When Can You Fold Aces?

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In this video we break down a hand sent in by Odd Andy and we focus on the multi-way SPR in relation to our bet sizing.

Odd Andy prefaces the hand by saying, “I remember you mentioning the impact of SPR and deciding whether to stack off. I’d love if you could clarify the impact of SPR in multi-way pots and how it affects our decision to stack off.”

I would be happy to discuss the concept of multi-way SPR in the context of this hand. This is a $1-2 live hand, there’s a limp, there’s another limp, and Hero decides to attack.

Two very quick notes:

One, I noticed that Hero did not start with a full stack. I usually suggest trying to top off whenever possible. When I play live, I typically keep a pocket full of top-off chips, so say I want to have $200 here, but I lost the pot before, just reach in my pocket, grab my top-off chips right back to 100 big blinds, no problem. If you really feel you play best with 75 big blinds, fine, but if this is just because you lost a couple of pots and now you’re down a couple of bucks, definitely try to top off whenever possible.

“Check out this quick video on Bankroll Management

brm1

My second note here is the size. I am happy that this is 16 versus say $10 or 12, but I typically look to make this a little closer to $20. Not that 16 is terrible by any stretch, but I usually like to go a little bit larger here, totally for value, of course.

As played, we end up getting called by everybody and we end up seeing that the flop is going to have an $80 pot with 134 effective, that makes 1.7 SPR. If we just think about SPR real quick, I did an entire video on this, if you’re not really sure what the heck SPR is, I should actually say you should start there, so check the links in the description box for that video, which just explains what SPR is.

In a multi-way pot, I’m much, much more cautious, as the SPR is like 2-4. The grey zone in a heads-up pot is typically between like 3-6, in a multi-way pot, I typically shrink it slightly to like 2-4. In this, we’re still below 2, which means I’m still in my default stack-off mode. If it becomes like the worst board in the world or the worst board plus the worst action, like there’s a bet raise and shove in front of you or something like that on the flop, okay, that’s going to be a turn-off, even when we’re at like 1.5 to 1.8 SPR give or take, but as the SPR shrinks further and further, it’s just like a foregone conclusion, it’s going in and it just simply is what it is.

In a situation like this, where the Big Blind decides to donk it for 22 and it comes back, I mean, I’m never, ever going to fault you for jamming in this situation.

We’re going to do three things to wrap up this hand. First, we’re going to let the hand run out the way it played. Two, we’re going to read some more stuff that Odd Andy attached to his write-up. Three, we’re going to answer some of the questions that he left in that write-up.

In this situation, we jam for 134, Small Blind decides to over-jam effectively. Big Blind goes away, and we end up losing to Bottom Set. Okay, that is what it is.

Odd Andy attaches some extra stuff to his write-up and he starts by saying,

I felt that the Big Blind was donking with a flush draw or some kind of one-pair hand.

Yeah, that seems reasonable.

So I decided that I needed to jam to prevent him from realizing his equity.

Okay, yeah, that checks out.

If I had called the 22 and the Small Blind shoved, could I have found a fold?

Well, you’re not going to call here, that just doesn’t make any sense. You’re just allowing people to actualize copious amounts of equity for nothing. I’d rather just try to get it in and go forward from there. So, no. No, you can’t do that because one, the price you’d be getting when it came back to you would be disgustingly awesome and two, you’re just not going to call here. So no, that’s just kind of out of the question.

The follow-up to that was, “With so many players in the pot, should one approach this situation differently? What if there had been six players to the flop and I’m in the same spot? Surely one of them has to have a set.”

So, no. Because it all just boils back to the SPR. The SPR is less than 2, this is a situation where players can have lots of second-best hands. Can they have real hands? Sure. There are nine combination of sets. Okay, that is what it is.

There are two combinations of 9/8 suited. Okay, so 11 combos versus the copious amounts of other combos that people can have that we crush. Yes, there’s high-equity draws, there’s jack/ten, there’s flush draws, there’s all those kind of things, sure, and those are all reasonable. But that’s not any reason for me to look to try to get away from this hand.

When you lose a hand like this and when you lose a hand in general, you typically up questioning, “Did I make a mistake?” Sometimes no, you didn’t, there’s just nothing you could’ve done, it’s just simply one of those where you have to give your opponents money, they happen to catch a set in a great situation, they happen to improve in some great situation, good for them.

There’s really nothing else you could’ve done here. It just sucks, it just is what it is. Just because there are more players to the flop does not necessarily mean that someone has to have a set, that’s just simply not the case. Does it suck when they have it? Yes. That’s also why you want to be more careful, as the SPR is like 3 or 4 SPR, but if it’s under 2, typically no, you’re still going to be taking your pair to the felt, there’s just so few combos of like monster made hands and plenty enough combos of draws to compensate for the number of sets and stuff to actually exist. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know. Otherwise, good luck out there and happy grinding!

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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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