Rammin' and Jammin' Preflop
Dec 30th, 1999
You will not find the following advice in any book, including S&M. Is it any good? Judge for yourself.
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 99 20:32:58 MET
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Izmet Fekali)
Subject: Jamming with AQs
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Connie writes on 2+2:
>Dear Izmet, 6-12 hold'em
>I'm in the big blind last night at the Normandie, where they have
>no small blind. About 5 callers and a regular 10-20 thru 20-40
>player(whose regular game broke)raises on the button. I have A-Q
>both diamonds, I called. Would 3 betting have been best, in regards
>to what you refer to as the EV(estimated value?).
>Everybody but the raiser could have been holding almost any two
>touching cards(unsuited). And all the limpers would have called my
>re-raise, and then certainly a cap at that point from the button.
>I think the main reason I didn't re-raise was due to my horrible
>position, and then to a lessor extent, that I was somewhat intimidated
>by the higher limit player.
>Thanks for any help, Connie
>PS: I like the super-simplified explination for implied odds you
>provide at your site.
There are good arguments for calling only (as Jim suggests in his
reply). You have bad position for all betting rounds, but a good
chance to check-raise the button if the flop hits you, thus, narrowing
the field easily. This is the standard play "by the book," which
increases chances to win the pot and enables you to get out cheaply
if the flop doesn't hit.
It's a good, bulletproof, profitable strategy.
See, if you make the pot too big, postflop play turns into a
crap shoot and anything can happen. Most poker players hate that,
they hate getting sucked out by freak draws that would have folded
on the flop, hadn't the pot been so big. And that's exactly what
happens often when a multiway pot gets blown up out of proportions.
There are no guaranties, you can flop good and still lose big. You
have little control of the play on the flop and beyond, and whatever
your edge in postflop play was, it's gone through the window.
Swelled pots are a source of frustration. For a drunken, Rolex-wearing
German tourist with a miniskirt chick hanging on his shoulder, this
is fun. For a pro with a modest bankroll, big pots are toying with
death. You can see traces of sweat on his forehead and upper lip.
It's a nightmare.
But so what. If you have a bankroll, you should ram 'n jam on the
flop. Yes, the skill factor goes way down postflop, but you are
having way best of it now. Jamming is profitable.
I assume Connie is talking about a typical California-stye game
where players are loose and trigger-happy. The limpers would surely
raise with AQ/QQ or better, so we are safe to assume our only
concern is the raiser on the button.
This guy can have a wide range of cards, if he is a good player
(and even a wider one if he is a maniac). There are many hands that
show profit with a raise against multiple limpers. The only hands
you that can give you trouble are AA, KK, QQ and AK. Against these
hands, reraise with AQs is not such a good idea, as you are either
dominated (against KK, QQ and AK) or destroyed (against AA). But
even here, the five dupes in are covering for you with
their contributions (as a good chunk of their money is dead, since
they have a relatively small chance of winning the pot). You are
not in bad shape even when dominated.
But against other possible hands the button could have
(Axs/K9s/98s/77/KJo or better), you are a happy camper. You will
make a load of money even when against a better hand like JJ. But
remember, you are increasing EV (drastically, I might add) here at
the expense of higher variance. Reraise is a most profitable play,
yet you still might not want to do it. Profitability is not the
only factor when judging a certain poker play. For some pros living
in the van by the river, variance is baaaaaaad. They prefer calling.
How profitable is the reraise (and a subsequent cap if rereraised,
Nevada style) with AQs?
I ran a $10-20 Turbo sim for Connie with a player on the button
holding JJ and a player in the big blind with AQ (I did not bother
to set up the sim with a single blind like Connie's game, because
if the game is loose, the blind structure is not that important).
The lineup was loose, with players that tend to go a bit too far
postflop. To put it simply, it was a fishy table, except for the
two test players. I used the same profile (optimized for playing
in loose games) for both the button (JJ) and the big blind (AQs).
