Flatting 3bets with AKo OOP?

    • Th334
      Th334
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.11.2012 Posts: 971
      Hi guys

      What do you do when you open your AKo early and get 3betted by an unknown in a late position? I tend to 4bet/call, because I don't like playing AKo OOP, it's basically fit/fold. However, I've been thinking: I'm ahead of nothing in these spots! An unknown would never 3bet/shove AQ against me, and I'm crushed by everything else, even 22. So maybe flatting AKo even OOP is a better alternative?

      Cheers!
  • 19 replies
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,901
      Hi, Th334,
      Versus an unknown, do you assume he has some Bluff 3Bets in his range?

      If so, this is a possible 3Bet range:

             Equity     Win     Tie
      MP2    56.09%  47.01%   9.08% { AKo }
      BU     43.91%  34.83%   9.08% { QQ+, AKs, 87s, 76s, 65s, AQo+, KQo }


      Of that range, the AQo, KQo and the suited connectors would likely be 3Bet/Fold.
      So 3Bet/Call would be something like:

             Equity     Win     Tie
      MP2    46.96%  18.23%  28.73% { AKo }
      BU     53.04%  24.30%  28.73% { QQ, AKs, AKo }


      and the 3Bet/5Bet would be something like:

             Equity     Win     Tie
      MP2    18.47%  17.93%   0.54% { AKo }
      BU     81.53%  80.98%   0.54% { KK+ }


      First off, thanks for the question: I just spotted a leak of my own!

      Do you have Equilab?

      If not, it is highly recommended for stuff like this. If you think I'm wrong about the typical ranges, by all means use whatever you think as proper.

      From the above, assuming "typical" ranges, it appears on the surface that calling the 3Bet is still +EV, but 4Betting might be overplaying it a bit.

      If villain is unknown, so are you.

      Other considerations:
      Stack sizes, who is in the blinds, game type.

      Best of luck,
      --VS
    • DrDunne
      DrDunne
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.12.2010 Posts: 3,338
      4betting AK is generally profitable because of the fold equity you get. the reason why you can't 4bet/fold with it in most cases is because once you 4bet you get the odds to call against QQ+ and AK. if you don't think that's their range, you can't 4bet/fold because you can do that with worse hands, you can't fold to a 3bet because thats just insanely nitty, so your only option is call 3bet OOP.

      4bet/calling isn't about needing to get it in vs AQ that you dominate, it's about getting the odds to call. you have to call ~78bb to win a pot of ~122, i.e. your pot odds are ~39%. your equity vs QQ+ and AK is just a bit more than 39. if you factor in the FE you gain when you 4bet and he folds then it is the best play.
    • Th334
      Th334
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.11.2012 Posts: 971
      Originally posted by DrDunne
      4betting AK is generally profitable because of the fold equity you get. the reason why you can't 4bet/fold with it in most cases is because once you 4bet you get the odds to call against QQ+ and AK. if you don't think that's their range, you can't 4bet/fold because you can do that with worse hands, you can't fold to a 3bet because thats just insanely nitty, so your only option is call 3bet OOP.

      4bet/calling isn't about needing to get it in vs AQ that you dominate, it's about getting the odds to call. you have to call ~78bb to win a pot of ~122, i.e. your pot odds are ~39%. your equity vs QQ+ and AK is just a bit more than 39. if you factor in the FE you gain when you 4bet and he folds then it is the best play.
      Very nicely put, thanks! The point of confusion, at least for me, was that even though we get a marginally profitable call after we 4bet, without good FE (and good FE only comes from loose 3betters who are willing to continue only with their premium hands) the 4bet is -EV in the first place, and the whole line becomes -EV. Is that roundabout what you were saying too?
    • DrDunne
      DrDunne
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.12.2010 Posts: 3,338
      I might be rly wrong about this, but i'll give it a go - if anyone sees this as wrong please correct me because maths is not my native language.

      so from what i understand, the EV of 4betting (and calling a shove) with AK is as follows:

      EV(4bet) = P(fold)*(amount_won) + (P(jams) * EV | jams)

      so first we find EV | jams (the EV, given that villain jams), which is when we call against his jamming range.

      if we open in CO to 3bb, BU 3bets to 9bb and we 4bet to 22.5bb, and villain 3bets 5% in total, jamming with QQ+ and AK (i.e. 2.6%), thus folding 48% of his 3betting range to our 4bet.

