$22 MTT playing AK in the BB

Irexes

Irexes

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$22 SnG 180 person MTT. 35 left I'm in 8th. Average about 7500.

Been watching villain for 44 hands and this is the second he's raised, though he has limped with garbage including 7Ts from mid position.

When he's had strength on the flop he's bet. Don't know what he does when he misses.

My image is solid, I've only showed strong hands and won most pots I've been in.

I'm posting the entire hand for comment because I'm interested what others would do and why?

Analysis of my fold also welcome :)

pokerstars Game #14771575818: Tournament #74864704, $20+$2 Hold'em No Limit - Level VII (150/300) - 2008/01/23 - 16:57:33 (ET)
Table '74864704 6' 9-max Seat #2 is the button
Seat 1: asianpoker85 (8486 in chips)
Seat 2: sherry12345 (6417 in chips)
Seat 3: bentley204 (9968 in chips) out of hand (moved from another table into small blind)
Seat 4: Batesy_842 (11442 in chips) out of hand (moved from another table into small blind)
Seat 5: NotSoEasy1 (3405 in chips)
Seat 6: Irexes (11887 in chips)
Seat 7: bahama21 (4037 in chips)
Seat 8: hazedanger (5971 in chips)
Seat 9: moneyforpots (19390 in chips)
asianpoker85: posts the ante 25
sherry12345: posts the ante 25
NotSoEasy1: posts the ante 25
Irexes: posts the ante 25
bahama21: posts the ante 25
hazedanger: posts the ante 25
moneyforpots: posts the ante 25
NotSoEasy1: posts small blind 150
Irexes: posts big blind 300
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Irexes [Ah Kc]
bahama21: folds
hazedanger: folds
moneyforpots: folds
asianpoker85: raises 1500 to 1800
sherry12345: folds
NotSoEasy1: folds
Irexes: folds
asianpoker85 collected 925 from pot
asianpoker85: doesn't show hand
*** SUMMARY ***
 
Cheetah

Cheetah

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I agree with this fold for the following reasons (in arbitrary order):

  • He is tight pre-flop
  • The raise is large (6BB)
  • You have a drawing hand
  • You are OOP
  • Calling will cost you about 15% of stack
  • You will miss the flop 2/3 of the time
  • Re-raising is worse than folding or calling
 
NineLions

NineLions

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Agreed with Cheetah, but
  • 6x could be an indication it's a hand he doesn't want action with (AK/AQ,TT,99) rather than AA/KK
  • 6x combined with limping garbage could be signs that he's not a good player and could be outplayed on the flop by someone as strong as Rex
 
Tammy

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Agreed with Cheetah, but
  • 6x could be an indication it's a hand he doesn't want action with (AK/AQ,TT,99) rather than AA/KK
  • 6x combined with limping garbage could be signs that he's not a good player and could be outplayed on the flop by someone as strong as Rex
If we can assume that he's not a good player, and given that he has tight pre-flop image, it could be reasonable to say that he had a pretty big hand. The sign of a beginner/poor player is how they telegraph their hands with their raises.

I'm totally fine with the fold here as well, for the reasons Cheetah laid out.
 
soccerfreakjj10

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I don't think I could lay that down.

I am looking forward to your analysis on why you laid this hand down.
 
OzExorcist

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Folding here works for me - sounds like it'd just get messy post-flop, and we don't want to jeopardise our position in the field.
 
soccerfreakjj10

soccerfreakjj10

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Folding here works for me - sounds like it'd just get messy post-flop, and we don't want to jeopardise our position in the field.

