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  1. #1
    PokerOwned Master Mrlova's Avatar
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    Tournament Hand Analysis

    I've seen this play out several times and figure an article on some basic strategy would be helpful to the masses.

    Lets set up a hand:

    The game is NL Holdem, Multi-table tournament. Blinds are currently 200 and 400, ante 25.

    Stacks are as follows for key players:
    Small Blind : 1150 (~3 BB)
    Big Blind: 3820 (~9 BB)
    UTG: 6659 (~17 BB)
    Dealer: 12115 (~30 BB)

    UTG is first to act and has [A][A]. UTG limps in for 400.
    Table folds around to Dealer. Dealer limps in for 400.
    SB call 200.
    BB checks.
    At this point the pot has 1825 in it. This isn't really relevant with the course of this hand or how it played out but is always a good number to know.

    Flop comes [5][10][5]

    Action on flop is as follows.
    SB and BB both check.
    UTG leads out minimum bet, 400.
    Dealer calls 400.
    SB fold, BB calls 400.
    Action is now complete on flop and the pot stands at 3025.

    Flop analysis
    At this point in the hand the UTG has taken control of the pot. The player has 2 Aces in the hole and is in position against one player and out of position against the second. The dealer has not shown strength in this hand yet; However, the BB decided to see the flop for free and then decided to check-call. The flop has no flush or straight draws present. The BB could have a hand with the 5 in it, they may also be holding on to a [X][10]. It is unlikely the BB would remain in the hand out of position without a piece of this flop. A weak 10 is most likely at this point in the hand.

    The Turn card is [7], making the 4 card flop, [5][10][5][7], and the action is as follows.
    BB again checks.
    UTG leads out 400 again.
    Dealer calls 400.
    BB check-raises all in for 2995 total.
    UTG calls, Dealer folds.

    A few things to consider in this hand as the UTG player after the BB pushed all-in are the pot currently stands at 6820 without the call, assuming the dealer folds (which we know will be the case), the UTG player has 2.6 to 1 pot odds. The UTG should be thinking about what the BB has that would constitute an all-in. The BB has not been aggressive in this hand up until now. It is possible they have a 5 in there hand, or possibly even [7][7]. A 10 is also possible. The Dealer has also cold called everything, they could be holding onto strength as well. They may have limped in preflop with an [A][5] or maybe even [4][5] or [5][6] suited. At this point the UTG should seriously consider folding. The BB is not pushing here on a bluff, the best case scenario it they have a [10] in their hand. The Dealer is yet to act and could be holding onto a [5] if the BB does not have it already.

    The hand plays out with the UTG calling the all-in and the Dealer folding the second bet.

    The hands are revealed and the BB does in fact have a [5], their hand is: [5][4].

    The river card is a blank and the BB wins a large pot.


    Post Hand Analysis
    Very often many players decide to limp in with large hands such as [A][A] from early position in hopes of someone else opening the pot. The downside to this play is if no one else opens the pot and the flop is seen with the blinds and additional players. At this point the value of 2 Aces greatly diminishes. As is evidence in the above hand the UTG player overplayed his/her Aces and lost a large pot. If the UTG had decided to open the pot with a min-raise the likelihood of the blinds folding are high. Neither player in the blinds had a stack size of over 10 BB and committing additional chips to the pot preflop would only decrease their stack size more if they didn't hit their miracle flop. While limping with a strong hand like this isn't a bad play, it should be noted that aggressive play post flop loses a large amount of value when both blinds and a player in position remain in the pot.

    As a side note to this analysis, I want to thank the players involved in this hand. I have decided not to post the screenames of those involved. This hand struck me as being an interesting one, and one that I see far to often on PO. I understand that pointing out flaws is -EV for players that can win on here, but as a poker forum it is also important to spread the wealth and help other players out. Good luck on the felt.

  2. #2
    PokerOwned God StephyMarieC's Avatar
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    I would never limp with AA especially in that spot. That's just asking to lose lol

  3. #3
    PokerOwned Demi-God AcesUp1439's Avatar
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    I would not of limped in with pocket aces in this position. I would have made a raise like 3x the big blind or shoved and took my chances. Pocket aces get busted too much to limp in with them.

