How best to play AK in low limit SnG's?

    • slippyjim
      slippyjim
      Silver
      Joined: 07.10.2011 Posts: 1,066
      Hiya,

      I play a lot of SnG's around the $5 mark and I think I am over playing AK particularly when I have several limpers in front of me.
      Obviously if its folded to me I am raising and if 1 raiser I either reraise or call depending on how tight that person has played and position.

      But, what is the best thing to do when there is 3 or 4 limpers in front?
      1) Just call and then fold if I miss the flop?
      2) Do a standard 3X raise, expecting to get called by several players?
      3) A large raise, maybe 6-7X to attempt to get heads up post flop?

      The problem I find with 2 & 3 is how best to play a big pot if I miss the flop?

      Any advice welcome, TIA
  • 6 replies
    • Blade90
      Blade90
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.10.2008 Posts: 135
      Raise 6 or 7 x as u said under 3. U will probably be in position after the flop if those limpers do decide to come along, so what will happen if u miss is they check to u and u cbet if hte board looks like it missed them. That is if only 1 or 2 ppl come. Even against 2 its usually best to give up once u miss the flop. So basically u try to get it heads up and then fire a cbet if u miss. Most of ur value in low limits will come from them calling u dominated and then stakcing off when u both hit A or K. Hope that helps a bit.
    • slippyjim
      slippyjim
      Silver
      Joined: 07.10.2011 Posts: 1,066
      Yes that is a good point of getting max value when they call with dominated hands, so really against several opponents if I hit the flop I want to try and get it all in asap while they think they are good and if I miss I'm check folding.

      As the blinds go up and my M is falling at what point should I just go All In pre flop?

      eg
      its 50/100
      4 limpers
      Hero (BT) 1,200
      Do I just shove pre flop? If I do a 6-7X raise that is half my stack gone and cant really cbet, so am I just best getting it all in and seeing all 5 cards?

      Thanks
    • ThreeFour34
      ThreeFour34
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.04.2010 Posts: 30
      Very good Q, im also playing those SNGs, and finded lotsa times in position you are describing. My line is not everytime the same. If 3 or four limpers I would raise a lot, at the beggining at least 12,5BB (ie 250), if more limpers i decide to jam as mostly im infront (some pushes everything down to KJo).

      My other line can be just limping along, and when hit i can outplay some bad Aces. Bigger troubles are on higher blinds like and higher stacks, like 50/100 and i have 2000+, cuz then my 3BB or even 4BB raise gets called, i miss, and then cbet is not chasing away all pocket pairs, small pairs or even some kind of draws, so i guess its too much risk involved after the flop to continue with air.
    • Akcus
      Akcus
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.12.2009 Posts: 156
      low level SNG just shove it all-in, best way to play AK
    • akrammon
      akrammon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.05.2009 Posts: 3,142
      Hey!

      Against many limpers in the early phase, just raise to 6-7 BBs. Situations that can happen:
      -- you hit the flop. in this case, just go broke.
      -- you miss the flop against
      ----- one opponent. In this case, I'd suggest cbetting halfpotish a vast majority of the times. I wouldn't cbet something like 9TJ suited, so only the ugliest of boards. If he doesn't give up, you give up unless you hit on a later street.
      ----- more opponents. In this case, you don't cbet, you give up.
      ----- two opponents on a really dry board. If you have position and they both check to you, you can try a halfpot cbet, but only on dry boards. Paired boards are perfect for this, such as 883.

      Of course there is much much more to playing AK but these simple rules should help you play them confidently in the micro and lowstakes :)

      As for higher blind levels: in my opinion, you can always put in your money with AK if there is at least 12-15% of your stack already in the pot (including SB and BB and limpers). For example, if you are on 50/100, and have 2000 chips, then if there is a limper you can safely shove over him (250/2000 - 12,5%).
      Of course from a stack as big as this, I'd prefer raising to 3x if I had position. As the number of limpers grow (so the pot becomes bigger, and also the chance of a multiway pot postflop) I'm more inclined to shove. For 15 big blinds, I'd always shove AK over a limper if I were you. Over 4-5 limpers, you can even shove 30 big blinds.

      Hope I could help, good luck at the tables!
    • akrammon
      akrammon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.05.2009 Posts: 3,142
      Addition to my last post: always try to measure how much you are risking and how much you can gain. While shoving 30 bbs seems really unorthodox at first, if you think about it then it looks like this (with 4 limpers):

      The pot is 5,5 big blinds. I'm risking 30 big blinds for 5,5, so you can increase your stack by ~18%.

      If you openshove 10 big blinds, you increase your stack by 15%, so it's not that bad at all.

      Of course it might happen that someone calls you with something that he doesn't wanna let go after limping, but we have AK so I wouldn't be worried :)