All in with AK??? Extremly fustrated beginner

    • Vip3rNZ
      Vip3rNZ
      Silver
      Joined: 11.11.2011 Posts: 340
      Ok i have a question, if i see someone go all in and it comes around to me and im holding AKo should i call them?? because i've done this like 7 times and only won like 1-2 times..

      i got my starting $50 at party poker and at first i was doing alright managed to break even for awhile, then went down to $41 then back up to $55 now im back down to $25

      Am i doomed to lose the rest? its really really fustrating to be up by $6 after 6000 hands, now at 10000 hands im down by over $20.

      whats the point of grinding for 2 hours, slowly going up just to lose every time on the all ins.. today I gained about $1-2 with all my small hands and lost about $10 with every time i went all in i lost.

      I'm getting really fustrated and im very close to quiting..
  • 23 replies
    • ghaleon
      ghaleon
      Black
      Joined: 17.10.2007 Posts: 5,877
      Real question is what kind of hands have you been against? If you have reads that villain shoving is spewy kind of fellow who does that with wide range then it's ok to call. Especially if you are in late position as its then less likely that someone behind wake up with monster hand. Some villains might only do that with range heavily weighted to pocket pairs and at that point calling AK is not that good idea...
    • Vip3rNZ
      Vip3rNZ
      Silver
      Joined: 11.11.2011 Posts: 340
      Thankyou for replying, i can show you some of my hand historys if you can tell me how to do this? i've been using holdem manager 2 and i have 10k hands saved. I'm just about to go out and play some sports and will be home in just over an hour if you could tell me how to post hands for people to examine that'd be very helpfull.

      I will reply in just over an hour. thanks very much.
    • Justin37
      Justin37
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.07.2009 Posts: 445
      at micro limit AK hard to win since a lot of players will call ur raise,all in with any decent card or PRETTY card.

      I love cash game but it pretty risky to my money, so i concentrate SNG n MTT.
    • w4terman
      w4terman
      Bronze
      Joined: 04.04.2011 Posts: 757
      just fold the hand... AK is not that great to risk all your stack preflop
    • purplefizz
      purplefizz
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.03.2008 Posts: 4,508
      hi Vip3rNZ,

      I know exactly how you feel, and it is understandable to be frustrated in situations like that. I think it is mandatory that you have those doubtful hands evaluated so you will know if you played them correctly. In my opinion, many beginners tend to overvalue AK esp post flop.

      This is the link to the Strategy Discussion forum and you will find the hand evaluation sub-forums near the top of the page.

      NL Beginner's Discussion Forum

      Also it helps if you take a look at our hand evaluation rules.

      Btw, HEM can automatically convert your hands, ready for posting in the forum. I am not familiar yet with HEM2 but i hope some other members can assist here.


      smiles,
      wendy
    • UTGDog
      UTGDog
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.11.2011 Posts: 72
      I agree with purplefizz here. Any book you will read and any starting hand chart will place AK next to AA,KK when making calls and raises, but like waterman stated, AK is simply too overvalued, and you are risking your stack on a coin flip. Personally, I don't want to risk my money in any spot where I don't have the best of it, or plenty of outs (mainly in cash games).

      You must remember that unless you are facing an opponent who is raising with any two random cards, you shouldn't call an all-in with AK in that situation. You are either up against a pocket pair, usually a large pair (Js or better against a weak player...maybe less if he's an idiot), or you are facing another high valued A. In my opinion it is far better to muck big slick here and wait for another opportunity to put your money in. AK may look pretty, but just remember that before you pair it up, it's still only Ace high...and I sure wouldn't be willing to make a call for my stack with just an A high without one helluva read on my opponent.

