Did I misplay JJ here?

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Bentheman87

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It's a little over 2 hours into a big MTT, 900 players start, about 200 left, I'm ranked about 80th. My stack is 10,000 and average is about 8k. Blinds and antes total 1,050 so my M is exactly 10. I'm under the gun with JJ and raise 4x BB. The very next player, who also has about 10k in chips, calls everyone else folds. So the pot is about 4200 and I have about 8400 left. Flop came 10 10 2 rainbow, I bet nearly the entire pot he calls. Turn is an ace. Pot is almost 12,000 now, and I have about 4,000 left. I feel I'm pot comitted at this point so I go all in, he calls with AQ and wins. I felt there was a chance he had 99 88 77 or 66, those would have called a bet on the flop, I figured AK or AQ would have folded, so he probably doesn't have an ace. Obviously he made a mistake calling on the flop, he wasn't even getting 2:1 and he was 7:1 to pair one of his high cards on the turn. But did I do anything wrong? Should I have made an overbet on the flop or bet exactly pot? Should I have check folded on the turn and tried to play with about 4,000 chips?
 
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al_manadi

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It's a little over 2 hours into a big MTT, 900 players start, about 200 left, I'm ranked about 80th. My stack is 10,000 and average is about 8k. Blinds and antes total 1,050 so my M is exactly 10. I'm under the gun with JJ and raise 4x BB. The very next player, who also has about 10k in chips, calls everyone else folds. So the pot is about 4200 and I have about 8400 left. Flop came 10 10 2 rainbow, I bet nearly the entire pot he calls. Turn is an ace. Pot is almost 12,000 now, and I have about 4,000 left. I feel I'm pot comitted at this point so I go all in, he calls with AQ and wins. I felt there was a chance he had 99 88 77 or 66, those would have called a bet on the flop, I figured AK or AQ would have folded, so he probably doesn't have an ace. Obviously he made a mistake calling on the flop, he wasn't even getting 2:1 and he was 7:1 to pair one of his high cards on the turn. But did I do anything wrong? Should I have made an overbet on the flop or bet exactly pot? Should I have check folded on the turn and tried to play with about 4,000 chips?

was this guy a tight player, or was he loose?

if he was loose then i dont think there was anything you could have done differently because he may have called an all in on the flop if you pushed.

if he was playing tight, there's a good chance he's folding AQ, especially if you push all in on the flop.
 
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Bentheman87

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No real read on him I switched tables several times since the beginning of the tournament. I did notice he was on a little rush though, just doubled up 2 hands ago and won a pot the last hand.
 
aliengenius

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You have to ask yourself what he is calling with on the flop. Could he have a ten? Trip deuces? Why not raise to 2.5x the bb to try to keep the pot smaller (w a 2/3 or half pot c-bet instead of the whole pot)? Also, if you are going to bet half your stack, usually you might as well shove. You really need a plan for the hand before you play it that takes into account your stack size. You ended up putting yourself in a difficult situation by simply playing how you would with a much deeper stack. If your opponent is as passive as he seems, checking the turn to him to see what he does can give you a pretty good read on if he hit there or not (passive player isn't going to bet the ace at the pfr if he doesn't also have one).

So here is the alternative situation (assuming blinds are 250/500?):
You raise to 1300 and get a call, so pot is only 2600 (instead of 4200). You bet 1700 on the flop and get called, pot is now 6,000, you have 7k left. Ace falls you check, weak passive player bets big, you fold.

Wahla, you still have 7k left.

Make sense?
 
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al_manadi

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No real read on him I switched tables several times since the beginning of the tournament. I did notice he was on a little rush though, just doubled up 2 hands ago and won a pot the last hand.

i probably would have pushed all in on the flop to get him out. this move could also be perceived as a bluff and he may very well think his AQ is good and might call, not much you can really do about that.

i think he made a loose call with AQ but it ended up paying off. he coulda been drawing dead if you had A10.
 
