How profitable is AA really?

    • Werdna
      Werdna
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.07.2007 Posts: 67
      After a frustrating session I was thinking about how profitable AA really is when playing the SSS.

      I took my last 6 AA hands ( I know it's not enough for statistical purposes, just didn't want to go through too many files) and checked how many I won etc.

      From those 6 hands I won 3 and lost 3 now I know over the long run I will definately win more hands holding AA than losing them, however there is another aspect to them being profitable. I lost a lot more money than I won.

      Most of the time when one raises with AA everyone else will fold, just the nature of the game that a lot of the time hardly anyone has anything worth calling/raising so you usually simply win the blinds or so. However pretty much every hand you play and lose with AA you are going be all-in meaning that if you lose with AA you will lose a lot more than what you would win as you don't pick up big pots usually.

      So my question is, just how profitable is AA while playing the SSS really?
  • 12 replies
    • Puschkin81
      Puschkin81
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.04.2006 Posts: 4,786
      Hi Werdna!

      AA is the best starting hand in Texas Hold'em. In my PokerTracker Database (~150,000 hands) AA is the most profitable hand. I also had sessions where I lost 6 times with aces in a row. Don't worry. You will win in the long run. It's frustrating in that one single session, but you will get paid off in the future. It does not matter if you play SSS or BSS: Aces are the best starting hand.
      Maybe it helps if you post some sample hands and we find some "mistakes"?!

      Good luck at the tables!
      Puschkin81
    • Werdna
      Werdna
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.07.2007 Posts: 67
      0.05/0.10 No-Limit Hold'em (10 handed)
      Hand recorder used for this poker hand: Texas Grabem 1.8 by www.pokerstrategy.cc.

      Preflop: Hero is MP3 with A:spade: , A:heart:
      5 folds, Hero raises to $0.40, CO folds, BU calls $0.40, 2 folds.

      Flop: ($0.95) Q:diamond: , 6:club: , 4:diamond: (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.90, BU raises to $1.80, Hero raises to $1.53 (All-In).

      Turn: ($4.28) 7:club:
      River: ($4.28) K:heart:


      Final Pot: $4.28


      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



      0.05/0.10 No-Limit Hold'em (10 handed)
      Hand recorder used for this poker hand: Texas Grabem 1.8 by www.pokerstrategy.cc.

      Preflop: Hero is MP2 with A:club: , A:heart:
      4 folds, Hero raises to $0.40, MP3 folds, CO raises to $1.20, 3 folds, Hero calls $0.80.

      Flop: ($2.55) 7:spade: , 5:diamond: , Q:club: (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.63 (All-In), CO calls $0.63.

      Turn: ($3.81) 9:diamond:
      River: ($3.81) 7:diamond:


      Final Pot: $3.81





      These two hands I had within 5 mins of each other :D
      Should I have maybe folded on the flop? Or maybe raised instead of called pre-flop (second hand)?
    • Puschkin81
      Puschkin81
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.04.2006 Posts: 4,786
      Hand 1 is ok, but in Hand 2 you definitely go all-in. You have the nuts: get the money in :D

      And again: It's normal that you lose with aces even 6 times in a row. I know that it's hard, but you will win in the long run!

      Good luck at the tables!
      Puschkin81
    • MMa7
      MMa7
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.02.2007 Posts: 75
      As Puschkin already said, AA is the most profitable hand in the long run for most players.

      As it goes for those two hands are ok, except that you could as well push the second one preflop. Bare in mind that he probably won't fold for 0.6$ more, so get it in when you sure have the best of it.

      Btw, what about the other ones?
    • aciddrop
      aciddrop
      Bronze
      Joined: 08.10.2006 Posts: 1,519
      If you lost these pots, instead of feeling bad about it, work out how much money your bets won, and smile to yourself. Remember, if this guy played these hands, he always plays these hands, and he most often loses.

      Definitely all in preflop in the second case.
    • howard182
      howard182
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.10.2006 Posts: 416
      95k hands is a fairly long run, no? KK is marginally more profitable in NLHE at 4.35 bb/hand vs AA at 4.31/hand for me :) They're both miles ahead of anything else though, and are excellent hands. Don't doubt it.
    • Werdna
      Werdna
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.07.2007 Posts: 67
      Originally posted by MMa7
      As Puschkin already said, AA is the most profitable hand in the long run for most players.

