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Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Posts: 9
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:47 am    Post subject: playing AK from UTG Reply with quote

Blinds 100/200. Stack is 2000. 6 players left. Average stack is a little bigger. I am dealt AKo UTG.

Of course I play it really poorly. I raise to 600 and get two callers (one has me covered). Pot is 2000+. Flop is 3-3-10 rainbow. I push all-in for 1400 more. I figure that there is no way that they called my pre-flop bet with a 10 in there hand. And, if they had a big pair, I figured they would have come over the top of me. Neither did, so I figure that my big bet will make them go away, even if they are holding a smaller pair. Of course I am wrong, they both had tens: 10-J and A-10. They both call and I don't catch my king. A-10 wins the monster pot and eventually the tournament.

I always have trouble with AK from early position when the blinds are getting big. I find that if I raise, I am committing a lot of my stack to the pot on a drawing hand. If the flop misses, the pot becomes worth a lot more than my stack and there is still a pretty good chance I am ahead, but to make a bet big enough to win the pot is going to cripple me anyway, so the only option is all-in or nothing. At least that is how I trap myself.

Alternatively, I guess I can call/raise all-in with the hand, but that assumes that someone will raise. If they don't, then you have to play against limpers and the blinds in an unraised pot with AK. That isn't too pleasant a thought either.

Well, what do you think? You are hovering around 10-12 BB's holding AK UTG. What do you do?
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Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Posts: 9
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In early position you either move in and take my chances with out letting them see a flop. If they call with what they had, they don't know what they are doing.

On the other hand, more info is needed. If you have been at the table for a bit, AK needs to be played differently for different types of players. I have found that with alot of tables, I don't like AK in early position. I will raise it to 2X the BB if under the gun and muck after the flop if I miss and am face with a bet.
In late postion, I love AK after seeing what everyone else has done. If I get alot of limpers before me, I will raise it up 4X-6X the BB, or even move in and take the blinds right there.
I can't count how many times I have myself, or seen others,misplay AK for an entire stack.

My scariest hands are AK and middle pairs in early position.
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Joined: 19 Dec 2005
Posts: 121
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You've got to make a choice, and nearing the mid point of the game you still don't really want to be committing your entire stacks just yet.

My suggestion would have been call upto x amount, so as not to commit your entire stack to the pot as you did there, and if somebody wants to go over the top then forget it. If they've got a high pair then they've got the upper hand already, and once that flop came down you were left with a pair of threes and an Ace kicker - enough to win sometimes, but with 6 players still in I wouldn't have wanted to go all-in on that.
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