AQ - My Story (Correct play top pair top kicker on the flop)
Okay, I have had such a long history with AQ - and this post is going to describe it, in 3 hands. The first one I played incorrectly, from a very long cash game session at a live game - then a discussion about the hand between myself and another player. The second one I beleive I played correctly, and was later in the same session, just a few orbits later, same key players - and the last one was a hand in a tournament earlier tonight.
The table has been loosened up considerably. Seat 3 has been keeping the table loose by raising large amounts with a wide variety of hands. He is an excellent player, and over the night he has been winning a lot of money, mainly from me (I win from the table, lose to him, rinse, and repeat) - I consider this session the session I ever learned the most from, but I am digressing from the point - he has some sick read on me and knows my hand is AQ - I'm pretty sure I have an AQ tell.
Hand 1 (2/3 NL Live Ring Game - effective stack of $200, but I'm sitting much closer to $700): I'm in middle position, AQo, a few limpers so far. I raise to $25. Seat 3 says: Oh, man. I wish I had your hand right now. (Sick read) Four callers. Pot Size - $125 Flop comes Q85 rianbow. Action is checked to me - I bet $25 (yes, not enough - I was happy to have top pair and wasn't aware how vulnerable I was.) Four callers. Seat 3 says "What was that, a feeler bet? Not nearly enough." Turn comes 9d. Pot is $250. Seat 3 says "See? I told you." Checked around to Seat 9 (the button) - who bets $150 and is all-in. Folded around. Seat 9 shows JTo for the nut straight.
Seat 3 reminds me to use what I know about pot-odds, and that I didn't give any hand the odds
that folding was the correct move. I now realize this bet was -EV. Before we get to Hand 2, Seat 3 stacked me, I bought in for another $100 (the forced buy-in at this table), and had worked it up to about $200.
Hand 2 - Seat 9 is the button again. Seat 4 limps, 5 folds, on me with AQo again. I raise to $22. Seat 3 comments on the quality of my hand again. 4 Callers. Pot is now $125. The flop comes - Q94, rainbow. Seat 3 tells
me how he wishes he had my hand right now. (Sick . . . sick.) After having taken in what Seat 3 had explained to me about a vulnerable hand, and pretty sure my hand is best barring 99, 44, Q9, Q4, and 94, I decide to bet $125, or the pot. Folded to Seat 9, who calls. Folded around. Pot is now $375. Turn comes 8s. Seat 3 laughs - clairvoyant as always - and I check to seat 9, who wastes no time going all in. I am forced to fold - and of course, seat 9 shows over his JTo again, for once again - the nut straight.
Hand 3 - Tonight in a $1 rebuy MTT, about 100 left, top 64 paid. Blinds 100/200, my chip stack ~4000T, villain ~4500T. I'm first to act, standard raise of 3.5 BBs. Three callers, pot is 12 BBs, or 2200. Flop comes Qs8s7h. I'm first to act. I shove all-in - certain I have the best of it right now - barring two pair - presumably with 87s, but given the board texture - and my lack of a spade - I don't want any drawing hands priced in. Ideally I'll get called with a hand like 89, 76, QK, QJ, etc. Next person to act folds, one player left in pot - he calls (much to my surprise) - I guess he was making a hero-call - or couldn't see whatever my AQ tell is (if only Seat 3 were there to tell him) - and decided to call me with 99. "Ha! What an idiot, he's down to two outs or runners to a straight." Before I even get the thought through my head he spikes his 9 and the A on the river doesn't even help me.
So my question is this - in all three of these big hands with AQ - I have identified I have the strongest hand, am right in doing so, and believe I priced the bet right (after hand one) - are there any differences in how you would play these hands?
Or is AQ just not treating me right on these big memorable hands?
I figure it's my variance mixed in with other people making the incorrect play - and in the long run I'll be making money in the long run, but these losses are imprinted on my memory for life - (I've still got your face - painted on my heart - drawn upon my soul - )