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Bentheman87

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Yeah I should have put more thought into what he had after he called on the turn. I knew he couldnt have 22, he would have folded preflop. Remember, I raised UTG and he called with many players yet to act so we were both supposed to have huge hands. He would have probably folded 66 or lower. 77 88 99 or 10 10 make sense. They would have called preflop, and 77 88 or 99 would have called on the flop thinking he had the best hand if I had two high cards. 10 10 would be trapping of course. Would A10 K10 or Q10 really call a big raise preflop??? I didn't think so, so I didn't put him on trip 10s. QQ KK or AA might have called preflop to slowplay, but wouldnt they raise on the flop? There was so much chips in the pot at that point, makes sense they would have raised. AK or AQ would have called preflop, but I definetly didn't think he would call a pot size bet on the flop with AK or AQ high. So on the turn, I figured he had Ace 10 and was trapping, or he had 99 - 77. So that's why I pushed all in.

And Allen, I like to raise at least 4x BB when the antes start to come in since 3x BB really gives other players good odds to call with weaker hands. You really think it was better to shove? Betting 8k into a 4k pot. I guess he would have folded AQ if I did that.
 
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al_manadi

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Yeah I should have put more thought into what he had after he called on the turn. I knew he couldnt have 22, he would have folded preflop. Remember, I raised UTG and he called with many players yet to act so we were both supposed to have huge hands. He would have probably folded 66 or lower. 77 88 99 or 10 10 make sense. They would have called preflop, and 77 88 or 99 would have called on the flop thinking he had the best hand if I had two high cards. 10 10 would be trapping of course. Would A10 K10 or Q10 really call a big raise preflop??? I didn't think so, so I didn't put him on trip 10s. QQ KK or AA might have called preflop to slowplay, but wouldnt they raise on the flop? There was so much chips in the pot at that point, makes sense they would have raised. AK or AQ would have called preflop, but I definetly didn't think he would call a pot size bet on the flop with AK or AQ high. So on the turn, I figured he had Ace 10 and was trapping, or he had 99 - 77. So that's why I pushed all in.

And Allen, I like to raise at least 4x BB when the antes start to come in since 3x BB really gives other players good odds to call with weaker hands. You really think it was better to shove? Betting 8k into a 4k pot. I guess he would have folded AQ if I did that.

yea im pretty sure he would've folded, but then again you never know what other players are thinking.

again, it helps to know a little more info about the players when in these kinds of situations.
 
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Bentheman87

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Remember, I didn't make a smallish probing bet on the flop, I bet almost the entire pot. You think he would have folded to an all in if he would call a pot sized bet?
 
aliengenius

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And alien, I like to raise at least 4x BB when the antes start to come in since 3x BB really gives other players good odds to call with weaker hands. You really think it was better to shove? Betting 8k into a 4k pot. I guess he would have folded AQ if I did that.

fyp. Well, as to the shove, the point is to not put yourself in the situation where you have half your chips in the pot in the first place...

Also, don't you want players to call you with weaker hands? I mean, not all of them of course, but still, you can't be afraid of post flop play.

I'm just trying to get at the idea of controlling the size of the pot here. You could also even check the flop and see what he does as another line. Then check fold the ace on the turn (assuming he bets reasonably).
 
allndave

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all very interisting love this fourm anyway may i ask what the buy in was?
 
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Bentheman87

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Buyin was $55. Well thanks for the help guys I don't think there was much I could do, I got this player to make a mistake but it still worked out for him, if he knew my hand he wouldnt have called getting worse than 2:1. He must have called thinking I was bluffing with AJ or AQ for a split pot, that's the only reason I can think of why he called me on the flop.
 
c9h13no3

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I think some of you guys are approaching this the wrong way. You're thinking about how to limit your losses, rather than playing to win. If you only raise 2.5x the BB, then you're inviting hands like AT, JTs, KTs, 22 to come along for the ride preflop. Then you've possibly got more than just 1 opponent to bet off an overcard draw. Checking the flop also allows him to check behind, and turn a situation where you're ahead, into a situation where he's ahead. Your jacks are fragile, and you need to get your money in now while you're ahead of him.

