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Is folding pocket AA pre-flop the right play here?
 

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  28-Sep-12, 10:07   #1
Folding AA preflop math 0 
marqis 

Joined: Sep '10
Location: Netherlands
Age: 48 (M)
Posts: 1631
Suppose you are at the final table of an MTT, with this stack distribution:

player 1 1500000
player 2 100
player 3 100
player 4 100
player 5 100
player 6 100
player 7 100
player 8 100
player 9 100
Hero 500000

Player 1 pushes all-in, and everybody folds.

Should the hero fold pocket aces pre-flop here?

Let's say the prize distribution is as follows:
1st $137.50
2nd $83.00
...
10th $10.00

If you call and win, you'll both have about 100000 chips after the small stacks are gone, giving you about a 50% chance of winning the tournament: a value of ($137.50 + $83)/2 = $110.25

Losing would result in a 10th place finish for $10.

Folding would leave you with 25% of the chips heads up, after the small stacks are gone, with a value of ($137.50 * 25% + $83 * 75%) = $96.62

Let's be generous and say the aces hold up 85% of the time here:
Calling results in: $110.25 * 85% + $10 * 15% = $95.21 (which is less than folding)

Wouldn't folding pocket aces pre-flop be correct here?

     
  28-Sep-12, 11:53   #2
  0 
Doarulle 
Joined: Sep '12
Location: Romania
Age: 26 (M)
Posts: 1052
No, you can't fold AA pre-flop :| i really don't understand you people Aww crap!
Okay i understand fold AA in bubble... but when you're ITM NO, NEVER
If i seen another post with AA fold pre-flop when i get AA i'll fold and post the hand...

     
  28-Sep-12, 12:08   #3
  0 
erru9107 
Joined: Oct '11
Location: Sweden
Age: 25 (M)
Posts: 910
To be perfectly honest, I don't know what I would do in that situation. Sure, you're still ITM but if you just play your hands defensivley, you'll be almost guaranteed getting $83 instead of $10. And you would still have 25% of the chips so you'll still have a decent chance of taking the whole tournament down.

I would have to think about this. There is a $73 difference between 10th and 2nd place which, for me at least, is A LOT of money. I know that the correct move is to call but I'm not sure if I would actually risk my stack like this wih so many small stacks if it actually came down to it... I would probably end up calling but I wouldn't forgive myself if I would end up loosing there.

     
  28-Sep-12, 12:11   #4
  0 
marqis 

Joined: Sep '10
Location: Netherlands
Age: 48 (M)
Posts: 1631
Posted by Doarulle:
No, you can't fold AA pre-flop :| i really don't understand you people Aww crap!
Okay i understand fold AA in bubble... but when you're ITM NO, NEVER
If i seen another post with AA fold pre-flop when i get AA i'll fold and post the hand...

I was rather hoping for a less dogmatic answer.

I'm perfectly willing to accept any flaws you may point out in my logic. I'm not talking about "gut feelings" here. You may well be "in the money", but the bubble factor is still very much in play.

It does not seem logical to me to choose an expected value of $95.21 over an expected value of $96.62. And if one were to insist on involving "gut feelings" here, I suppose my "gut" would feel "gutted" to go out in 10th place, when 2nd place is pretty much guaranteed, but I suppose I'm not much of a gambler. Blink

Edited by marqis (Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 12:40 GMT)


     
  28-Sep-12, 13:01   #5
  0 
doomdy 

Joined: May '08
Location: Netherlands
Age: 46 (M)
Posts: 6197
No you cant fold AA here, wud be absolutely horrible fold, its an uber spot to win this one.
Btw you cant say the 8 other shortys will disappear, its never a quarentee shortys will bust, in the end-game blinds are huge plus antes, 2/3 allin wins and they got a playable stack.

     
  28-Sep-12, 13:05   #6
  0 
awood88 
Joined: Feb '08
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 28 (M)
Posts: 1881
You stole my bit Big Smile

What blinds are we talking? I would assume each of the small stacks are forced all-in by the small blind but this would never happen in reality so I'm not assuming anything. If they are all forced all-in they have to double up several times to get back in this game so I'd say you are correct. But as I write this I'm having second thoughts.

     
  28-Sep-12, 13:33   #7
  0 
Fakiry 

Joined: Apr '09
Location: Portugal
Age: 37 (M)
Posts: 4764
You are already ITM, you have one of the best hands a player can get, and you have the chipleader going all-in pre-flop before you act, what can you expect better than this for your aces? You have to go for it in this situation. The game is about risking and winning, and with this hand in this situation, you will be risking few (because of the hand's odds) for the best profit you can expect for your hand.

