BSS NL10 - AK/QQ when facing a 3 bet pre flop

    • lessthanthreee
      lessthanthreee
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.06.2009 Posts: 16,300
      hey guys.

      recently ive been struggling on how to play AK and QQ pre flop when facing a 3-bet.

      I find that the 3-bet range on NL10 can either be so wide or so tight that its tough to ever stack off pre flop with AK/QQ. What i mean is sometimes a typical TAG will 3 bet me from mid pos and then show down AJs .. it seems very tough for me to accurately find a range from NL10 players in general on 3 bets pre flop.

      ive been trying to come up with a way to play these hands (because folding pre flop is pretty much out of the question for me and im sure its -EV)

      Im starting to think i should cold call and stack off AK to a dry A high flop (only AA beats me here). and stack off QQ to a low flop (with only AA,KK beating me).

      Can anyone share any advice for how i should play these hands at NL10???

      Thanks!
  • 12 replies
    • JuiceQuadre
      JuiceQuadre
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      Joined: 05.10.2008 Posts: 2,688
      I believe every preflop situation with QQ and AK is very situation/opponent dependant.
      But since i also play NL10 i would as well appreciate some general move against unknown =)
    • gavinonymous
      gavinonymous
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      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      I think it's +EV to play no matter what. I think I'd rather have my QQ and AK get 3 bet more often. Personally I call more often against unknown in position, especially since I've been 3bet with A5s, AJo, AQo, KJo, etc.. in all those situations. Haven't run into AA or KK yet.

      It could be that ppl at NL10 try to be tricky or just have no idea when they are facing a raise and have AA or KK and just flat call instead of 4betting.

      In the last 12k tracked hands I was 3bet preflop with AK or QQ exactly 7 times at NL10 SH. I'm up 380BB. There's good silver articles how to play before the flop that talk about QQ a fair bit, and say AK is pretty much the same. I also recommend the silver video on 3betting.
    • Volrath89
      Volrath89
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      Joined: 23.07.2008 Posts: 2,171
      Im starting to think i should cold call and stack off AK to a dry A high flop (only AA beats me here). and stack off QQ to a low flop (with only AA,KK beating me).


      You should never cold call a 3bet, unless you have enough (or close to, you can aply a call18, call17 rule here) implied odds to call for set value. Its always a fold or raise spot!

      The reasons are actually in your statement, because the "ideal" cases you expose don't really occur very often in the real life. Your opponent usually won't stack off on an A high flop if he is not holding the Ace himself, and on a low flop if your opponent does show a lot of interest of going all in, I think the one who is stacking off is not him...


      Whether to fold or raise of course depends on a lot of factors, stats help a lot, but the standard against unknown players on FR NL10 (I assume we are talking about FR, at SH QQ/AK are in most cases 4bet/push hands preflop) should be folding, as weak as it sounds. By not folding we are losing big pots postflop, and only winning relatively small ones.

      I also don't expect people on NL10 to be 3beting light, I don't know in what room you are playing, but at least on almost 70k hands I played on NL10 FR last month at stars I can tell you most of 3bets are value 3bets: QQ+, AK and against that range you can find an easy preflop fold with QQ,AK.
    • Jaissica
      Jaissica
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      Joined: 10.02.2009 Posts: 1,385
      <3, you seem to be looking for a "one size fits all" playbook for these hands.

      If you are, its a pretty bad idea.

      You really need to base the decision based on the situation and the read of the opponent. Is the villain a complete nit? Then you can fold AK and call QQ based on set odds - because the villain is only 3betting AA, sometimes KK.

      Is the villain a maniac? 4bet-shove. Is the villain a standard tag? If so, could they be squeezing? Aggressively defending their blind? Tilting? Bored?

      So many things change the dynamic.

      Does the villain cbet flop often (80%+) or little (<50%)? If its little, that makes it easy. Call and fold if the villain bets. In fact against someone with a cbet flop% less than 50 you can call any 2 from position and just steal the pot every time he misses the flop...

      Anyway, my point is the last thing you want to do is preformulate a "standard" line to take with AKo or QQ. Sometimes youll want to just-call, sometimes 4bet, sometimes fold faster than you can say "oh hi nit with aces".
    • gavinonymous
      gavinonymous
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      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      I'm playing NL10 SH it's much looser 3 betting there since there's a lot more apparent stealing going on, people raising with worse hands etc.. OP didn't say whether he was playing SH, and what kind of stacks. FR you get short stackerss to deal with on top of it all.
    • lessthanthreee
      lessthanthreee
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      Joined: 30.06.2009 Posts: 16,300
      sorry guys, im playing NL10 FR on FT

      i appreciate all ur comments! i understand its mostly situational dependent and I was just wondering if any other NL10 players had similar thoughts to me about the hands.