Yeah I see why it works, but would you actually do it?
 
blankoblanco

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i'm okay with a fold here. honestly though, i really don't think it would ever be much of a detriment to always get all-in with AK with 30BBs or less in MTTs, and the larger the MTT, the less of a mistake i think it is. you'd cash slightly less often and place high slightly more often. high placings can make up for a whoooole lot of missed cashes, so it's incredibly difficult to say which is more profitable. it's just the maddening nature of MTTs. fwiw, i'm certain that almost none (if not none) of the top 10 players for the 2007 OPOY (online player of the year) would fold AK here. i assume they understand these crazy donkaments more than i do, i can't say for sure
 
jaymfc

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I might call thinking I had to , quit being a wuss jay and play a strong hand . but I see absolutely nothing wrong with folding here , amazed that so many good players say fold . cheeta nailed it .
 
Irexes

Irexes

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I agree with this fold for the following reasons (in arbitrary order):
  • He is tight pre-flop
  • The raise is large (6BB)
  • You have a drawing hand
  • You are OOP
  • Calling will cost you about 15% of stack
  • You will miss the flop 2/3 of the time
  • Re-raising is worse than folding or calling

Cheetah pretty much nailed it straight away there :)

The most important things I think are stack size and the fact that I will be first to act after the flop.

Seat 1: asianpoker85 (8486 in chips)
Seat 2: sherry12345 (6417 in chips)
Seat 3: bentley204 (9968 in chips) out of hand (moved from another table into small blind)
Seat 4: Batesy_842 (11442 in chips) out of hand (moved from another table into small blind)
Seat 5: NotSoEasy1 (3405 in chips)
Seat 6: Irexes (11887 in chips)

If I play this hand it must be because I intend to stack him, otherwise I haven't got the implied odds to call him preflop given that I'm first to act and will be doing so in the dark regarding his intentions.

Regarding the flattering comment that I'm a strong player and can outplay him on the flop. You can only outplay someone who has a pretty good grasp of what they are doing. This guy I had pegged as weak. I often see players lamenting that their opponent played their hand wrong because they didn't do the correct thing in response to their "clever" play. You need to realise when clever plays won't work and not make them, rather than criticise the opponent for being dumb.

Let's look at some flops,

A59
K3T
768
AK4
468
934
J22

If I call the pot is 3750 and villain has c6800 left.

Put simply there are very few circumstances where I am ahead where I get the chance to stack him, but there are plenty of situations where I either have to let the pot go, lose a c-bet or get stacked myself.

With Axx I either have to try and check-raise and hope he has AQ or AJ or bluffs. If he has a mid pair of worse, chances are he shuts down.

With Kxx it's similar.

However if he has AA or KK, I'm probably doomed.

With an undercard flop, I either check and fold to a bet (which will have pot committed him) or I bet and fold to the reraise if he has an overpair.

In cases where I bet I pick up the preflop pot a fair bit but seldom stack him.

Reverse postion, add 5k to my stack (or take 5 away) or give me a different read on this chap and it all changes. But here I'll trust that I'll find a better place to put my chips in rather than trust to luck.

Finally, if you are pushing AK with more than the average against an opponent with little fold equity for 2/3 your stack, you are going to be losing cash in the long run as the coinflips will catch up with you one way or another. My game took off when I stopped looking to see all 5-cards with AK and played it for its real (and not inconsiderable) value.
 
zachvac

zachvac

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  • You have a drawing hand


I agree with the rest of your bullets but take issue with this one. What does it mean to have a drawing hand and how can you have a drawing hand preflop? If this is AK vs. KQ would you still call it a drawing hand? What if you're up against 22 of the same suits in which case aren't you a slight favorite? Then isn't the 22 drawing to you missing an A, K, straight, and flush? Drawing or not makes no difference.

I think it's pretty clear that this is either push or fold, as if you miss the flop it does become a "drawing" hand in that you are down to 6 outs twice at best.

But if you're pushing all-in here you're essentially flipping a coin. To call that drawing ignores the math behind poker as a whole. You win 47% or 48% or 45% of the time when they have a PP, you're ahead by a lot if they don't, it doesn't matter if you need something to win or not, the only thing that matters once the chips are in is your odds of winning. I can understand a fold here, but I don't think anyone would criticize him for pushing his stack in here either. The majority of the time you're flipping and getting odds compared with a fold, and the other time you've got a completely dominating hand. If you think he's tight enough such that both he'd raise 6x with AA or KK and that AA and KK comprise enough of his range, then you can easily lay this down.