      Just be careful not to overvalue it and try to at least see a flop with that hand before making a hasty decision. Against a good player, you are likely already beaten when you make such a call so don't make yourself the sucker.
    • ilovemagic
      ilovemagic
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.09.2011 Posts: 1,019
      AKo is one of the most difficult hands to get away from preflop on the micros as i play more and more. the advice i keep listening to is raise raise raise, but what if there are already 2 raises behind you from stacks equal to yours or greater?

      the best play in a cash game is this: fold.

      reason?

      because you already face 1 or 2 gigantic raises which imply (although it doesnt apply to every situation) that one or both of them hold AA KK , an AK of their own which is just a call to split anyways, or QQ. many times calling all in is a weak play because its just a coinflip at best, and i noticed you said one important thing in your rant.
      " i work for 2 or 3 hrs to make a few blinds" is basically what you said, all to have it shipped away in a second on an all in.

      When you are up a buck or 2 after a couple hrs dinking and dunking at .25 and .50 pots, you show that you are playing solid poker, and if you keep playing solid like that, over the course of a year, thats a lot of money to be up without even risking 1/4 of your stack at once most of the time !! thats good news to know you dont always have to bet it all to win lots! so keep fighting with raises and reraises, and always know that the one who bets and makes smart bets will win over the long haul, and the player making shoves with 8-8 will lose over the long haul.

      I love seeing AK in my opening hand, but if tight player at the table shoves after i make a sizeable 3 bet, im folding if the raise is large if im playing my A game.

      I know one thing for sure-- AK is one of the toughest hands to play in poker, but ranks 14th if its suited behind all other pocket pairs. even 2-2 is even money with AK over the course of 1000000000 bajillion hands, and theres no real advantage to either pocket pair or AK. the real money gets made when idiots are calling down your bets with AJ and AQ or even worse (and you'll find them at the micros) good luck at the tables, hope this helped!

      PS> dont get caught blindsided by a set!! that always ruins my day :(
    • UTGDog
      UTGDog
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.11.2011 Posts: 72
      Originally posted by Vip3rNZ
      Ok i have a question, if i see someone go all in and it comes around to me and im holding AKo should i call them?? because i've done this like 7 times and only won like 1-2 times..

      i got my starting $50 at party poker and at first i was doing alright managed to break even for awhile, then went down to $41 then back up to $55 now im back down to $25

      Am i doomed to lose the rest? its really really fustrating to be up by $6 after 6000 hands, now at 10000 hands im down by over $20.

      whats the point of grinding for 2 hours, slowly going up just to lose every time on the all ins.. today I gained about $1-2 with all my small hands and lost about $10 with every time i went all in i lost.

      I'm getting really fustrated and im very close to quiting..
      Also remember, that despite the whole "upswing/downswing" garbage, your stats are simply dictating that you are making quick wins and even quicker losses. If over the course of many hands you are continuously losing, it may be a good indication that more study time is in order. Poker is every bit mathematics as it is luck...but the "lucky" ones also typically seem to always get lucky because they get their money in when they have plenty of equity. Statistically speaking you are losing because you are making bad decisions at the table, whether it be leaks in your game that need some work, tilt, or a combination of both, the fact is you may want to take a break from the grind and put some hours in reading some material and studying your hands to see where the problem lies.

      I am not saying you are a horrible player, I am simply suggesting that there could be some room for improvement; and that saying goes for all players, which seperates the winners from the losers. It may be slow going, but with a firmer grasp of proper strategy and some focus at the table, you can build your bankroll back and progress beyond. But you have to be willing to work for it.

      Keep your head up and don't let your losses cloud your judgement.
    • JonikoP
      JonikoP
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.05.2010 Posts: 600
      Ah, the old AK discussion.

      The problem with AK for a starting player is that it CAN be a monster (e.g. late in a tournament or if the dynamics dictate in a cash game). As a result you see it played hard and fast on TV or in videos and overvalue it.

