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AQ - My nemesis!

    • infinitem8rix
      Joined: 04.07.2011 Posts: 10

      I've been a member here for a long while, although not been contributing much (mainly coz I think the regular advisors are far better than me, so it's better to keep shut!). Must say, this site has taught me a whole lot and I'm definitely a better player because of this. So firstly, a big thank you to all of you who make this site what it is!

      Coming on to my question, I have found AQ to be my weakest starting hand as I never know how to play it. This has happened to me live, as well as online and I am hoping for some pointers. To illustrate:
      I was playing live in one of the Central London casinos at the 1/2 GBP table. I was a big stack and I see AQ UTG. Action was fairly loose, with CO/BUT calling with virtually any 2. I decide to raise to 7. Action folds to CO, who asks the BB what his stack size is. He says he got 42 GBP left (he lost a big pot a couple of hands ago and was subsequently shortstacked). CO smartly raises it to 21. As expected, seeing the value, BB shoves his entire stack. Now, I truly admire CO's play here as I can't call anymore and show weakness. If I do, he will gladly shove his 250+ GBP stack in order to isolate the shortstack. For me, it was shove or fold mode, and I ended up folding and see the 2 hands to be AJ and A10. With an A on the flop and all low cards. AJ wins.

      Online I play micro stakes, still trying to beat those levels! I think I am a much better live player than online, as most of my decent wins have come live, with very few online ones. Whenever I play AQ, I usually end up losing, either getting outdrawn by a weaker A (example A2 hitting 2 pair), or I end up against a pocket pair and draw a blank on all streets. Occassionaly I have got lucky outdrawing AK, but I know luck when I see it, and realise I played bad and got lucky.

      I have followed the starting hand chart to the T, I have modified it depending on the players on the table, and everything I could think of! But just cant win a decent pot with this hand, and when I lose to an inferior hand, I lose big!

      Appreciate any help I can get on this!

      Apology for the long post, and thanks for reading/commenting!

  • 1 reply
    • ArtisSkirpa
      Joined: 20.11.2009 Posts: 83
      Nobody can come in here and give you advice for playing AQ, you can't just simply have a plan for every single 2 card combo you hold. You play AQ like you play any other hand, whether it's 79s or QQ, you just have to try to make the highest EV plays possible on all streets (while you're playing micros and live you probably don't need to worry about balancing).

      The strenght of your hand is not absolute, it's relative to your oponents' ranges and obviously the board. It would be absolutely wrong to say something as generic as "You should always/never try to get AQ all-in pre in a button vs blinds situation" or "With AQ you should only cbet Axx boards once and c/call turn". No. It's very oponent, position, dynamic dependant.

      As for the spot you mentioned, I'd fold, but if you gave more info on both villains it might be a call.