But to say it's a drawing hand isn't good logic at all when considering this play, it's just a buzzword with no facts or reasoning behind it, and I hate it when people use that term, especially in a case like AK preflop considering a shove. Equity matters, whether we're drawing or not doesn't.
 
Irexes

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I agree with you to an extent Zach in that in an all in situation it really doesn't matter as equity is equity.

But it being a "drawing hand" is relevant in considering the call in this particular situation and has a huge impact on post-flop play.

I'm not a fan of the term either but I can see its application here.
 
zachvac

zachvac

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I agree with you to an extent Zach in that in an all in situation it really doesn't matter as equity is equity.

But it being a "drawing hand" is relevant in considering the call in this particular situation and has a huge impact on post-flop play.

I'm not a fan of the term either but I can see its application here.

Right but would you disagree with me that this is a shove or fold scenario? I guess stacks are big enough for you not to open shove here but do you really want to see a flop for this much knowing that if you hit it's obvious (as in QQ won't stack off) and if you don't you're not calling anything else? I guess I could see a possibility of flat calling, but I'm thinking either you make a strong raise here or lay it down, and when we're considering that choice the chance of hitting a hand on the flop makes no difference. Also if we are calling we can discuss the decision on the flop.

I'm not criticizing Cheetah, I really enjoy reading his posts, I just don't like it when people use that logic to talk about how AK isn't all that good. It is the 4th best hand in terms of getting your money in IMO. I like QQ over AK because although there are only 2 hands that dominate both, QQ is a bigger favorite over smaller pairs or even A-x. Or for example I saw a wsop hand where the announcer said something like "he went all-in on a DRAW". Never mind the FE, never mind the fact that it was a straight-flush "draw" and that he was close to the favorite in the hand. The goal of poker is to have the best hand at showdown, not have the best hand at an intermediate point. To a 56x board, 5 and 6 of hearts, I'd rather have 78h than 22 even though 22 is the best hand at the moment. 78h is actually ahead here.

In any poker hand, both hands are drawing. When your opponent has a flush draw, you are drawing to non-hearts. I just think the term is over-used way too much and the concept not applied correctly by too many people who don't understand poker. I think Cheetah in this situation knew what he was talking about, but someone reading that will repeat that to their friend about something only being a draw, and I wanted to clarify on that.
 
Irexes

Irexes

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In any poker hand, both hands are drawing. When your opponent has a flush draw, you are drawing to non-hearts. I just think the term is over-used way too much and the concept not applied correctly by too many people who don't understand poker.

I'll buy that (though as you acknowledge Cheetah isn't one of them).

Really like the drawing to non-hearts line :)

To sort of answer your question, I think pushing here is better than calling, but as demonstrated I think folding is better than pushing. There's no reraise that isn't all in that makes sense. Notwithstanding I think that understanding the nature of AK as opposed to a pocket pair helps explain why calling is the weakest move.
 
B

Bentheman87

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The only reasons I think this was a good fold was because you say he's super tight and played only 2 hands out of the last 45. Sometimes players (especially inexperienced ones) will raise to like 6x or more times the BB preflop with AA or KK but only min raise preflop with weak hands. And this can throw a lot of perceptive experienced players off, they think "he raised so much he can't have AA or KK, he would try to lure me in if he had a big hand". If he was not super tight preflop, you should reraise against a late position raiser with an AK.

He is tight pre-flop
The raise is large (6BB)
You have a drawing hand
You are OOP
Calling will cost you about 15% of stack
You will miss the flop 2/3 of the time
Re-raising is worse than folding or calling

I disagree with a few of these points. Like his large raise (doesn't necessarily mean he has to have AA or KK), you have a drawing hand (you don't know he has a pocket pair), and reraising is worse than folding or calling (remember this raise came from late position not early position, also you are OoP if you just call). But I still agree with your fold Irexes but mostly because you said he's super tight. Another reason I like the fold is you were in good chip position with an M of around 15, so no need to get all in preflop now if you think you at a coinflip at best.