The results after 500000 runs with 5 or more opponents (at least
4 limpers + the button raiser):
AQs calling a raise in the big blind, min. 5 opponents:
JJ, win rate: 28.0%, $ net per hand: $39.27
AQs, win rate: 26.1%, $ net per hand: $20.78
AQs jamming preflop in the big blind, min. 5 opponents:
JJ, win rate: 30.0%, $ net per hand: $61.61
AQs, win rate: 27.2%, $ net per hand: $36.81
Against JJ and four other opponents, AQs just flat called, tried
to keep the pot small and went for a check raise with top pair on
the flop. With no hit, AQ called for one bet on the flop with two
overcards (which is a pretty much correct play, given the size of
the pot). It did quite ok, earning a big bet per hand.
But, when AQs capped it preflop, it earned almost twice as much!
The difference between calling and jamming was more than one and
a half small bet. And that's a lot, baby! Note also the difference
your jamming made to JJ's profits. The button should buy you a
drink for making him $20 with your aggressive preflop play. You
both profited, but the fish should think twice before entering a
pot with trash again...
Here's the same sim, but with QQ on the button. The situation seems
hopeless, but the fish covered the losses. Jamming with AQs against
QQ boosted profit per hand from $3.74 to $09.91. It's not that
much, considering the increased variance, but hey, I can use every
AQs calling a raise in the big blind, min. 5 opponents:
QQ, win rate: 31.5%, $ net per hand: $40.76
AQs, win rate: 19.6%, $ net per hand: $03.74
AQs jamming preflop in the big blind min. 5 opponents:
QQ, win rate: 33.7%, $ net per hand: $69.93
AQs, win rate: 20.7%, $ net per hand: $09.91
The interesting thing here is that you are still making money
jamming preflop even when against dominating hand. The fish in the
pot took care of that. With enough callers (10-way family pots),
you could safely reraise even if you strongly suspected aces.
Of course, Turbo sims are perceived as unreliable by most posters
here, maybe they are indeed... but then again, they make you think
anyway, don't they?
Burek Experts Ltd.
Catering the World since 1389!
Subject: Re: Jamming with AQs
From: email@example.com ("Gary Carson")
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 15:01:21 -0600
Organization: MindSpring Enterprises
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Izmet Fekali wrote in message ...
>Connie writes on 2+2:
>>Dear Izmet, 6-12 hold'em
( really long post about AQS on blind after a bunch of limpers and a
raise by an unknown, but probably loose aggresive button.)
Izmet's analysis did a good job of showing how it's not that important to
have the best hand preflop, it's important to have the best of it. And, the
two aren't the same thing.
With AQs against 5-6 hands of mostly loose players, AQs has the best of it
and a raise is usually right.
Subject: Re: Jamming with AQs
From: stevebadger58NOSPAM@hotmail.com ("Badger")
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 14:26:11 -0800
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> Izmet's analysis did a good job of showing how it's not that important to
> have the best hand preflop, it's important to have the best of it. And,
> two aren't the same thing.
> With AQs against 5-6 hands of mostly loose players, AQs has the best of it
> and a raise is usually right.
And that's assuming AQs *isn't* the best hand, which from the description of
the raiser may well be a poor conclusion to jump to. The raiser very well
could have a hand weaker than the AQs. I don't read all these silly AQ
threads on 2+2, but keeping the pot small in this situation with this hand
is the philosophy of a player afraid of their own shadow who doesn't want to
work to win.
What I find interesting is that anybody could the small philosophy, with a
hand like this in a situation like this. Even *Gary* manages to be right on
"I don't know what the hell I was talking about." -- Gary Carson
Subject: Holy $hit Izmet ! Thank You
Posted By: Connie
Date: Wednesday, 29 December 1999, at 8:32 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Izmet, help me out. (Izmet Fekali)
I can't believe the trouble you went to!!