This is a discussion on How do you play AK in a 6max turbo SnG in early stages? within the online poker forums, in the Tournament Poker section; I tend to shove AK early but I have lost everytime to pockets pairs. I know its a coinflip but it's got me everytime.
The best way to play them slow, because you know that you have to hit something with them.
If you raise much preflop your range is small and when a A or K comes on the flop you know for sure that hands like JQ or lower will fold.
If you raise less most find it harder to know what you have. They will raise them selfs becaue there were no big agressers preflop. Just call those raises (sometimes I even wait a few seconds to react, just trying to let them think that you have to think very hard, don't exagerate it ofcourse.)
You can call them all the way down to the river. If no draws have come up ofcourse (then you have to raise). On the river you can check and hope that he will raise and then reraise. Or when you are in position you can raise/reraise yourself. Most times you will make more profit playing this way, because you will lose not much if you don't hit on the flop and/or turn (I don't prefer to stay in untill the river), and win the max if you hit your cards.
I'd consider on the buy-in of the tournament as well. Going AK vs pocket pairs can be a correct call sometimes. If it's really early I'd just minraise or even call, depends on your position as well, and how you want to represent yourself.
shoving is pretty much the worst thing you can do in the early game, it gains you very little in terms of EV, you are often behind or flipping if called and it will cost you to lose a lot more games early which costs you later where the real money is made.
Think about this example.
Early on 15/30 and you jam 1500 chips to win 45 chips, that makes absolutely no differance at all.
Now at 100/200 you jam 1500 chips and you gain 300 chips, which is a huge boost to your stack at that stage.
So thinking about that, do you think it's better to not get involved as much early? Do you think it seems like a good idea to risk all of your stack early for 45 chips?
So long story short, just come in for a raise and see what happens, if you get 3bet, just fold it, no big deal. If someone calls just c-bet if you miss or hit and go from there. Don't be afraid of going postflop with someone, it's only AK, you can net more profit in later spots by jamming 92o than you can with AK early.
In early position I would play off suited A,K slowly, Suited A,K aggressively and follow through . Off suited A,K pre-flop, if someone after you raises small or large, you can still call or fold. If you decide to call and see the flop you can then decide whether to fold or continue. Always leave yourself options.
i would play it normal preflop, probably 3 bet some min raisers in position. Would play more aggresive in positon on the flop. Not calling 3 bets allin to much to early or 2 bets. Calling a 4bet all in or 4beting all in 100% of the time unless it gets 3 way then i make a passive fold.
When the blinds are small, it is important to play less pretty hands (Big Aces or Kings) and play more suited connectors since blinds are small and you are looking for more flushes/straights/2pair. Be ready to lay down AK early on, but later on AK is good to get it in with since you often dominate other hands getting it in pre (AQ and below) which people love to shove on.
With big slick early on in a SNG it is good to make a raise that isolates you and one or maybe two others. If the pot has 3+ others there are more players with an opportunity to improve their hand with a flop and this is never good. Be ready to lay it down when you miss the flop (or make a c bet with 1 or 2 others in the pot).
It really depends on your opponents How AK is played, as well as the situation of betting. Verse aggression from tightest opponents AK is crushed, verse maniacs its the effective nuts.
Early on when stacks are deep it top pair top kicker might have reverse implied odds when the pot gets large. In my own personal opinion and my own experience players lose with AK because they have a blind default strategy and don't think beyond their hand. Think about your opponent, their playing and position and AK becomes a lot less frustrating to play.
6-max tourneys have no early positions -- it tables begins from middle))). So my turn is to make a raise, but not so big trying to look for a flop for not many chips. If someone all-ins more likely I will fold.
AK at early stages needs to be played 'slowly' .In the first levels raise , call if re raised ,watch for position , how many entered the hand , the texture of the board if it is very wet or not. If its not wet , with one opponent I make a cbet ,keeping low the stakes, and reevaluate the situation on the turn or river . Shoving ak at early stages always is a bad idea .Later ofcourse it's part of the game .
You don't need to get your stacks in the middle w/ AK early on, tourney life is worth too much. I'd 3bet or 4bet to isolate and cbet and hope for fold. Then x/f, or continue turn if you have enough outs to the best hand on the river.
re: Poker & How do you play AK in a 6max turbo SnG in early stages?
You are overplaying AK unless you are short stacked. You are going to win the minimum or bust out (as you have been doing). AK can often be a slippery slope. Often you are going to win a small pot or lose a big one because even when you connect, you still only have 1 pair.
All in with AK on early stage is just not worth it. I can only suggest to see the flop, if there is no A or K on the flop - feel free to fold it. AK can't make a strong draw, only the gutshot... AK on early stages is good enough to limp with and play slow as a calling station to study your opponents without high risks for your stack.
Knowing that early stages have lower blinds, people tend to play a wider range of cards. So even a 3x preflop wont take chasers away.
That being said, a continious bet is mandatory on the flop. Keep it small as you dont want to be too commited if you missed.
If you hit, maintain the continiuty but still keep it low to get called.
Feel confortable to fold with any raise if you did not hit. If you hit hit but still get raised, call but dont go all in as the range of your opponent might have got him better than your top pair.
AK is a great hand to discuss, since a significant number of players will raise. I was watching a video produced for a brazilian site, showing how EV- is to do this, for a long period of time. So, AK can be a good hand to simply call the Bet against Reg players, and explore Donkey and Calling Station players.