@lad44 - First of all, I’m glad you are taking the time to reflect on your play. Hand analysis is a great learning tool when approached the right way. Its not a matter of having people tell you how they would have played the hand or whether your play was correct or anything of the sort. The point is to put forward your thought process and examine that so that you can refine the way you make decisions in the future. This hand is over and its never coming back. Its what you take from this hand for the future that matters.
Also in every thread like this one, we see some people make absolute statements on whether a play was correct or not. Sometimes they simply tell you how they would have played the hand. Sometimes we see reasonable sounding comments that contradict other reasonable sounding comments. It can be hard to tell which, if any, are helpful or “correct” because no reasoning was put behind them. If you want to learn the game and get the most from hand review, I would like you to both ask the right questions and to be able to identify the helpful responses.
One other thing I’d like to mention as a general concept is that the result is 100% irrelevant to the analysis. This is important to understand and accept. People will sometimes see a result they don’t like and try to reverse engineer their play to come up with a solution. Poker doesn’t work like that and it is harmful to your decision making process. I only began to understand this once I started working with someone who had me do the same exercises without knowing the result. I wouldn’t even get to see the result afterwards. It was hard to accept this approach at first because human nature wants to know if we were right or not. However, once I got over that need for gratifying feedback, I realized how beneficial it can be to divorce my emotions from the results. My decisions were good or bad on their own merits, period.
So, the only things that are important are the things you can control. These include how you arrived at your decision and what action you took based on that decision. From your post, it looks like you considered quite a bit. When the hand starts, you are in the SB with ~51BB, holding AKs. UTG+2 open limps and 2 others limp behind. Pot is 5.4BB when HJ makes a sizeable raise to 9.4BB. BTN folds and it comes to you with a pot of 14.8BB. Your options are fold, call or raise.
Your stated intentions are general but in the right direction. I’d like to see you focus more so that you have a methodology for making decisions in the future. Ask yourself the right questions each time so you can make the best decisions possible in the limited time you have. This thing is already a book so I’m going to speed through this (again, the hand isn’t important, the decision making process is). You should always be situationally aware so you don’t have to figure this out while trying to decide how to play your specific hand. Always know stack sizes and where you are in the tournament. Same thing with being observant about what the other players are doing. You know your cards and your position so you should already know if / how to consider playing them by the time the action gets to you. In your spot, I’d already know AKs is not in my calling range from the SB. Its a raise except for the extremely rare cases when a fold is called for (like on bubble with 2+ all-in already and I’d be at risk).
These are the thoughts going through my head if I was in your position. It kind of happens all at once for me as its reflexive at this point. You want to get a checklist and fill in the same info over and over until it happens naturally for you:
- 3 limps and 1 strong raise ahead of me and only the BB left to act behind. 14.8BB in pot
- What hands would he put that raise in with? I’m thinking all value at this level over 3 limpers so TT+, AJs+, AQo+, KQs (sometimes) so 51 combos
- How does my hand play vs that range OOP if I call? ~53% equity but going to be hard to realize unless I hit the flop pretty hard and he catches enough to continue
- Of those hands, what % would he continue with to a raise / shove (I’m blocking AA, KK and AK)? QQ+, AK so tiny range of 21 combos (58% of his range folds)
- How am I doing vs his continue range? ~42%
I’m summing all of up and since its not a fold here, it can only be a raise. The only raise size available to me is a shove because of my stack (52BB vs pot of 14.8BB). That’s good because I want maximum fold equity anyway. I’m not doing well vs his continue range. Frankly, I am not happy if I get called and ~15BB without a flop is a great result for AKs.
I’m sorry for the long response. If you take anything from it, I hope its that developing a thought process that lets you make consistently good decisions is the goal. We will never have perfect information and we will make mistakes. All we can do is make the best decisions we can in the time we have with the information we have. Improve your process.
BTW, the only part of the hand I thought was odd was the call with TT. That would go in my notes for the future because I think this is an extremely light call given the action.