     
  28-Sep-12, 13:52   #8
  0 
marqis 

Joined: Sep '10
Location: Netherlands
Age: 48 (M)
Posts: 1631
Posted by doomdy:
No you cant fold AA here, wud be absolutely horrible fold, its an uber spot to win this one.
Btw you cant say the 8 other shortys will disappear, its never a quarentee shortys will bust, in the end-game blinds are huge plus antes, 2/3 allin wins and they got a playable stack.

This spot doesn't get you the win, since you'll just have equal stacks if you win, so it's only 50-50 after you win the showdown (instead of 25-75).

If you were equal stacks, and this would be the "uber spot" to win, then of course you call, but that's just common sense that's reflected in the math:

Call: ($137.50 * 85% + $10 * 15%) = $118.38
Fold: ($137.50 + $83)/2 = $110.25

It's a no brainer; calling is correct, when your stacks are equal, but that isn't the situation I presented.

I concede the example isn't very realistic, but I present it as a puzzle, or maybe a case study on the bubble factor...

I also concede that anyone with a chip and a chair can still win, so you can't rule that out. That's why I contrived such an extreme example. If you suppose the blinds are at 1000, with a 100 ante, it seems unlikely they'll survive enough times, to really affect the calculation by much. Anyone care to do the math?

Posted by awood88:
You stole my bit Big Smile

Hehe. There was some trepidation about that, since you are doing such an excellent job. Big Smile
Not to worry, I'm not planning any others...

     
  28-Sep-12, 14:24   #9
  0 
kraemer 

Joined: Sep '07
Location: Germany
Age: 42 (M)
Posts: 136
If you add the slight chance of a small stack going on a streak of hands, and therefor only becoming 3rd in the end, this will lower the expectation of folding more than the expectation of calling and winning.

This might change the conclusion...

I really love the folks who agree to your calculation and still choose the lower payout because "they cant fold aces".
The game is about risking and winning, and with this hand in this situation, you will be risking few (because of the hand's odds) for the best profit you can expect for your hand.


So how can 95 dollars be the best profit for your hand when folding pays 96 ? The game is not about risking and winning. It is about risking as little as needed to win as much as possible, which in the constructed scenarioi above means folding is correct.

     
  28-Sep-12, 14:37   #10
  0 
Sorin888 
Joined: Apr '11
Location: Romania
Age: 51 (M)
Posts: 2375
The smart way is to fold,but if you face every hand all-in from the chip leader is hard to fold a monster hand,need a lot of wisdom (still looking for it Big Smile )

     
  28-Sep-12, 15:05   #11
  0 
yout85 
Joined: May '12
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 31 (M)
Posts: 2016
The odds aren't the be all and end all.... think of this...

If someone offers you a coin flip... if it's heads, you win $2million and if it's tails, you lose $1million. You are getting MAGNIFICENT odds to take that bet - so not taking it would be 'wrong'.....

But taking it would still mean risking $1million on a coin flip.

I know it's not directly relevant to this thread, but it's something to think about for all you people who say "you CAN'T fold aces preflop".....

     
  28-Sep-12, 18:02   #12
  0 
lukasb 

Joined: Mar '11
Location: Croatia
Age: 36 (M)
Posts: 1735
I see you really made an effort here to find a situation on which ppl feel tempted to fold and just wait the other players fall out. I see your point and in this specific case folding might even be the best option if you look at it in a ''results oriented'' way.

But lets be realistic... you do realize how extreme this scenario is right? i mean, when would this ever happen? if it comes to this to defend that u can fold aces pre-flop, one can only assume that in the majority of cases, if not all of them, folding pocket aces pre-flop IS a mistake.

Nice effort thou

Thumbs Up

     
  28-Sep-12, 18:34   #13
  0 
thefly131 
Joined: Jun '10
Location: Belgium
Age: 43 (M)
Posts: 1343
just remember how many times you have lost pocket AA

or even think of the times that yuo beat pocket AA with another hand

once i ve lost with AA vs AA, 4 diamonds onthe table and the other one had flush

terrible beat as you first think yes allin with AA and get call.

The see the other AA and think split pot

then loose

     
  28-Sep-12, 18:52   #14
  0 
retribution 

Joined: Mar '11
Location: Canada
Age: 37 (M)
Posts: 1490
It's an easy fold, in fact calling would be absolutely ridiculous. This is where ICM shines, as if you do the math, then it clearly indicates it's a fold. As for one of the short-stacks going on a "sick run" it's mathematically possible yes, but the odds of any one of the given stacks doubling up enough times to become a threat against the other 2 big stacks is mind blowing. Let's look at a scenario where there are no blinds, and each time 1 of the SS calls, the biggest stack calls and hero folds:

100 x 2 = 200
200 x 2 = 400
400 x 2 = 800
800 x 2 = 1600
1600 x 2 = 3200
3200 x 2 = 6400
6400 x 2 = 12800
12800 x 2 = 25600

Leaving big stack with 99,000 chips (because 150k - 51k = 99k). As you can see, any one of the micro stacks would have to double up 8 times in a row, which means they'd have to risk their equity 8 times in a row with ATC. Without doing the math, I can say that it's in the best interest of any one of the micro stacks to be folding anything but AA in the hopes one of the other micros busts out.

