Poker Update: The Aces Giveth and The Aces Taketh Away

Nothing worked. No hands, no bluffs that worked. Getting whittled. Raised with A-J. The flop was K-Q-J. Decided to raise again and was called. Skip to the end, he had A-10 and had flopped the straight. I was down to 200. On the next hand I went all-in with K-3. I figured there was 8 minutes left until rebuys ended, might as well beat the clock. But I tripled up instead. Sitting in the big blind with 3 callers, I looked down at A-A. Yes! Went all in with 750, and doubled up to 1700 or so.

I stayed there for another 30 minutes doing nothing. The blinds are now at 100-200. In the big blind I have 9-9. Caller, caller, small blind raises to 600. I’m not sure what to do. I don’t have that much capital, the odds are good I’m going to end up all-in. 9s are good, but there are certainly a lot of hands that beat it. I should probably go all-in right now with my last 1200. Ah, I just call. The flop is 7-8-10. That’s a good flop for me. Open ended straight, a made pair, and no high cards on the board. Small blind checks. I go all-in. I get one caller. He had pocket 4s which do not hold up. Suddenly I find myself with ~4500 chips. I’m feeling good.

Blinds at 150-300. 10 players at the table. 3 limpers. Small blind limps. I am big blind, I look down at A-Q. That’s a raising hand! I raise it to 600. The 3 limpers call. The small blind thinks about it for a while and goes all in with ~3200. Hm. There was 2400 in the pot already, so he could have most anything and be stealing. I don’t think so. I think he has something. I’m thinking pocket Jacks, Queens, maybe even Kings. I think about it a long time since I have ~3200 myself. I call. 2 of the limpers fold. The last limper calls. I turn over my A-Q. Small blind turns over A-A. Argh, he totally snookered me!! And the limper turns over… J-8. J-8? Really? You called with J-8?

Do I even need to tell who won the hand? Me and the Aces were disgusted at being knocked out by J-8. We were royally cheesed. I felt like I didn’t mind being knocked by misread Aces, but J-8!? Cmon!

However, I now think it’s not quite so cut and dry. The J-8 player was looking at a pot of around 8,000 dollars that cost 3200 to call. That’s bad odds with J-8, but not quite so crazy. He was the big stack by a large margin, he had at least 12,000 already. In fact, I would argue that his bad play was the initial limp. After that pot odds were working for him to make the play merely shaky, not horrible.

Tonight: -$20

3 thoughts on “Poker Update: The Aces Giveth and The Aces Taketh Away”

  1. I HATE getting sucked out on by absolutely stupid bets like that. On the other hand, I think your all-in call was also…well…not so smart (to put it kindly, lol). First off, I hate AQ. It can be beaten by so many things — and in my case, usually does. But AK is almost always the hand I see. But I ran a few numbers, and not knowing the suits, but assuming no one in this scenario was suited, it was about a 7% chance of winning (with 1% tie) vs. AA. Ouch. Now if you listened to your inner voice, you’ll notice you told yourself that had JJ – KK or so. The problem there is that your best-case scenario (according to yourself) would be against JJ, and even that is only 43% to win, all while risking all your chips. And so okay, yeah, vs JJ you did have pot odds, but do you really want to risk your chips blind like that, or be the aggressor and make the first all-in?

    Now to address the limper: what a bonehead. I don’t care if you’re up by 100K in chips, that was a stupid bet. He only had 2BB in, and now bets a quarter of his stack (another 8BB?) on a bet with TWO other players /already/ all-in?? So his best case scenario is that you guys have only middling cards, which would give him maybe (and this is stretching common sense a bit) a 25% chance of winning with a 1 to 4 pot odds? Yeah, on the very surface, it sounds like a somewhat acceptable bet, until you realize that you would almost never have two guys who bet their entire stacks (11BB at that…wasn’t like you were down to nothing) without having at least one of them with dominating cards over a pitiful J8.

    And in this case, with everyone’s actual cards (non-suited), AA is about 78%, AQ is ~6%, and J8 is a measly 15%. I don’t care what you say about his stack…he wasn’t thinking and got extremely lucky.

  2. Matt,

    I think my call of A-Q was a bad call only if he had A-K or A-A, but was ok for all other hands. If he had K-K or Q-Q, I just needed to catch an Ace. To call 3200 into a 5500+ pot (almost 9000 once my bet goes goes in) is not a crazy play IMO.
    You can certainly argue that it’s not worth risking all the chips, but I think reasonable people can disagree there.

    Basically, there were only two hands that I shouldn’t call against. He had one of them. I misread him.

    The J-8: Thank you! I pretty much feel the same way, I was just trying to come up with a generous interpretation. By the way, he went on to win the night.

  3. For once, I agree Muttrox did the right thing…it’s ONLY if he had AK or AA. A J-8 call is not that bad if you don’t believe the other players have pocket J or better…a lower pocket pair or 2 overcards, and the pot odds make it acceptable. However, in either case if you believe they had high pocket pairs, then that’s a different story…

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