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Thread: Playing AA multi-way vs heads-up.

  1. #1
    yoyo is offline PNW Elite
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    Default Playing AA multi-way vs heads-up.

    Tonight, in a 1/2 blind HE NL cash game, I had QQ and went all-in. I was called by three players - one had AJo, one had JJ, one had 99. Another player not involved in the pot commented how it'd be better if I was just playing one or two opponents with this hand, rather than 3, as I'd be more likely to win. He was correct in stating that I'd be more likely to win against a smaller number of opponents, but the logic was slightly flawed. The end result of the hand is irrelevant, but I'd like to focus on this idea that some people have that strong pre-flop hands like QQ are better value against less opponents.________________________________________ _________I often people talk about wanting to play hands like AA or QQ (like I had) against less opponents so that they win more often. This is very bad logic as I'm sure you'll understand once I explain. Sure, you'll win with QQ more often against one opponent, but let me present this scenario:You get QQ three times in a row and manage to get your money all in 3 times in a row against one opponent each time - first opponent has AJo, second has JJ, third has 99. Surely you would love this scenario yes? Of course you would. You are a strong favourite to win each time.The EV of playing QQ is identical playing these three hands separately all in as it is playing QQ against all three hands at once. When facing 3 callers, you are, in effect, playing 3 separate hands (QQ vs AJo, QQ vs JJ, QQ vs 99).So getting all your money in with AA against 9 opponents at once is the same as getting AA nine times in a row headsup against all those opponents.I don't read "when to fold AA" posts anymore, but years ago, when I did, it used to make me laugh when people would talk about sitting down first hand at the WSOP, and folding AA because there are five all-ins by the time it reaches your turn to act. The logic of folding AA here is ludicrous as it would be the same as folding AA five times in a row against those five hands headsup.Sure, against 5 opponents, you have less chance of winning with AA - but if you do win, you win 5 times as much. Simple.Moral of the story - don't be scared of multi-way pots with strong pre-flop hands. yoyo

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    yoyo is offline PNW Elite
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    Default Playing AA multi-way vs heads-up.

    It's 3:20am and I really need to use the preview function before I post but I'll just clarify some things before other people pick up on them.Firstly, the title of this post is "Playing AA multi-way vs heads-up" and I spend most of the post talking about QQ - the logic I'm explaining is the same for both if you're the sort of player who goes all-in with QQ pre-flop (which I usually like to do for a number of reasons - reasons that would require a whole separate post), but is more clearly understood when using AA as the example hand.Secondly, I say that "The EV of playing QQ is identical playing these three hands separately all in as it is playing QQ against all three hands at once". This is actually marginally incorrect in the example I gave, as AJ takes one of JJ's outs, thereby making the EV of QQ marginally higher if you manage to get those three hands (AJ/JJ/99) all in at once, opposed to playing all three separately.I've probably made more mistakes, so feel free to point them out, and maybe I can learn something from this discussion also.yoyo

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    Declan is offline PNW Lurker
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    Default Playing AA multi-way vs heads-up.

    A very interesting post yoyo. I agree with your idea that you do not as a rule get less value going all in when it is a multi-way pot. The value is affected however, as you mentioned, if outs are duplicated. This usually makes hands like AK or AQ lose value, where as pocket pairs usually gain value in these situations. For instance, with 2 2, you are more likely to win against 2 players playing AK, than against just one. Play against 4 players playing AK and you’re a shoe in!In the situation in your example:When AJ off called, you were 71.5% to win a pot 2 times your bet, a return of 143%.When JJ called, you were 65.8% to win a pot 3 times your bet, a return of 197.4%. When 99 called, you were 53.3% to win a pot 4 times your bet, a return of 213.2%. The more hands that are worse than your yours that call against you, the better the value for your bet you are getting.The only flaw I found in your post was in your scenario:“You get QQ three times in a row and manage to get your money all in 3 times in a row against one opponent each time - first opponent has AJo, second has JJ, third has 99. Surely you would love this scenario yes? Of course you would. You are a strong favourite to win each time.The EV of playing QQ is identical playing these three hands separately all in as it is playing QQ against all three hands at once. When facing 3 callers, you are, in effect, playing 3 separate hands (QQ vs AJo, QQ vs JJ, QQ vs 99).”If you play QQ against AJ off, JJ and 99, you are 51.9% to win a pot 4 times the size of your initial bankroll. This represents a 207.6% return. (Good bet)However if "You get QQ three times in a row and manage to get your money all in 3 times in a row against one opponent each time - first opponent has AJo, second has JJ, third has 99"you can expect a 71.5% * 81.3% * 80.5% = 46.79% of winning all three. However if you did win all three your winnings would be equal to 8 times the size of your initial bankroll. This represents a 374.35% return. (Better bet).So I don’t think your example was accurate, but the theory you are explaining is correct.Declan

