Redux, Redux, and is the +EV term used too loosly
This latest HHH, has depths that I did not imagine when I did my first Redux. In commenting on the preflop action, I may have put my foot in my mouth a bit when stating the EV values of the preflop action. I don't really have a problem with any of the post flop action, so lets slice through this hand one more time just looking preflop, and just looking at EV specifically.
First off let me formally define EV a bit. EV is expectation value, or how much on average you would make on a hand or decision if 1000s of trails could be run. It is complicated by the fact that the EV value changes by postion for all specific hands. EV in general increases for all hands as your position improves. We all know that AA is a +EV hand from any and all positions. So no matter how you play it preflop, it is +EV. But what about a decision to limp UTG with AA vs. raising 3x? The EV is different for one play vs. the other. If one move has higher EV, then the other move is lower EV (even if still positive). So even though AA is +EV from all positions preflop, deciding to limp or raise UTG is either a +EV decision or a -EV decision. You can lose some of your expectaion value by playing it one way or another, even though both ways are +EV. This where I screwed up a bit on my redux. So lets go back one more time and look at the Expectation values for the three key players based on the decision to fold, call, or raise preflop.
Smokkee has AJs UTG (a top 20-25 starting hand). AJs is a borderline EV hand in general. There are some really good players who can squeeze some EV out of it, but most players probably play it break-even or for a loss. The fact that he is UTG lowers the EV quite a bit, making this a very marginal hand. So smokkee can fold, limp, or raise it. Rasing it up to me is the most negative EV way to play it. You are raising a marginal hand into the rest of the table, and will be out of position post flop to any callers or reraisers. You can't stand a reraise with this hand, so you either take it down preflop (not likely from UTG), get reraised preflop and release it, or get called and be forced to act first post flop. So you have to c-bet with air, or bet an ace that may be dominated post flop. Not a lot of ways to make money by raising preflop, but obv. a lot of ways to lose money. Next he can just fold it (EV=0) which is a better move then the 0>EV of raising UTG. So the decision lies on if limping AJs UTG is +EV or not. The limp preflop line needs to include fold to a big reraise, call a small reraise to have any chance of being +EV. Best case is that you limp into an unrasied multiway pot and hit the flop big, or catch a huge draw. Smokkee, also had limped a few hands earlier with AA UTG and won a nice pot, so in his mind, the limp would look strong and there is a good chance that he would not be reraised preflop. He was right, as he did not get reraised and got a mulitway pot with his AJs. Another deciding factor is that this is an MTT, and you can't keep folding top 25 hands like AJs and expect to win or go far. So based on all of this, I would say raise UTG is -EV, and limp or fold are close, but with the factors considered the limp gets enough weight to make it better than fold, but just barely.
Bayne_s has AKs which is +EV in any and all positions (4th/5th best starting hand overall). Folding would be EV=0 so that is obviously the worst choice. He can raise it preflop which will be +EV, or limp preflop which is also +EV as he will be the favorite post flop in a multiway limped pot (unless someone limped with AA or KK). So the question is what is more +EV, limping or raising this hand in this position? My take is that raising is more +EV, but I understand the deception angle and limping is still +EV, so it is not as horrible of a decision as I stated. The other big complication is we are talking about +EV in relation to chips in a pot. This is an MTT, and the -EV choice, may be +EV with respect to how much money you win in the tourney as a cash. If Bayne_s is limping hoping to get reraised light or by a mid to low pair with the intention of jamming back preflop, this might be more +EV with respect to an MTT cash. If someone would like to better analyze the EV difference from Bayne_s limp vs. raise please do so.
Hoy has TT which is the 6th best starting hand preflop and +EV from any and all positions. Folding it preflop is EV=0 so that is the worst choice. So in this position and with this action in front, what is more +EV, limping or raising it up preflop. As I said in the Redux, I would have my MTT cap on for this analysis, and I that is what I did. In a cash game, I like the limp a lot. You have a couple limpers up front, and will get a few more behind so the set mining implied odds are huge. Also the blinds are smaller with respect to the stacks in a cash game, which greatly helps the limp line in a cash game. If you raise you may not lose the limpers, but you will be set-up for a c-bet if you miss. In cash games, I will first-in raise TT every time, but in this situation, I limp like hoy did. But this is not a cash game, it is an MTT. In MTTs you just can't let a hand like TT go to waste, and your implied odds are greatly reduced. Calling 120 with a stacks around 3k is less than 30BBs where it would be 100BBs in a cash game. Raising gives you the chance to take it down preflop, sets up your image for future raises in position, and sets up a c-bet in position if you miss. A agree that hoy would have been called, but he would have had lots of info to work with when it came his turn on the flop. Also the MTT EV factor is here as well. Does one way or the other make it more likely that he will cash or cash higher in the event? Based on all this, I say the raise preflop line with TT is the highest EV, and limping is lower EV (though still positive). In a cash game the limp line's EV goes up a bunch and it becomes the best choice.