Three interesting all-in hands

So these are 3 very similar hands I faced in a 5 minute span at 5k/10k in which my opponent (3 different opponents) went all in on the flop.

This is probably the most interesting. The opponent is ranked ~2000, which means he is probably fishier than average for this table (most good players are <500), but he has 3m, so he was doing pretty well, though I had seen him get lucky. I had AQ suited.

I 3-bet with the intention of folding to a 4-bet, but his 4-bet size was so small that I had a great price to continue. I hit my Q, but he shoved for 3m, so he is effectively repping AA, KK, or QQ, and I don’t want to throw away my whole stack. Is there any way I could call?

This next hand actually happened a couple of minutes earlier where I raise 5.5x with KK, get called by the button, and he shoves over my cbet for 1.4m into a 200k pot on a safe looking board. I put him on a set, but he could have 79, or even a flush draw or open-ended straight draw. Is there any way I could call?

And this final hand, I was getting kind of frustrated, and planning to leave the table soon. I bet 3.5x with JJ from under the gun, which is a generally unprofitable play, but when he shoves on safe, draw-heavy flop, I decided his stack was too small to be worried about, and that I had to take a stand. It doesn’t really seem possible that 3 players would be bluffing with the knowledge that I was capable of folding a big hand. I hadn’t done anything similar at that table, and I have made many tough, but correct calls in previous ring games. Thankfully, the third time was the charm.

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As frustrating and painful as this game can be sometimes, I never get tired of seeing how it plays out on the macroscale. Thanks so much for sharing these!

Really enjoying seeing the insight behind your play, I think it’s super informative – I especially have trouble figuring out proper betting. So much talk about tells, mindset, odds, and bankroll, I think this often gets overlooked. (And is a major pain point for a lot of players!)

gatzby !! are you trying to be facetious, Im detecting a hinder.

I’ll start with hands #2 & #3 since it’s I believe a bit more standard.

I think you made the correct decision by folding since as you said his probable range his either T8s or 79S or 88-TT, there’s a bit of bluffy BS in there, maybe a tired AQs or a JJ. PF you both have 125BB+ so it’s the right time in position to make speculative calls when a TAG image player raises big LP basically saying I have KK+ or nothing (but if I had to weight I’d say 90% KK+, 10% air). he knows a cbet is coming, he knows it will be at least half pot probably more so he’s risking 5,5BB to get 14,5-15BB maybe more it’s really interesting since if he crushes it you might call, if he misses and catch a huge draw you might fold to a shove and if you call he’s alright, if he bricks you might still fold. So well played on both sides.

he’s a low stake 450k+ rank player so unless you have a major read on him saying he’s not a fish I think your play was great, might have sized it a pinch larger pf to really isolate him but JJ is such a tough hand to play UTG that I think 3,5x is pretty nice.

Draw heavy flop, when you have an over that lets other overs being comfy (like TT in this case), against a fish, lots of dead money in the pot, small stack shove I’ll call it all day long without even minding getting occasionally beat by some weird stuff (plus he was very nice to clean the table for you before your call).

The start is standard, he opens 3,5x from EP you semi-bluff 3 bet LP with AQs thinking “I’ll say goodbye if he 4 bets” and then he gives you a 1,65x 4bet which is so hard to not call : pot odd is 30% it might just be your equity right there (32% against JJ+/AK) so it’s really a judgment call since mathematically it’s very close. You might even discount KK+ and then you’re really good.

Flop comes out and he shoves. I think it comes down to your history. Hands #2 happened before so he might have seen it not as a great lay down but as an attempt to steal PF. But in that case would he shove? So there’s only two hands that you beat here JJ and AK, AK doesn’t make sense so it’s only JJ and again shoving with JJ on that flop doesn’t make any sense. Then he’s polarized, air or nuts, I believe folding was 0EV and calling -EV so nice fold.

Had it been the 100th hand you guys played it might have been completely different but with no information it’s better to play it safe.


