Controversial KK line?

    • gadget51
      gadget51
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.06.2008 Posts: 5,622
      As much respect as I have for the NL microstakes coaches on P.S., I have to disagree with the standard line given that at these levels I don't fold KK preflop. Have a look at the example below and bare in mind I know the reg players at this level quite well.

      Villain has the following stats: 17/4/1.9/19/1.8k {VPIP/PFR/AF/WSD/Hands}

      My argument for folding is as follows. He would never RR with JJ; QQ or KK
      So what's his hand? 'Nuff said really. However, I have heard hasenbraten say on many occasions during coaching sessions that we get it AI with KK beause even if we put him on AA it would be a mistake to fold. I can imagine he would consider it a bigger mistake to fold in this instance given the situation.
      So am I missing somethig here that someone can explain? If I KNOW 100% the guy has AA and I'm still going to push, then surely I should push 22 as well? This last isn't really my point, just a question, but being able to fold preflop is, no matter whether I won the hand here or not.
      Another thing is that I had about 160bb so was quite deep.

      Truth is I realy was going to fold but I've come across similar situations a number of times, so I told my other half I would call it off and post my thoughts here. Getting the money back isn't too hard anyway if the hand goes down.

      So, what do you think about it? I know the thinking is higher level than NL4 but that's not the point and I don't make a habbit of folding KK either! Lol.

      Villain is in bb, the other guy is a pilchard.
      Hand converted with online PokerStrategy.com hand converter:

      Play hand

      $0.02/$0.04 No-Limit Hold'em (8 handed)

      Known players:
      MP3:
      $3.05
      CO:
      $4.17
      BU:
      $0.51
      SB (Hero):
      $6.54
      BB:
      $6.47
      UTG2:
      $4.93
      MP1:
      $4.12
      MP2:
      $4.00


      Preflop: Hero is SB with K, K.
      UTG2 calls $0.04, 3 folds, CO calls $0.04, BU calls $0.04, Hero raises to $0.28, BB raises to $1.24, UTG2 folds, CO calls $1.20, BU folds, Hero raises to $6.54, BB calls $5.19, CO calls $2.93.
  • 10 replies
    • Slimijs
      Slimijs
      Global
      Joined: 22.01.2011 Posts: 98
      I think that on 6-tables u should never fold KK, but if your playing 9 definetly choose who you play KK vs. Last terrible loosing session I was up with KK against AA 3 times.

      The only advice is that u should never be too deep when shoving with KK, cause loosing 100 is one thing, but loosing 150 with a shove agaisnt AA is just painfull.

      Also a lot of regulars will shove on you with AK if they have reads on u.
    • JonikoP
      JonikoP
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.05.2010 Posts: 600
      In Full Ring games, it should be possible to fold KK pre-flop from time to time but it will be rare and you need a very strong read to do so. In the hand below, I'm getting it in exactly as you did.

      I've heard Citizenwind and Verneer both advocated folding KK pre-flop under the right conditions.

      If a player is enough of a nit, it's sometimes right to flat w KK if you're planning on folding to a 4 bet.
    • thazar
      thazar
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.09.2009 Posts: 6,560
      yes but Citizenwind is a nit :)
    • supeyrio
      supeyrio
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.11.2009 Posts: 3,106
      neverrrrrrrrrr foldddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd everrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr in that spot unless that guy ONLY 3bets acesssssss. you sure he 3bets only acesssss????
    • JonikoP
      JonikoP
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.05.2010 Posts: 600
      yes but Citizenwind is a nit


      LOL - a nit with a sick winrate. Although, yes, image is important.
    • pzhon
      pzhon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      Whether it is possible to correctly fold KK preflop is a question which comes up so often that some poker forums will lock the threads. Nevertheless, there are a few points which I think are worth making.

      -- The positions of the players matter a lot. If you raise from UTG 9-handed, you are representing a much stronger ranges than if you open on the button, or from the small blind. A 3-bet after an UTG raise shows much more strength than a 3-bet after a raise from steal position. A 4-bet after raising UTG shows more strength than a 4-bet after raising from the button. You should put your opponents on different ranges for stacking off in these situations. Do not assume that the ranges for stacking off which work for you in a shorthanded game will work in a 9-handed game when the first raise was from early position. Do not assume that a 3-bet/push against your steal raise is just as tight as a 3-bet/push against your BTN+3 raise.

