Not Stacking AA/KK Preflop

zachvac

zachvac

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Now mostly in the past I will continue to raise preflop with AA/KK and do my best to get as many chips in the pot preflop with these hands. But the last few days I've seen several people play AA/KK postflop pretty effectively. It disguises your hand well and at the lower stakes at least people are willing to stack with top pair hands.

Now I am NOT talking about limping AA/KK but say you raise and are 3-bet. I have 100% 4-bet these hands in the past. But what if you just flat call? It's still a decent pot, and you've convinced AK/AQ-type hands they're probably at least flipping with us. Now I dislike KK a lot because of this, as we cannot continue to play with an A on the board with that action. But especially with AA, if we can narrow villain's range and know we probably don't have to worry about the low sets and 2-pairs, do you think it's profitable to be just calling 3-bets for deception value? The caveat is we do have to be able to lay down the hand when it's clear we're beat. When we get called and the flop comes KQJ with AA I think we can get away from it against a tight player. The only hand he could feasibly have that he'd stack with is AK. But when we see flops like K72 and we know that unless they have KK we're probably ahead, we can get a lot of value from hands like AK/KQ/other random kings. In addition if we see a low flop we'll probably be able to get villain's stack in with JJ/QQ, which would be folding usually if we 4-bet them preflop. Opinions on this?
 
ChuckTs

ChuckTs

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Basically my opinion is not to do it unless you're up against someone that has a lot of hands on you (and vice versa), is observant, and is likely to fold to the 4-bet. Add all those factors in and it's something that should be used sparingly.

I'll occasionally smooth call a 4-bet or something if we're deep (since he won't call a 5-bet/shove without KK+) to induce action, or smooth call a guy who I know will go nuts with anything postflop, but in general you should just be getting your money in pf. I don't see the deception value being great enough to consider doing this routinely until you reach like 200nl or 400nl. Even then, the aggression is amped up so high that you might as well just play for stacks pf since people kind of go nuts.
 
Irexes

Irexes

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I've been doing exactly this. Although it's been successful (I presume due to my mad postflop skills) I assumed it was naughty so didn't mention it :)
 
B

bw07507

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I will do this occassionally and it has been successful almost every time I use it, but since I am only playing 25NL and people will stack with a lot worse than KK+ I usually just try to get it all in preflop.
 
zachvac

zachvac

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Basically my opinion is not to do it unless you're up against someone that has a lot of hands on you (and vice versa), is observant, and is likely to fold to the 4-bet. Add all those factors in and it's something that should be used sparingly.

I'll occasionally smooth call a 4-bet or something if we're deep (since he won't call a 5-bet/shove without KK+) to induce action, or smooth call a guy who I know will go nuts with anything postflop, but in general you should just be getting your money in pf. I don't see the deception value being great enough to consider doing this routinely until you reach like 200nl or 400nl. Even then, the aggression is amped up so high that you might as well just play for stacks pf since people kind of go nuts.

I'm actually saying the opposite, doing it at low stakes (25nl/50nl). Better players may see what you're doing and will not stack when they flop top pair. I'm saying in general JJ/QQ/AK/AQ/AJ/sometimes even KQ/KJ are 3-betting there along with KK/AA. All the first set of hands will most of the time fold to a 4-bet, with some players stacking with QQ/AK as well. But I have yet to find another player at those stakes that would fold JJ in that situation to an under flop. Obviously there are certain times, like if you're against KK and an A hits, that it hurts you, but those are few and far between. As much talk as there has been about the looseness of these players and always stacking KK preflop, I've been questioning that. I'm actually rarely seeing KK hands stack preflop (I don't mean they're folding, I mean they're flat calling a 3 or 4-bet). So if they're not going to be raising KK, do you really think they're willing to stack worse? I'm beginning to doubt the logic that KK vs. AA with a full buy-in is always a cooler if you stack preflop. Every time I've done this I've told myself "he has AA" and he always has. Now with anything less than a full buy-in (maybe less than 75 big blinds) I'm stacking 100% of the time with KK, and I have been stacking 100% of the time with an entire buy-in. I'm just wondering if that's actually profitable.

