Thursday, July 12, 2007

Limped Aces

I am UTG and pick up two red Aces. Full table so I will take a chance that it gets raised and I can decide what do later. Limps around and I am now looking for a favorable flop. Flop comes out with the top two cards a Six and a Nine. A few limpers make the pot about 10 or 12? I lead out about that much. Jeh raises me and makes it about 30 I think. Folds around to me and I am running through possible hands. I certainly know Jeh is capable of playing 69. I tell him after the hand that I didn't put him on that hand because he limped in. He tells me that he limps with that hand sometimes too. Noted. Anyway, the thoughts going through my head were from the charity tourney night where he re-raised Ryan's two pair re-raise with just top pair. I put him on a 9. Maybe K9 like at the tourney. I am quite sure that he does not have me on an overpair so I raise to 80. Smooth call. Hmmmm. Good and bad. I figure that if he had two pair then he'd push in for the remaining 67 chips in his stack. I am now looking for a blank on the turn and I'll ship it. Board pairs Sixes on the turn. Well, my read was a 9 and another Six is about a good a card as i could hope for so I put Jeh all in. He calls and says he has a Nine, I show my donk-played Aces and they hold up.

I read an article in CardPlayer from Annie Duke regarding how to play big pairs UTG. She runs some numbers and makes a convincing argument for raising instead of limping and re-popping later. The problem for me is how to size a bet to get exactly one caller. Too low and one caller will start a domino effect of subsequent callers getting pot odds. Too high and you pick up three chips. Personally I am OK with taking a chance with a limp. If the action gets sideways then I have no problem letting it go. In the future though I am going to open more pots for a standard raise to help keep my hands disguised.


Ryan said...

I know what you mean about AA/KK/QQ UTG...especially AA. Very hard to get exactly one caller in either the lunch game or WNP (maybe anywhere).

The fuller the table, the more likely I am to try the limp approach, because then you are very likely to be able to isolate one raiser.

Heh, today Austin raised to 8 (in our 1-1 game) with AA UTG and won two chips. I would have liked 5 better...

Marshall said...

I hate the limping with AA from EP. I just hate it. I am not saying there is never a place for it, but generally its a crap play. If you limp and it limps around you are basically lost on almost any flop and have to lay down AA to any heavy action. Lame.

Also, if you limp-raise UTG, for a lot of players, that means one of 2 things: AA or KK. You really define your hand too much a lot of the time doing this.

Yet another downside: If you are up against a big hand like KK or QQ, you are not building the pot as big as possible when you have the best of it. Sure, it might get in anyhow, but you have a much better chance of that happening as soon as possible if you are pushing action preflop.

I do see the value of the occasional trap there. If you limp call with AA preflop, it's going to be VERY hard to put you on that hand. Risk vs Reward I guess.

Sushi Cowboy said...

Yeah, I don't like the limp UTG either. Had KK at lunch yesterday with both Austin *and* Joe to my immediate left and I figured it was better than 50/50 that someone would raise it up. Didn't happen and I took down a small pot...small pot but bigger than just the blinds.

jsola said...

I do indeed love raising limpers but I'm not doing it often enough (and out of position as I was in that hand) to really justify limping in hope of a raise. Plus, if you reraise me there, I'm just laying it down since like Marsh said you're turning your hand practically face up at that point.

I see no problem with raising AA up PF and just taking down the blinds. If that's the case, then I was just up against a bunch of shitty hands that were either going to fold, or get in cheap and bust my one pair.

If you raise it up preflop, there's always the chance that someone behind you will 3-bet with AKs, KK, QQ, and even JJ sometimes, in which case you can play a big hand in a big pot against one opponent. You're out of position and they still think they have the best hand, which means an easy flop c/r or bet + three-bet play.

I've seen some very aggressive online players limp with AA or KK, but it's always well planned out. Normally what happens is this: They raise a lot of marginal hands and play them hard post flop. People start getting pissed, and go into tight, "catch the maniac" lock-down mode. Then they'll start limping a lot of marginal hands instead of raising. People will start playing back at them after this. Then they'll find themselves with AA or KK, limp in and completely bust a TAG who decided to get fresh with TT.