I appreciate the thoughtful reply. Your line of thinking pretty much matches mine. One other thing I think about when my opponent shoves is “it doesn’t seem like they care what I’m holding.” Which means it seems like they are extremely strong.

On hands 1 and 2, by shoving multiple times the pot-size, if they do crush the board, they are potentially losing value when I fold, but since I could conceivably be holding AA in both situations, they don’t seem particularly worried about getting called. A bluff in either situation is just not worth the risk because I could be extremely strong. The only thing I am afraid of is that on Replay people often overvalue their hands, and some really fishy players might shove with top pair top kicker.

Nope! Legitimately interested. This is the sort of breakdown that makes sense to me. =)

(my bad)

Can’t argue with the way 2 and 3 played, or on your analysis.

I think hand 1 was the most interesting. To be honest, I might have called.

To me, his massive overbet on the flop seemed weak… he didn’t want a call. Yeah, he could have had AA, KK, or QQ, but would probably wanted to keep you on the hook with QQ, and maybe with AA too, but he should have made a stronger 4 bet PF with aces.

KK? Well maybe, but I would have expected a stronger 4 bet PF with kings too. It’s possible he overbet the flop to keep you from chasing down an ace, but 1/2 the pot would have done the same thing with less risk.

I would have read his mini-4 bet as just keeping you honest if you were stealing. Your call probably told him you didn’t have a big pair, and his shove on the flop was him betting you didn’t have a queen or would fold a lone queen there to his shove, which you did.

Right or wrong, I would have put him on something like AQ, KQ, QJs, QTs, JJ, or TT and just made the call.

By the way… not knowing the other player, I’m not saying it was a mistake to fold. I’m just saying I would probably have called.

That definitely makes sense, and thanks for your response. One thing that contributed to my fold on hand #1 is that people with overpairs love to overbet the flop, meaning that if he were holding KK, he thought he could get a call from someone with a queen. Also, I have heard and ascribe to the philosophy that when a fish looks strong, they usually are. I really don’t think very many players are strong enough to be able to play a convincing bluff in that spot, and to assume that a player on Replay (me) would be willing to fold a big hand. I could be flatting with AA, KK, QQ, JJ, or AQ (top pair). Plus, I don’t see his tiny 4-bet as weakness, just that he doesn’t understand bet-sizing. Many players just click back. The fact that he 4-bet at all limits him to AA, KK, QQ, and AK in my opinion, which is why I was planning to fold to any 4-bet. I only called because the price was so good, my hand was suited, and I had position.

But, apart from that, a perhaps more interesting consideration is a more game theory oriented approach. Part of my thinking was that by folding I lose whatever was in the pot ~350k, and by calling I risk losing 1.5m. Psychologically, losing my 165k wasn’t a big deal, and even winning an additional 1.5m would not have been that significant, while I would have been kicking myself if he turned over the obvious AA or KK. I just didn’t think I would correct enough of the time to feel good about calling.

Another question; you mention that he may have thought I was stealing, but have you ever actually seen players try to 3-bet bluff to steal from a weak raise? I don’t think I have ever seen anyone 3-bet to induce folds on Replay.The reason being that it never generates any folds. I almost always only 3-bet for value because I expect most players’ calling range to exactly match their raising range, except for hands they would 4-bet (QQ+, AK). Obviously, having that calling range makes no sense, but that is what I observe. I have seen tons of players ranked in the top 500 flat out of position with A8o or JTs or some other garbage. I would only give players I know are good or extremely aggro any credit for trying to bluff 3-bet. Heck, it seems like many players opening range is QQ+, AK, and they won’t even 4-bet except with AA. And, I am talking about high stakes ring.

Hard to read his initial raise. It wasn’t much of a raise, but he was in EP, so he thought he was pretty strong, but if it folded around to the blind, BB would have had to chunk up 25K for a shot at 50K, and any other callers would just sweeten the pot. From the preflop action, it seems clear he wanted to see the flop before committing.

To me, this kinda rules out AA and probably even KK. After all, KK was only behind to aces and you weren’t deep enough to bust him.

