Pre-Flop Raising AK

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ozrock

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How does everyone feel about pre-flop raising with AK; or going all in with AK? Whether online or live?

It is a powerful hand. However, when an Ace or King doesn't flop, and there are mid deck cards that hit the board, it seems like a waste to raise or go all in; unless a person is short on blinds in a tournament and time has come to go all in anyway.
 
Phoenix Wright

Phoenix Wright

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How does everyone feel about pre-flop raising with AK; or going all in with AK? Whether online or live?

It is a powerful hand. However, when an Ace or King doesn't flop, and there are mid deck cards that hit the board, it seems like a waste to raise or go all in; unless a person is short on blinds in a tournament and time has come to go all in anyway.

I agree that sometimes people get too carried away with AK and just open-shove All-In (especially online freerolls). AK is a premium hand and that means we should generally be open-raising for value. Going All-In (unless short stacked) seems too careless though. Yes, AK is a good hand, but it is only Ace-high if it misses and this happens a decent amount of the time!

Different playstyles play AK differently with good results. Many factors come into play (stack sizes, opponent aggressiveness, board texture and so on), but generally speaking I'd play this hand aggressively because it is a great hand to have. However, there are times you must realize that your good hand preflop isn't so valuable anymore post-flop. By aggressively, I mean I'd usually c-bet and possibly fire if I sense weakness or can apply pressure etc. :D

We are obviously hoping to improve to at least Top Pair and Top Kicker by pairing the Ace or the King, but if we miss, then Ace-high might be enough at showdown! This is especially the case if many draws missed by the River. AK is the hand where I usually want more information post-flop and just shoving All-In right away seems to do it injustice.
 
Phoenix Wright

Phoenix Wright

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oh one more thing I forgot to mention:

Difference live or online?

Poker is poker and I think they are basically the same except that live poker might offer a little less ambitious plays at the lower levels because people don't want to look silly. In online games, it doesn't mean much behind a computer screen - but live there is a sense of embarrassment if you are caught on the bad end of a play like open shoving All-In with AK (not short stacked) and then losing. Especially so if to a marginal hand like pocket Deuces.

I expect live poker to then have less open-shoves All-In overall, but other than that, I think online and live are basically the same thing with few differences.
 
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