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The Ace King Trail

 
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The Ace King Trail - Fri Nov 04, 2011, 09:41 AM
(#1)
EdinFreeMan's Avatar
Since: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,540
A few hands from one 45 player $0.50 Turbo sitngo, part of my Cowboy's Challenge, all featuring AK.

I was dealt AK 6 times, but in different situations and positions at different stages of the game. I will post them in sequence, one at a time, paused at the point I have a potentially critical decision. After I get some feedback on the first I will post what actually happened and then the next hand in the sequence.

These games are generally a little loose and very aggressive. I have started a series but am not familiar yet with many of the regulars, and as you often get through the games fairly quickly and move tables a lot reads on opponents are not always easy to pick up. In later stages there is a lot of shove/fold play and often difficult spots for calling decisions.

First hand

Very early stages - first time I make a play with AK offsuit in middle position.

I act first to raise preflop. 2 players call.

I miss the flop but pick up a nut straight draw. I decide not to c-bet as I am out of position to 1 player.
The flop is checked around and the turn card is a blank, and the players check round.

My T comes on the river so I have the nuts. Now I wish i had c-bet one of the previous streets, probably on the turn. Would that have been a better line? Can I still get value? What is my best play?





Ed from Edinburgh - EdinFreeMan
 
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Fri Nov 04, 2011, 10:20 AM
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it stops when it gets to you on the river.... I hope you value bet it. If you did, then I like your line thru it.

Betting the turn is sketchy. You have 4 outs to the nuts and 6 more possible outs (but those 6 could also be compromised by 2 pair or a straight). That only gives you 8% equity worst case or 20% best case. If you bet 8% of the pot, it's lower than a min bet. Therefore, I like the check. It also doesn't look like the opps are maniace, so you probably can't stack them if you hit the straight.
 
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Fri Nov 04, 2011, 10:36 AM
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I think your line to the river is fine multi way with only a gutter and 2 overs.. now the question is how much can you raise that tiny lead by antonio and have him pay you off with second best hand. and I guess that all depends on what you've seen him showdown prior to this, and any tendency reads you might have. in a vacuum I'm probly going to raise him 3x, because he either has some modicum of showdown value, and will pay you, or this is just an extremely weak bluff and you won't see another cent out of him.. My .02
 
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Fri Nov 04, 2011, 10:51 AM
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This was only the 6th hand and Antonio had not played any as yet.

I raised, possibly a bit large to make it look bluffy, hoping he had two pairs or something else he might call with.



2nd hand to follow
 
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Fri Nov 04, 2011, 11:01 AM
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Second hand.

see below

Last edited by EdinFreeMan; Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 11:35 AM.. Reason: computer says no
 
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Fri Nov 04, 2011, 11:02 AM
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Second hand.

Just two hands on I am under the gun with another AK offsuit.

I raise preflop and Antonio is up for it again.

I flop the Ace so top pair top kicker, and c-bet. When the board pairs the bottom card, I considered checking the turn but decided to c-bet again. The river brings a Q. Almost any opponent would have AQ within their original preflop calling range, many would also have A9/A6. I have just seen Antonio win a pot where he showed down the last hand with KQ on an ace high board.

I now have top pair, plus bottom pair, and top kicker. What should I do on the river? Note from betting all preceding streets I have already committed about a third of my stack.




Ed from Edinburgh - EdinFreeMan

Last edited by EdinFreeMan; Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 11:26 AM..
 
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Fri Nov 04, 2011, 12:05 PM
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A6, 66 or 99 are the only hands I'm worried about. I'd make a small value bet on the river (around 300 chips). I'd make it a bit smaller than the turn... making the opp be more opt to call it.
 
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Fri Nov 04, 2011, 01:05 PM
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what was your plan on the flop after you got called, as you then have (roughly) 2 pot size bets left and are at the threshold at that point. Is it going to be profitable to get it in against him with your holding based on your read? I'd probably make it about 400ish to go and be prepaired to call a raise,as you only have to be good 25%ish of the time to make a 600 call if he jams profitable. I'm definitely not checking and letting him set the price here. the flipside is ARE you good 1 in 4 to a jam by this guy? Ain't bein' oop a bear? lol ..Again just my .02
 
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Fri Nov 04, 2011, 01:08 PM
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1st hand: I think you need to bet the turn. Everyone checked the previous street, and the SB checked again on the turn, so there is no reason to fear he was going to check/raise the flop. You bet here because you don't want an unimproved 44 winning on the river or 78 making a pair on the river. You do have outs if called but most of the time your semibluff on the turn should work. On the flip side, you don't really improve often enough to try to win by hitting, AND the ranges you're against here are so weak that hitting your gutshot is pretty meaningless unless you're against K9 or 98. Yeah, you have to raise the river, but his minbet is pretty much just a cheap steal. Try to raise to 200 and pray he calls. At this level big raises don't look bluffy, they look value-y.

2nd hand: Now that you have some read, I'd bet a bit more on the flop, trying to get stacks in early. On the river...do you think this guy is capable of jamming a busted draw here? If so, check/call. If not I think you need to shove and hope he calls with AT or AJ and doesn't have AQ this time. That's a little thin though, so check/call is probably better...plus maybe he does bet AT if you check. I don't like betting anything less than a shove as then you risk getting raised after putting in over 50% of your stack. You can't beat much of anything in his value raising range, and there's no real reason for him to think a bluff would work. Also a shove for his stack is smaller than a pot sized bet, so it's not unnaturally large.
 
