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AK in early position, correct play?

 
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AK in early position, correct play? - Mon Apr 18, 2011, 09:59 AM
(#1)
VareckRay's Avatar
Since: Jan 2011
Posts: 182
Yesterday, I played a couple of tourneys and on the whole did quite well I believe. However all the good work I had done earlier in the game went out the window in 3 hands. The 2nd was just unlucky, probably shouldn't have been in the hand but after the first I was trying to get some chips back.

Did I play AK badly? Is there any getting away from this? I considered the fella might have hit his draw but dismissed it. I'm concerned my bet after the flop was too weak and maybe I should've been far more aggressive, I was trying to bet for value but it went pear shaped lol

(Actually I didn't bet the flop, I gave him a free card damn - that is a big mistake, maybe answered my own question there, yes i did play it badly, but I still be interested in thoughts on the hand, was my opening bet too weak?

In fact I'd go as far as to say my 1800 bet on the river was because I knew I'd screwed up and he had the straight and I was giving myself a way out, but again ignored it, this is a definite weakness in my game)

Here are the hands



Two hands later I was really just trying to defend my BB and get some chips back. This hurt lol, I thought post flop I thought the check-raise was the best way to get maximum value.




Is the anything I could've done differently in those 2 hands?


Thanks for the help

Last edited by VareckRay; Mon Apr 18, 2011 at 10:13 AM..
 
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Mon Apr 18, 2011, 10:20 AM
(#2)
JDean's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,145
BronzeStar
Hand #1:

Out of position, top 2 is a good solid hand, but with 2 hearts on board, plus the gut shot draw shots the check is not warranted here.
Consider...

You raised EP, and got flat called.
A lot of his range is going to be wrapped up in lesser Aces.
If YOU see the heart "threat", he probably does too.
Why open the door to an un-favorable turn card drying up your action when a half pot or so C-Bet will get called by less quite a bit of the time?

The fact he did have "just" JT here means he may well have folded to a bet after calling you so lightly, but isn;t that far better than him drawing out on you for free?

Hand #2:

Calling off 400 more from your depleted stack (16.5BB) is a pretty WEAK "defense" of your blind with off suited connectors.
Your "M" at this point demands that you no longer play "speculative" hands because you do not have enough chips to reasonably play a draw to show down for max value, and you will tend to not have the necessarily "leverage" to pressure a pot with a semi-bluff.
You should have dumped to this raise immediately, and picked a better spot to play.

The fact you hit "gin" on the flop does not change a thing: if your hand (or the situation) was not strong enough to RE-RAISE, you really should have folded to the raise without calling in for almost 20% of your stack to see a flop that the MOST you are usually going to see is a DRAW, or a marginal 1 pair "hit".
 
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Mon Apr 18, 2011, 10:23 AM
(#3)
JWK24's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 24,788
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you're right on the first one. Gotta bet the flop. Also need to learn to fold when you get pushed on the river. Flopping top 2 pair is always a warning signal for me, as there will normally be straight draws out there.

Second one, for me, it's an autofold to a raise to 3bb preflop.... you still have 15BB and have chips to get them into a better situation. If you are in the hand, you absolutely have to push after the flop... after that, you just got unlucky.
 
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Mon Apr 18, 2011, 10:30 AM
(#4)
VareckRay's Avatar
Since: Jan 2011
Posts: 182
Thanks for your feedback fellas, really helpful! I didn't realise I played the 2nd quite as poorly as I did, obviously too keen to get chips back I'd lost and played a hand I'd usually fold in that situation.

Thanks again, I'm going to think some more about what you have said.

 
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Mon Apr 18, 2011, 01:14 PM
(#5)
VareckRay's Avatar
Since: Jan 2011
Posts: 182
Also I'm thinking that my raise from an early positon was to large not too small? At the previous table I had been pretty dominant, stealing a lot as well as having the goods when I did get called or raised. My image was good (if that's the right term?) and an raise to 4xBB would've removed hands like J10 from the mix.

I had only just sat down at this one, I had no image and no reads on anyone at the table. I think maybe I shouldv'e just raised 2.5xBB with AK?

Looking back at this I can't believe I played 89 there lol

Thanks
 
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Mon Apr 18, 2011, 02:24 PM
(#6)
JDean's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,145
BronzeStar
Quote:
Originally Posted by VareckRay View Post
Also I'm thinking that my raise from an early positon was to large not too small? At the previous table I had been pretty dominant, stealing a lot as well as having the goods when I did get called or raised. My image was good (if that's the right term?) and an raise to 4xBB would've removed hands like J10 from the mix.

I had only just sat down at this one, I had no image and no reads on anyone at the table. I think maybe I shouldv'e just raised 2.5xBB with AK?

Looking back at this I can't believe I played 89 there lol

Thanks
Open raise sizing HERE is a matter of personal preference really. You have the stack to "support" your open raise to 4BB to go, and still fold on the AK hand, so there is nothing wrong with it really.

Open raise sizing "theory" usually breaks down into the following:

1) Follow a "standard" raise size.

This is meant to "disguise" your start hand by opening for the same amount whether you are on AA, or a blind steal, and whether you are EP, MP, or LP. This way of raising gives off the minimum of info on your holding, since you will do it no matter what you have; opponents have only the FREQUENCY of your open raises upon which to base their "read" of your strength.

