AK's on MTT's: Whats the right play?

    • piresromeu
      piresromeu
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.10.2008 Posts: 59
      Hi Sharks.
      I love to play large fields and Sng's, tourneys are my thing.
      I'm trying to improve my game, i know this cant be only a game of luck but lately looks like she is not on my side. Anyway i dont give up if its a variance i want to beat it.

      Now reason of my topic: How to play AK right?? Well my biggest probkem is going broke too many time with this hand, acctually i'm starting to hate it. ;(

      I've seen Pro's folding it preflop and start to understant why!

      I go broke most of the time in this situation: 1 raiser, 1 caller and i squeeze. i get called 90% of times in a coinflip situation, a thing i dont do very well. Now on a tourney if i cant win this i'll prob be broke or crippled.

      If anybody can help me or share a good strategy for MTT's i would be very gratefull. I also accept coaching thru Skype. I'm playing This year in FT atm my username is Jack PT, last year i played in Pokerstars with User name Piresromeu, feel free to compare my results in OPR.

      Thks you all and gl at ur games
  • 16 replies
    • Alficor1
      Alficor1
      Bronze
      Joined: 16.06.2010 Posts: 7,291
      Well i watch tournament poker quite a lot and i dont really see many pro's folding AK preflop. If they fold it, it's usually a) because they have a read on opp or b) the hand went like open-raise, 3-bet, 4-bet and they're sitting on SB.

      You say you dont do well at coinflips.. Isnt that called selective memory? Dont tell me that you've lost 70%+ of your coinflips. When you bust with AK against two queens in a big tourney, during which you've been playing really well (esp if its on the final table bubble), you'll ALWAYS remember this result and your feelings better, then when you just play random SNG and double up with like AT against pocket sixes.
    • Murn90
      Murn90
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.09.2010 Posts: 71
      If you can keep getting into flips with dead money in you are gaining chips on average. So don't stop looking for good flips - Make sure you are flipping against their range and not just the hand they happen to show.
    • Tiltberger
      Tiltberger
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.06.2005 Posts: 28,155
      how to play ak depends on your stacksize, villains stacksizes, position, your image, villains images etc.

      I guess it would be the best to post converted hands in the handhistory evaluation boards. If you are not satisfied with discussions in the hand history evaluation forums I can offer you my privat coaching.
    • Gugi19
      Gugi19
      Bronze
      Joined: 08.01.2010 Posts: 325
      I fold AK to 3-bet or 4-bet that comes from a TAG, especially when I'm OOP, and we are big stacks. On the other hand I'm ready to go broke against LAG or maniac or against strange shove, like when shove is 20-40x bigger then original raise. Also when I have less than 30bb I almost always go broke, also in blinds battle and to a re-steal shove I go broke.

      This works for me well but nothing is a general rule. Like it was said in previous post it really depends on situation (stack sizes, opponents, images, blinds level, position, action, tournament phase etc.).
    • piresromeu
      piresromeu
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.10.2008 Posts: 59
      Originally posted by Alficor1
      Well i watch tournament poker quite a lot and i dont really see many pro's folding AK preflop. If they fold it, it's usually a) because they have a read on opp or b) the hand went like open-raise, 3-bet, 4-bet and they're sitting on SB.
      HI Alficor1, yeah its not usual to see them fold AK but i remember Racener folding it vs Thorson after Shoved with KJ :f_eek: . Racener a few hands after caught him with KK vs JT. Very good play, check the WSOP 2010 in youtube, must be Main event episode 25 or 26 dont remember that well.
      I also like what Doyle says on his book, that he would take 22 vs AK any time on a 2-1.

      Originally posted by seeberger

      I guess it would be the best to post converted hands in the handhistory evaluation boards. If you are not satisfied with discussions in the hand history evaluation forums I can offer you my privat coaching.
      hi seedberger, would like to post some of my hands but aparently Pokerstrategy hand converter doesnt work with Holdem Manager hand history. how can i solve this problem?
      Thks a lot for ur help and i look foward to have a lesson from u, i have more time at weekends, its my day off and i can fully concentrate on poker cause my girl works those days.


      I had a deep thought on most of my plays and i think that sometimes the push looks too weak for >TT to fold, i guess shoving pre vs a PP looks weak to them instead i should Re-raise or 4 bet it even that sometimes i hate 20-30 BB, but i hate when i raise, get called and hit nothing...Anyway the thought is still in progress, training and pratice it should be my next step.
      I also thought about having some Mathematics classes to improve my theory, i didnt went to University so i feel a little dumb on that chapter.
      Greeting to all and thks for the coments
    • piresromeu
      piresromeu
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.10.2008 Posts: 59
      Got it found a place to convert my hands... so here goes a AK's standart bustout, i know its very complicated to avoid these situations but in order to become a winner i must perfect my game...