And as played, I think shoving all your chips in on the flop is the best way to play this. It can be percieved as a bluff, and weaker hands like AQ will call you, getting your money in as a favorite. Sure, his A came on the turn, but 3 out of 4 times if you shove the flop & he calls, that's not going to happen. And I'm down with getting my money in as a 3 to 4 favorite.

Playing along weakly preflop just allows players to draw out on you for cheap. Postflop, I don't necessarily mind betting less than all in, but you're not exactly short on chips, and adding 25% to your stack without a fight is pretty enticing. Since you're not really in the red zone yet, you don't need to go gambling 7:1 to try to milk some more chips out of him. And if you want to try to string him along, a bet of 3/5ths of the pot would suffice in making him pay to see the turn.

And since you're UTG, if the table was aggressive, you might want to limp with JJ, to try to take down this pot just by shoving your chips in preflop overtop of someone's raise.

Anyways, bottom line was this. On the flop, you had two options: shove, or try to string along someone with a draw by betting weaker (if only slightly). You chose to string along the guy with an overcard draw, and it cost you that time. Sure he was down in the odds, but sometimes in tournament poker, you just have to take your money & run and avoid the suckout type situations.
 
aliengenius

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no, you played JJ badly here

I don't think there was much I could do, I got this player to make a mistake but it still worked out for him,

Huh?
I gave you a line where you stay both aggressive and get to survive, but you seem to totally dismiss it. Seriously, here is an opportunity to step out of the ranks of the card contingent poker players who think "well I played goot but donk made bad call and won" .
 
Dorkus Malorkus

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And Allen, I like to raise at least 4x BB when the antes start to come in since 3x BB really gives other players good odds to call with weaker hands. You really think it was better to shove? Betting 8k into a 4k pot. I guess he would have folded AQ if I did that.

Some points

There's little that a 4BB pf raise will achieve here that a 3BB pf raise won't. Yes, there are antes, but that's countered by the fact that average stacks are quite small relative to the blinds. Whether there are antes or not, most people aren't even going to call a 3BB pf raise with random junk if that 3BB raise represents a significant proportion of their stack. It's one of the reasons why tournaments with weaker players generally play looser early on with no antes - because stacks are so deep relative to the blinds in the early stages a 3-4BB preflop raise doesn't look so intimidating.

Plus you're UTG. If the players know what they're doing, they will respect your UTG raise whether it's 3BB or 4BB. If they don't know what they're doing, heck, let them call off 15% of their stack with A3 sooted or something - it works out good for you in the long run.

The problem with you betting pot on the flop is that you may as well have been shoving because clearly there is nothing that can happen on the turn that will prevent you from shoving then in any case. Okay, so maybe you lose AQ by shoving the flop, maybe you don't, although I think instances where he calls a PSB but folds to a shove are rare for exactly the same reason that you got 'pot committed' by pot betting

Look at the possibilities.

1) You're behind on the flop. Anything you're trailing on the flop will call your turn shove anyway, so no difference there.

2) You're ahead on the flop. By shoving as opposed to pot betting and committing yourself to shove the turn you will either (a) take down a decent sized pot there and then (not a bad result given that taking down the pot would represent a significant percentage increase to your stack), or (b) get your opponent to call anyway, without giving him a chance to catch up to you on the turn (and thus guaranteeing you get all your money in while 'good').

(fwiw i prefer the 1/2-2/3 pot c-bet to a shove, the above is just a refutation of your argument that a flop pot-sized bet is somehow 'better' than a shove)

edit

Buyin was $55. Well thanks for the help guys I don't think there was much I could do, I got this player to make a mistake but it still worked out for him, if he knew my hand he wouldnt have called getting worse than 2:1. He must have called thinking I was bluffing with AJ or AQ for a split pot, that's the only reason I can think of why he called me on the flop.