      -- You do not need to be 90% sure someone has aces to fold kings. I don't know why people throw the math out the window in these discussions. It's not a mystical challenge of your poker spirit; it's a math problem. If you are getting some odds, look at your equity against your opponent's range, weighting the hands by the likelihood with which your opponent would take those actions. In some situations, it can be correct to fold KK even if your opponent will have AA only 45% of the time, since you might be more of an underdog against AA than you are a favorite over AK, and you might not be getting good odds. In other situations, you are getting good odds, and you might need to think your opponent has aces 80% of the time to fold.

      -- The chance that an opponent is dealt AA when you have KK is small. But so is the chance that someone raises from early position and then 4-bets over your raise. At that point, you need to be looking at conditional probabilities, not throwing away the information you have from the actions.

      -- One problem with anecdotal evidence is that the hands people post are biased. If you are worried about your KK, and get all-in anyway, are you more likely to post about it if you run into QQ than if you confirm your fears and find AA? What you can do is look at your own database. Look at the hands where players got all-in preflop for 80 bb+, either by pushing or calling, and see the types of hands players have. Of course you should pay attention to whether the players are maniacs from the HUD stats, and their positions.

      -- Calling and playing a pot can be an alternative to getting all-in preflop. There are some players who 3-bet so tightly over large samples that I play KK for set value. (Be careful that calling 3-bets for set value with low pocket pairs is a common leak when you don't know your opponent has AA.)

      -- Being willing to fold KK preflop is not necessarily an exploitable weakness. If AA makes up a significant portion of your range, and you will not fold AA preflop, then trying to push you off of KK may pay off your AA hands more than it takes from your KK. You should be much more worried about whether you are folding your entire range postflop in an exploitable fashion than about getting exploited if you might fold KK preflop.

      My conclusions have been that it is definitely correct to fold KK preflop in some situations, including some with 100 BB stacks and no previous reads on the opponent. If you can't fold KK preflop in a live game with deep (3000 BB) stacks, you have a big leak, one which some people exploit with massive overbets in some situations where players might have kings. However, in the vast majority of situations in online shorthanded play with stacks under 150 BB and 1 or 2 opponents raising, you should not fold KK preflop. Players at lower stakes are too wild and overvalue hands like JJ or even JTs, or too aggressive and have wider initial raising ranges in higher stakes games to determine that KK is behind. If you worry too much about AA you will miss value or fail to protect your hand. In most situations, you need a strong read to consider folding KK preflop. If you are relatively new to poker, just don't fold KK preflop, but know that it is a play that can be right.
    • bonebt
      bonebt
      Bronze
      Joined: 07.11.2009 Posts: 452
      if you think that villain/s will 3 bet/call in similar spots with at least QQ+, AK u should never ever fold KK
    • AjoPP1
      AjoPP1
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.03.2010 Posts: 119
      I'd have to have a super strong read to fold KK preflop in the micros, it's nuts against those player's ranges. Most of the time. :f_biggrin:
    • gadget51
      gadget51
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.06.2008 Posts: 5,622
      Thanks for the replies all, especially pzhon, I didn't know that folding KK at micro was such a big issue. :)

      @AjoPP1; I've played these guys for 4yrs now, it's not ranges I can put them on when I'm on the ball, it's sometimes the exact hand.
      e.g. as I'm writing this, this guy insta-called my cbet so quick he for def has JJ or QQ. He will reraise with better and fold worse...not hard sometimes.

      Hand converted with online PokerStrategy.com hand converter:

      Play hand

      $0.02/$0.04 No-Limit Hold'em (9 handed)
      Known players:
      BU:
      $1.69
      SB:
      $1.65
      BB:
      $3.59
      UTG1:
      $8.98
      UTG2:
      $5.30
      MP1:
      $5.95
      MP2 (Hero):
      $4.72
      MP3:
      $8.13
      CO:
      $4.20

      Preflop: Hero is MP2 with A, T.
      3 folds, Hero raises to $0.16, MP3 calls $0.16, 4 folds, 3 folds, 2 folds, BB folds.