      Full Tilt Poker No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t250.00/t500.00 Blinds - 8 players - View hand 1008615
      DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

      UTG: t52830.00 105.66 BBs
      UTG+1: t11608.00 23.22 BBs
      MP1: t24592.00 49.18 BBs
      MP2: t26256.00 52.51 BBs
      CO: t47653.00 95.31 BBs
      BTN: t46083.00 92.17 BBs
      Hero (SB): t17523.00 35.05 BBs
      BB: t6045.00 12.09 BBs

      Pre Flop: (t750) Hero is SB with A :heart: K :club:
      2 folds, MP1 raises to t1250, 2 folds, BTN calls t1250, Hero raises to t17473, 2 folds, BTN calls t16223

      Flop: (t36696) 9 :club: 5 :spade: 8 :spade: (2 players)

      Turn: (t36696) 6 :spade: (2 players)

      River: (t36696) J :spade: (2 players)

      Bye bye 10$ SuperStack ;(
    • Gugi19
      Gugi19
      Bronze
      Joined: 08.01.2010 Posts: 325
      Originally posted by piresromeu
      Got it found a place to convert my hands... so here goes a AK's standart bustout, i know its very complicated to avoid these situations but in order to become a winner i must perfect my game...
      I think you could avoid this, you could squeeze here with something like 4500-5000 and than make a decision on flop. That would look stronger to me then a big shove. I would probably gave up on that flop.
    • piresromeu
      piresromeu
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.10.2008 Posts: 59
      Yep, i agree with that, calling with 9's in that situation would be a little fishy, dont think a good player would do that. Thks for ur opinion, i'll aplly it and tell how it went, greetings and GL :f_cool:
    • jass1960
      jass1960
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.04.2010 Posts: 709
      1. You need to put your opponents on a range......

      Original raise was 2.5bb nothing spectacular, so possible AQ, AJ, AT and medium/small pairs. With a flat call from button possibly same hands, but because of his stack size he may be playing looser and you might add in KQ, KJs, QJs, JTs.

      AK will beat Ax 75% of the time
      AK will beat Kx 78% of the time
      AK will beat lower pocket pairs 44% of the time
      AK will beat suited connectors 59% of the time

      So...
      Big favourite v AQ, AJ, AT
      Big favourite v KQ, KJs
      Favourite v QJs, JTs
      Slight underdog v 99-22

      In essence you are big favourite on half the hands and slight underdog on half the hands.

      So overall you have the best chance of winning the hand!!

      2. Then think of your motivation......

      Are you trying to win the tournament?
      Or just to get ITM?

      With the payout structure you are better advised to go for the win - on one of Aaron's videos he says something like 1 win in 40 is better than 20 out 40 just ITM.

      Personally, I would have got it all in and not been disappointed if I got called

      Cheers
      Jass :D
    • Tiltberger
      Tiltberger
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.06.2005 Posts: 28,155
      Originally posted by piresromeu
      Originally posted by Alficor1
      Well i watch tournament poker quite a lot and i dont really see many pro's folding AK preflop. If they fold it, it's usually a) because they have a read on opp or b) the hand went like open-raise, 3-bet, 4-bet and they're sitting on SB.
      HI Alficor1, yeah its not usual to see them fold AK but i remember Racener folding it vs Thorson after Shoved with KJ :f_eek: . Racener a few hands after caught him with KK vs JT. Very good play, check the WSOP 2010 in youtube, must be Main event episode 25 or 26 dont remember that well.
      I also like what Doyle says on his book, that he would take 22 vs AK any time on a 2-1.

      Originally posted by seeberger

      I guess it would be the best to post converted hands in the handhistory evaluation boards. If you are not satisfied with discussions in the hand history evaluation forums I can offer you my privat coaching.
      hi seedberger, would like to post some of my hands but aparently Pokerstrategy hand converter doesnt work with Holdem Manager hand history. how can i solve this problem?
      Thks a lot for ur help and i look foward to have a lesson from u, i have more time at weekends, its my day off and i can fully concentrate on poker cause my girl works those days.

      if you the ps.de handconverter is not working
      try:

      http://poker-tools.flopturnriver.com/Hand-Converter.php
      http://weaktight.com
      http://pokerhand.org
    • Tiltberger
      Tiltberger
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.06.2005 Posts: 28,155
      Originally posted by Gugi19
      Originally posted by piresromeu
      Got it found a place to convert my hands... so here goes a AK's standart bustout, i know its very complicated to avoid these situations but in order to become a winner i must perfect my game...
      I think you could avoid this, you could squeeze here with something like 4500-5000 and than make a decision on flop. That would look stronger to me then a big shove. I would probably gave up on that flop.
      flop would be about 13000 with 12000 left ...
      i guess giving up then is completely horrible and totally -ev

      i guess both solutions are fine. You can 3bet to 5000 and shove this flop. When you hit a or k you can check to your opponent and try to induce a bluff.

