Another Correct Fold of AA Before the Flop

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What if everyone goes all-in before I act in a single table tournament?

Another Correct Fold of AA Before the Flop

We're going to talk about one more time it's correct to fold aces before the flop in a no limit Texas hold ‘em tournament. Remember that these situations are basically just little mental riddles and trivia factoids – I've played tens of thousands of hands of multiplayer poker online and never once dreamed of folding AA before the flop.

Suppose you're playing in a $10 one-table tournament with 10 players. First place pays $50, second is $30, and third is $20. On the first hand, you're in the big blind with AA, and amazingly, everyone goes all-in before you act. Should you call? At first it seems like you obviously should – you've got the best hand in poker. But look deeper. If you call, assume you win 40% of the time. In actuality, it will be significantly lower, but assume it's 40%. If you call, you'll win $50 40% of the time, and the 60% that you lose, you'll split the second and third place money nine ways, which is $50 / 9, or $5.56. Forty percent times $50 plus 60% times $5.56 is $23.33.

If you fold, you're guaranteed second (as long as there is not a tie for the pot), which is worth $30, plus you might get lucky and pull out an unlikely first. So, not that it will ever come up, but if you find yourself in this spot you should fold AA!



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William Pirraglia