AK- Not exactly a monster hand!

t1riel

t1riel

Legend
Here's an article by Daniel Negreanu explaining why Big Slick(AK) is not exactly a monster hand:

What's the big deal about Big Slick?[FONT=Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]When you watch poker on TV, you'll hear the commentators refer to AK as a monster hand. Commonly known as Big Slick, AK is often grouped with hands like AA, KK, and QQ.

This is a big mistake.

Sure it's nice to look down at your hole cards and find an AK, but more often than not, if you end up playing a big pot with this hand you'll be statistically behind. The most likely event is a coin flip situation, where the outcome is close to 50-50.

This example should open your eyes a bit. A pocket pair of deuces will beat Big Slick 53 percent of the time.

Yes, that's right. Even a lowly pair of deuces is a favorite over powerful Big Slick. It's even worse off against some other premium starting hands it will often face. Here is how AK does against the top five pairs:

1. Against pocket Tens, Jacks or Queens, Big Slick will win only 43 percent of the time, based on 2.5 million simulated deals.

2. Versus pocket Kings, Big Slick will win only 30 percent of the time.

3. And against pocket Aces, your AK in the hole will lose a whopping 93 percent of the time!

As you can see, it's hardly a coin flip when Big Slick is up against these premium pairs, especially against two cowboys or pocket Aces. Of course your opponent won't always have a pair, and when he doesn't, that's when Big Slick starts looking like a monster, especially if there's an Ace or a King in your opponent's hand.

If your opponent held KQ or AQ unsuited, for example, you would have him dominated, as he would only have one live card (Q) to out draw you. In either of these scenarios, your Big Slick would be a substantial favorite and will win 74 percent of the time.

There is one other interesting group of hands that Big Slick might match up against: two live cards that are suited, like 7d-8d. In this case, Big Slick will win 58 percent of the time. You're still a real favorite here, and there always seems to be someone who'll be willing to play you.

These examples give you a little statistical background on this enigma of a hand. In some cases Big Slick is quite strong, while in others it's extremely vulnerable.

In knowing this, the key to playing AK before the flop is to avoid getting involved in big pots when your entire stake is on the line. Too often when your opponent is willing to put all of his money up against you, he'll have the dreaded AA or KK which would make you a substantial underdog to win the hand.

If you find yourself in a No Limit Hold'em tournament looking down at Big Slick, you want to be aggressive with it and attack the blinds. If, however, you receive any resistance from your opponents, you should seriously consider folding the hand and waiting for a better situation.

Here are a few other things to think about before you make a move with Big Slick:

How many chips do you have? If you're short-stacked and need to win a big pot to get back in the game, then you should be very aggressive with Big Slick and go all in. But if you have a good pile of chips and another player at the table raises you big time, well, then you likely don't need to get involved in this marginal situation.

How do your opponents play? This is a very important consideration when making up your mind about playing Big Slick. If the "Rock of Gibraltar," a player who is extremely conservative, re-raises you, you can be pretty sure that he has a pair, a pair that just might be AA or KK. On the flipside, if your opponent is wild and reckless, your Big Slick might match up well against a hand like AJ or even K-10 and you'll be in great shape.

The important thing to understand about Big Slick is that it's a drawing hand. Sure, if it's suited, it makes it the most powerful drawing hand you can be dealt in Texas Hold'em. But remember, it's still a drawing hand. In the end, it's often only good enough to win with if you pair your Ace or King, or get lucky enough to make a straight or a flush.

Playing Big Slick smartly assures you of advancement, and once in a while it actually earns that monster title so many have given it.
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KillerKat

KillerKat

Guest
lol

LOL. This just happened right now while i was reading the article at the exact same time. Im tkae.
Knew he had pocket aces, knew i shouldnt call but had to. Thought it was a real coincidence. I hate ak. always lose lots chips with it.


okerStars Game #2856173134: Tournament #14069878, Hold'em No Limit - Level I (10/20) - 2005/10/21 - 10:46:20 (ET)
Table '14069878 2' Seat #2 is the button
Seat 1: Whitpirate (1500 in chips)
Seat 2: mizy (1880 in chips)
Seat 3: tkae (1480 in chips)
Seat 4: Fcg1 (1480 in chips)
Seat 5: davb68 (1380 in chips)
Seat 6: dpd11 (1500 in chips)
Seat 7: zapidy (1280 in chips)
Seat 8: grandpa_owl (1500 in chips)
Seat 9: moph (1500 in chips)
tkae: posts small blind 10
Fcg1: posts big blind 20
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to tkae [Ad Ks]
davb68: folds
dpd11: folds
zapidy: calls 20
grandpa_owl: folds
moph: calls 20
Whitpirate: raises 60 to 80
mizy: folds
tkae: calls 70
Fcg1: folds
zapidy: calls 60
moph: calls 60
*** FLOP *** [Kd 6d Js]
tkae: checks
zapidy: checks
moph: checks
Whitpirate: bets 180
tkae: raises 180 to 360
zapidy: folds
moph: folds
Whitpirate: raises 1060 to 1420 and is all-in
tkae: calls 1040 and is all-in
*** TURN *** [Kd 6d Js] [7d]
*** RIVER *** [Kd 6d Js 7d] [Tc]
tkae said, "knew it lol"
tkae said, "nh"
*** SHOW DOWN ***
tkae: shows [Ad Ks] (a pair of Kings)
Whitpirate: shows [Ac As] (a pair of Aces)
Whitpirate collected 3140 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 3140 | Rake 0
Board [Kd 6d Js 7d Tc]
Seat 1: Whitpirate showed [Ac As] and won (3140) with a pair of Aces
Seat 2: mizy (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 3: tkae (small blind) showed [Ad Ks] and lost with a pair of Kings
Seat 4: Fcg1 (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 5: davb68 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 6: dpd11 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 7: zapidy folded on the Flop
Seat 8: grandpa_owl folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 9: moph folded on the Flop
 
