Warning Track: Answer
Summary of hand in question: Folded to me on the button with AQo, I’m faced with a flat-call in the SB and a jam in the BB. The BB isn’t much more to call, but the SB has me barely covered. He’s loose-passive and a danger. What do you do?
Well, I got one of my Christmas wishes: Ryan commented on my post. Ryan’s tournament game is one I respect above many due to his sage advice and direct observation of his play, so let’s look at his comment on my previous post:
I think jamming is probably +EV there, as even a lousy player is unlikely to flat-call with a bigger ace.
When I’m in a situation like this I like to compartmentalize. First, do I call the BB’s jam? Math says obviously yes since you have to call 4400 to win 15kish; the only hand you could fold AQo against here is aces, which, if it happens, hey, at least you still have chips.
But you still have SB to think about. Probably he has either a medium pair or a hand you’re either slightly ahead of (KJish) or crushing (KQish). The smooth call is troublesome, but I think there’s too much money in the pot to try to outthink yourself and folding leaves you very shortstacked against players who by your description aren’t going to lay down the kind of hands you need them to for you to steal your way back to a comfortable stack.
I jam and hope for the best. If I’m up against KK and AK (and thus only have like 10% equity), I say nice hand and hope for a miracle. If I’m up against 88 and JJ I’m in line to nearly triple my stack if I hit, and against loose players late in the game I’ll take those odds, especially once I’ve put money in the pot.
So, here was my thinking on this hand: The Big Blind, who I have no real read on, is not sure to have a monster. I might be making a button steal, and the Small blind, who has proven to be loose, could be calling off chips with almost anything mediocre. So, more often than not, I’m ahead, or even better, have him dominated.
The small blind, however, scares me. He’s just flat called out of position, and put 20% of his chips in the middle. Does he really think he’s commited to the hand? And what is he just calling off with? At worst, it’s a coin flip. So, if I push, and he calls, am I nervous? Eh, kinda. He’s probably got a pair, but I’d rather get in without having to improve.
In either case, I can’t fold. I’ve got one player most likely making a re-steal, and another whose call has broadcast loud and clear I’m ahead.
The result? I pushed, and the Small Blind called after a genuine dive into the tank, which surprised me. The BB showed A2, and the SB had Jacks. I don’t know how to feel about seeing Jacks, as it might as well be 22, but to see a hand that strong was pretty shocking. I don’t think you can be much more passive than flat-calling a button raise with a monster with only 12 big bets.
So, now i’m down to five outs instead of 6, making me a little worse than a coin-flip. But a jack on the flop killed *that* little hope.
Got my money in alright, I don’t feel too bad.