But again, my main point here was actually in trying to draw hands like QQ/JJ in or AT-AK/KQ-KJ hands should they hit a (most of the time top) pair.
 
Irexes

Irexes

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I am with you 100% there Zach. Once I've stopped playing I'll write in more detail, but just to say I understand the logic of stacking (and try to do so against anyone with donkish tendancies to overbet preflop light) but I think there may be alternate strategies here that use the weakness of play at 50NL and 25NL against peopl post flop where it doesn't allow stacking preflop.
 
bob_tiger

bob_tiger

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I agree with you and sometimes this will work great, in fact i saw a great play by some player in a tourney while railing my friend. This guy was a big stack and the player vs him in this hand was very close to his stack. I believe the big stack was about 160k and the other guy was around 130-140k. This was one of those early A and B tourneys 6$ buy in. Here is what happened. The big stack made a raise about 3 times and the other guy made a small re raise, the big stack smooth calls flop comess Q and 2 low. big stack leads out and bet 18k the other guy re raised to 50k or so. The big stack takes some time and calls, then the other guy makes a bet dont remember what it was kind of small and big stack raised all in and took it down. AA vs AQ, i was pretty impressed by that play with position.
 
ChuckTs

ChuckTs

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I'm actually saying the opposite, doing it at low stakes (25nl/50nl). Better players may see what you're doing and will not stack when they flop top pair. I'm saying in general JJ/QQ/AK/AQ/AJ/sometimes even KQ/KJ are 3-betting there along with KK/AA. All the first set of hands will most of the time fold to a 4-bet, with some players stacking with QQ/AK as well. But I have yet to find another player at those stakes that would fold JJ in that situation to an under flop. Obviously there are certain times, like if you're against KK and an A hits, that it hurts you, but those are few and far between. As much talk as there has been about the looseness of these players and always stacking KK preflop, I've been questioning that. I'm actually rarely seeing KK hands stack preflop (I don't mean they're folding, I mean they're flat calling a 3 or 4-bet). So if they're not going to be raising KK, do you really think they're willing to stack worse? I'm beginning to doubt the logic that KK vs. AA with a full buy-in is always a cooler if you stack preflop. Every time I've done this I've told myself "he has AA" and he always has. Now with anything less than a full buy-in (maybe less than 75 big blinds) I'm stacking 100% of the time with KK, and I have been stacking 100% of the time with an entire buy-in. I'm just wondering if that's actually profitable.

But again, my main point here was actually in trying to draw hands like QQ/JJ in or AT-AK/KQ-KJ hands should they hit a (most of the time top) pair.

Well what you're getting into is opponent dependent. Regarding full ring, you'll often get nitty regulars who will fold their light 3-betting hands and even JJ/TT/QQ occasionally. Those would probably be the ideal targets for smooth calling against for the reasons you already stated.

re: stacking, I do agree that saying "stack %100 of the time pf with 100bb or less with KK" is probably wrong, but it's up there. It's completely situational though. Some very small factors could change a fold to a snapcall. Like two tags going at it in LP where one's got a high ATS, and so the second one has a high restealing % against him, and they could get into a pf war - there it would probably be a %100 stack with KK. Now if you raise utg and that same player 3-bets in second position it's probably something you want to be careful with re: 4-betting it.

Flip over to 6-max (which is kind of the mentality I've had lately), and you have to stack KK pf. There's just so much stealing/restealing and general aggression that you'll rarely find a spot to fold them.

PT3 is going to make these decisions a kajillion times easier with the 3bet/4bet stats and we can finally actually determine if it's profitable to shove vs a certain opponent or not, but for now I think it's just safe to say always get your money in with 100bb stacks unless you're up against an absolute nit that you don't need 3bet/4bet stats to know he's got AA.

I'm sure there are a good handful of full ring regulars that you would have to smooth call a 3-bet with KK against the majority of the time, but again it's situational.