      EV | jams = (P(win) * (amount_won)) - (P(lose) * (amount_lost))
      EV | jams = (0.395 * 124) - (0.605 * 77.5)
      EV | jams = 2.0925


      so...
      EV(4betting) = 0.48 * 13.5 + (0.52 * 2.0925)
      EV(4betting) = 7.5681

      so by 4betting with AK you expect to make ~7.6bb each time against someone with that range.

      against someone with no folds to our 4bet, if his range is QQ+ and AK, our EV is...

      EV(4bet&call) = (0.395 * 124) - (0.605 * 77.5)
      EV(4bet&call) = 2.0925

      so we expect to make roughly 2.1bb each time against someone with a 3betting range of 2.6% and no FE with our 4bet. just because that's +EV, it doesn't mean calling the 3bet OOP isn't more +EV, for example.

      i really hope i did this correctly - it looks about right. so yeah, it's a marginally profitable call after we 4bet because we only ever have 39.5% equity in the hand, but it is still +EV. would be pretty damn difficult to calculate the EV of calling and playing OOP, but it is never gonna be a bad play to play this way.
    • jackwilder077
      jackwilder077
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.09.2013 Posts: 1,124
      at the low stakes ..always call AK/QQ from EP , 4bet as a bluff/fold hands like KQ/AQ
      cause not every body is stacking vs EP with QQ+/AK ...many regs at low stakes their staking range vs EP are so nitty KK+ ,

      @drdunne : given your math it is break-even to call the shove ...but the reality it is a huge loosing play cause of the high rake at the micro stakes...so better to call OOP
    • DrDunne
      DrDunne
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.12.2010 Posts: 3,338
      Originally posted by jackwilder077
      at the low stakes ..always call AK/QQ from EP , 4bet as a bluff/fold hands like KQ/AQ
      cause not every body is stacking vs EP with QQ+/AK ...many regs at low stakes their staking range vs EP are so nitty KK+ ,

      @drdunne : given your math it is break-even to call the shove ...but the reality it is a huge loosing play cause of the high rake at the micro stakes...so better to call OOP
      actually it is +EV to call the shove, but that's a very good point regarding rake, definitely brings it down towards breakeven but to say it makes it a huge losing play i don't think is so true, of course it has an effect but it won't be that much.

      i agree with your approach from EP - i can't speak for anything but microstakes, but im pretty much never going broke with AK/QQ from EP without some sort of info, which doesn't happen often. so yeah, calling OOP is the only thing left to do.
    • Th334
      Th334
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.11.2012 Posts: 971
      Originally posted by DrDunne
      I might be rly wrong about this, but i'll give it a go...
      Okay, I wanted to double-check and went through it myself :D I got different pfold(=61%), because you probably didn't consider card removal (we hold an A and a K) and/or gave him a different 5% range, but in the end I got +1.966bb as well.

      Now, this might seem like a +EV situation, but if you consider that the pot is 201.5bb, then it's safe to assume that the poker room will take like 8bb of rake, and you get an EV of 1.966-0.39*8=-1.154bb. Add on top the inaccuracy of your estimate of the villains range, huge variance, and potential tilt induction, it's clearly a situation that won't win you a lot of money :)

      -Th334
    • DrDunne
      DrDunne
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.12.2010 Posts: 3,338
      Originally posted by Th334
      Now, this might seem like a +EV situation, but if you consider that the pot is 201.5bb, then it's safe to assume that the poker room will take like 8bb of rake, and you get an EV of 1.966-0.39*8=-1.154bb. Add on top the inaccuracy of your estimate of the villains range, huge variance, and potential tilt induction, it's clearly a situation that won't win you a lot of money :)

      -Th334
      true we have to consider rake, but there is more to it than what you said. i'm not sure what you mean by my inaccuracy of villain's range - if he only 3bets with 2.6% and never folds to our 4bet then we still have a +EV 4bet/call, and that's a pretty bad range to be against, and i was just using a ~5% 3betting range.

      what i mean to say is that while this is a very marginal spot for sure, if you call OOP what will happen when you miss ~67% of the time? you are now OOP and have to make some very expensive decisions which may often be arguably more -EV than getting it in pre when accounting for rake. on top of this, you will get bluffed out, sucked out on and simply make incorrect calls a lot of the time, so i really don't buy the argument that getting it in pre is any more tilting than the alternatives. there's nothing more tilting than not knowing whether you made the right play... getting it in with AK vs AA sucks of course, but it's all part of the game.

