1-26-06 [poker] - 1

1-26-06 [poker]

The AJ hand : blinds t400/800, four players see the flop for $2500 each. Flop is J43, all hearts. I have AJ with the ace of hearts. My first though is "Woo hoo!". There's now t10,800 in the pot. Jim leads all in !!! Jim is a tight solid player, so he must have something good. Folds to me and I have t15k left. Now I'm thinking "Doh!". I struggled a bit and tried to put him on a hand. At the table I felt like I was surely behind, he has something better and is protecting it. I thought maybe he also had AJ. Now that I think about it, I should have called in a second, I should've been delighted to get my chips in. I put him on these hands : { 33,44,JJ, (a set), AJ, (top pair), QQ-AA (an overpair) }. If he has those hands, I'm about 48% to win. I'm behind but the pot is giving me huge odds. I CALL! If I could know that he has exactly a set, I should fold, but I don't think I can rule out the overpairs or top pair. Also, if I think he has a made flush, maybe that would bias it, but there simply aren't that many flushing hands he can have (Jim wouldn't play any two suited), and it seems unlikely a high flush would just push all in there, maybe a low flush would, but there aren't many low flush hands he'd play (maybe 9Ts).

Anyway, the thing I got from this is I'm still actually too conservative about calling all-ins. I'm pretty aggressive about pushing, but when it comes to calling allins where I'm slightly behind, I just hate it. Next time I'll say "I'm behind, but I gladly call". Maybe this is also one of those hands where if I had better physical tell reading skills I could have picked up that he had the set.

Another question that came up - if two players are all-in and you have AK, and you've already called a small raise, you have to call. If you know you're against two lower pairs you're 36% to win, so you have a nice overlay (I actually thought it was better than that, more like 40%, but 36% is still good enough). If you might be against AA and KK, but also might be against AQ or AK, it's about the same still, 36%. Maybe if you have a tight read on them so you think AA and KK are more likely, then you could fold. It's a pretty huge +EV call, you can't fold that. It may not look all that +EV, you're only 36%, but say your stack was 10k to start and you've already put 1k in, you're calling 9k to win 30k, that's a +2k move, that's 20% of your stack! That's a huge edge to pass up.

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