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  1. #1
    PokerOwned Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    How NOT to play AK in position

    As many of you have seen I've posted a lot of hands where I thought other people have made some questionable plays and posted my criticisms of those plays. Now it's time to turn the mirror on myself and post a horrible hand I was involved with. I hope this helps others out there on how NOT to play AK.


    utg: cards unknown (starting stack: 1275)
    utg + 1: Q 10 of spades (starting stack: 1000)
    cutoff(me): AK off (stating stack: 1330)
    sb: cards unknown (starting stack: 1360)

    blinds 5/10. utg and utg + 1 limp into the pot. I am in the hijack position with AK off and raise to 75 (i.e. 7.5x BB). SB calls as well as utg and utg + 1 limpers. AK in a 4-way pot is NOT good way to start the hand. AK HUs vs a random hand is about a 60-65% favorite. Against 3 other players, the equity drops to ~40%.

    Mistake number one: misunderstanding of table dynamic and bet sizing.

    Table dynamics: Being a micro-game and early stages people do not fold to pre-flop raises unless it is substantial. I actually know this but failed to act on it.

    Bet sizing: Even a 7.5x bb raise at this point of the game is not enough to get people to fold. I should have either made the raise 100-130 or limped if I didn't want to commit to the hand.

    Flop is A 10 Q with two clubs. Pot stands at 310 after my pre-flop raise and 3 callers. All 3 players check to me. I bet the pot - 310 (leaving behind 945). SB and utg fold and utg + 1 shoves 925 into a pot of 620.

    Mistake number two: Again bet sizing and not taking into consideration stack sizes of all the players, including myself.

    Bet sizing: 1/2 to 2/3 (150 to 225) of the pot would have accomplished the same thing as a pot sized bet. Seeing where I stand and not giving odds for someone to draw out on me.

    Stack sizes: A 1/2 to 2/3 sized bet would also have left me with 1000+ behind at over 100 BBs. In addition, 310 would have left utg + 1 with 615 behind (just one pot sized bet) with a turn and river to still come. In another words, if he calls 310 in this spot he's essentially committing himself to the hand.

    When he shoves - I'm 90% certain I'm behind but I'm getting 2.5:1 to make the call. My best guess is that he has a straight which means I only drawing to a chop or 2 pair which means I have 10 outs. I figure I got myself into the mess I might as well commit.

    Mistake number three: Fold-equity. I actually do have fold equity here. I still have 945 behind (i.e. 95 bb this lvl and 40+ next lvl). If I truly think I'm behind and am only drawing to a chop, then I need to fold! Just because I made some bad decisions earlier in the hand I should not compound it by making a call that I feel is wrong.

    Am I rational - of course not. I make the call and actually have 10 outs as he only has 2 pair. But at last, I'm punished for playing AK like an idiot and don't get there by the river and lose the hand.

    Lessons learned:

    1) Do not get AK blindness and never get married to a hand

    2) TP/TK is NOT the nuts - a lesson I seem to forget all too often

    3) Always be aware of your stack size and opponents stack size in relation to the bet/pot

    4) Understand fold equity

    5) Don't let emotion/frustration get in the way of making the right decision

    Hope this helps someone out there not make the same mistake.

  2. #2
    Elite PokerOwned Member tp3rd's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    You also forgot to mention that if you have AA and are playing on the Merge network,your best bet is to fold them. It is utterly disgusting how many people I see get whacked with that hand no matter how they play them. Slow play gets you beat on 5th street and all in pre or flop gets you donked.

  3. #3
    PokerOwned Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    I've lost a few times with AA . Seem to hit 2 pair on the river everytime.

  4. #4
    PokerOwned God
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    interesting read for sure, tx for the info, i like ak spades as my fav hand, win alot with it

  5. #5
    Seasoned Veteren
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    i always have guest that certain tournaments, at least in pokerstars, are should be very difficult win AA and I have lost lot of times as well with them (one vs one)....what do u think

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