      btw i'm not saying we should always get it in preflop, but think about it... if your range for 4bet/calling is only QQ+ (KK+? since QQ has very similar equity...) then you will have people adjusting (let's not say ppl "at these stakes" don't know anything), for example people will call your 4bets, jam over you quite wide and maybe even create a 5bet-bluffing range vs you which is really bad news. you want AK in your stackoff range a lot of the time. otherwise you are way too weighted towards bluffs, and if you don't 4bet bluff then the adjustment is easy enough.

      this is all imo, but i'm never folding it pre when i'm CO--BB. as long as EP and MP are out of the picture i'm never folding it pre unless i have strong reads. i don't think it's as easy as saying call pre to reduce variance and tilt, because when you call OOP you have to get quite sticky. you can't call OOP and play fit/fold.

      finally, you should really question the logic behind reducing variance. if you are forced to make a certain play in order to avoid tilt, don't avoid the play - work on your mental game. so what if it's high variance? high variance isn't just a bad thing; people seem to have this idea that variance is terrible... what about having major upswings?
    • Th334
      Th334
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.11.2012 Posts: 971
      Originally posted by DrDunne
      i'm not sure what you mean by my inaccuracy of villain's range - if he only 3bets with 2.6% and never folds to our 4bet then we still have a +EV 4bet/call
      Now I don't trust this :D How can we make money by going broke against better hands that never fold? Let me have a look.

      Betting sequence: 0.5 + 1 + 3 + 9 + 97 + 91

      EQ=39%

      EV=0.39*104.5-0.61*97=40.755-59.17=-14.415bb

      I'm not sure how you got that it's +EV :)
    • DrDunne
      DrDunne
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.12.2010 Posts: 3,338
      ok so you have a different betting sequence i guess. betting sequence: blinds (1.5bb), open raise (3bb), 3bet (9bb), 4bet (22.5-3), jam (100bb-9bb), call (100bb-22.5). so when villain 3bets us, we 4bet to 22.5bb and then he jams, leaving us with the option of calling the remaining 77.5bb.

      decision is whether or not we can profitably call the 4bet. just for a feel, our pot odds = 77.5 / (124 + 77.5) = 38.5% required equity. with AK vs QQ+ and AK we have 39.56% equity.

      EV = (0.39 * 201.5)-77.5 = +1.085.
    • Th334
      Th334
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.11.2012 Posts: 971
      Originally posted by DrDunne
      ok so you have a different betting sequence i guess. betting sequence: blinds (1.5bb), open raise (3bb), 3bet (9bb), 4bet (22.5-3), jam (100bb-9bb), call (100bb-22.5). so when villain 3bets us, we 4bet to 22.5bb and then he jams, leaving us with the option of calling the remaining 77.5bb.

      decision is whether or not we can profitably call the 4bet. just for a feel, our pot odds = 77.5 / (124 + 77.5) = 38.5% required equity. with AK vs QQ+ and AK we have 39.56% equity.

      EV = (0.39 * 201.5)-77.5 = +1.085.
      No-no, the question is not whether or not we can call after we 4bet and get 5betted. We can do that! What we cannot do is to 4bet in the first place :) It's -EV.

      Look, if you know that you always go broke after your 4bet and his 5bet, and that he always will 5bet (because his 3bet range is QQ+ and AK), then it is equivalent to going all-in straight away.

      Blinds + 3bb (bet) + 9bb (3bet) + 22.5bb (4bet) + 91bb (5bet-jam) + 77.5bb (call) is identical to just blinds + bet + 3bet + 4bet-jam + call. You both go all-in anyway! 100% of the time! The order doesn't matter! If you know beforehand that you will end up going all-in anyway, it doesn't matter in how many steps you do it. 4bet/call is only different from 4bet-jam if you can play 4bet/fold. If you never fold, you might as well 4bet-jam, makes no difference.

      And, as I said, it makes sense! If you know that you're stacking against QQ+ and AK even before 4betting, of course it's -EV! You have zero fold equity, and you're behind in showdown equity: a 4bet here is clearly -EV. Namely, -14.4 bb every time you 4bet/call a guy who 3bets and goes broke only with QQ+ and AK.

