re: Poker & playing AK/AQ out of position
AK is a premium hand no matter how you look at it. When you are dealt this hand out of position, however, you will need to adjust for the disadvantage you are playing with against your opponents. Even pocket kings or pocket aces can be very tricky to play when you are out of position, and AK is no different. Being able to give up is the primary skill that you will need to learn if you want to achieve ultimate success with AK out of position. Yes, as odd as it may seem, your success in winning will rely heavily on your ability to fold. How is that for some irony? Folding isn’t the only thing you are going to be doing though. Maximizing value with AK is kind of like painting a work of art. You will need to tread lightly in some areas and force the issue in others. Yes, being out of position is not easy, but it is not the end of the world.
As much of a disadvantage as position might be, it definitely has its benefits as well. These positive attributes are particularly useful with AK. When you brick the flop and are left holding ace high, your position will allow you to push your opponents out of the way. AK out of position will be tougher to play when it misses because your opponents will be less likely to believe the story you are telling. If you raise pre-flop or re-raise pre-flop, there is no reason why someone shouldn’t be giving you credit for a big hand when you bet on the flop. If you are afraid to play aggressively and take some risks, though, you are going to have an even more difficult time playing AK. With that said, you are going to have a tough time making money with any hand if you are afraid to use some aggression.