Does anyone fold here?

Strategy & Advice by DapPoker Posted

Posted over in AVP forums too.

I played some $1/2 no limit last night at a casino on the strip. During the session, I made a really unusual laydown preflop and I wonder if anyone else makes this fold.

I had AK offsuit in middle position and open-raised to $10. I had been playing my normal relatively tight game and hadn't seen much playable for the past half hour, so it was one of the few pots I'd put any money into over that stretch. The guy to my immediate left re-raised to $35 and had $55 left behind. My thinking was "okay, with his stack, I've got to hope he has QQ or JJ and is trying to take it down now, so when it folds back to me, I just need to get it in. If he has AA or KK well then that just sucks."

But, before it gets back to me an older guy on the button flats the $35. He has $105 left after flatting. It then folds back to me. I think for a little bit and I look at both stack sizes again. I think over the hands I've seen the button play and he has generally been really tight. Because of that, I can't see him getting involved in the pot with anything but a premium hand. So, I start thinking "why would he flat?" and the only thing I can come up with is that he was trying to trap me with a monster like AA or KK. So, I say to myself, "this can't be any good" and I fold.

I realize AK is a hand that I should rarely fold preflop, but this just seemed like a spot to make an exception. Is this crazy? Am I seeing "monsters under the bed"? Or does my thinking make sense?




  1. If the bets were bigger I would probably have folded in that position but also matters how much you have left behind too but with already 80 in the pot and 25 more to call I would call but if you felt like you had a great read on them then it's a great move. I probably would have called though. How did the hand turn out?

  2. Stack size?

  3. I assume you have both opponents covered. i think most players snap call here but I actually like your fold.

    I don't put The button on AA or KK. He is already facing a bet and a raise so (from his perspective) if he shoves here he should get one, if not both of you to call. I think his range is more likely a middle pair but it also includes an A-x type hand.

    The reason I am ok with the fold is because the button does show up with an A often enough that you could be way behind the other player with a pocket pair.

    The stacks here are fairly short and that also plays into it. If you could call and win a huge pot when you hit your A that would make it more tempting.

    A shove is probably OK as well but calling here is terrible.

  4. I think this is either shove or fold situation. Calling out of position with two short stacks when you know the money is going in anyway is bad.

    Shoving: Your best case scenario here is, you shove, left guy shoves and the BTN folds so at least you have the BTN $35 for extra money. Obviously the idea situation is everyone folds but I rarely if ever see a 3! then a fold to a 4! who committed a good chunk of their stack preflop. So your getting crushed by AA, a dog against KK, and flipping against everything else.

    Folding: You raised $10. Lose out on $10 and watch two players battle it out while you fold out of position.

    Personally, I think fold AK to a 3! out of position is the correct play. If this is a tight game, where 3! are pretty rare and this game is a limp, limp, limp type game. I'd fold wouldn't think twice.

  5. Sorry, I didn't put my stack size in. To summarize
    3 bettor - $55 behind ($90 total)
    Button - $105 behind ($140 total)
    Me - $170 total have both covered

  6. @Dap Poker Because of the pre-flop action you have odds (>3-1) to call and see a flop and see if you can spike a pair then evaluate. Older guy on button likely does not have KK or AA since he would reraise (tight players don't generally slow-play big pair multi-way for fear of getting them cracked) so you are only up against the guy to your left. If you miss you can evaluate on flop.

    Or effective stack sizes being $55-105 you can just get it in and hope both call. You're probably not too far behind behind either players. If guy to your left have you dominated you still have an overlay sidepot against older guy.

  7. My thinking here is very similar to Thamster. You are getting great odds to call. I think it highly unlikely that the button is flatting with A-A and almost unconceivable he does it with K-K. However, A-A and K-K are certainly in the range of the 3 bettor, especially if he is conservative.

    If stacks were deeper, I might like the fold slightly more (don't like the idea of losing a huge pot if I spike my Ace or King but lose to flopped top set... or flop comes with two Broadway cards, one of which gives me top pair, the other of which gives my opponent a set. Another danger here is a King high flop when the three bettor holds A-A. But these possible monsters under the bed are really limited by the opponents short stacks here.

    I like calling here (a conservative move), but wouldn't fault a shove (especially since I think our range fares well against the button's flat call and the button may go away if we shove). I think I like folding the least of the three options here. Our hand is too strong and our odds are too good to fold. But since I don't want to shove into a possible monster either, in the end I like calling. Re-evaluate on the flop (assuredly committing to almost any flopped top pair or better hand and hoping like hell you don't get some ambiguous flop like J-10-x that may or may not give you proper odds to call and may or may not have given an opponent a set... I'd likely check fold to a flop with two Broadway cards that didn't give me top pair for this very reason. Easy to think an A or K is an out, but not so clear it really is).

  8. A lot of people seem to think that I said the guy to my left that shoved was also a tight player. He wasn't -- just an average player. The button was tight and every time I had seen a showdown involving him, he had a strong holding -- or was in the blind and flopped really strong.

    I decided to fold. The reason that I did is that given the stack sizes, the button had to figure that if he 4 bet, then the short stack 3 bettor was committed to the hand preflop. So, if his goal was to get that stack, then he could just 4 bet there. Given that, the only reason that I could see for the button to flat was that he wanted me in the hand as well and that he therefore had a really big hand.

    The flop was perfect for my hand A-K-5 rainbow. The 3 bettor checked and then folded to a button's bet. As he was folding the 3 bettor showed QQ. The button nicely showed KK. So, I would have flopped top 2 pair and been drawing to 2 outs -- and I obviously knew that on that particular hand I had made a good read. But, I still wanted to see what others thought about the situation.