And btw, some of the posters on this thread have told me I overvalue AK, but I think some of you are undervaluing it. I'm suprised nearly everyone said fold. AK is a weird hand, because it is only 50% to win against a pathetic pair of 2s or 3s but it's still a very strong hand. It's only dominated by 2 hands in holdem, and you can't say the same about any other hand besides AA or KK, so I like to think of AK as equal in strength to QQ (which is also only dominated by 2 hands). Can I ask you something tho Irexes, what would you do with QQ here instead of AK? Still fold? And what if you were on the button with AK? Would you call or still fold?
 
B

Bentheman87

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What do you think of these probabilities of the hands he could hold? Given how tight he is I think this is a good range. And since you have one of the Kings and one of the aces it makes AA or KK less likely. He'd probably wouldn't raise with a weak ace or 77-22 since he's so tight.

70% of the time he'll have 88-QQ. Against these you're 45% to win.
5% of the time he'll have AA, against this hands you're about 6% to win.
5% of the time he'll have KK, against this hand you're 30% to win.
20% of the time he'll have AQ-AJ. Against these hands you're 72% to win.

31+.3+1.5+14.4 which adds up to 47% total winning chances.
 
Cheetah

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  • You have a drawing hand
I agree with the rest of your bullets but take issue with this one. What does it mean to have a drawing hand and how can you have a drawing hand preflop?

If you are all-in preflop, then ALL hands are "drawing" and it is meaningless whether you have AK or 22. All that matters is your EV against the likely range of your opponent.

When the consideration is to see the flop, then there is a big difference between made hand (i.e. PP), and all other hands. If your opponent has PP or has position, he/she can quite profitably bet you out of the pot. The reason is that you didn't see all 5 cards, so you only realized about 3/5 of the equity of a drawing hand compared to an all-in.

Another way to think about this is that when you call a bet pre-flop, you DENY an opponent with a drawing hand to see the turn and river. This is why calling in position with made or drawing hand works so well against good players. If the OOP player has a drawing hand, they miss most of the time and either have to bluff OOP, which is terrible, or check-fold to a bet.

Conversely, if you call OOP with a drawing hand, then you are denying YOURSELF the chance to see the turn and river.

Of course, with big hands OOP, it can still be profitable to call a reasonable amount to see the flop. With big stacks, it is foolish to go all-in with such hands and only donks do that.

With a PP OOP, the situation is a little better since opponents will miss their drawing hands most of the time. One can then lead into the pot on the flop with a PP knowing that most of the time a good player will be forced to fold. Also, a calling station will often call with a drawing hand, which is not a bad outcome.

To summarize:
  • A pre-flop all-in wipes out the difference between drawing and made hands (PPs) because all 5 cards will be seen and only equity matters.
  • When you call a bet in position, you deny an OOP opponent the opportunity to see the turn and river. This can be done with either a drawing or made hand.
  • When you call a bet OOP with a drawing hand, you deny yourself the chance to see the turn and river.
  • When you call a bet OOP with a made hand, you give yourself the chance to bet first on the flop and either pickup the pot from a good player, or get called with a draw by a calling station.
 
K

kyle3311

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id consider atleast calling in this situation... generally speaking... that raise indicates a hand that is like AK, AQ, AJ... JJ, TT, 99, 88, 77. I've rarely seen that raise indicate a hand like AA or KK...

you have 8k in chips he has 11k... you call it leaves you with roughly 6500 in chips -

your best play is to re-raise over the top all in because you are either a 3:1 favorite or a coinflip... you win you'd have 16k in chips which is quite a healthy stack at this point in the tourney (over double the average)

He does NOT have AA or KK... so push
 
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