Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Poker Quiz Question #42

Q#42: You're in a $5/$10 NL 9-handed cash game. The UTG player has $1300. The SB has $1000. The cutoff seat has $70. You have $1500. UTG is a mediocre pro. He plays about 17% of his hands, and raises about 4% of them. He is fairly aggressive post-flop. He knows you're a good player. The small blind is new to the game, plays way too many hands, calls re-raises with very marginal hands, and plays very poorly.

UTG raises to $40. The cutoff calls $40. You RR to $120. The SB calls $120. UTG calls, and the CO calls all-in for $70 total. The flop is 6c-7c-4d. SB checks. UTG checks. You check. The turn is the Ah. UTG bets $160 into the $480 pot. You call. SB folds. River is Kd. UTG bets $350 into the $800 pot. What does he have?
  1. 67s
  2. AA
  3. KK
  4. 77/66/44
  5. AK
  6. AcXc
  7. 89 suited


A#42: Reads: Okay, the UTG player is a "mediocre pro," which to me means he's pretty solid. He likely understands position, reading, cbetting, etc., and probably has just a few modest leaks in his game (which, given his VPIP to PFR ratio, I would peg as primarily being too passive preflop (and possible postflop)). The problem stated that he plays about 17% of his hands and raises 4%. As is usual with these problems, there are a few ways to interpret this, but I'm going to just assume that 4% means the top 4% of his range. Further, because I'm assuming he understands position and is in EP, I put his preflop raising range on the following possible cards: 99+,AQs+,AKo.*

{*this range is straight from pokerstove. Unfortunately, 4% in 'stove truly means the top 4% of hands. It doesn't necessarily mean that any one player's 4% range matches this. For this exercise, however, I'm going with this range.}

Now, this starting hand range means we can immediately rule out possible answers like 67s, AcXc, and 89s. We can also rule out 77/66/44 hands, though there is a remote possibility of these being in his range (see "*" above).

So this leaves us with AA, KK, and AK. The problem with AA and KK, however, is that he would almost certainly 4bet us preflop after we 3bet him. This is especially true given that the pot is multiway and he'll be OOP to at least two of his opponents (the CO and us) throughout the hand. A RR here makes more sense if he's holding the AA or KK. This leaves just AK.

So does AK make sense given the how the rest of the hand played out? Well, yes, actually. The board was pretty coordinated on the flop and he checked. Again, if he had AA or KK he probably would bet here to protect his equity and charge draws to continue. He didn't, so his check is still consistent with the AK answer.

The turn in an Ace, and he leads out smallish for about 1/3 of the pot. Remember, he's a pro, so he's not doing this out of incompetence, but more likely because he thinks his hand is good, realizes everyone else probably missed and/or is weak, and wants to entice some callers with second best-type hands. The same is true on the river, when he bets less than half pot heads up with us on the King. All of this is consistent with him holding Anna Kournikova.

Answer: AK

All-in for now...

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