      AK is a very good starting hand and should be played aggressively - the secret is not overvaluing it - particularly when you're deep stacked.
    • ilovemagic
      ilovemagic
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.09.2011 Posts: 1,019
      i hardly get any action on my AK anyways when im deepstacked unless its a douchebag trying to flop a set. they hit their set and i flop top pair, say the board comes off A 8 4, i bet they raise i go all in and they show me 4-4 and i cry lol. but im getting better at being the one to turn over 4-4. :) :s_cool:
    • Xeonz123
      Xeonz123
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.08.2011 Posts: 264
      Don't Overvalue AK!
    • Vip3rNZ
      Vip3rNZ
      Silver
      Joined: 11.11.2011 Posts: 340
      Thanks guys that is a real help i appreciate all the effort everyone went to with their replys, i think from now on i will only all in preflop with AA - KK or is even KK too much of a gamble??

      I'll focus on my small pots and my study for now i'd say otherwise i'll end up losing more and tilting the rest off!

      I'm going to have a break from playing poker for 3 days and just study a good amount of hours a day here at poker strategy now that i've earned my silver status that should help a bit.

      I'm not the sort of person that plays poker for the money i play for the challenge, it's become clear to me now that throwing my money in on AK is far too much of a gamble.

      I also have a few more questions if anyone is willing to answer them.

      The first one is, whats the deal with 3-Betting at micros. What are some of the situations i'd consider 3 betting? When i 3-bet do i want them to call or fold? because 9 times out of 10 they just fold, which brings me to believe that i could 3-bet with any old trash if they call i make a C-Bet if they call/raise that then im out. if they 4-Bet then im out. is this profitable in the long run at all?
    • purplefizz
      purplefizz
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.03.2008 Posts: 4,508
      i wouldn't fold KK in the micros. maybe not even QQ.

      btw i am not suggesting that you fold AK preflop. there are good and bad ways to play it. just dont overvalue it post flop esp on certain boards.

      you will want to 3bet when the villain's range is wide (for example, he is opening very loose on the button). there is no point in 3betting when their cards are strong (for example a nit or tight UTG raiser).
    • UTGDog
      UTGDog
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.11.2011 Posts: 72
      The first one is, whats the deal with 3-Betting at micros. What are some of the situations i'd consider 3 betting? When i 3-bet do i want them to call or fold? because 9 times out of 10 they just fold, which brings me to believe that i could 3-bet with any old trash if they call i make a C-Bet if they call/raise that then im out. if they 4-Bet then im out. is this profitable in the long run at all?


      The principle of 3-betting is to protect your strong preflop pairs and other strong hands such as AK, and to do one of the following:

      - Deter loose aggressive players from stealing your blinds in position
      - Get more money in the pot preflop with a strong hand against anyone who may outflop you with an unmade hand.
      -minimize the chances of having a multiway pot when you have a strong hand
      - Help get a read on what types of hands your opponent(s) may be entering the pot with.

      It really depends on what the dynamics of the table are to make a proper 3-bet and when to do so. Against loose aggressive players you may want to consider 3-betting them with hands as weak as AJ if you are in the blinds and are faced with a raise from the button. The idea is to steal the pot right there when you likely have the better hand, but only if there are more than 2 callers preflop and the raiser is in middle-late position with a loose image. If he calls and you flop top pair, you should fire another bet on the flop for value, maybe 2/3 the pot to see where you are. If you are called, proceed with caution as you could be beaten this time.

      If you have a very strong hand such as AK,KK or AA you want your hand to be called, but you dont want to run the risk of losing it all if you are outflopped either so I would recommend 3-betting those hands often when there are multiple players involved before the pot. These hands are quite strong, but can be easily outflopped and could cost you quite a bit in chips.

      You dont want to get into the habit of 3-betting with trash since it is likely that if called you are forced to fold the flop, so dont use it to steal with garbage. Only 3-bet with hands that wont cause you to be concerned if you get called. The idea is to get called when you have the best of it, not try to bluff off players with any two cards.

