Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Je Suis un Poisson?

A topic that has been discussed several times on forums is that of committing all your chips pre-flop with KK.

In cash, the shorter the table and/or the shorter the stacks, the more acceptable it becomes.

However, despite what most people appear to think, pushing/calling all-in pre-flop in full-ring games with deep stacks is a massive, massive mistake. What the fuck are you beating? Only an even bigger muppet.

Here's a hand from last night, where I choose to slow play my AA against the UTG's raise, and then stall/push against the SB's large re-raise. (It's amazing how many poor players always fall for the long dwell/"reluctant" call or long dwell/raise routine.)

It had the desired affect- he called. He also sucked out for a 300BB pot.


So, when is it correct to call a deep-stacked all-in pre-flop with KK at a full-handed table?

Not very often at all: Against very few opponents (who you know are just as likely to push with AK/KK/QQ/JJ and worse,) and also in rare situations such as the hand that follows.

I'm pretty sure I'm ahead of the short-stacked button who jams, but what about the SB who pushes behind him? This player is a bit tricky and pretty loose, and one of the only times I can remember calling a deep-stacked all-in with KK before was in a very similar situation to this against the same player when he held QQ.

In this particular hand, he pushed instantly. There was no "stall/push" routine, and no flat-call- which often indicates strength. So I figured he was just trying to get the pot Heads Up against the short-stack, and decided I was good.

I was wrong! He had AA. I also sucked out for a near 300BB pot. :)


So, I completely fucked that hand up- so much for my deduction! Anyway that river was a life-saver! I would have been around $900 down for the night. In the end I managed to turn the night around for a $814 profit.

August Update

August got off to a poor start, but I've started to recover ($3,200+ in the last 3 nights) and am now at +$9,234 after 120 hours ($77/hr.)

Picture #10: Real or Fake?


Highstack said...

Mike; I take your point but don't lose sight that you are playing 1/2 mate. With my brm I am not belittling the stakes at all, in fact far from it, but just to add that I have seen far worse plays at much higher levels and don't forget you are just about the best 1/2 player I know.

For the times KK is a dog against AA I am sure its outweighed by the QQ JJ AK calls/pushes. Particularly with so many hands in your history and the amount of tables you play ABC is perfectly fine and you can think about it too much. I think KK all in pre at 1/2 is no more than an expense for when it is behind. Sure it hurts when you are beat (although as you saw they still turn it around one in five).

Have a look at your tracker stats. Are you just feeling negative about the hand because it's a fresh wound, or do you have stats that back it up? If I'm wrong so be it, but I would be interested to know.

Smart Money said...

Hi mate.

I have no bias because of the lost pot! I experience an "AA v KK all-in pre" loss several times every month.

I don't know how easy it would be to check using Poker Tracker. Even if a suitable option existed it would take a while to extract. (I have 750,000 hands in my data base and it takes an absolute age if I don't filter it by date.) I will take a look though.

Regardless, I am absolutely 100% certain that a push/call with KK pre-flop at deep-stacked full-handed tables is massive -VE. It's possibly still true for stacks as short as 50BB deep. (Although as a general rule of thumb I am usually prepared to commit with KK when opponent has just 50BB behind them.)

I would estimate that for every deep-stacked all-in involving a KK hand, it is behind at least 3:1.

crazyplay said...

I wouldn't play at any 1/2 table where I thought KK wasn't generally good for an all-in preflop. But I play 6-max at a very loose and fishy site where you hardly ever come across a player you can solidly put on AA preflop. God knows how I'd fare at full ring now.

Mike, why do you choose to play full-ring? Is the winrate really better? All my experiance tells me that 6-max is more profitable. But perhaps full-ring allows you to multi-table more effectively and that makes up for it?

Smartmoney's winrate is obviuosly very good but per table seems mediocre to me- it's the multi-tabling skills that are amazing. I can't cope with it myself. I play 4 tables of 6-max at a slow site with a much higher hourly win-rate per table than SMs. So Mike, have you ever tried playing as many 6-max as you can? Personally I think they're a lot more fun too.

Smart Money said...

Yes- I play full-ring because it's easier to multi-table.

My win-rate per table (@12 tables) is around $8 (4BB) per hour inc rake, or $7 (3.5BB) per hour exc rake.

I've never really played 6-max NL. I should really give it a go at some point, but I wouldn't be able to play so many tables because it's more player dependent of course. Perhaps, with a little practice, I could play 4-6 tables at higher stakes?

Although there are certain skills required in order to effectively multi-table at full-ring, there is far less "poker" played than in the short-handed games. So I can see how 6-max games would be more fun (when you're winning!)

crazyplay said...

Yeah, thinking about it, to achieve the same kind of hourly rate playing 6-max, you'd realistically have to play higher stakes as playing more than 6 tables would probably be problematic. Not just because of hands per hour and timeouts, but because standard abc poker can be picked off by the tricky aggressives, so you can start to be a bit of a target. Also, variance would increase massively. And I find that table selection is much more important short-handed and tables collapse more often which requires a lot more work moving around. Having said that, when you find a good 2/4 6-max table with a couple of maniacs and a couple of loose passives, you don't want to swap it for a full-ring 1/2.

Just for comparison, my winrate at 6-max is around 6 BBs per hour. For some reason I thought my winrate was much higher than yours, but I was wrong. But that is at about 50 hands per hour and I know Full Tilt is faster.

It's undoubtedly more fun to play short-handed, but I guess it would be a very bad idea for you to bother switching. But I don't know why it's taken you so long to add a few 2/4s in to your rotation - I don't think the standard differs that much and you're obviously bankrolled!

Love the blog, thanks for the inspiration.

Smart Money said...

Thanks for the comments.

I'm going back to England next week for two weeks so I won't have the ability to 12x multi-table (unless I want to try it on my laptop!)

So, I think I'll use my limited poker time duting that period to try some 6-max games.

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