also had a table later on that made it a bit more difficult to steal since at the stage where most flops are HU and we're only seeing a flop every 2 or 3 hands, I had some massive calling stations that were causing us to see a flop nearly every hand, and often 3 or 4way ... not a prime stealing opportunity with under 100BB, especially 40ish.

What conditions would you need to fold KK? How much of an edge do you want to have in a tournament to get your stack in when you have 88BB and are above average very early on in the event?


  • SplitSuitSplitSuit RCP Coach Posts: 4,010 -
    I may have missed it...but what was the stack size of the CO caller? That's a huge factor in here.

    In general I don't fold KK preflop, but with specific reads it could happen. I've only really folded it 2-3x preflop lifetime and they were pretty much against cold 4/5bets from super tight players.
  • SprinklePonySprinklePony Red Chipper Posts: 75
    The CO had 102BB.

    The only thing here was the tournament consideration, but definitely not convinced it was the right play.
  • SplitSuitSplitSuit RCP Coach Posts: 4,010 -
    I dunno...him shoving AA there with 100bb eff just seems so improbable that I call. Especially if there is any chance he could be tilting, would do this with TT because "I don't want to get sucked out on" etc...snap it.
  • SprinklePonySprinklePony Red Chipper Posts: 75
    Based on previous play there'd be no (logical) reason for him to be tilty. And from the little I had seen of him, I don't suspect he would do that to prevent getting sucked out on, but it definitely is possible.

    Now I forget the guys handle, but I'm curious to look it up and keep it in mind to get more of a read on him and figure out whet his range was likely to be ... not that it changes anything though =P

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