How to play AK without the initiative?

    • aceonetheriver
      aceonetheriver
      Silver
      Joined: 26.12.2008 Posts: 595
      Hey guys, in early stage, is way better to flat call AK, sepcialy if there is a raise from EP nd 1 caller, nd 3 players behind u, u might be ahead , how to handle these spots after the flop, when u nd ur opps have missed!

      these hands are just an example, i'm not sure my line in them was the right thing to do, any advice is very helpful , ty :heart:

      No Limit Holdem Tournament
      PokerStars
      8 Players
      Hand Conversion Powered by weaktight.com
      $3.00+$0.40

      Stacks:
      UTG DmanG99 (1,480)
      UTG+1 tigertib (3,110)
      MP1 DiMargry (1,470)
      MP2 ALBOSS777 (1,440)
      CO Hero (1,470)
      BTN François 1er (1,500)
      SB alex_parejo (1,530)
      BB 69daran (1,500)

      Blinds: 10/20

      Pre-Flop: (30, 8 players) Hero is CO K:spade: A:heart:
      1 fold, tigertib raises to 60, 2 folds, Hero calls 60, 3 folds

      Flop: K:club: 7:club: 9:spade: (150, 2 players)
      tigertib bets 140, Hero calls 140

      Turn: J:club: (430, 2 players)
      tigertib checks, Hero bets 300, tigertib calls 300

      River: 8:club: (1,030, 2 players)
      tigertib checks, Hero checks

      Final Pot: 1,030
      tigertib shows a flush, King high
      10:club: 10:diamond:
      Hero shows
      K:spade: A:heart:

      tigertib wins 1,030 (net +530)

      Hero lost 500


      No Limit Holdem Tournament
      PokerStars
      8 Players
      Hand Conversion Powered by weaktight.com
      $3.00+$0.40

      Stacks:
      UTG vladalek (1,480)
      UTG+1 gallo417 (1,470)
      MP1 KimCaro (1,480)
      MP2 raptor700223 (1,240)
      CO Hero (1,490)
      BTN dighinho (1,470)
      SB Snopen (3,370)
      BB FLO-SOPH (1,500)

      Blinds: 10/20

      Pre-Flop: (30, 8 players) Hero is CO A:heart: K:club:
      1 fold, gallo417 calls 20, 2 folds, Hero raises to 80, dighinho calls 80, 2 folds, gallo417 calls 60

      Flop: J:club: 5:club: 9:club: (270, 3 players)
      gallo417 checks, Hero bets 160, dighinho calls 160, gallo417 calls 160

      Turn: 3:spade: (750, 3 players)
      gallo417 checks, Hero checks, dighinho bets 80, gallo417 calls 80, Hero calls 80

      River: 8:spade: (990, 3 players)
      gallo417 bets 120, Hero folds, dighinho calls 120

      Final Pot: 1,230
      dighinho shows
      J:spade: Q:spade:
      gallo417 shows a straight, Five to Nine
      6:club: 7:diamond:

      gallo417 wins 1,230 (net +790)

      Hero lost 320
      dighinho lost 440




      No Limit Holdem Tournament
      PokerStars
      9 Players
      Hand Conversion Powered by weaktight.com
      $3.00+$0.40

      Stacks:
      UTG Swifty30 (1,480)
      UTG+1 Ho1y Smokes (1,455)
      MP1 Hero (1,470)
      MP2 Clément E. (1,620)
      MP3 pghphil (725)
      CO Jack10oClubz (1,180)
      BTN p00h77 (1,200)
      SB DCL7429 (2,440)
      BB J Welbourne (1,930)

      Blinds: 15/30

      Pre-Flop: (45, 9 players) Hero is MP1 K:diamond: A:heart:
      1 fold, Ho1y Smokes calls 30, Hero raises to 120, 1 fold, pghphil goes all-in 725, 3 folds, J Welbourne calls 695, Ho1y Smokes folds, Hero folds

      Flop: 6:club: 3:club: 8:heart: (1,615, 2 players, 1 all-in)

      Turn: Q:club: (1,615, 2 players, 1 all-in)

      River: K:spade: (1,615, 2 players, 1 all-in)
  • 13 replies
    • PocketAcesJohn
      PocketAcesJohn
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.06.2008 Posts: 1,116
      First hand you should 3 bet pre flop for value (or atleast i would). But moving on...
      On the flop why are you just calling? You need to raise for a few reassons.

      1) Value - Theres a very good chance your ahead atm so you should be wanting to get chips into the pot whilst you are ahead

      2) Protection - You dont want to JUST call the flop in the process pottentially giving a draw a "cheap" turn card.

