In this hand we’re in the small blind with ace/queen suited. The cutoff decides to min raise and this person is a 40/35 over 50 hands. It’s difficult actually to figure out if this person is necessarily a really good lag or an aggro fish. Those times can sometimes blur together in a small sample size and 50 hands is kind of getting to that cuspy point where it’s breaking out of small sample size.
Honestly, this could just be a really good lag who is taking advantage of a very tight table, so I don’t necessarily want to say that this person is for sure going to be an aggro fish, but I’d say he’s definitely going to be one of those two player types. Learn more about how to identify a LAG with this article “Playing LAG: Loose Aggressive Poker”
In this situation, Hero decides to re-steal with ace/queen suited, totally on board with that. Little nit-picky, might just go to $.50 as opposed to .45, but definitely not going to say anything too much about this. We end up getting called and go heads up to it. Go here and Hero decides to bet for two-thirds.
I wanted to chit-chat about this spot real quick because I think it’s pretty important and I think it’s also a lot more common than a lot of people realize. 3-bet a pot out of position, 4-1/2 SPR pot—very, very common situation.
When you have a hand like ace/king or ace/queen and the board comes ace-XX, it’s also a very common situation. The reason why I say ace/king and ace/queen are so similar is because even when I have ace/queen, yes, I’m behind his ace/king, but I don’t think he’s going to have ace/king a lot. I think if he had it, he would’ve gotten aggressive with it pre-flop. So I negate that from the range and because of that, I treat ace/king and ace/queen very similar here.
Here is a video on “Playing Ace Queen in Poker”
All that in mind, I kind of have two different kind of lines. The first line is just go bet, bet, bet. That’s against the default opponent, in my opinion, and the thought process is just maximize value and they have like ace/jack or ace/ten or sticky jacks or sticky tens, and you just go forward from there. That’s my general default thought process.
Could the cutoff have a big hand here that beats me? Sure. Do I think it’s very likely? No. Because of that, I just stick in my value mindset.
The other thought process is to bet here, think you’re going to get floated a decent amount and then you can check raise turns.
Those are kind of my two default lines. Notice none of them are going into this like slow play, tricky-checky-type nonsense. It’s really just aggression and how am I going to shape and form my aggression.
With that in mind, I just want to have that default conversation, I think it’s pretty important. I think it oftentimes is very overlooked and some players end up playing this a lot more passively than they should.
All that being said, we end up getting a call, go to the turn, Hero decides to bet again and honestly, I can be totally okay with this. This would be my default thought process as well, that this is someone who called the flop and if you think they have a decent amount of ace-X or sticky tens or whatever, just bet again and put them in hell. Totally cool with that.
But, there is the kind of person who floats the flop a lot of the time (How to Handle Floaters) who would probably gladly bet when checked to. Against that person, at least consider going for the check raise. I’m not going to say that this bet is bad, not by any stretch. I just think against some opponents, especially aggro fish or very aggressive individuals, or aggro lags, it’s a very good idea to at least consider going for the turn check raise in allowing them to bet all their floats.
All that being said, totally on board with this and whatever, just play it from here.
The cutoff ends up jamming, here we are getting 4:1 and we have to make a decision. Honestly, in this situation, I don’t really consider it a decision. We’re getting 4:1, I’m never going to fold here, I think I’m good plenty enough of the time, I’m just going to snap this off and feel really, really good about it.
In saying that, could I be behind? Sure, but there aren’t very many combos of it. There’s three of pocket eights, one of pocket sevens, if he has eight/seven suited, there’s one combo of that. If he has ace/eight suited, whatever—there’s one combo of that. You notice there’s just not a lot of combos of these big hands, like most fruitful combo is going to be like seven/six suited and there’s two of those.
♠ Learn more about playing suited connectors with “The Science of Suited Connectors“
Again, I’m not really super worried about this. If he happens to have a monster hand, good for him, but because he’s an aggro player, he can have draws that he takes this line with, he can have ace/jack and ace/ten type hands, he can have weird stuff.
Ultimately at the end of the day, I am super happy sticking it in and obviously hoping that we just stick good. Unfortunately in this situation, he ends up having seven/six suited and it is what it is. There’s no need to beat ourselves up for this. I think your play was totally fine. Again, as long as you at least considered going for the check raise in the turn, I’m really happy about it. We’re just going to go forward from there.
Again, pre-flop looked good, flop looked fine, turn looked fine, and just kind of sucked that he happened to bink at this time, but in the long run, we’re going to do a lot, lot better than he does, so don’t even beat yourself up about this.