Monday, August 13, 2007

Should JJ vs. AQ be played like this?

Yet another hand from the wayback machine...this was a hand that Jeh played back right at the end of his bachelor career. Again, I'm hazy on exact specifics but I believe Marshall comes in for a relatively stiff raise (in the teens somewhere?). Hao calls(?). Ryan calls for sure. Jeh raises. Marsh does a min-ish re-raise to the tune of about 80(?). Folds around to Jeh who smooth calls. By that time of the evening, I believe that Ryan has lidded Marsh for a buy-in and Marsh had committed around a third of a buy-in to this hand pre-flop. Flop comes out Queen high (actually, QTx as I recall) and Jeh leads out for a plaque which basically sets Marsh all in since calling will definitely pot commit him. Marsh thinks takes a trip into the tank and folds. He puts Jeh on AQ and that is exactly what Jeh shows.

This hand had my weak/tight senses doing all sorts of twitching but apart from that I am left questioning how this hand played out.

Marsh open raising with JJ I have no problem with whatsoever. Totally makes sense to raise with a premium hand.

Jeh re-raises with AQ. I know that it has been discussed before about bumping the pot with AQ to find out where you are. I'm personally not a fan of going to war and building a big pot with AQ. Personally I would flat call and use the money I would have raised with to clarify my Ace after the flop. I don't favor the AQ pop here but with Marsh raising as aggressively as he does I can see this as a reasonable way to sort out hands pre-flop.

Marsh re-re-raises with JJ. For me, by the time the pot has be re-raised, I am looking to set mine with JJ. I have to think that the re-raiser has AT LEAST two overs if not an overpair. Re-raising here puts more money into a pot where you are hoping to be as good as flipping a coin. Marsh said that the reason for the re-re-raise was to isolate. I think that is just opening the door to a hard decision later. I think at this point pre-flop, you have to figure Jeh for either two overs or an overpair. If you think he has an overpair then you can either fold or flat call and set mine. If you think he has two overs then you can push (since three betting will commit you) which can represent a bigger pair than you have and gives you some fold equity. The small bump on the end essentially forces Jeh to call and see a flop. Granted, it gets the other players out so I give credit for doing what it was intended to do.

Jeh flat calls with AQ. What is AQ ahead of here after bump, re-bump, and re-re? I think it is time to figure that AQ is not ahead of anything. It is dominated by AK, it is behind AA, KK, and QQ. Coin-flipping with JJ. I don't know how low Marsh would go with a re-re but you might be also flipping with TT or 99. Anyway, the range of hands typical of a re-re-raise has AQ in bad shape. I guess technically you are priced in to a coin flip and even to try to outflop AK (which is why I'd like to see a bigger bump from Marsh) but that seems like a thin justification for putting more money in the pot with AQ.

Flop comes out Q high. Jeh leads. This is probably the part that I found most questionable. If you put Marshall on AK (why would you be calling his last bet if you thought he had AK?) then I guess you can assume you out-flopped him and start betting but that is about the only hand you are beating. AA will push there, KK will push there. QQ (top set) might try to slow play and smooth call but with nothing behind the money is getting in regardless. TT is not getting away from that hand. Other than AK, JJ is the only hand that AQ is beating. I guess once you call with AQ, this is one of the flops that you "want" so maybe you have to lead out and hope that Marsh has either AK or JJ. Now if the flop comes out Ace high, I can see leading out since you are now ahead of premium pairs lower than Aces (unless there is a paint card that looks like it setted up).

Marsh folds. Well, Marsh put Jeh on that hand specifically so I guess his read was on and the fold was right. He even commented words to the effect of "What am I going to do, fold to any overcard?". Certainly would have been easier to fold to an Ace on the flop.

I am the first to admit that I am weak/tight and that is coloring opinion here but should this hand have been played out like it did?


jsola said...

I think you have to take into account the players and their images in this hand. Jeh's re-raising AQ for information and value against Marsh's wide preflop opening range. When he gets four-bet, he can put Marsh on a good hand here, but AQ isn't totally crushed just yet. This could just easily be a fold though, I agree.

The flop's about as good as it gets for Jeh's hand, so he can't fold now. Personally I'd check-raise an aggressive player like Marsh but there's no shame in just betting it yourself when it's going in anyway.

For straightforward, ABC type players this hand is a trainwreck of overvaluing, but that's what happens when you start adjusting to an aggro player.

Marshall said...

Personally I'd check-raise an aggressive player like Marsh but there's no shame in just betting it yourself when it's going in anyway.

I folded when he led into me. I had a ton of chips in there, but it wasn't like I was mortally committed to this pot either.

If Jeh check raises me here he probably gets all my money. That is a pretty good flop for JJ with all that action pre-flop.

But I had to be really sure I was beaten to let this go honestly.

Sushi Cowboy said...

I agree that Jeh's re-raise with AQ against Marsh's wide assortment of raising hands is justified. I personally wouldn't have played it like that but I don't see a problem with it either.

I guess I just thought that if Jeh flat called and we saw a Queen high flop and Jeh bet it then we would have had the same result but without the extra shenanigans going on pre-flop.

So the follow up question is this: If Jeh had AK (as I thought he did) then should he lead out for the same bet as he did when he had AQ? Let's assume that Marsh does not get a solid enough read either way to distinguish between an AK cbet and AQ, If Jeh checks, isn't he essentially conceding the pot? Wouldn't Marsh bet it assuming that Jeh missed and Jeh would have to give up?

Why would Jeh bet if he "missed" the flop? In hopes that Marsh was holding either AK or JJ, right? If Marsh has AA, KK, QQ, or TT (maybe AQ) then I don't see him folding there. If Jeh assumes that Marsh has AA, KK, QQ, or TT then betting the flop with AQ makes no sense because he's just throwing money away.

Another thing, if AK is indeed up against JJ, it still has three Aces, three Kings, and two Jacks, (plus some runner-runner possibilities for Jason) to still win the hand so a lead out bet by AK would be a semi-bluff at worst.

I guess what I'm saying is tell me a reason for betting AQ in this situation that doesn't justify betting AK as well. Or conversely, tell me a reason for why AK shouldn't bet that wouldn't also be a reason for AQ not to bet.