      Flop: ($0.38) T, 5, 5 (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.28, MP3 calls $0.28.

      Turn: ($0.94) K (2 players)
      Hero checks, MP3 checks.

      River: ($0.94) 2 (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.36, MP3 calls $0.36.

      Final Pot: $1.66.


      @bonebt; villain wouldn't RR with JJ or QQ.

      @pzhon; I wasn't worried about the KK I was too confident of his AA. I got it AI to post it here. Also, he raised so much his hand was face up to me. Your post made a lot of sense though, so ty for that.

      I've made thousands from this level, but sometimes I still get spots like the KK one where it's nice to get some feedback and I learn a bit more.

      Thanks all.
    • JonikoP
      JonikoP
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.05.2010 Posts: 600
      Originally posted by pzhon
      Whether it is possible to correctly fold KK preflop is a question which comes up so often that some poker forums will lock the threads. Nevertheless, there are a few points which I think are worth making.

      -- The positions of the players matter a lot. If you raise from UTG 9-handed, you are representing a much stronger ranges than if you open on the button, or from the small blind. A 3-bet after an UTG raise shows much more strength than a 3-bet after a raise from steal position. A 4-bet after raising UTG shows more strength than a 4-bet after raising from the button. You should put your opponents on different ranges for stacking off in these situations. Do not assume that the ranges for stacking off which work for you in a shorthanded game will work in a 9-handed game when the first raise was from early position. Do not assume that a 3-bet/push against your steal raise is just as tight as a 3-bet/push against your BTN+3 raise.

      -- You do not need to be 90% sure someone has aces to fold kings. I don't know why people throw the math out the window in these discussions. It's not a mystical challenge of your poker spirit; it's a math problem. If you are getting some odds, look at your equity against your opponent's range, weighting the hands by the likelihood with which your opponent would take those actions. In some situations, it can be correct to fold KK even if your opponent will have AA only 45% of the time, since you might be more of an underdog against AA than you are a favorite over AK, and you might not be getting good odds. In other situations, you are getting good odds, and you might need to think your opponent has aces 80% of the time to fold.

      -- The chance that an opponent is dealt AA when you have KK is small. But so is the chance that someone raises from early position and then 4-bets over your raise. At that point, you need to be looking at conditional probabilities, not throwing away the information you have from the actions.

      -- One problem with anecdotal evidence is that the hands people post are biased. If you are worried about your KK, and get all-in anyway, are you more likely to post about it if you run into QQ than if you confirm your fears and find AA? What you can do is look at your own database. Look at the hands where players got all-in preflop for 80 bb+, either by pushing or calling, and see the types of hands players have. Of course you should pay attention to whether the players are maniacs from the HUD stats, and their positions.

      -- Calling and playing a pot can be an alternative to getting all-in preflop. There are some players who 3-bet so tightly over large samples that I play KK for set value. (Be careful that calling 3-bets for set value with low pocket pairs is a common leak when you don't know your opponent has AA.)

      -- Being willing to fold KK preflop is not necessarily an exploitable weakness. If AA makes up a significant portion of your range, and you will not fold AA preflop, then trying to push you off of KK may pay off your AA hands more than it takes from your KK. You should be much more worried about whether you are folding your entire range postflop in an exploitable fashion than about getting exploited if you might fold KK preflop.

      My conclusions have been that it is definitely correct to fold KK preflop in some situations, including some with 100 BB stacks and no previous reads on the opponent. If you can't fold KK preflop in a live game with deep (3000 BB) stacks, you have a big leak, one which some people exploit with massive overbets in some situations where players might have kings. However, in the vast majority of situations in online shorthanded play with stacks under 150 BB and 1 or 2 opponents raising, you should not fold KK preflop. Players at lower stakes are too wild and overvalue hands like JJ or even JTs, or too aggressive and have wider initial raising ranges in higher stakes games to determine that KK is behind. If you worry too much about AA you will miss value or fail to protect your hand. In most situations, you need a strong read to consider folding KK preflop. If you are relatively new to poker, just don't fold KK preflop, but know that it is a play that can be right.
      Damn, this is a great post. There should be a sticky which gathers these strategy posts somewhere so they don't get lost.