Big Slick

SHERMSTICK

SHERMSTICK

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Hey Calvin,

Big Slick has the reputation for being a MONSTER hand...
a hand that most players LOVE to get dealt.

And with good reason.

After all, it's got a TON of potential.

Think about it:

If you have Big Slick and a King or Ace hit the board,
you've automatically got top pair. And not only that, but
you've also automatically got the highest kicker possible.

And...

Big Slick is connected, which means it has the POTENTIAL to
become the highest STRAIGHT on the board.

Then again, if you're an experienced poker player, then you
KNOW that Big Slick is often HIGHLY OVERRATED by most
amateurs and beginners.

Because if you REALLY think about it, Big Slick by itself is
NOT a good hand.

By itself, it's an Ace high with a King.

Period.

It can be beat by just about ANYTHING... from a flush to a
3-of-a-kind to a pair of deuces.

What Big Slick has is the POTENTIAL to be a great hand...
but that doesn't mean it IS a great hand.

And this distinction is VERY important in order to learn how
to play A-K properly.

If you play Big Slick the RIGHT way, you can with it about
75% of the time. If you play it the WRONG way, you'll end up
losing all your chips and whining about your bad beat...

The decision is yours.

So let's approach our strategy for Big Slick with LATE
positioning... which is the equivalent to GOOD positioning,
as you know.

Since the hand can get run down easily, your strategy is to
GET RID of as many players as possible BEFORE THE FLOP.

In other words, SCARE AWAY everyone who doesn't have a pair
or face cards...

If you let too many players stay in, someone with rags is
bound to catch great cards on the flop and steal your chip
stack.

But if you go up against players with face cards, then YOU
have the advantage and the odds are in YOUR favor.

This is accomplished, of course, with a pre-flop raise,
which will also give you control over the table... as you'll
see in a minute.

Let's use a real-life hand I played to demonstrate... this
is from last night, actually.

I was in a $1-2 no limit cash game with some friends and got
A-K on the button. Don was first to act and made it $7 to
play.

The action went around the table and every single one of the
next five players called.

Now the action was to me.

How would you handle this situation?

Call, raise, or fold?

The correct answer is RAISE.

"Make it another $50", I say.

And here's why...

Let's say I call. That means there's SEVEN guys in the hand.
Amateurs might say, "Oh, that means there's more money in
the pot."

NO.

WRONG.

What seven players means is that I am virtually GUARANTEED
to have my A-K run down... because EVEN IF I catch a King
or Ace, there's a good chance someone else will hit a flush,
straight, trips, or two pair.

And besides... CALLING doesn't give me any idea where I
stand in the hand, and it doesn't allow me to know what to
put my opponents on.

So I make the pre-flop re-raise.

The other players fold, and Don calls.

That means I know he has a real hand... he wasn't just
bullying the table.

It also means he probably doesn't have cowboys or rockets,
because if he did he would've come back over the top of
me... maybe with an all-in.

So now I've got a read on my opponent, and I've forced out
all the other guys, which means I don't have to worry about
someone getting "lucky" on the flop.

AND, I've achieved something else here:

I've taken control of the table.

Instead of Don coming out firing after the flop, he'll
probably check to me... to see what I do.

This gives me control. If I miss on the flop, I can do one
of two things:

1. I can see a free card.

Or...

2. If I'm confident with my read on Don I can try to buy him
out by representing a big hand.

And sure enough... the flop hits:

9-4-2

What an UGLY flop, right?

Actually, I kind of like this flop.

Because I'm pretty sure Don doesn't have any of these cards
on the board.

He could be holding pocket 9's, but I can't put him on 4's
or 2's, because of my strong re-raise before the flop.

I'm putting him on two over cards or a pair. It actually
wouldn't surprise me if he has Big Slick, just like me.

Anyway, now it's time to find out, because Don taps his fist
against the table and checks to me.

Just like I expected.

I COULD see a free card here, but I'd rather play this
aggressively and find out EXACTLY where I'm at.

If Don calls a strong bet from me, then he's probably got
trips or a high wired pair. If that's the case, I'll back
off after the turn card and minimize my losses.

I throw out a $100 black chip with my Ace high.

Don looks at his down cards for a few moments and then
decides to muck his pocket 8's for the world to see.

"Yea... I had Kings", I say as I turn my cards face down for
NOBODY to see.

Don replies, "Yup, that's what I put you on" and he nods his
head.

Little does he know, his 8's had me beat, and I just stole a
nice pot...

That's how you play Big Slick the RIGHT way in late
position... You've got to:

1. Scare away as many players as you can before the flop.

2. Take control of the board and action.

3. Find out where you're at in the hand.

Even if Don (or anyone else) came back over the top of me
after my pre-flop raise, I'd be okay... Because then I could
put my opponent on Aces or Kings, muck my Big Slick, and
live to see another hand without catching a "bad beat."

So play A-K aggressively when you've got good positioning,
and back up your pre-flop raise with a post-flop raise, even
if you've hit nothing on the board.

Of course, you can't play Big Slick like this in every
position... this is simply how you play it with good
positioning.

I'm working on another newsletter that will show you how to
play A-K in early position... I promise I'll send it soon.

