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Confessions of a Player


Taking the AK challenge

By: Vicky Coren @ 05:16 (EDT) / 830 / Comment ( 0 )

Back to our screens next Monday night, with a new sponsor and glittering line-up of players, roars Coral Late Night Poker.

Look out for this interesting hand from level one, when the players have around 10,000 in chips and blinds are 100-200. Dan Cates (known widely as the internet sensation Jungleman12, making his first TV poker appearance) raises to 400 with AK.

Another online pro, Melanie Weissner, makes a creative call with . On the button, Adam Noone also finds AK and re-raises to 1400. Jungleman calls and Weissner folds.

It's a good spot for those who enjoy betting on the outcome of individual coups. Although both players have the same hand, Noone is favourite to win because he has position and he is the pre-flop aggressor.

It comes down 6 2 J. Jungleman checks and Noone bets 1500. Jungleman has a long think, then calls. The turn is a 5, bringing a flush draw. Both check. The river is , making the flush (which neither player is likely to have, for the action; Weissner's the one pining for her folded cards). Jungleman bets 4500 and Noone folds.

During the series, it will be worth watching the different ways that top pros play AK. It's a far trickier hand than people give it credit for, unless your chips are correct for just shoving all in before the flop.

Here, Noone could have triple-barrelled (kept betting each street) to win the pot. Jungleman could have folded on the flop because he missed. The only explanation for Jungleman winning this pot when he had the same pair-less cards and the worse position is that he had the better sense of where he was in the hand. It kicks off 10 weeks of fun and useful study material for the recreational player.

This article first appeared in The Guardian

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