The "standard" for this is now 2.5 to 3BB to go, simply because more "disciplined" players will tend to recognize the strength potential of ANY raise, especially oop, and will fold lesser holdings. This raise sizing "exposes" you to less chip loss if you are 3-Bet strong form behind and must fold, but it tends to lay slightly BETTER odds for at least the Big blind to come along. A raise to 4BB to go was the "old" standard, because it denied 2 to 1 pot odds for the big blind to call, and negated the blind's ability to feel "safe" calling in if he feels you hold un-paired cards.

Against LESS aware players, ones who do not instantly recognize that an open raise usually indicates "strength" (like those who will flat an ep raiser from ep or mp with JTo! ), a raise to 4BB to go will tend to get extra value in IMMEDIATELY. These "light" callers will often not have enough on the flop to call further bets, so getting your value in early is not bad.

It is really 6 of 1, half dozen of another, so long as as you recognize WHY you are raising the amount you do, and know the implications. Micro-Stake MTT's rarely have a dynamic where opponents will "attack" any open raise you make, and so long as you are always (or nearly always) opening by making it 4BB to go with GOOD HANDS, you are usually going to be "ok".

2) Configure your raise sizes based upon the CALLING tendencies of your opponents.

This means you'd vary your raise sizes based upon who is in the blind mainly, with an eye toward raising MORE (with your "big hands") against those who tend to call more, and raising less against those who will tend to fold out of the way of your bigger holdings.

Obviously, this requires a pretty solid set of tendency reads on opponents, and it also opens you to re-steals by "aware" players who may notice you are "attacking" some blinds harder than others. This can spell "trouble" for good hands like AK/AQ/TT, that are not quite top tier.

3) Configure your raise size by your POSITION in the hand.

This is a reflection of the thought that EP raises can be "smaller" and express the same strength as a larger MP/LP raise. It also tends to expose you less out of position, when you will have less information, even for the play.

The problem with this is you may "let in" a slew of people against your bigger hands by smaller EP raises. There tends to be a "schooling effect" at work against smaller raise amounts, whereby once 1 opponent calls, others jump on board like a "school" of fish. This is not necessarily a good thing for your large pocket pairs.

So...

Sight un-seen, a raise to 4BB to go CAN be just fine here without reads, as long as you do not get "married" to the pot after raising that amount, and you know what you are trying to accomplish with your raise.

Make sense?

Last edited by JDean; Mon Apr 18, 2011 at 08:46 PM..
 
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Tue Apr 19, 2011, 01:33 AM
(#7)
VareckRay's Avatar
Since: Jan 2011
Posts: 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDean View Post
Open raise sizing HERE is a matter of personal preference really. You have the stack to "support" your open raise to 4BB to go, and still fold on the AK hand, so there is nothing wrong with it really.

Open raise sizing "theory" usually breaks down into the following:

1) Follow a "standard" raise size.

This is meant to "disguise" your start hand by opening for the same amount whether you are on AA, or a blind steal, and whether you are EP, MP, or LP. This way of raising gives off the minimum of info on your holding, since you will do it no matter what you have; opponents have only the FREQUENCY of your open raises upon which to base their "read" of your strength.

The "standard" for this is now 2.5 to 3BB to go, simply because more "disciplined" players will tend to recognize the strength potential of ANY raise, especially oop, and will fold lesser holdings. This raise sizing "exposes" you to less chip loss if you are 3-Bet strong form behind and must fold, but it tends to lay slightly BETTER odds for at least the Big blind to come along. A raise to 4BB to go was the "old" standard, because it denied 2 to 1 pot odds for the big blind to call, and negated the blind's ability to feel "safe" calling in if he feels you hold un-paired cards.

Against LESS aware players, ones who do not instantly recognize that an open raise usually indicates "strength" (like those who will flat an ep raiser from ep or mp with JTo! ), a raise to 4BB to go will tend to get extra value in IMMEDIATELY. These "light" callers will often not have enough on the flop to call further bets, so getting your value in early is not bad.

It is really 6 of 1, half dozen of another, so long as as you recognize WHY you are raising the amount you do, and know the implications. Micro-Stake MTT's rarely have a dynamic where opponents will "attack" any open raise you make, and so long as you are always (or nearly always) opening by making it 4BB to go with GOOD HANDS, you are usually going to be "ok".

2) Configure your raise sizes based upon the CALLING tendencies of your opponents.

This means you'd vary your raise sizes based upon who is in the blind mainly, with an eye toward raising MORE (with your "big hands") against those who tend to call more, and raising less against those who will tend to fold out of the way of your bigger holdings.

Obviously, this requires a pretty solid set of tendency reads on opponents, and it also opens you to re-steals by "aware" players who may notice you are "attacking" some blinds harder than others. This can spell "trouble" for good hands like AK/AQ/TT, that are not quite top tier.

3) Configure your raise size by your POSITION in the hand.

This is a reflection of the thought that EP raises can be "smaller" and express the same strength as a larger MP/LP raise. It also tends to expose you less out of position, when you will have less information, even for the play.

The problem with this is you may "let in" a slew of people against your bigger hands by smaller EP raises. There tends to be a "schooling effect" at work against smaller raise amounts, whereby once 1 opponent calls, others jump on board like a "school" of fish. This is not necessarily a good thing for your large pocket pairs.

So...

Sight un-seen, a raise to 4BB to go CAN be just fine here without reads, as long as you do not get "married" to the pot after raising that amount, and you know what you are trying to accomplish with your raise.

Make sense?

Wow JD yes that makes perfect sense thanks. I've seen a lot of what you talk about at the tables, schooling effect, players raising the same amount when they open (I'd actually mis-intepreted this as weakness, not varying their raise based on position or hand strength for instance) This is really helpful!!

Thanks JD
 

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