      As it goes for those two hands are ok, except that you could as well push the second one preflop. Bare in mind that he probably won't fold for 0.6$ more, so get it in when you sure have the best of it.

      Btw, what about the other ones?

      There was another I lost similiar, think it was a flush and the three I won I won all pre-flop which made me think whether AA is really that profitable.

      But reading the comments I guess AA would have to be the most profitable as weaker hands are going to win their share of no-call pots and also lose more big pots.
    • Werdna
      Werdna
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.07.2007 Posts: 67
      Originally posted by aciddrop
      If you lost these pots, instead of feeling bad about it, work out how much money your bets won, and smile to yourself. Remember, if this guy played these hands, he always plays these hands, and he most often loses.

      Definitely all in preflop in the second case.

      Well that's what got me thinking ;-)

      The three hands I won got me about 3 rounds of blinds with a couple of BB-calls :D
    • sismis
      sismis
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.10.2006 Posts: 352
      with BS you gotta be careful with it eventhough its hard sometimes to fold it. but SS just throw the money in pot without any regrets.
    • aciddrop
      aciddrop
      Bronze
      Joined: 08.10.2006 Posts: 1,519
      Werdna, when I said work out how much money your bets won, I wasn't referring to the pots you won, I was referring to these hands you posted, which were obviously pots you lost.

      Take the second hand you posted. In this one, you had the opportunity to be all in preflop with AA. Unless your opponent also has AA, this is always a winning bet. Even as you played it, it is still a winning bet. Lets presume that he had QQ in this instance, and for simplicity, say your stack was $2. Against AA, QQ is a 4:1 underdog. Every five times he makes the bet, he loses four. That is, all in preflop, one time you give him two dollars, four times he gives you two dollars. That is a clear win of $1.2 per bet made, on average. Six dollars profit, averaged over five bets made. See? The fact that he won this pot is irrelevant.

      Poker isn't about the best hand preflop always winning, or the best play always getting the reward. Poker is mathematically governed chance. Fools can play dreadfully and get lucky. They won't know that they were lucky. You need to know why your bets were +ev (positive expectation). If you are making +ev bets, what happens to individual pots doesn't matter. You will win money. Learn how to minimise your mistakes, because when you play badly and get lucky, you are losing money too. If you can cause your opponent to make losing bets, it is money in your pocket.
    • DonGuillermo
      DonGuillermo
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.05.2007 Posts: 25
      There is a point here, when playing big stack with AA. To make this hand really profitable, you have to be able to lay it down sometimes when the flop (or more likely turn or river) comes down. I used to be absolutely unable to fold it, even with scary board : straight or flush possibilities, which costs a lot because an opponent with a big stack is willing to jam with this kind of hand.

      So IMO, AA is absolutely profitable as long as you play smart, and lay it down when you are obviously beaten. If so, the only cases when you will lose big with these hand is :
      - when a fish calls your aggressive bets with second (or top) pair all along the hand and finally hits a miracle on the river : second pair or set . And those player are totally welcome, because they are the one who will pay you off
      - when a good player reads your AA and slowplays his 2 pairs or set to check-raise you on the river. And that's tough to lay it down in those situations, since you can't avoid thinking : "would he be bluffing me?".
    • c4t0r
      c4t0r
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.07.2007 Posts: 60
      I am quite new to playing Poker, so i'll refrain from giving any tips on how to play AA correctly, because i'd assume that i do not really know myself. However i studied mathematics, and theres one thing about expectation values that is really important to understand: EV always model a "very large number" of samples. Now what does "very large" actually mean? Very few people outside the mathematical world seem to know that the term "very large number" has a strict mathematical definition: It simply means an infinite (!) number. Therefore 6, or 100k (or even 100.000k if you want) is small compared to very large numbers. So positive EV in the mathematical sense means that over an infinite number of hands played the probability of loosing on average is 0%. Please note that this does not mean that it is impossible to loose on average (even when playing an infinite amount of hands). It means though that it is "almost impossible" (math. defined as a probability of 0%) to loose on average when playing an infinite amount of hands, which should be more than comforting for real-life purposes: you're in it for the long-run!

      EDIT: Reflecting this i come to the conclusion that what i wrote is actually based on the assumption that the standard deviation (=expectation value for the difference from EV) is within a reasonable range, so what i wrote is not generally true :rolleyes: and merely a rule of thumb. Those that are further interested in the matter should take a look at this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chebyshev%27s_inequality (i hope that link does not violate the board rules)