      3) Infomation - You havnt raised the hand atall, just called. So you dont really have any infomation on you opponents range (Apart from he raised eairl posistion, which should mean a stong hand). What are you going to do on latter streets if a big check raise or something comes in? You have no infomation on his range so you'll be in a tough spot.


      PS: I just realised this is in the S&G section, as im a cash game player i'll stop there. But i believe most of what i said about that hand still holds true.
    • frzl
      frzl
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.04.2006 Posts: 9,876
      i never played 3$ sngs but i think it´s best to flatcall AK against early raises most of the time (in the early stages). of course it always depends on the player but even against a bad player you will only have 50%- if he has a pocket ;) and your edge should be too big to go broke early with just AK.

      i like the coldcall in hand 1 but i raise the flop and go broke. john explained it well.

      hand 2 looks fine to me bu it´s no must conti bet against two players i guess.

      with the 3rd player still in there i think i fold hand 3 as well. you won´t hit the flop often enough and he might bet it and you will have to fold...

      maybe my play is too weak for 3$ sngs though :P
    • lessthanthreee
      lessthanthreee
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.06.2009 Posts: 16,300
      i always flat AK pre. no need to go nuts and stick 50bb in pre with A high. its very bad for our $EV in the long run imo.

      if you hit c/r flop is always my line. unless the board is very dry then i would c/c and raise turn.

      when you hit you are looking to get all the money in as quickly as possible. so you need to raise depending on how draw heavy the board is either on the flop or turn to build a pot and get the money in asap.

      if you miss its easy c/f obv
    • rhinoneil
      rhinoneil
      Bronze
      Joined: 16.04.2008 Posts: 1,159
      Hand 1, personally I raise pre flop but as played, definately raising the flop bet.
      Hand 2, no problem as played
      Hand 3, I shove over preflop, theres just too much value and potentially dead money in the pot. Definately not a call so I guess fold is the only other option but is too tight in my opinion.
    • Hahaownedlolz
      Hahaownedlolz
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.04.2009 Posts: 1,755
      It depends on how fishy the players are at that limit and site you play on. But i would happily go broke with A-K against most players. If you don't crush them it's usualy atleast a coinflip. And seeing as that person has lost half his stack so early he's probably a big fish who would shove with a very wide range.
    • Grailer
      Grailer
      Global
      Joined: 19.11.2009 Posts: 321
      this table i was on was so fishy I was losing money by raising with AK AQ

      Everytime I raised I got about 5 callers and miss flop about 60% of the time .

      If i hit flop I either lose to some sort of draw cause 5 players vs 1 are going to get better than top pair top kicker.


      So I figured , I might as well just limp in and let someone with AQ AJ or some pair raise me .. I guess this plan worked out in this situation since if I raised maybe the guy with K10 would fold .

      Hand converted with online PokerStrategy.com hand converter:

      Play hand

      $0.01/$0.02 No-Limit Hold'em (8 handed)

      Known players:
      MP2:
      $1.97
      MP3:
      $2.07
      CO:
      $2.17
      BU:
      $2.61
      SB:
      $2.00
      BB:
      $2.76
      UTG2:
      $2.08
      MP1 (Hero):
      $2.65


      Preflop: Hero is MP1 with K, A.
      UTG2 folds, Hero calls $0.02, 4 folds, SB calls $0.01, BB checks.

      Flop: ($0.06) Q, A, K (3 players)
      SB checks, BB bets $0.04, Hero calls $0.04, SB calls $0.04.

      Turn: ($0.18) K (3 players)
      SB checks, BB checks, Hero checks.

      River: ($0.18) J (3 players)
      SB bets $0.18, BB folds, Hero raises to $2.59(All-In), SB calls $1.76(All-In).

      Final Pot: $4.71.
      Results follow:

      Hero shows a full-house, kings full of aces(K A).
      SB shows a straight, ace high(K T).

      Hero wins with a full-house, kings full of aces(K A).
    • Hahaownedlolz
      Hahaownedlolz
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.04.2009 Posts: 1,755
      Wth.. post your own thread grailer.. T_T
    • farbwenz
      farbwenz
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.01.2010 Posts: 359
      There is a nice article in the bronze section, which explains the first and the second situation: Odds and Outs: How should you play draws :-)

      It seems that noone in the lower limits has ever heard of that concept - exploit it;-)
    • frzl
      frzl
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.04.2006 Posts: 9,876
      Originally posted by Grailer
      this table i was on was so fishy I was losing money by raising with AK AQ
      that doesn´t make sence at all imo

      Everytime I raised I got about 5 callers and miss flop about 60% of the time.
      so you are 6 handed at the flop. take te equilator, give yourself AK and the fishes a fishy, loose range and equilate... you only need like 17% equity to break even...