Of course that's just assuming no blinds, which isn't the scenario presented, and of course isn't realistic. Even assuming blinds are only 10/20, it's in heros best interest to fold even pocket aces here, and wait for all the micro stacks to bust out.

The most interesting thing about this scenario is, it's LITERALLY correct for either big stack to call a shove from any of the micros with absolutely ANY 2 cards given the risk vs gain aspect of ICM.

So yes, I'd fold AA if I was hero, 100% of the time against the big stacks shove. The biggest reason being, even if you DO win the flip against big stack, you're only on equal stacks, and STILL have to survive the rest of the micros busting and then take out the big stack. Assuming you each end up exactly equal when you make it heads up, the risk of busting for $10 isn't worth the extra chips you get.

Edited by retribution (Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 18:58 GMT)


     
  28-Sep-12, 19:10   #15
  0 
Greenmohave 

Joined: Jan '11
Location: United States
Age: 52 (M)
Posts: 3361
I can't provide some reply based on theory or preciseness, but just as a simple player with the basic knowledge of my to win with AA versus whatever against one other player in this situation leaves me to believe I have the best chance of winning. It may not be the answer from a player with more knowledge in probability or from a statistical perspective, but I do know that AA has a better chance of winning then losing here so I'm definitely not folding.

     
  28-Sep-12, 23:50   #16
  0 
jessthehuman 

Joined: Apr '09
Location: Australia
Age: 32 (M)
Posts: 6441
I tend to agree this would be one of the rare occasions where folding AA preflop would be mathematically correct. But to all those in the other thread banging on about their great AA preflop folds, 99.99% of the time it's an awful fold. This particular situation for example, will most likely occur in exactly none of our poker careers, ever.

     
  29-Sep-12, 00:50   #17
  0 
marqis 

Joined: Sep '10
Location: Netherlands
Age: 48 (M)
Posts: 1631
Posted by lukasb:
But lets be realistic... you do realize how extreme this scenario is right? i mean, when would this ever happen?

Agreed... But realism is boring, rationality is fun! Cool

Posted by retribution:
The most interesting thing about this scenario is, it's LITERALLY correct for either big stack to call a shove from any of the micros with absolutely ANY 2 cards given the risk vs gain aspect of ICM.

Good point...

Posted by jessthehuman:
I tend to agree this would be one of the rare occasions where folding AA preflop would be mathematically correct. But to all those in the other thread banging on about their great AA preflop folds, 99.99% of the time it's an awful fold. This particular situation for example, will most likely occur in exactly none of our poker careers, ever.

True dat.
Not by any stretch of the imagination is the fold in the other thread rationally justifiable. I just wanted to see if I could come up with a situation, where maybe you should fold aces preflop...
I hope I've not encouraged anyone in believing folding AA preflop is a "good thing"...

Edited by marqis (Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 00:54 GMT)


     
  29-Sep-12, 02:21   #18
  0 
jessthehuman 

Joined: Apr '09
Location: Australia
Age: 32 (M)
Posts: 6441
Posted by marqis:

I hope I've not encouraged anyone in believing folding AA preflop is a "good thing"...



Scared monies gonna scared, regardless.

     
  29-Sep-12, 02:23   #19
  0 
sadamman 

Joined: Jan '12
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 28 (M)
Posts: 1204
Its a good little thought experiment, but what happens if on this hand the bigstack doubles up a short stack, then you get aa again. Or if he takes a shortstack out and then you get aa again.

     
  29-Sep-12, 06:38   #20
  0 
marqis 

Joined: Sep '10
Location: Netherlands
Age: 48 (M)
Posts: 1631
Posted by sadamman:
Its a good little thought experiment, but what happens if on this hand the bigstack doubles up a short stack, then you get aa again. Or if he takes a shortstack out and then you get aa again.

Seven of the shortstacks will be all-in, the next hand, due to posting the ante. The chance of a 7-way split pot, for them, while simultaneously having your aces cracked, by the bigstack, is small (impossible even? Something for another awood poll maybe?)

Even the same scenario, with one less shortstack, would result in calling, being preferable, because of the jump in prize for 9th place...

So it would change to calling, in both situations.

------------
Scratch that; I used $42 for 9th place (copy paste error).
Calling becomes profitable after 3 shortstacks are gone, and the worst you can do is 7th place for $23.50

Edited by marqis (Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 08:46 GMT)


     
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