I'm going to perhaps sound a little harsh here, so I'll apologise pre-emptively, but this needs to be said. If you spend all your time being overly concerned with "that donk that outdrew me" as opposed to analyzing your own game with a critical eye, you won't get very far in poker. Stop concerning yourself with how bad your opponents play was (yes it was pretty bad but it's pointless discussing this at length), and start looking at yourself. You most likely don't make glaringly obvious mistakes like villain did here, but I can say with confidence that your game is nowhere near perfect (few people's games are), and there are leaks that need to be plugged (this hand being an example).
 
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Steveg1976

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What was your table image at the time this hand took place. If you have been playing loose the call was bad but not terrible because AQ is not a bad hand if the villian thought you were stealing. The flop looks like it would have missed your hand if you had say KJ and were trying to steal, He may have thought you missed the flop and were trying to push him off and decided to make a stand.

AG was talking about Pot control and I have learned/learning that it is very important for hands like this. You have JJ, a good hand but not great. The pot got so big so quick you were committed, but by betting less early on you leave yourself an out when the scare card hits. He could have easily been playing AK and the same thing could have happened.
 
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Bentheman87

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"You have to ask yourself what he is calling with on the flop. Could he have a ten? Trip deuces? Why not raise to 2.5x the bb to try to keep the pot smaller (w a 2/3 or half pot c-bet instead of the whole pot)? Also, if you are going to bet half your stack, usually you might as well shove. You really need a plan for the hand before you play it that takes into account your stack size. You ended up putting yourself in a difficult situation by simply playing how you would with a much deeper stack. If your opponent is as passive as he seems, checking the turn to him to see what he does can give you a pretty good read on if he hit there or not (passive player isn't going to bet the ace at the pfr if he doesn't also have one).

So here is the alternative situation (assuming blinds are 250/500?):
You raise to 1300 and get a call, so pot is only 2600 (instead of 4200). You bet 1700 on the flop and get called, pot is now 6,000, you have 7k left. Ace falls you check, weak passive player bets big, you fold.

Wahla, you still have 7k left.

Make sense?"

Blinds were 200/400 and antes totaled about 400 so starting pot was 1000. First, the main reason I prefered the 4x BB raise is because since there are antes the BB and all other players are getting better pot odds than if there were no antes. Also, I have a real hand, but not a hand I really want a lot of action with. With AA or KK I'd want action and maybe raise smaller, but overcards often come on the flop with JJ so I'd rather take it down preflop. If I did what you said alien, raise 3x bb so that would mean the pot would be 3400. Then I bet half the pot, 1500 and he calls. So pot is 4,900 and I'd have about 7k left. And then I should check fold on the turn? I guess this would have been a safer way to play it. But remember alien, the way I did play it, I managed to get nearly my entire stack into the pot (all but 4,000) as a 3:1 favorite for the turn and river, so had that ace not come on the turn I would have won a bigger pot than if I played it the way you suggested.
 
c9h13no3

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I think Ben brings up a valid question:

What's more important in a tournament? Getting all your chips in while being ahead to win a big pot, or controlling the size of the pot to leave yourself an out if that 1 in 4 chance does come up.

For a big MTT, where simply making the money doesn't usually cut it, I'd take the 3:1 chance to double up. However, I realize that you have to go through a few of these 3:1 situations, and maybe playing more of a small-ball approach will let you avoid a suckout.

I do think Dorkus made a good point about being UTG, and a 3xBB raise accomplishing the same thing as 4, and as a result it keeps the pot smaller. And wether we shove on the flop, or just bet 1/2 the pot to try to string him along, a smaller pot is to our advantage in both cases.
 
Steveg1976

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I think Ben brings up a valid question:

What's more important in a tournament? Getting all your chips in while being ahead to win a big pot, or controlling the size of the pot to leave yourself an out if that 1 in 4 chance does come up.

For a big MTT, where simply making the money doesn't usually cut it, I'd take the 3:1 chance to double up. However, I realize that you have to go through a few of these 3:1 situations, and maybe playing more of a small-ball approach will let you avoid a suckout.

I do think Dorkus made a good point about being UTG, and a 3xBB raise accomplishing the same thing as 4, and as a result it keeps the pot smaller. And wether we shove on the flop, or just bet 1/2 the pot to try to string him along, a smaller pot is to our advantage in both cases.