    P.S. I think Krusherlaw makes a good point that the button's range is going to include some A-x type hands and that makes my AK weaker against the 3 bettor's hand. The thing is that facing a 3 bet from a short stack for 1/4 of his stack, I just don't think many tight players are flatting with too many A-x hands. I'd guess his range to be AK and maybe AQ suited. Given my hand, there are not that many combinations of those hands -- I come up with 13 (9 combinations of AK off suit +2 combinations of AK suited + 2 combinations of AQ suited).

    Krusherlaw -- Do you really think that a tight player is going to flat on the button with many "middle pairs"? The 3 bet is already for 1/4 of the button's total stack. Furthermore, the 3-bet reopens the betting. So, he could call off $35 with a hand like 8-8 and then have me shove over the top and have the 3 bettor call. At that point, the pot is $255 ($90 from the 3 bettor + $140 effective from me + the $35 call of the 3 bet from the button) and it costs him $105 to call. That's not even 2.5 to 1, which is a terrible price to set mine, given that he is likely against a bigger pair and 2 big cards. But, the button might "feel committed" because he put out 1/4 of his stack and the pot is now really big.

  9. @Dap Poker Older guy's flat with KK is horrible. He's inviting a lot of Ax type hands into the pot with good odds (not to mention smaller pocket pairs). He got lucky and smashed the flop but imagine if it was AQ5r or AJ5r and it checked around on flop, someone betting around 1/2 pot on turn would leave him with a awkward stack size to fold.

    As it stands even if you know he has KK you were not too far behind.

  10. @thamster - Totally agree with you here. This was a bad play by the Button with K-K.

  11. @Dap Poker I could see button flatting with a middle pair. As you pointed out, button flats for one quarter of his stack. If he was purely set mining, say with a small pair, he is not getting nearly the right price and should fold (a shove with a small pair is basically a bluff). If he has a big pair (AA-JJ) then he SHOULD shove to get as much money in the pot as soon as possible. If he shoves with a middle pair he is only getting called by a better hand. However, if he flats with a middle pair then he can fold post flop cheaply on a bad flop or he can still try to win a big pot if he spikes a set or flops an over pair.

  12. @Krusherlaw - I just have trouble believing that many people set mine for that big a share of their stack, particularly given that the 3 bettor is so short. I guess the thinking on his part is that by giving me a good price to call, he a has chance to more than double up. But realistically he is only going to flop a set 1 time in 9, so risking 1/4 of his stack to set mine is just burning money.

    @thamster - I'm not arguing that the flat on the button with KK was terrible. He is pricing in a lot of Ax hands. I think he should be getting it in there.

    But, I guess my read was he was capable of making that sort of terrible play and try to trap with KK there. FWIW, I'm a 3 to 1 dog against KK (and almost 7 to 1 if I put him on a really tight range of just AA and KK).


  13. Absolutely a good laydown...which could have gone either way...your reasoning was probably spot on...though you had killer pot odds and the 4th best starting hand in poker...the button could have had a medium pair and set mining...AA or KK are best heads up.not multi way so i would think a button raise would have been forthcoming had he had them.

  14. So you're saying you had to pay $35 to win $70 and you folded AK? Of all the hours I've played $1/$2 NLH, I haven't found many spots to fold AK preflop where it would be correct. My guess is middle position had 99-JJ and the old man had a similar hand to you. With that said, you can save yourself grief by folding, but generally I think folding here is too tight. At least see the flop, IMHO.

  15. Id play it different.

  16. Like others below I suspect that the shorter stack is not holding a monster hand. He is more likely protecting a middle pair or suited broadway cards. As a short stack he would likely get action with any all in and from middle position can play with a wide range of good hands weaker than AK. His bet tells me he would rather get a fold but wants others to know he isn't folding to a re-raise. Your tight play should have been noticed and others that follow have little reason to be coy if they think you have a good second best hand. The button would rather win your money than the short stack so he may try a trap. But , if his hand is unbeatable he has to figure you will include the short stacks remaining money as already in the pot. And, a scenario that is a likely flip with some dead money will get insta-called by many if not most. All that said, you have $10 in a pot that is headed for more than half of your stack in what could be a flip. If you are a better player than they are I would continue to be patient. If they have you evenly matched the flip is not the worst scenario.

  17. You have two options.....put both players all-in or fold.

    If you go all-in and both call, you're putting in $140 to win $140 + $90 + $10 = $240, so you're getting a little under 2-1 odds. Against an average collection of hands, and the fact that you might have an out in one of the other's a marginal spot.

    Also, it's really hard to win a lot from one of the players here. If they both have queens and Jacks, neither is going to pay a bet when an ace or king flops. But if one (likely the reraiser has AA or KK and makes a set), you're going to double them up.

    I know it's tight, but folding is the right play.

  18. @seanlynnp But no explanation why? I'm 99% sure you'd probably shove, hoping you get a fold or get lucky against a big pair, without having a single thought about your opponent's stack sizes and how they've played to that point. In other words, you'd overplay AK.

    This is why Dave is a much better player than you'll ever be - he actually thinks through these situations; he knows the types of players he's playing against because he's been paying attention to how they play since he sat down; and he's analytically capable of putting a player on a certain hand with some degree of accuracy. Thus, he makes quality decisions pretty much every time, and can explain why in great detail and because he's adept at gathering information on his opponents and using that to make those decisions.

    In short, you'd have gotten crippled. No surprise there, though.