Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Laying Down Aces

I think Amarillo Slim has been credited with saying, "If you can't fold the best hand, you can't play," but, after the below referenced hand, I think I like Doyle Brunson's saying better: "If you can't lay down the best hand sometimes, you can't win."

The Set Up

I was moved to this table quickly after doubling up to a very healthy chip stack. UTG+1 (Villian1) was quite active and I was very happy to have him on my right. By the time the hand below was played, I had been at the table at least 15 orbits.

BB (Villian2) had also been active and playing back often at Villian1, reraising his raises (even from blinds) and raising his limps, and those of any limpers behind Villian1. If Villian2 was called, I had seen him jam on the flop two previous times.

So, I sat patiently waiting for a hand where I could do some playing back as well.

73o grins at me like the village idiot and and gets snap folded. 83s stares up at me balefully and gets folded. AQs pleads for me to play and gets folded. Finally, after several monkey hands meet their mucker, I look down and see Aces.

Because of the action I just described, I waited to see if Villian1 would just limp, knowing - based on the previous action - that Villian2 would reraise him. My plan was to limp Villian1 and reraise Villian2. And that's exactly what happened.

The Rest of the Story... laid out for your viewing pleasure here.

When Villian2 jammed the flop, as I'd seen him do 2 previous times, did I think he might have a set? Yes, it did cross my mind.  But what are you gonna do?  What are your thoughts about being able to lay my hand down?  I say, like Doyle, sometimes you have to be able to do so.  This wasn't that time for me.  I'm working on it.

Thank you for reading and good luck at the tables.


  1. stay with the one raising and do not reraise until river. By that time you ahve pulled all you could without scaring the competition off.

  2. Both Slim and Doyle will tell you, you play the players not the cards. You played perfectly in my opinion, and got unlucky.

    When he jams in like that after the flop there are only 4 things which happened on this board to make him move, he has a pair equal or lesser than yours, he is protecting the small hand he made, he set out to bluff (even a drawing bluff/semi-bluff here is a bluff b/c he set the drawing price for all his chips), or he flopped a set.

    The guy was playing lag and overplayed his pocket pair against a trapping opponent and got lucky.

    In this situation all things being equal you will win more than you will lose. Good Job!

    All the Best,
    CarlosDuranLive =)

  3. Thanks very much for the comments, guys.

    I really like the way you laid out the 4 Things, Carlos. It's nice to see your thoughts b/c it does help me to see how I need to be thinking through hands. I *think* I was thinking those things, but I want to always be thinking out the hand in my head for sure. So thanks again for taking the time to comment here.

    @JonFriedberg, WSOP bracelet winner and host of a really cool poker program - Under the Gun on CardPlayer TV, was kind enough to make some comments on twitter. He said, "I probably play it the same way, or just open raise pre and 4 bet if TT raises. He played it bad but just a cooler IMO."

    Jon's comments made me think...well, maybe Villian2 knew by the fact that I hadn't been playing any hands, had limped and then raised, that I was playing As, in which case he played it really well. To that, Jon said, "if he knows u have AA then he should check regardless just in case u get cold feet and fold to his shove. Either way, cooler."

    So cool to get responses from all you guys. Thanks for reading AND responding. =)

  4. If you're going to limp/rr in this spot, raise it bigger. Your raise sizing gives him odds to set mine, while at the same time turning your hand face up and allowing him to play perfectly.

    Post flop, with reads as given I think it's probably a call, as his range includes JJ-QQ (I think most people get KK in pre) some Tx hands, and some spade draws (although I have to discount this a little bit because you have As). Obviously his range also includes the set combos...and this decision is closer to me because you've still got 60 bb left with position against a fish.

    I think the more important thing to do is to sharpen your reads a bit. Yes this guy has jammed flop twice, but it sounds like it was against the fish both times. What was the fish's stack size and what was the board texture? Has he done it to anyone else? Does his play and his stats reflect a thinking player, or an aggro-monkey? You say you've been nitting it up, and now he's 2x shoving into you after you've announced a monster with a limp/rr. If he's thinking that's a snap fold, if he's a monkey then it's close but probably a call.

    All IMHO of course.


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