AK early raising, calling push etc.

  • 5 replies
    • PidKoker
      PidKoker
      Global
      Joined: 03.06.2008 Posts: 416
      There is a silver articles that speaks about the math behind this (uses QQ as an example)... But in gereral calling a PUSH with AK is not a good move in the long run the only hands you should be getting it in with early is AA/KK. I usually like to call with AK in early stages at the lower limits BUT! I am not sure if this is correct you should look for someone elses thoughts on this.
    • Alverine
      Alverine
      Bronze
      Joined: 31.01.2009 Posts: 1,938
      Im playing $1 Sng turbo's for a while and it seems very profitable to call or raise with AK. Too often vilain has A7+, KQ, JT or worse. The only bad thing is small pockets, wich happens sometimes.
    • Mstlc
      Mstlc
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.03.2009 Posts: 4,676
      You should definitely raise with AK preflop in any phase of a SnG/Tourney. I wouldn't reraise unless the first raiser made it less then 4BB's.

      Just limping in pre-flop often leads to disaster. In a lot of cases you'll have a 5-6 way flop or worse if you do... the chances of having the best hand even if you hit your Ace or King aren't that high. People might have hit a set (thinking A44 kind of boards here), hold a weaker Ace but flopped 2 pair..., picked up a flush and/or EOSD etc.

      AK is a pretty good hand preflop but you have to force the marginal hands out of play pre-flop.

      EDIT: I wouldn't really go all-in with AK in early phase pre-flop. It's simply not worth it imo. Best case senario you'll still be beat 3/10 times if you get called by Ax or Kx. Against 2 under cards you only win 2/3 of the hands, against an underpair you're 55/45 behind. It's not worth risking your tournament life for at least in early phases if you're playing well over 20BB's... imo. Then again I haven't been playing for that long :p
    • Berzerger
      Berzerger
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.03.2008 Posts: 910
      They say AK is -EV early in a tournament/SnG. I don't believe this is entirely true, especially for low buy-in SnG's, but you have to be careful with all-ins: if you double up, good for you, but you still haven't won any money, and if you lose you bust and permanently lose your buy-in. Risk/reward doesn't justify it.

      I think it's good to raise, but be careful with re-raises as well. Let's say your stack is 1500 and the blinds are 20/40, someone raises to 120 and you hold AK and re-raise to e.g. 360. That's a quarter of your stack you put at risk with a drawing hand without even having seen the flop. You flip against every pp except for AA and KK which have you crushed, you're only 2:1 favorite against non-AK-containing hands, which villain is unlikely to have unless he's raising really loose, and best case scenario are lower aces or kings. Hoping that villain raised with Kx is a bit too optimistic, so the only realistic hands you really have beat are lower aces like AT-AQ, which make up for a 4% range at best.

      Paranoid? Perhaps a little, but I just stay out of the action in the beginning of an SnG unless I'm positive I'm far ahead, and so far this playstyle has brought me many $$. Of course it depends heavily on the situation, your position, the opponents and their stacks as well as your own. If it's a 3bb raise from the button, you have a clear 3bet, but I'd rather just call a raise from a MP fullstack with my AK and see what the flop brings. Just my line :)
    • Mstlc
      Mstlc
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.03.2009 Posts: 4,676
      Originally posted by BerzergerI think it's good to raise, but be careful with re-raises as well. Let's say your stack is 1500 and the blinds are 20/40, someone raises to 120 and you hold AK and re-raise to e.g. 360. That's a quarter of your stack you put at risk with a drawing hand without even having seen the flop. You flip against every pp except for AA and KK which have you crushed, you're only 2:1 favorite against non-AK-containing hands, which villain is unlikely to have unless he's raising really loose, and best case scenario are lower aces or kings. Hoping that villain raised with Kx is a bit too optimistic, so the only realistic hands you really have beat are lower aces like AT-AQ, which make up for a 4% range at best.
      You shouldn't really re-raise with AK if someone opened to 3BB's in early phase. People that are already in the hand at that point will just call, no matter how much you re-raise to. Just call the 120 and watch a 3 way flop or something.
      If you hit an ace you can just bet out, in a lot of cases the guy in front of you raised with a weaker Ace, A9 -> AQ pretty much or KQ, KJ, KT. If you don't hit the flop... you just fold to any bet and you lost 9% of your stack. If you re-raise and don't hit, you've just lost 25% of your stack, you should never bluff a fish so check-fold is mostly the correct play if you didn't hit.
      Especially in early phase the risk/benefit ratio is just not good enough to risk a massive amount of your stack.

      Just don't take any unnecessary risks. At some point yesterday I actually just folded JJ preflop cause I had a guy on my left that was effectively raising and raising every single pot with any two card. He had been lucking out winning 83 VS AA kinda hands like 3 times, and because of this he was massive chipleader and I just didn't feel like risking my tourney life to be the next in line to get a massive suckout. At that point there was simply no way for me to see the flop at any reasonable price. I just folded the hand, just minutes later someone busted the guy, and I went on to win the SnG. Like said in the SnG articles... what might seem like a normal cash game play can be an extremely bad play in SnG's.