That is really a style of play question isn't it? The question was JJ, they are still a good starting hand but can easily be beaten which is why they can be deadly to play. Ben was happy with the way the hand went down, there is a just a little discussion about details. Personally I have had J's beaten so many times I don't mind smaller pots with them, because people will hold onto A's and K's too long and suck out. The Original Poster got in ahead and that is all any of can try to do.
 
dj11

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Conventional wisdom says that there are 3 ways to play JJ and all of them are wrong.

AG presented a variation that looks great. My variation would say that I will generally give JJ one big shot pf hoping to take the pot. In this case I might try a 2x or 2.5x bet post flop but If an overcard hits, well, I'm a guy, and didn't marry those jacks......
 
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Bentheman87

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You all seem to be recommending small ball play here to keep the pot small and give myself an exit strategy. But remember, my M is 10 and most of the Ms at the table are between 5 and 10. Even if a medium sized 6000 chip stack makes the standard 3x BB raise, he's already put a decent chunk of his stack into the pot. If someone calls, he would have 4800 in chips going to the flop and the pot would be 3400. And even with my M of 10 smallball poker isn't an option anymore.
 
ChuckTs

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We want to play smallball for two main reasons.

For one, we want to be able to make steals relatively cheaply, and if we're raising 4BB with our legitimate hands and 2.5BB with our steals, players will pick up on it pretty quickly.

Another reason is that this is a key hand that you have to play very carefully; it could either make this a deep finish or send you to the rail. Yes, we're happy with getting our whole stack in at some point, but like AG said, set a plan for the hand. You left yourself in a very awkward spot on the turn there; I most likely just shove the flop.
 
aliengenius

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smallball poker isn't an option anymore.

This just simply isn't true.
If you can't/don't want to hear what people are saying, the please post in the "bad beats" forum for simple sympathy.

The fact of the matter is, you shoved into a board where you can't really beat ANYTHING that will call you now that would have called your pot sized flop bet. You committed yourself to the pot by playing badly from the get go. It doesn't matter if you put half your stack in good if you are going to put the other half in bad!

Keep the pot smaller so that, yes, you can check fold the turn when the Ace comes and your passive opponent bets instead of over committing with JJ from the beginning. The way you played it, you are either going to win the minimum or lose the maximum-- lower pairs that called the flop are not going to call the preflop raiser when he shoves in on the ace turn.

Blinds are only 200/400, a raise utg to 1000 or 1100 or even the "standard" 1200 (10% of your, and everyone else's, stack, which is still enough to prevent anyone from calling profitably to try to set mine with a smaller pair) is way more appropriate than 4x the bb. Your "I don'ts wants no action" with JJ is a terrible mindset, because you are getting called by this palyer with AQ here no matter what you do (probably even if you shove preflop). You have 25bbs, so your claim that playing a smaller pot here is impossible is just incorrect.
 
Steveg1976

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You all seem to be recommending small ball play here to keep the pot small and give myself an exit strategy. But remember, my M is 10 and most of the Ms at the table are between 5 and 10. Even if a medium sized 6000 chip stack makes the standard 3x BB raise, he's already put a decent chunk of his stack into the pot. If someone calls, he would have 4800 in chips going to the flop and the pot would be 3400. And even with my M of 10 smallball poker isn't an option anymore.

If you feel that way then shove after the flop when you were still ahead unless you thought he had trips or better. You only had 4k left after the pot sized bet so there was no way you were going to get him off the pot after the call on the flop, and then the scare card hits and you go all in. Why not put the question to him/her all in for his overcards early rather than later. It sounds like you were married to the JJ's and weren't letting them go no matter what cards came up anyway.
 
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also, if your standard preflop bet is 4x you probably did have an aggressive/loose table image, and people are in that case more likely to think you are on a bluff or a semi-bluff. which you were.
 
soccerfreakjj10

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And even with my M of 10 smallball poker isn't an option anymore.

sigh. I would explain to you why you are wrong, but it seems that everybody else has.
 
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