Anyways your point is a good one but it's very general, and completely situational. To change my last response, I'll say that yes there are times to do it. You need to do it some times. Most of the time however, you should simply be getting it in with a 4-bet.

My post here was really just thrown together and (sloppily) edited a few times so I'm sorry if it doesn't flow at all :/
 
zachvac

zachvac

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Well what you're getting into is opponent dependent. Regarding full ring, you'll often get nitty regulars who will fold their light 3-betting hands and even JJ/TT/QQ occasionally. Those would probably be the ideal targets for smooth calling against for the reasons you already stated.
I'm not talking about nitty regulars, I'm talking about the majority of the time against the average 25nl and 50nl player. The logic behind stacking KK (talking full ring, point taken about 6max) is that so many players will stack QQ/AK and sometimes JJ. I think this is a false assumption. Now on the low end you need to stack KK preflop because people will do this and although I have no experience there I'd assume at the higher limits we'd be stacking our KKs without reads more as well because we may see more aggression and more moves that would exploit folding KK. Obviously if we're playing 200nl or 400nl FR we need to be able to not stack KK to a total nit, but I'm not going to go too much into higher limits because frankly I have no clue how they actually play.

PT3 is going to make these decisions a kajillion times easier with the 3bet/4bet stats and we can finally actually determine if it's profitable to shove vs a certain opponent or not
Agreed, although it's going to take a ton of hands for that to matter. How often do people get into 3 and 4-bet situations? Against regs we can have those stats but against relative unknowns the 3 and 4-bet stats won't be all that helpful.

but for now I think it's just safe to say always get your money in with 100bb stacks unless you're up against an absolute nit that you don't need 3bet/4bet stats to know he's got AA.

I'm sure there are a good handful of full ring regulars that you would have to smooth call a 3-bet with KK against the majority of the time, but again it's situational.
ok we've been discussing 2 different things here. One is stacking KK preflop because we think we may actually be behind and the other is simply smooth calling AA/KK for value because we assume we're ahead and can get more value on the majority of flops than shoving it or 4-betting it preflop.

For KK I do agree with you against most unknowns. We still see enough AK/QQ/JJ and once in a while just strange "bluffs" (saw 37o yesterday stack preflop, I took a note on that guy, hope I get into that situation against him :)). Add that onto the fact that we're always 3-betting it and we're getting odds such that we don't even need to be a favorite to call profitably that I think unless we are playing against a nitty reg we do need to stack KK preflop.

But that was kind of a side thought, the big question is mainly AA preflop smooth calling a 3-bet. I'm not talking about nitty regs, I'm talking about the average 25nl or 50nl player. I'm beginning to think that it may be more profitable to smooth call with AA in that position. A 3-bet usually takes implied odds away from lower pairs to set, so that even if they're set mining, although shoving would have been more profitable, it's still not a -ev play and smart players know that and wouldn't 3-bet a low pair. If it's high enough that it's stacking to an under pair the implied odds don't apply, because they're stacking most flops which is equivalent to stacking preflop, something they may not have done (QQ/JJ most of the time).

Not sure if that was clear enough, basically say you have AA and somehow know they have a highish pocket pair, TT-QQ. You know that they'll fold to your 4-bet or if you smooth call stack an under flop (or set obviously). In this situation it would obviously be a good thing to smooth call. The problem is I'm not sure if that's true. Sometimes they'll stack QQ or even JJ preflop, and then this move would be a mistake because it allows them to get away from it if a K or if they have JJ a Q hits.

I just think the player who will stack QQ or JJ preflop is virtually nonexistent. I see KK's playing it scared, which is why I also briefly brought up folding KK preflop.

My post here was really just thrown together and (sloppily) edited a few times so I'm sorry if it doesn't flow at all :/

nah I understood it I think. The tough part of analyzing this comes though with the sheer amount of different types of players we see at the low stakes. Most people aren't even thinking through their hands, which makes it next to impossible for us to predict what they'll do in different situations if they don't know themselves. So it's tough to write up a comprehensive analysis or argument one way or the other. There's nothing to quantify and it's almost all just guesswork based on observation.
 
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