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    yoyo is offline PNW Elite
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    Default Playing AA multi-way vs heads-up.

    Thanks for your post Declan - it's excellent.My thinking is clouded as I have been drinking (fortified wines are the future of alcohol - mark my words) - but can you explain again your corrections to the mistake I made?I'm sure it will all be clear to me tomorrow, but I want to understand tonight...whilst drunk. Cheersyoyo

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    yoyo is offline PNW Elite
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    Default Playing AA multi-way vs heads-up.

    Ah of course, is it because I didn't make the point that, for my example, I should have stated that your stack would be reduced to inital size each time after winning? No parlaying of course.God that is bad writing I know, but I have a headache..thinking hurts now.yoyo

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    Declan is offline PNW Lurker
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    Default Playing AA multi-way vs heads-up.

    Exactly!Now if you will excuse me, I am off to try some fortified wine!Declan

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    yoyo is offline PNW Elite
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    Default Playing AA multi-way vs heads-up.

    Thanks Dec for your excellent analysis. I've sobered up now after watching "Road to Perdition" on TV. Everything is clear again heheh you mentioned how great it would be if you had 22 against four opponents with AK - with my luck, the board would fall 23333. And all those AK's would split my money.yoyo

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    Default Playing AA multi-way vs heads-up.

    "The logic of folding AA here is ludicrous as it would be the same as folding AA five times in a row against those five hands headsup."Er, no.The logic of folding AA in a tourney when faced with certain 5-way action is not at all ludicrous.John, there is a fundamental difference between EV in a cash game and your stack size in a tournament. Once you lose in a tourney, you can't reload.Sure, you'd win your share of pots in the long run just as you would in a cash game, but the fact is, while you may have the leading and favoured hand, collectively, you're not the favourite.For example - a five-way situation...Player 1 - 7s7d - 18.1%Player 2 - AcQc - 11.4%Player 3 - JdJh - 17.5%Player 4 - AsKs - 9.8%Hero - AdAh - 43.3%You will win this pot 43% of the time. Furthermore, you will lose the pot and possibly be eliminated from the tournament 57% of the time!Tournament poker is a different kind of poker in this sense. A call here is not wise, while in a cash game, you wouldn't hesitate, I agree.It's not the same as folding AA five times against those separate hands heads up. That's just not true.

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    yoyo is offline PNW Elite
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    Default Playing AA multi-way vs heads-up.

    Scratch five in a row. We've already covered that. Read above. For the purposes of the comparison, make it 5 x first hand of cash game/tourney with exactly same size stacks. The whole error with "3 in a row" was a technicality anyway.I'll be happy to discuss poker with you Matt, but you'll want to change your tone - it may be your writing style as I've noticed it before in your posts. I'm not trying to stir you, I like most of your posts and you sound like a good kid. You just won't learn much if you try and 'lecture' the people who you may learn something from. The logic you're using in your arguments have some basic flaws. I am happy to help out - if not me, there are brighter people on this noticeboard than me anyway who will help you out - "but you gotta ask me nicely". (what movie?)yoyo

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    yoyo is offline PNW Elite
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    Default Playing AA multi-way vs heads-up.

    Check out Declan's reply to my initial posts. Classic leadership, management and writing skills displayed.- He starts with positive reinforcement.- He summarises the points he agrees with.- He then reinforces those points with statistics (which I was too lazy to get) - thereby making my points technically sounder.- He then points out the technical error in my argument, and uses statistical evidence to show why it is incorrect. - He then closes out perfectly with a summary, and finishes with positive reinforcement. Begin positive - end positive.A perfect post.yoyo

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