      Hope it makes sense :)
    • DrDunne
      DrDunne
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.12.2010 Posts: 3,338
      i'm sure it does make a difference actually.

      first off, as you're saying then fine the calculation is:
      EV=0.39 * 104.5 - 0.61 * 97

      however, if you don't just 4bet-jam for 97bb and instead make it 22.5 & then call the jam for example, then the calculation is:
      EV = 0.395 * 124 - 0.605 * 77.5.

      it does make a difference, because in the second case your 22.5bb 4bet is now dead money to the pot, so it is included in the amount that you win as opposed to if you just 4betjam, where only your initial 3bb open raise is deadmoney to the pot.
    • Th334
      Th334
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.11.2012 Posts: 971
      Originally posted by DrDunne
      i'm sure it does make a difference actually.

      first off, as you're saying then fine the calculation is:
      EV=0.39 * 104.5 - 0.61 * 97

      however, if you don't just 4bet-jam for 97bb and instead make it 22.5 & then call the jam for example, then the calculation is:
      EV = 0.395 * 124 - 0.605 * 77.5.

      it does make a difference, because in the second case your 22.5bb 4bet is now dead money to the pot, so it is included in the amount that you win as opposed to if you just 4betjam, where only your initial 3bb open raise is deadmoney to the pot.
      Yes, I perfectly understands how it makes a mathematical difference, but you make an error of logic by excluding the information that you gii anyway :) I don't know how else to explain it ...

      Okay, I think I know. I don't really know you, but I think I've heard your name somewhere around, and I assume you're a very good poker player, right (I'm not)? Now look, why do you make a 4bet? There're only two main reasons to make a bet, any bet: value and bluff. Now let's think about it, is it for value, to get money into the pot against weaker? No! There's nothing weaker in the opponents range! Then is it a bluff, to make stronger fold? No it's not, because we agreed that the opponent never folds his QQ+ and AK. Then we can agree that there is no reason to make this bet, if it's neither value nor bluff, right?

      This is basically how fundamental poker principles of a bet tell us that it's -EV. And if your math shows that it's +EV, then you just use it inappropriately, it can't be the other way round :) You can't invent a new reason to bet: because we get the pot odds for a subsequent raise :D It's not a reason to bet.

      It's like saying: I punched that man because I knew that he gonna punch me back, and I'm strong enough to defend myself :D And while speaking to the police officer you omit the fact that you punched him first, and just focus on how you were defending yourself. But the officer will ask,"Okay, but why did you punch him in the first place?!"
    • DrDunne
      DrDunne
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.12.2010 Posts: 3,338
      well the way i've learned it, it's an error in logic to assume poker is as simple as basic valuebets and bluffbets. instead EV works on a continuum; the less equity you have in a certain play, the closer it becomes to a bluffbet and the more equity you have the closer it becomes to a value bet. the only reason why ppl ask you if it's for value or as a bluff is because it is easiest to comparmentalise the decision in that way. in fact there is a very obvious grey area.

      you always have FE, and you always have pot equity and you always profit from some combination of the two. this is what forms your overall EV of a play.

      i wasn't saying we bet in order to give ourselves pot odds. AK just forms part of my 4betting range. don't think i have a 4bet-jam range because villain can play pretty well against that.

      i wont advertise the site, but there is a cool video series on another training site called running the streets which goes into this quite well and definitely made me reconsider my approach with the whole value/bluff decision thing.
    • Th334
      Th334
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.11.2012 Posts: 971
      Yeah, that's right. I'm not saying you play poker wrong, I'm just saying you are solving this particular imaginary mathematical problem wrong :) One final example, hope it's better that the last ones:

      Okay, so you think the number of betting steps changes the EV? Now imagine that you and the villain have both 500 bb stacks, and, just like the worst of the fish, you just minraise each other all the way to all-in: 2-4-8-16-32-64-128-256-500(all-in)-500(all-in). At the very last step, you need to call 244 to with the pot of 500+256=756! So you need 244/1000=24.4% equity to make profit! Does it make any sense? No! Even 72s has 24.4% equity!

      Here's the ultimate question you need to answer: if you had 72s and the villain showed you AKs and promissed to play this raising game with you (2-4-8-) , would you agree? If not, why wouldn't you, I showed you that you only need 24.4% equity to make profit there.

      The answer is that we know that we're going all-in from the very beginning, and although the final call at the very last step would be +EV, but the rest of the ladder would be totally -EV, and that's why you shouldn't agree to stack with 72s against AKs.

      If it still doesn't make any sense, then I officially give up all my aspirations to become a lecturer and teach other people: apparently I'm hopeless :D
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,901
      Originally posted by Th334
      No-no, the question is not whether or not we can call after we 4bet and get 5betted. We can do that! What we cannot do is to 4bet in the first place :) It's -EV.

      Look, if you know that you always go broke after your 4bet and his 5bet, and that he always will 5bet (because his 3bet range is QQ+ and AK), then it is equivalent to going all-in straight away.

