Folding pocket aces for fun and profit (I wish)

I was watching a final table being played in Venice, Italy, recently. the former chip leader, had just lost a good portion of his chips doing something really stupid which i can’t remember, but he still was in second. He had started the day with double the second place stack, and nearly equal to the rest of the table

But that’s not why I’m here.

Couple of hands later, the short stack is dealt an Ace and something, 6 maybe, and goes all in. Not an uncommon act for pros, near the end, and lacking chips.

That’s not why I’m here, either.

The small blind calls with J2o. Suddenly, no one can figure out why this guy who was expected to win, and get his name on the trophy, could make such a mind numbing mistake. Tilt? I doubt it,with that much cash separating the top five spots. Naturally, the deuce drops on the river, and fourth place is gone.
Mike was a player on the table. They did a tribute during the telecast, so it must have been recorded. I guess it must have been his last final table. He dropped in to the booth to thank Hellmuth for substituting for him, since he had no idea what to tell people about that hand. Hellmuth mentioned that he calls it something, just not the ‘call of the century’ like the other announcer kept referring to it. Maybe it’s being on TV, and not wanting everyone to think you’re a goober, but the guy took it remarkably well. i might not have yelled or referred to someone’s mother in an unbecoming tone, but i’m thinking tiny tombstones where my eyes used to be.

Now I’m just rambling.

I was just eliminated in 10th place, (paying seven). from one of the 50K gemstone MTT. I was doing quite well on the table I was at. If not for getting lucky while shoving my last remaining chips, I’d not have survived the first twenty minutes… I folded a lot of hands, tightened my ranges and made it
to second place, with a decent lead over third. For some reason I was chosen to even out the other table, until we got to nine people left. The chip leader was on that table with about twice my stack, and decided to bet em all, on the first hand. I had just been dealt bullets and felt confident as I turned them over to show the chip leader, as he turned over a pair of sevens. I’m standing there going “no seven, no seven” while the last 5 cards are hitting the center of the table, and no seven. he got a straight to the nine. His straight cracks my Aces my pocket aces, and end it just that quick. Another seven would have been fine. I expected a set. A set would have been comforting. BUT…a stinking straight? Five fresh cards and two of them just happen to live below his pair and the other two lived above. One of my best ever come backs and i don’t make a dime? Every decision was thought out, and executed flawlessly. every trap worked ! Yet it never occurred to me to get into the payout zone before I cowboy up for the end. For that matter, if i fold the entire project, I’m dealing with MONey which i have not earned, as opposed to money earned and then lost.

But that’s not why i’m here.

I read somewhere that whenever such devastation, like i just experienced, occurs, I should share it with all my friends, and peers, who read and post in Replay Poker’s Community Forums. And they were right. I feel so much better now.

That’s why i"m here.


When I do it, I just get people telling me to shut up and that they don’t care. But they can’t stop reading. The admins told me to can it though. So now I don’t post about hands. It’s the Replay Forum Way. Talk about your favorite song, not how it feels to lose a hand you thought you deserved to win.



something someone said sparked a discussion about folding AA. The reasons mostly had to do with the bubble, and in the money concerns. The more i think about it, the more i realize there was really no reason to take that bet. granted, had i won, as i should have, being that far ahead, preflop, the chip distribution would have flipped. The was I play, that tends to happen during heads up, anyway.

you were right. I only sat in the hu table for a minute before someone joined me. looking for Dogs now. Went to the cash table he was at but he left before i could type a note .

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I know some people will play super nitty around the bubble of an MTT, hoping to win chips and avoid bubbling, even to the point where they’ll fold AA. I don’t agree with that, myself. I don’t want to just get into the money, I want to win the tournament.

If I have a player isolated, I’d play AA all day long, getting in as many chips preflop as I can, even risking going out on the bubble.

I see a lot of people open shove premium pocket pairs, but it’s also possible to 3-bet or 4-bet to get an opponent playing a weaker hand to consider folding, rather than giving them one decision to call or fold. If you can fold opponents with your premium monster pairs preflop, by 3- or 4-betting them correctly, it’s really better.

The only way I’d consider folding AA preflop is if several players go all-in ahead of me, with stacks deeper than mine. Even then, I’m probably still calling, and I’m definitely calling if I have everyone covered. But the more players are in the hand, the more likely someone is to make a hand that will crack AAces.

You don’t have to shove Aces, of course, you can play them like any other pocket pair, and see if they make you a set, or if the board texture makes them a hand you can fold.

What’s best to do depends on the situation and how your opponents play, but being able to play the hand differently gives you more tools.



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AA all-in preflop against 77 will win 80.5% of the time (exactly how it loses is irrelevant, set, straight, flush). So when you went all-in, you were getting 80.5 cents for every dollar or in this case 80.5% of every chip that went into the pot. Not a bad investment. Now you just have to play long enough to be in the same spot 4 more times and win them all so you balance out the universe…


Watching ‘The Big Game’ reruns, recently , the loose cannon folded AA preflop. At the time, he was leading the other loose cannons in winnings for the week they played, and didn’t want to chance it. The prize was an all expenses paid, entry to one of the tournaments on the pro circuit. As the cards played out, (betting aside) he would have lost the hand.

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