I doubt he saw your reraise as an outright steal. And yes, I have seen me 3 bet in that spot. Not necessarily to steal, but to take control of the hand and maybe get him to check the flop to me. If 3 betting would let me see the flop and turn free, it’s money well spent in my book.

When you just called his 4 bet, you gave out a lot of info, while gaining none in return.

A case could be made for folding there, but a stronger case could be made for 5 betting him too. Calling? Eh, probably the last thing I would do there. Not a horrible play, just not my style.

I suspect he had KQs there… top pair, second kicker, and a backdoor flush draw. Note that he had to type in his initial raise, but went allin for roughly 2x your stack. I call this "dramatic flair, " meant to intimidate, not designed to get called. I know if I had AA, KK, or QQQ there, I would have put out about a pot-sized bet hoping you would raise me. If you did, THEN I would lower the boom and set you in (now that you would be more or less committed)

Eh, we’re just talking here… I don’t fault your fold. I still think I would have called. :stuck_out_tongue:

Final thought… you said you saw him get lucky. He seemed to be running good at the table, if his stack was any indication. He might well have been feeling invincible and knew you were good enough to make a big lay down. I think you’re giving him too much credit… he was weaker than you think.

3,5x is a decent raise even EP with a premium. There are several schools but the two classical are:
4/4/3; 3/3/2,5

Since he 3,5x opened he’s somewhere in between so it’s weird but I wasn’t there so I don’t know his betting pattern if any. Say you give him credit for having a brain, it’s a high stake table with some elite players so he might consider being balanced and trying to induce an affordable 3x 3bet with hands he actually dominated (AJ-AQ, TT-JJ).

His 4 bet size is weird but it could be genius I’m actually thinking I’ll try that a bit:
* against a passive fish : he might fold since he’s inelastic or he might call and you’re still a bit ahead then you almost max valued, or he’ll shove and you get out “cheaply”.
* against an aggro fish : almost the same though you could make a case for calling his shove.

  • against a competent player : you are turning his cards upside down, as simple as that.
  • He folds that either means he’s not that competent or he really light 3 betted you, meaning you can pick him up again and again.
  • He shoves, that means he has KK+ and maybe, maybe QQ (depending on the history and the table “groove”).
  • He calls and you face AJ-AQ-AK-JJ and again you might throw in TT and QQ (though I wouldn’t).

Am I correct in assuming that the max buyin for that table was 2 mil?

If so, he was up over 1.1 mil and had little to lose there. There is a type of player that takes great delight in running over stronger players. It’s the ultimate ego boost to bluff a better player off his hand.

Ask Phil Hellmuth the next time you see him, he deals with that each and every tournament.

To me, the story he was trying to tell just didn’t add up, its as simple as that.

Anyway, I would have had to put him on AQ, KQ, or even QJ, QT or JJ, and wouldn’t be surprised if he turned over Q9, TT, or 99. If he’s a poker ninja and sly played AA or KK, well, ok. The last 2 Q’s? Not very likely in my opinion, but I’ve been wrong before. I really think he had KQ there.

At any rate, I would have looked him up.

On the other hand, I very well might have made it 300K PF to see if his heart was in it. Yeah, you would have to fold if he reraised again, but at least you know it’s probably a good laydown. As it was, Joe gave up info (that he didn’t have a big pocket pair) and had no idea where he stood. That set up the allin on the flop, IMHO.

The max buy-in was 1.5 mil, so he must have at least doubled up, but considering he was ranked over 2000, he likely started with 1m.

I think what you are saying is great, and I think it applies really well to real poker, but I just don’t think that way when playing on Replay. He wasn’t a particularly aggressive player, and most players (especially lower ranked players) will limp almost everything. Most preflop raises come from QQ+, AK. That is my observation from playing 5,000ish hands of high stakes ring on Replay. Most players are afraid to raise JJ and weaker aces are likely to be dominated. Top pair of queens with an ace kicker is about the weakest hand I would be continuing with in a raised pot.