      HOWEVER!!! If you are only facing one player preflop, maybe try simply calling his raise and then check/calling the flop if nothing scary comes off. Most times raising on the button when nobody is in is a steal attempt. If you 3-bet, they will just fold their garbage hand if you show strength. By calling and checking you put him to a decision of whether or not he is willing to fire another barrel and build you a nice pot against your good hands. Again, it comes down to your read on your opponent and adjusting according to how they play while making sure to get value for your hand when you have the best of it.
    • UTGDog
      UTGDog
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.11.2011 Posts: 72
      I also want to point out that by being aggressive during multiway pots, and passive during pots with only one or two players, you make it very difficult for your opponents to get a read on you. This may cause them to avoid bluffing at you as often, and therefore will make it easier to determine when you are beaten when they begin showing aggressive bets and raises when you are in a pot with them.
    • Vip3rNZ
      Vip3rNZ
      Silver
      Joined: 11.11.2011 Posts: 340
      Thanks UTGDog that will help alot with my 3-Beting choices!

      Purplefizz - About the AK preflop, i knew not to over value it postflop, but preflopp i'm still a little unsure whether to fold it vs an all in or call, normally i'd of had to 3-bet for them to shove like this.
      Sometimes i'd be sitting in middle or late position and someone before me in UTG or one of the middle positions will just shove as the first bet into the hand preflop, should i just fold my AK in this situation or call is where i was mainly heading with my question.
    • pleno1
      pleno1
      Coach
      Coach
      Joined: 19.11.2010 Posts: 5,596
      Hey Guys.

      What's this talk on my forum about folding AK huh? Not on my watch ;)

      But its only ace high???

      I here this statement far too much. We shouldn't ever think in poker about our immediate hand strength when facing an all in but rather "what is my hand strength VERSUS a range.

      For example, lets say we KNOW that a guy WILL ONLY EVER SHOVE jj/qq/kk/aa, i.e not ace high :P

      equity win tie pots won pots tied
      Hand 0: 34.955% 34.64% 00.32% 10675547 98125.50 { AdKh }
      Hand 1: 65.045% 64.73% 00.32% 19949674 98125.50 { JJ+ }

      Then it is clear we shold fold.

      However when calling all in with AK there is usually a reason, for example we are 25bbs deep against a 3bet shover. If we start including more pairs and some aces that we dominate.

      Lets look at the strength of AK versus this new range.


      equity win tie pots won pots tied
      Hand 0: 57.959% 53.01% 04.95% 98940816 9233661.00 { AdKh }
      Hand 1: 42.041% 37.09% 04.95% 69232998 9233661.00 { 77+, A9s+, KJs+, QJs, ATo+, KQo }

      Ok now lets change the scenario and say we are BVB against a very aggresive opponent with 16bbs who has 3bet shove.

      equity win tie pots won pots tied
      Hand 0: 65.373% 62.83% 02.54% 338911480 13694573.00 { AdKh }
      Hand 1: 34.627% 32.09% 02.54% 173075134 13694573.00 { 77+, A2s+, K2s+, Q8s+, JTs, T9s, 97s+, 87s, A2o+, KTo+, QTo+, JTo }

      We should ALWAYS think about our relative hand strength VERSUS a range. If a tight woman in a live tournament 3bet shoves and seems very happy then perhaps AK is only ace high :P

      If a guy in a cap and hoody keeps his ipod plugged in whilst flicking the chips in, then things change a little.
    • Xeonz123
      Xeonz123
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.08.2011 Posts: 264
      All in with the ok AK :) But ofcourse depends on the players image.
    • Xeonz123
      Xeonz123
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.08.2011 Posts: 264
      Originally posted by purplefizz
      i wouldn't fold KK in the micros. maybe not even QQ.

      btw i am not suggesting that you fold AK preflop. there are good and bad ways to play it. just dont overvalue it post flop esp on certain boards.

      you will want to 3bet when the villain's range is wide (for example, he is opening very loose on the button). there is no point in 3betting when their cards are strong (for example a nit or tight UTG raiser).
      I wouldnt Fold 10's Lol :)
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