      So I figured , I might as well just limp in and let someone with AQ AJ or some pair raise me .. I guess this plan worked out in this situation since if I raised maybe the guy with K10 would fold .
      again this doesn´t make sence. if there are "always 5 people calling your open raise" then how many people are going to overlimp? you have an equityedge preflo... so push it!

      Hand converted with online PokerStrategy.com hand converter:

      Play hand

      $0.01/$0.02 No-Limit Hold'em (8 handed)

      Known players:
      MP2:
      $1.97
      MP3:
      $2.07
      CO:
      $2.17
      BU:
      $2.61
      SB:
      $2.00
      BB:
      $2.76
      UTG2:
      $2.08
      MP1 (Hero):
      $2.65


      Preflop: Hero is MP1 with K, A.
      UTG2 folds, Hero calls $0.02, 4 folds, SB calls $0.01, BB checks.

      Flop: ($0.06) Q, A, K (3 players)
      SB checks, BB bets $0.04, Hero calls $0.04, SB calls $0.04.

      Turn: ($0.18) K (3 players)
      SB checks, BB checks, Hero checks.

      River: ($0.18) J (3 players)
      SB bets $0.18, BB folds, Hero raises to $2.59(All-In), SB calls $1.76(All-In).

      Final Pot: $4.71.
      Results follow:

      Hero shows a full-house, kings full of aces(K A).
      SB shows a straight, ace high(K T).

      Hero wins with a full-house, kings full of aces(K A).[/quote]reread the strategy articles...
      raise preflop to push your equity edge, raise the flop to protect against draws, bet the turn to build the pot
    • sufix645
      sufix645
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.09.2009 Posts: 519
      1) Bet pre flop, bet flop and turn (TT should be out by that time), check river
      2) everything is ok imo
      3)is ok
    • akrammon
      akrammon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.05.2009 Posts: 3,142
      I wouldn't flat call AK in a $3 SnG. It's not a bad idea otherwise, but in such micro limits people tend to fold to the cbet or the 2nd barrel(and they are mostly raising ATo from early pos anyway), so I'd raise it simply to have the initiative on the flop. If he shoves preflop, it's a fold for me though. So don't make the raise too big. Ofc if he seems like a thinking player, the above doesnt apply :P
    • lessthanthreee
      lessthanthreee
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.06.2009 Posts: 16,300
      Originally posted by akrammon
      I wouldn't flat call AK in a $3 SnG. It's not a bad idea otherwise, but in such micro limits people tend to fold to the cbet or the 2nd barrel(and they are mostly raising ATo from early pos anyway), so I'd raise it simply to have the initiative on the flop. If he shoves preflop, it's a fold for me though. So don't make the raise too big. Ofc if he seems like a thinking player, the above doesnt apply :P
      .

      this makes no sense

      you can never 3bet-fold pre its just horrible.

      you want to 3bet to isolate his ATo. but you would fold if he shoves?

      if you want to 3bet AK you have to be willing to go all in pre flop against the player you are 3betting. 3bet fold is horrible
    • gedwashere91
      gedwashere91
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.07.2009 Posts: 2,387
      Originally posted by lessthanthreee
      Originally posted by akrammon
      I wouldn't flat call AK in a $3 SnG. It's not a bad idea otherwise, but in such micro limits people tend to fold to the cbet or the 2nd barrel(and they are mostly raising ATo from early pos anyway), so I'd raise it simply to have the initiative on the flop. If he shoves preflop, it's a fold for me though. So don't make the raise too big. Ofc if he seems like a thinking player, the above doesnt apply :P
      .

      this makes no sense

      you can never 3bet-fold pre its just horrible.

      you want to 3bet to isolate his ATo. but you would fold if he shoves?

      if you want to 3bet AK you have to be willing to go all in pre flop against the player you are 3betting. 3bet fold is horrible
      I don't see what the deal with ATo is. You want A9+ hands to stay in the hand! Fish rarely c-bet when they miss so you will often get to check it down to the river and your AK high could easily be the best hand at showdown.
      And besides, raising so that you have initiative on the flop is not going to work at the micros. Why? Because they will VERY OFTEN just ship it or fold after a 3-bet. You don't isolate the ATo, you just push him out of the hand and lose potential post-flop value.
      This is why I never 3-bet preflop with AK anymore. ESPECIALLY at low limits you isolate yourself against JJ+ AQ+, sometimes AK+. We are flipping (54% vs 46%) against this first range, and about a 60/40 dog against AK+.

      However, if we flat call, villains possible range widens up substantially, as all the hands he will raise/fold with (depending on position can be anything down to A5+ in early stage...) stay in the hand, and then any Axx flop will allow you to stack ANY of those Ax hands that he has raised pre with.
      It will also allow you to get away from KK/AA when you miss :D