      I guess ill have to try get some better reads on my opponents so i know what to do. I just hate 4 bet/shoving pre flop with AK / QQ ... but that might just be my recent downswing talking :)

      thanks for your advice! ill try update this thread on my findings after some exploring
    • lessthanthreee
      lessthanthreee
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      Joined: 30.06.2009 Posts: 16,300
      this is an example of a situation that happened a few days ago (before writing this thread)

      Full Tilt No-Limit Hold'em, $0.10 BB (9 handed) - Full-Tilt Converter Tool from FlopTurnRiver.com

      MP1 ($15.85)
      Hero (MP2) ($11.95)
      MP3 ($4)
      CO ($1.30)
      Button ($10.02)
      SB ($2.60)
      BB ($10.45)
      UTG ($11.18)
      UTG+1 ($11.92)

      Preflop: Hero is MP2 with K, A
      1 fold, UTG+1 bets $0.40, 1 fold, Hero raises to $1.20, 5 folds, UTG+1 raises to $3.50, Hero raises to $11.95 (All-In), UTG+1 calls $8.42 (All-In)

      Flop: ($23.99) 9, 9, 3 (2 players, 2 all-in)

      Turn: ($23.99) 7 (2 players, 2 all-in)

      River: ($23.99) 10 (2 players, 2 all-in)

      Total pot: $23.99 | Rake: $1.59

      he had TT


      will shoving AK pre flop exploit such a wide range in the long run.... this is why im confused as to whether i should cold call and get value out of weak aces and fold to a bad board rather than risking so much by 4 betting pre flop. seeing that 99% of fish will just stack off.
    • fun101rockets
      fun101rockets
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      Joined: 01.06.2008 Posts: 1,162
      i agree either fold or shove pf although i prefer folding
    • SPeedFANat1c
      SPeedFANat1c
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      Joined: 04.01.2009 Posts: 5,150
      I only go allin with AK preflop if I have a read on the opponent, because there is much hands that beat AK - even 22 beats it preflop. With QQ I go allin more often than with AK. (I play NL2 and NL4). And I think I win more from post flop play than from coinflips. I remember once I went allin with JJ because stats showed me that opponent is very loose. And he had QQ. All my money won in that sesion with postflop play was thrown away. So even if the opponent is loose it doesn't mean you can disrespect his 3bet (thats probably clear for many experienced players :) )
    • Varune
      Varune
      Gold
      Joined: 24.04.2009 Posts: 5,111
      I believe pushing with AK preflop is -EV on the longrun.
      Because you're often against a pocket pair, then u'r on the bottom side of the coin flip(~46 against ~54). or even against AA or KK you're even further behind.

      but perhaps fold-equity could make it up, but i dont think ppl would fold that quick after 3betting. defending blinds is another story ofc.
    • Volrath89
      Volrath89
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      Joined: 23.07.2008 Posts: 2,171
      Originally posted by Varune
      I believe pushing with AK preflop is -EV on the longrun.
      Because you're often against a pocket pair, then u'r on the bottom side of the coin flip(~46 against ~54). or even against AA or KK you're even further behind.

      but perhaps fold-equity could make it up, but i dont think ppl would fold that quick after 3betting. defending blinds is another story ofc.
      It's usually +EV in SH, -EV in FR (ofc in non-steal situations).

      Look at some EV calculations, where we raise 4BB, our opponent 3bets 12BB, and we 4bet with the intention of going all in preflop:

      EV ecuation for a 4bet/push preflop:

      EV = FoldEquity*pot + (1-FoldEquity)*( (Equity vs Villain's AI range * total pot) - cost )

      Where:

      FoldEquity = 1 - (Villain's All in range / Villain's 3bet range)
      Pot = Our open raise (4 BB) + Villain's 3bet (12 BB) + Dead $ from the blinds (1.5 BB) = 17.5 BB
      Total pot = Our stacks (100 BB X 2) + Dead $ from the blinds (1.5 BB) = 201.5 BB
      Cost of a 4bet/push = 96 BB




      - Case 1 (I think the average value 3bet and AI ranges in SH):

      3bet% = 5% (TT+, AQ+)
      AI% = 2.6% (QQ+,AK)
      Fold Equity = 1 - ( 2.6 / 5 ) = 48%
      Equity of AK vs AI range = 40%

      EV = 0.48 * 17.5 BB + 0.52 * ( (0.4*201.5 BB) - 96BB )
      EV = +0.4 BB

      - Case 2 (The average 3bet value bet and a nit AI range):

      3bet% = 5% (TT+, AQ+)
      AI% = 1% (KK+)
      Fold Equity = 1 - ( 1 / 5 ) = 80%
      Equity of AK vs AI range = 20%

      EV = 0.80 * 17.5 BB + 0.20 * ( (0.20*201.5 BB) - 96BB )
      EV = +2.9 BB
      (Note a 4bet/fold would be a better line against a nit AI range)

      - Case 3 (I think the average value 3bet and AI ranges in FR):

      3bet% = 2.6% (QQ+, AK)
      AI% = 1% (KK+)
      Fold Equity = 1 - ( 1 / 2.6 ) = 61%
      Equity of AK vs AI range = 20%

      EV = 0.61 * 17.5 BB + 0.39 * ( (0.20*201.5 BB) - 96BB )
      EV = -11 BB


      That's why its usually OK to shove AK preflop in SH, while in FR its better to fold it. You can do the same calculations with QQ, the results are actually the same since the equity of QQ against those ranges is almost exactly the same as the equity of AK.
    • lessthanthreee
      lessthanthreee
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      Joined: 30.06.2009 Posts: 16,300
      thanks a lot for the calculations volrath.

      this has really helped me with my thinking on these hands.

      im starting to lose my attachment to these hands quickly :P