4-betting ranges are even stronger, and I have almost never seen anybody 4-bet with a hand as weak as QQ. For example, I recently 3-bet from the button against a small raise with KK, and got 4-bet shoved on (7x the pot) by the number 98 ranked player. I knew I should have folded, but it makes very little sense to play AA that way, but in the end it was, unsurprisingly, AA. I have seen this so many times that I seriously considered folding and actually feel stupid for having called. On a meta level is does make sense to play AA that way when you consider that 3-betting ranges are QQ+, AK. Those are tough hands to fold preflop.

Of course, this type of play is bad and exploitable, and I would give strong players credit for being able to play a more flexible game, but I wouldn’t give that kind of credit to the 2,000 ranked player who seems to be on a heater.

On a side note, not to say that I played this hand particularly well, but I don’t think flatting really gives away information. I have seen lots of players flat with AA, and although it isn’t what I would typically do, I have position, and I expect him (as the 4-bettor) to lead out most of the time. So, he does have reason to believe I could be extremely strong, and he doesn’t seem to care. I do not give him enough credit for being able to pull off that bluff.

I agree, QQ is such a tough hand to 4 bet with, maybe 6Max aggro table but that’s about the only time I’d consider doing it. And I still feel that flatting a 3 bet with QQ makes much more sense because the only thing you achieve by 4 betting is getting folds from weaker hands and getting shoves by premiums.[quote=“JoeDirk, post:13, topic:3335”]
3-bet from the button against a small raise with KK, and got 4-bet shoved on
Can’t get away from that, small raise to induce calls/ light 3 bet/ squeeze play from competent players LP, then you did and now he knows that even if he “min” 4 bet your light range you’ll fold so might as well chase the KK and shove, could be seen as a bluff too so QQ might just call as well. I could never find the discipline to fold KK pre flop in that situation (don’t even know if I can make that lay down in any situation pf except if there are like 3 people already all in but then I’d get a great price to crack AA so hum… I might still call :stuck_out_tongue:).

I guess we will never know. :slightly_smiling:

By the way, his rank now is 379 with 15,507,496 chips total.

That is really interesting. I am a little suspicious of new players who immediately get millions of chips. Either they are poker pros in disguise, bought some chips, or perhaps they can cheat in some way?

It’s pretty easy to increase your chips consistently (I average about 100 bbs per 100 hands at high stakes, which would be impossible in real poker), but to average an increase of about 500,000 per day from the first day you join the site is pretty remarkable, especially because even an extremely skilled poker player would have to adjust to the craziness of Replay and the bingo players at low stakes. Maybe he started off with a chip purchase or two.

I suspect he knows how to play some, and is exploiting the tables. He doesn’t care about the chips.

A decent player will play opposite the table. If you guys never 3 bet except with QQ+, I would call that tight play. I suspect he is playing a wider range and more aggro than the tables are used to. Probably switches gears when the table figures out what he’s doing, or else just moves to a new table.

I replayed one of the hands in his history (all of them actually) and he had well over 8 million chips on the table, which is over half his bank. That’s simply unsustainable, long term. Basically, he won’t be able to survive much negative variance, and he will get broke. His luck will run out.

If you’re interested in a more in-depth explanation, look up how attractor distributions operate within weak-convergence theorems, especially central limit theorem. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Yeah, if I had known more about that particular player it might have affected my decision making.

I am not familiar with weak-convergence theorems, but I am interested in learning more. I definitely consider variance in my approach to bankroll management and poker in general. I am always tracking results to try to figure out what my “true” win-rate is.

I’m not intending this to be critical of anyone… just an observation.

One could say you play to minimize variance. In effect, you play to not lose.

I suspect he is more risk tolerant and willing to deal with a higher variance. He is playing to win.

You are the tortoise, he is the hare.

I minimize variance by not risking much of my bankroll. I don’t play to minimize variance. You can’t play poker if you don’t like variance. I’d say that understanding variance also means knowing when to pick your spots.There are better opportunities to get my chips in. After those three hands, I was up by a few hundred thousand. Plus, it’s about learning about your opponents. He can fool me once.