  4. #4
    PokerOwned Master Mrlova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AcesUp1439 View Post
    I would not of limped in with pocket aces in this position. I would have made a raise like 3x the big blind or shoved and took my chances. Pocket aces get busted too much to limp in with them.
    Quote Originally Posted by StephyMarieC View Post
    I would never limp with AA especially in that spot. That's just asking to lose lol
    Limping in from early position, especially UTG, with pocket Aces isn't a bad play if the table has shown a lot of raising pre-flop. The player that did this even mentioned after the hand they thought someone would have raised preflop. If this can be assumed then limping in isn't a bad play. More value can be made out of the hand if someone else opens first.

    For example, in the hand I busted out on in the tournament. I had [A][A] in middle position, I believe it was the UTG that open the pot with a raise. I came over the top, and they 4-bet me all in. That hand couldn't have played out any better, I got my chips in with the dominant hand after a 3-bet. It turned out the other player flushed on me and took me out of the tournament, but the play was correct. That same logic can be applied to the above hand, if someone else had raised and the UTG 3-bet, there is a good chance they will be investing all-in themselves or forcing another player all-in with the favorable hand. Just because you're a 70/30 preflop, or whatever the math turns out to be, doesn't mean you'll always win. You only win 70% of the time with those odds.

  5. #5
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    I really like all of this analysis. In general I think getting AA early position is just kind of a bummer. Much like getting any hand in early position. I disagree with the people who say never limp AA utg, or EP, of course it should be a move in your arsenal. Never limp AA every single time EP is a much better way to look at it. The more moves you have in your arsenal of poker plays the bigger threat you become on the felt. MrLova, makes good point after good point about the pros and cons of limping AA UTG. When you do this, it is important to consider the players in late position, especially the button. If the button is raising every time their is a limped pot or if there are shortstacks who are looking to shove over any limp or small open raise, then this becomes a good spot to limp. If the table is very passive, limp happy, and there are no sharks in late position PUNISHING the limpers then it is not as good of a spot to limp AA. Another problem with limping AA, and then getting raised from LP is when the action gets back to you. If you 3bet shove, its going to be very obvious to many good players that you are limp 3bet bombin a monster. If you just flat, you are playing a pot out of position with a tricky hand to play postflop. Playing AA postflop is all about your opponents hand not your own. AA is the ultimate top pair top kicker. Thats why playing this hand OOP is tough. If you do decide to limp and you see a flop multi way oop, you should shut down a ton of times especially on boards like in the example above where there is no draw. Ideally you want to play AA as aggressively as possible pre, and as slow as possible post flop. I know that sounds kind of weird but if you dont use pot control postflop with AA you are going to put yourself in weird spots where you are forced to stack off vs better hands. Most of the time with AA I am coming in from a raise in EP, but I think you should definitely consider limping it especially at loose aggro tables where your opponents don't know your playing style well, and where shortstacks are looking to shove and late position players are not allowing limped pots to go to the flop.

  6. #6
    PokerOwned Master
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    youve gotta raise in this situation to get weak hands out so there is less opportunity to lose

  7. #7
    PokerOwned Veteran
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    I would love a 18 man series from you. Been interested in them since you mentioned it during a session. BT

  8. #8
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    Just play to enjoy the game not to judge others like that lol.

  9. #9
    Library Master Champion eqgh5uea's Avatar
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    fold i think of AA as a musket vs. rifle ie. suited connectors.
    "We have met the enemy and they are ours; two ships, two brigs, one schooner and one sloop." --- O.H. Perry

  10. #10
    PokerOwned Master Mrlova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerrwad View Post
    Just play to enjoy the game not to judge others like that lol.
    If I was judging others I would have posted screenames. I don't do that, I post these hand analysis's to help everyone out.

    Quote Originally Posted by mirza View Post
    I would love a 18 man series from you. Been interested in them since you mentioned it during a session. BT
    What?


    Let me say this again, since a few more people have criticized the limp. There is nothing wrong with limping in UTG with Aces. It can actually be very profitable at the right table. In this particular case it didn't work. If you min-raise, or 3x BB raise, or whatever every time you have a hand like Aces you become predictable. You need to be able to change it up and raise different amounts with the same hands.

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