Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Dealing with QQ and JJ in raised pots

It's a tricky proposition to play JJ or QQ out of position against a preflop 3-bettor. I've been trying to figure out if it's profitable to cold call the 3 bet, then check-raise a continuation bet.

Like this:

Hero raises to $70.00 with Jd Jc
Villain reraises to $240.00
Hero calls $170.00
*** FLOP *** [8d 8s 2h]
Hero checks
Villain bets $380.00
Hero raises all-in

JJ has a 2:1 equity advantage against my opponent's estimated range, according to PokerStove.

equity win tie pots won pots tied
Hand 0: 65.703% 65.27% 00.43% 74956 497.00 { JdJs }
Hand 1: 34.297% 33.86% 00.43% 38890 497.00 { 88+, ATs+, KTs+, QTs+, J9s+, T8s+, 98s, 87s, 76s, AQo+, KQo }

But is it worth betting 100 BBs in a situation where I'll either lose a big pot or win a medium-sized one?

If I'm against a hand I beat, let's assume that my opponent would fold and never pay off my all-in bet. In that case, I win an $860 pot about 75 percent of the time.

The other 25 percent of the time, I'm against a hand that beats me and I'll lose $4,000 pot unless I suck out.


(860 * .75) + (-4,000 * .9 * .25) + (4,000 * .1 * .25) = 645 - 900 + 100 = -$155

The math improves into +EV territory if we substitute QQ for JJ:

(860 * .8) + (-4000 * .89 * .2) + (4,000 * .11 * .2) = 688 - 712 + 88 = +$64

My conclusion is similar to what I discovered when I did some airplane math over the summer:

It may be profitable to go all-in with QQ in a 3-bet pot if there are no overcards on the board in some circumstances. But JJ is not a hand that's worth losing your stack over for 100 BB.

There are also other ways to play these hands. Many of these other, better options include folding.


lucko said...

What amount of -EV would acceptable here with JJ? If its a -$70 ev play, you would be breaking even after your preflop raise. I would also think there has to be some additional long term meta game reasons to accept a certain amount in these spots. I have no idea how to quantify that or even if its really possible to do.

pokerpeaker said...

More and more, I just refuse to go broke with high pocket pairs, and pushing with JJ or QQ, especially in cash games (what I normally play) is a good way to do that. You'll never get called by 10,10 anymore and usually run into KK or AA or AK. The best you can usually hope for is A,K. So I call a raise with them, fold JJ to re-raises and let it go if it's obvious the guy has a huge pocket pair. Maybe thats weak but I've seen way more money lost on those than won.