      or you can just ship it in preflop as you did. This is totally fine and you can win 3250 chips without a showdown which is good for your stack. And if you get called you should have more than 50% equity. Because a/q and sometimes a/js are also calling your shove. This is also very good because these hands (aj/aq) would fold on this flop if you made the squeeze and push...
    • jass1960
      jass1960
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.04.2010 Posts: 709
      Originally posted by seeberger

      or you can just ship it in preflop as you did. This is totally fine and you can win 3250 chips without a showdown which is good for your stack. And if you get called you should have more than 50% equity. Because a/q and sometimes a/js are also calling your shove. This is also very good because these hands (aj/aq) would fold on this flop if you made the squeeze and push...
      I think the coach agrees with me, how cool is that :s_cool:
    • piresromeu
      piresromeu
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.10.2008 Posts: 59
      Originally posted by jass1960
      1. You need to put your opponents on a range......

      Original raise was 2.5bb nothing spectacular, so possible AQ, AJ, AT and medium/small pairs. With a flat call from button possibly same hands, but because of his stack size he may be playing looser and you might add in KQ, KJs, QJs, JTs.

      AK will beat Ax 75% of the time
      AK will beat Kx 78% of the time
      AK will beat lower pocket pairs 44% of the time
      AK will beat suited connectors 59% of the time

      So...
      Big favourite v AQ, AJ, AT
      Big favourite v KQ, KJs
      Favourite v QJs, JTs
      Slight underdog v 99-22

      In essence you are big favourite on half the hands and slight underdog on half the hands.

      So overall you have the best chance of winning the hand!!

      2. Then think of your motivation......

      Are you trying to win the tournament?
      Or just to get ITM?

      With the payout structure you are better advised to go for the win - on one of Aaron's videos he says something like 1 win in 40 is better than 20 out 40 just ITM.

      Personally, I would have got it all in and not been disappointed if I got called

      Cheers
      Jass :D

      HI Jass. i totally agreed with you, that's what i was thinking about that second caller, that he was a little bit looser because of position. yes i'm a favorite most of the times but that's matematic and my problem with this hand is that... i know i'm a favorite to win and put all my chips in the middle hopping for my dobble up. i metion it before but my coinflip situation are so sick when i'm against bigger stacks, i swear in that spot i loose >70% of the time.

      Well my strategy in MTT is usually build a stack and dont get in preflop allins if i'm good in chips. My goal is allways get in the money and then play for the win but i'm too tight and if i dont get hands i blind out very fast. its a leak and i'll work it out. i found some MTT video in the video seccion that will sure help me.

      greetings to all and thks again for all the support
    • piresromeu
      piresromeu
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.10.2008 Posts: 59
      Originally posted by seeberger



      flop would be about 13000 with 12000 left ...
      i guess giving up then is completely horrible and totally -ev

      i guess both solutions are fine. You can 3bet to 5000 and shove this flop. When you hit a or k you can check to your opponent and try to induce a bluff.

      or you can just ship it in preflop as you did. This is totally fine and you can win 3250 chips without a showdown which is good for your stack. And if you get called you should have more than 50% equity. Because a/q and sometimes a/js are also calling your shove. This is also very good because these hands (aj/aq) would fold on this flop if you made the squeeze and push...
      hi seeberger

      yeah having 12k left on those blinds would be terrible and shoving on a 9 high flop, especially on that situation without position would have been very risky because if i 3 bet i think >TT PP's are calling me. so i guess i would have to check fold my AK.

      I am now in study mode till friday, hope to get a nice cash this week end since i also have a sponsor for the 750k :D i got to the money last week.

      Hope u have some Ak hands to post to me, either good or bad played its always good analise them

      Gl at ur games
    • EgertS
      EgertS
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.08.2009 Posts: 52
      AK plays better preflop than postflop.

      /thread
    • fusionpk
      fusionpk
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.01.2010 Posts: 1,683
      Totally depends on stacksize, you can flat, 3b or 3b shove. If multiple opponents are allin then you can consider folding (usually you need KK+ here). If opponent is going broke with only QQ+ or something then again you can fold but most opponents go broke much wide with this, esp with < 50bb. You only see pros fold because they know there opponents ranges and generally they don't want to get in behind there range, or they don't need to risk the majority of there stack on a flip (I mean cmon, if you 2 are the big stacks later on in a tourny, why would you risk getting in with AK when you know your opponent is never going broke AQ), this is the sorta place you might flat AK, depends on position whos behind you and again your stack size (in bb).