beardyian

beardyian

Scary Clown
Awards
2
AK - i hate it, i hate it, i hate it, oh and by the way I HATE IT :mad:

Have played it aggressive, played it slow, played it timid, played it hard.

LOST

Not from a fan

IanT.
 
Jocksrock

Jocksrock

Rock Star
AK....No matter what the odds you gotta play it...and suited is even better...i wonder how many times negranu has folded Ak before a flop even in the big games and not the little biddy frantic games we play online?...Empire poker pocket kings does scare me however even tho i try not to believe the empire pocket pair conspiracy theory
 
J

jpockets

Guest
I have to say its my favourite hand. Not for all in of course but its brilliant if you can get a couple of callers for the flop, at least. And unless its an all in situation and would nearly guarantee that AK will beat 22 almost evertime unless you are playing someone with no clue.
 
twizzybop

twizzybop

Legend
Yes big slick will either make you or break you, but no matter what they are good starting pre-flop hand.
 
twizzybop

twizzybop

Legend
jpockets said:
I have to say its my favourite hand. Not for all in of course but its brilliant if you can get a couple of callers for the flop, at least. And unless its an all in situation and would nearly guarantee that AK will beat 22 almost evertime unless you are playing someone with no clue.

Huh? It is basically a coin toss.. pocket 2's vs A,K is around 50% to win against pocket 2's. So there is no guarantee even against 2's.
 
mets40

mets40

Rock Star
I like it, as long as I don't put too much faith in it. The problem is it's so hard to get away from.
 
J

jpockets

Guest
Huh? It is basically a coin toss.. pocket 2's vs A,K is around 50% to win against pocket 2's. So there is no guarantee even against 2's.

Yes, if it goes down to the end but most people with pocket 22 are going to fold well before the river. Unless they make a set or better on the flop they are facing 3 over cards and it would take some balls to stay in the hand!
 
XXIII

XXIII

Rock Star
Jocksrock said:
AK....No matter what the odds you gotta play it...and suited is even better...i wonder how many times negranu has folded Ak before a flop even in the big games and not the little biddy frantic games we play online?...Empire poker pocket kings does scare me however even tho i try not to believe the empire pocket pair conspiracy theory

He does not like to fold when he has crap hands. He is a man who likes his flops:hello:
 
Tammy

Tammy

Moderator
Moderator
Awards
10
tenbob said:
Fancy a heads up game later on ???? We can have a series of 5 at $50 a shot ??
I've got dibs for the next round!

I remember when I first started playing I would get so excited when I got AK (or any pocket pair for that matter) and hit the "all-in button". I learned my lesson though. Of course we've all been beat w/ AK (and AA for that matter), but I'm still not gonna toss it pre-flop.
 
twizzybop

twizzybop

Legend
jpockets said:
Huh? It is basically a coin toss.. pocket 2's vs A,K is around 50% to win against pocket 2's. So there is no guarantee even against 2's.

Yes, if it goes down to the end but most people with pocket 22 are going to fold well before the river. Unless they make a set or better on the flop they are facing 3 over cards and it would take some balls to stay in the hand!

Yes but wouldn't you think the A,K would have made a pre-flop bet before this scenario even happened.The if per chance the person holding A,K limps in. Everyone else folds, only person left is pocket 2's. That person should make a raise. Now the pocket 2's are heads up which is what they wanted and needed against the A,K. If I held pocket 2's and Paint cards came on the flop, I would definatly make a bet. The only 2 scenario's I would worry about when the paint cards come are the straight and the flush(wich the possiblity of a royal is small). Other than that if 2 paint cards flop per-say Q's. What are the possibilities that the other person holds a Q? I would definatly bet the pocket 2's cause the % of you holding a Q is very small. Meaning you need 2 cards(either of the Q's left) out of 47 cards you can be holding to actually beat me at this particular moment. A definate bet with 2's or any pocket pair. Neither one of these starting pre-flop hands are a safe bet with limpers coming in the hand. So now you see why pocket 2's can be the best hand when they are played correctly even against A.K.
 
soadwes

soadwes

Guest
pokermania said:
I don't usually play AK, i don't remember any time when i won with an AK hand :cool: if i'm feeling good i'll play to see the flop, if after that the future is bleak i just fold. If i'm generally not having a good day i just fold AK instantly...

So if you will fold AK instantly... what in god's name do you play? The only hole cards that beat AK pre-flop would be pocket pairs... am i wrong?
 
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