In the meantime, if you want more "step-by-step" guidance on
how to play certain hands, check out SIT AND GO SHARK. It's
my one-of-a-kind software tool that HELPS you play better
poker in real-time.


I'll write to you again soon.


Your Friend,

Roy Rounder

SHERMSTICK:cool:
 
A

admb0m

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what would you do if don cold called you? fire again? or check?
 
SHERMSTICK

SHERMSTICK

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Response

Hello Admb0m:

I would fire again in that situation as another sign of strength, as one of our fellow chatter's say's it's not what you have it's what your opponent think you have;) . Also I cut & pasted this from Roy for his advice here>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

BETTING is the KEY:deal: to getting a read on your opponents...

It is through BETTING that you find out the strength or
weakness of another player's hand, which is how you WIN in
Texas Holdem...

BETTING is how you get inside your the heads of your
opponents. Especially the ones you've never met or played
against before.

SHERMSTICK:cool:
 
shinedown.45

shinedown.45

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I always enjoy these posts sherm, b/c of these and other posts on here I have become a better and more confident player.
CC-4-LIFE
 
SHERMSTICK

SHERMSTICK

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YOUR WELCOME

Hey Shinedown:

I really appreciate that man, an i'll keep them coming to you- as they come to me.


SHERMSTICK:cool:
 
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Kennyseven

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It sounds like a great name for a race dog!:rock:
 
K

knahmsyin

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another goode one:) improving my knowlegde and putting it to work later today. thnx
 
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duke_153

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very true

but if someone raises u all in pre flop and u have Big Slick should u call no matter what.

Everytime i watch the pros and someone goes all in pre flop they always call.
 
NineLions

NineLions

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I just finished reading Super System, and Brunson likes AK more than AA or KK, just because, if you don't hit, bet and someone comes over the top, it's easier to get away from AK than it is to fold AA or KK.

Now, if I could just get that last part into my head, I might not have lost to a trey of tens today. :)
 
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alan1983

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Raised pre-flop today, got one call.

Flopped a king and 2 rags. Bet strong, got raised. He went all-in, i put him on a pair of kings, i call. he had king 8. And hit his 8 on the river :(

But i do enjoy having an accurate read as much as i enjoy winning
 
cali420fornia

cali420fornia

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cool post. would suited AK change any desisions you make?
 
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alan1983

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How would you handle AK in early stages of a tournament?

If you raise to narrow field, and then take a shot at a ragged flop, then youve probably committed 1/3 of your chips right there, against opponents who often will have qq or jj and wont fold a ragged flop.
 
shinedown.45

shinedown.45

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Until sherm puts out another newsletter, I play A-K the same in any position, whether suited or not and havn't been disappointed in the overall results thus far.
I bet/fold on a ragged flop.
 
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alan1983

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shinedown when you say check a ragged flop, would u have been the pre-flop raiser?
 
shinedown.45

shinedown.45

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With A-K in my hand I'll always be the pre-flop raiser, I'm a maniac with A-K....lol
 
arkeymedus

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AK has let me down loads of time in tourneys and is nearly always the hand that takes me out of them.I much prefer to see the flop first and if i hit an A or K then move allin the latter moves seems to pay off more.
 
Joe_Mac

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The problem with limping pre-flop with AK is you let players with rags like small suited connectors and even small pokert pairs enter the pot. Then when you spike your K or A, they spike a set or 2 pair and your hand becomes dog meat. You need to raise pre-flop to protect your hand from those players.
 
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2fstta

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I like the idea of being aggresive with A-K from start to narrow down your odds against one player only or just less players to compete with.Everygame is different though.
 
Joe_Mac

Joe_Mac

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Your right about every game being different. It will depend on how the table is. A few questions you need to ask your self are: Is the table tight or loose? Are there calling station that will can not be bet out of the pot? etc.etc.... This will help determine the right course of action.

I like the idea of being aggresive with A-K from start to narrow down your odds against one player only or just less players to compete with.Everygame is different though.
 
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Weicester

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The problem with limping pre-flop with AK is you let players with rags like small suited connectors and even small pokert pairs enter the pot. Then when you spike your K or A, they spike a set or 2 pair and your hand becomes dog meat. You need to raise pre-flop to protect your hand from those players.


The problem with this whole thread is that it depends on the exact situation you're in, and even then there are different approaches to playing a hand that can be equally correct.

Say I'm in the late stages of a tournament, I'm the tables big stack with 30 M, while most of the table has 8-15. One aggressive raiser (25 pfr) min raises from CO. Everyone folds and I'm in the BB holding AK.

So my first option is to just re-raise or shove. But I can never know what hand he has. Every pair has me beat and he can still get lucky with worse hands. Maybe he folds, and I win an extra 2 bb's, besides protecting my blinds.

My second option (and I like this one better since I am the bigger stack) is to just call. Why? If an ace or king hits the flop, he will c-bet 90% of the time, and then I have him. If he doesn't c-bet, because there's a board like 8 4 2, nothing interesting, I can probably steal the pot on the turn with a small bet, because I can literally hold everything in that position with my stack.

My point is, every example of a situation where you're holding AK is almost always super specific (unless you're in a freeroll with 2 min blinds), so there's no reason to even try to answer this question if the variables aren't accounted for.
 
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