A Super Nitty Fold With Ace King

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I don’t do this too often, but this video is going to be a little more ranty than normal. I apologize, Moss, I know this is going to suck a little bit, but I really hope that you learn from this, and I hope that anyone who’s making this kind of mistake learns from it as well.

So in this exact spot there’s a raise, here he decides to call. First and foremost, we’re talking about a min raise, second off we’re talking about 6-Max, third we have Ace King. So just 3bet as a pure default as a pure default. Please stop flatting this unless you have some exact, really good reason, like there’s someone who’d really squeeze happy behind you, or for whatever reason you just have to flat instead of 3bet. Please just 3bet, because you’re if not 3betting the Ace King, what the heck is your 3bet range? So that’s first and foremost on my rant list for this hand, and just for the record, Moss gave me no extra comments or information for this hand, so I’m just going pretty much based in an unknown environment where I’m playing 10NL 6-Max online, where again, Ace King is a pure 3bet.

We end up getting called, go here, three-way to it, check, check, here decides to bet. So far, really happy, at least as played we definitely want to be firing this ourselves, hero faces a check-raise, and hero decides to go away. Let’s talk about this for a couple minutes and figure out why we don’t ever want to fold this.

There are three major pieces of this. First and foremost are the context clues based on our opponent. This person is playing 10NL online, so again, probably not going to be the toughest opponent in the entire world. Two, they started a hand without a full stack, and three, they only min-raised from under the gun. None of these things are great indicators this is some really really great guy, really disciplined player, anything like that. In fact, I don’t know very many good players that are fantastic at 70ish BB players in cash games. So again, really nothing here is indicating that this is some super tight, disciplined dude who’s only going to be check-raising with the nuts.

Want more information on player types? Watch this full-length video…

Which brings us to point two, which is combos. If you think about it, in this situation, how many nutted combos are there? There’s three combos of pocket sixes, three combos of pocket nines, one combo of pocket aces because we block some of that out because we have an ace in our hand, and that’s probably about it. Seven combos of that. If we compare that to the amount of flush draw combos, we’re talking King Queen, King Jack, maybe King Ten, Jack Ten, Queen Jack, those kind of things, all of a sudden we can get up to a situation where it’s probably like one-to-one nutted combos to flush draw combos, and even more so if you think that min-raise could be things like five six of hearts, or seven eight of hearts, or four five of hearts, all those kind of things. Now all of a sudden, there can be tons and tons of those flush-draws in there. Not tons, but you get what I mean. There’s a lot more than maybe first meets the eye.

We’re in a situation where, again, there’s no indication that he only has the nuts when he check-raises, the combos, there’s just simply not very many nuttish combos, and then you may say, “Well maybe he has like, Ace Nine suited?” Okay, sure, there’s two combos of that, so again, I’m not going to go into panic mode. Then another question, like, “Could he overvalue Ace Queen?” Now all of a sudden we’re talking about a bunch of combos of that, or Ace Jack, or Ace Ten, or any of that kind of stuff. So again, I am not panicking that we’re only looking at nutted combos here, and if we are panicking about that, that’s something that we definitely want to look at, because we may be looking at monsters under the bed, where monsters just simply don’t exist very often.

There are only 7 combos of sets while there are 8 combos of AQ, 8 of AJ, etc. 

Then the third and final piece of this puzzle, although there certainly are other things you could consider, is thinking about your own range, right? So if you’re going to bet/fold Ace King here, what are you ever giving action with? Exclusively 2 pair plus and sets, and again, we’re right back to, “How many combos of that really exist?” So you really have to keep that in mind.

Poker combos Not sure how to count combos? Start here.

You may say, and this is something that I used to say as well, “Well if my opponent doesn’t really know who I am, who the heck cares what my range is? Who the heck cares if I have enough balance in it? Blah blah blah.” But I disagree with that thought process now, and if you simply are never giving action without the ultra nut, you’re in a situation where your frequencies are going to be way off, and you’re going to be bet folding, or you’re just simply going to be a very very large chunk of the time, and anyone with the slightest bit of awareness is going to make your life a living hell for that. If your frequencies are really bad and you’re folding far too often, you become a very easy target, and you want to be extremely cognizant of that in advance.

There’s just no way in heck if I ever flat this preflop, that I’m ever just going to bet fold it here against this player. I’m just going to stack this off and feel very very good about it, and expect to have an edge a very large chunk of the time. Will I be behind sometimes? Sure. But nowhere near enough of the time to justify finding the fold button here, against someone who just simply doesn’t deserve it.

SplitSuit

My name is James "SplitSuit" Sweeney and I'm a poker player, coach, and author. I've released 300+ videos, coached 500+ players, and co-founded the training site Red Chip Poker. Contact me if you need any help improving your poker game!

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