      Blinds + 3bb (bet) + 9bb (3bet) + 22.5bb (4bet) + 91bb (5bet-jam) + 77.5bb (call) is identical to just blinds + bet + 3bet + 4bet-jam + call. You both go all-in anyway! 100% of the time! The order doesn't matter! If you know beforehand that you will end up going all-in anyway, it doesn't matter in how many steps you do it. 4bet/call is only different from 4bet-jam if you can play 4bet/fold. If you never fold, you might as well 4bet-jam, makes no difference.

      And, as I said, it makes sense! If you know that you're stacking against QQ+ and AK even before 4betting, of course it's -EV! You have zero fold equity, and you're behind in showdown equity: a 4bet here is clearly -EV. Namely, -14.4 bb every time you 4bet/call a guy who 3bets and goes broke only with QQ+ and AK.

      Hope it makes sense :)
      Well, yes it does make sense.
      In the OP you said you play 4Bet/Call with AKo vs a 3Bet from the BU or CO, and were questioning whether this was +EV

      Stakes and format are not mentioned, but all along I've been assuming that we're talking about NL10+ 6Max -- is that correct?

      In that case, have a look at the following article from the gameplan series:
      http://www.pokerstrategy.com/strategy/bss/2253/1/
      In that article, you can see that AKo is marked as 4Bet/Call whereas AKs is just call.
      AQo is 4Bet/Fold

      This is by the principle of "4Bet the top of your folding range" This prevents you from being too obvious when you 4Bet. So 4Betting AKo may not be +EV in this one hand but it helps to make your overall game +EV by mixing up your strategies.

      Also, in my first reply in this thread, I asked, "does he have bluffs in his range?"
      If you play too straightforward, he soon will have a LOT of bluffs in his range.

      In a very close situation as this, you need to have at least 3 potential lines:
        vs unknown
        vs tight players
        vs loose players.
      You also need to consider their post flop play -- wtsd, fold-to-cBet and post-flop aggression.

      Are you going to be able to get this pot post-flop if you miss on the flop?

      Finally, whenever I am torn between a fold, call or raise, I use the following:
      If my hole cards are both "black" I take the loosest option (raise)
      If my hole cards are both "red" I take the nittiest (fold)
      If my hole cards are mixed I take what's left (call)
      So of twelve combos, two are raise, two are fold and 8 are call.

      Not mentioned but also important is "How big is the effective stack?"
      You have a lot more scope for post flop play vs deeper stacks.

      Best of luck,
      --VS
    • DrDunne
      DrDunne
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.12.2010 Posts: 3,338
      sure it definitely makes sense. just we're rarely up against someone who only 3bets QQ+ and AK and doesn't fold, so AK is alright because of the FE. it's good to have it in your 4bet range because it blocks the nuts and has good equity against the typical stack off range. this is probably as much as i'm capable of going into it now since as i mentioned before i've never been good at maths.

      i can't argue with your 72 example at all, but if you aren't 4bet/calling with AK then you only do it with about 0.9% of hands which means either you are just gonna get owned every time you open and face a 3bet, or your 4betting range is gonna be so full of crap you will get owned in that way.

      if you think someone is 3betting with QQ+ and AK then fine you can probably just call the 3bet and play postflop. but if you think they have some bluffs in there then it is fine to 4bet/call AK. if you can call OOP and know that it is greater EV than 4bet/calling then do it.
    • Tomaloc
      Tomaloc
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.01.2011 Posts: 6,858
      if you're suuuure that someone's 3betting range is that tight you can even just fold.
      i mean, win small pots lose big ones, right? :f_biggrin:
    • Th334
      Th334
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.11.2012 Posts: 971
      Originally posted by Tomaloc
      if you're suuuure that someone's 3betting range is that tight you can even just fold.
      That was exactly the point I was trying to make the entire yesterday! :D

      Yes, I agree, from all the hands you can bluff 4bet with, AK is by far the best. It has decent equity against any hand in case we have to go all-in, and it blocks both aces and kings. However, it absolutely relies on FE, so I would just fold AK against someone who 3bets 3%.

      If he 3bets looser, 4betting AK makes sense, but then we have an important decision to make: at NL5 at least, I don't know if anybody 5bets light. I have a feeling that it's only QQ+ and AK, sometimes even QQ+, or even KK+. For example me! I 3bet all sorts of rubbish that I can't call with, but I obviously don't continue with 56s after I get a 4bet. We have seen that 4bet/calling against QQ+ and AK is at best break even, and -EV if you consider the rake, so maybe a default action against an opponent who we haven't seen 5betting much is to 4bet/fold?

      But then I actually think that flatting against someone who 3bets loosely is okay too, because we often will be ahead, even though without position. What do you think?