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Fri Nov 04, 2011, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oriholic View Post
1st hand: I think you need to bet the turn. Everyone checked the previous street, and the SB checked again on the turn, so there is no reason to fear he was going to check/raise the flop. You bet here because you don't want an unimproved 44 winning on the river or 78 making a pair on the river. You do have outs if called but most of the time your semibluff on the turn should work. On the flip side, you don't really improve often enough to try to win by hitting, AND the ranges you're against here are so weak that hitting your gutshot is pretty meaningless unless you're against K9 or 98. Yeah, you have to raise the river, but his minbet is pretty much just a cheap steal. Try to raise to 200 and pray he calls. At this level big raises don't look bluffy, they look value-y.

2nd hand: Now that you have some read, I'd bet a bit more on the flop, trying to get stacks in early. On the river...do you think this guy is capable of jamming a busted draw here? If so, check/call. If not I think you need to shove and hope he calls with AT or AJ and doesn't have AQ this time. That's a little thin though, so check/call is probably better...plus maybe he does bet AT if you check. I don't like betting anything less than a shove as then you risk getting raised after putting in over 50% of your stack. You can't beat much of anything in his value raising range, and there's no real reason for him to think a bluff would work. Also a shove for his stack is smaller than a pot sized bet, so it's not unnaturally large.

1st hand.

As soon as I hit the straight I wished I had bet the turn, but as it was so early I am loathe to put chips on unmade hands, so I am probably too nitty.

2nd Hand

My plan, mtnestegg, was to get all my chips in by the river. Which I achieved with a good old shove. I was starting to think this opponent might be a bit speculative with his calls, so I took my chances.



Hands 3 & 4 up next
 
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Fri Nov 04, 2011, 02:41 PM
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Hands 3 & 4

Third AK hand is simple and included for completeness. I have AK offsuit again in decent position in the cut off and the table folds to me, I make a fairly standard raise and take the blinds.



Hand 4

This is a spot I am often not sure about.

In these Turbos, shorter stacks with 10-15 blinds are liable to shove a large range of pairs, Ax hands and plenty of other stuff like KQ/KJ and suited cards. There is an early shove and only one player to act behind me who is also short and may well call. The shove was 13BB and I have 23BB so could potentially lose and still continue with a short stack myself

Am I correct to call here?

Although I have 23BB now the next level is 75/150 then 5 mins later 100/200 so I need to take good opportunities when I have them to accumulate chips. Is this +ev in the long run?



I take this down but I am wondering on what basis I should decide to call here, or if I should fold and wait for a better spot if I have no real reads when I know I have to be stronger to call than to act first.

Ed from Edinburgh - EdinFreeMan

Last edited by EdinFreeMan; Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 02:47 PM..
 
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Fri Nov 04, 2011, 03:02 PM
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Yes, call. You'd need to be up against a ridiculously nitty range to fold AK to a 13 BB shove. (AND your A and K act as blockers against that super nitty range!)
 
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Fri Nov 04, 2011, 03:10 PM
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yeah I'm probably calling that all day long.. my basis for this is that you have the absolute best drawing hand in holdem. the only 2 hands you absolutely don't want to see are aces and kings, and you have blockers for both. any lesser pair you're flipping with, and any other unpaired cards you crushing. I wouldn't have put him as weak as K9o being in early pos. but hey.. nice of him to do. Good call for my .02
 
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Fri Nov 04, 2011, 03:56 PM
(#14)
EdinFreeMan's Avatar
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Posts: 4,540
Hand 5

I'm getting edgy at this point, I always seem to have AK.

Post flop, having missed, I think that if I check the opponent will often bet and I will still have to call. I decide to bet and put them all in, although I don't expect many folds in this situation given the stack size and chips already in the pot. So if the opponent has a made hand I will be looking to improve with my overcards. Is this a reasonable line?







Ed from Edinburgh - EdinFreeMan
 
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Fri Nov 04, 2011, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdinFreeMan View Post
I decide to bet and put them all in, although I don't expect many folds in this situation given the stack size and chips already in the pot. So if the opponent has a made hand I will be looking to improve with my overcards. Is this a reasonable line?
No. Well, your bet is reasonable, but you just named the reasons that would dissuade you from betting here. You should expect most any unpaired hand to fold (including AK), as well as some smaller pairs. Plus you have lots of pot equity if you do get called by anything other than a set. I like shoving here. Yes, you're mostly just getting folds from worse hands, but there is a lot of money in the pot (PSR of 1!) and you want unpaired connectory hands to give up their equity share...Unless you think he'll bluff the turn and you're happy stacking off that way.
 
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Fri Nov 04, 2011, 06:15 PM
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mtnestegg's Avatar
Since: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,336
Eeeyup.. Committed from the get go on that effective stack, so you should put HIM to the test.
 
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Sat Nov 05, 2011, 05:08 AM
(#17)
EdinFreeMan's Avatar
Since: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,540
Before the next AK hand, I have to admit I had a nice boost from an ace hand with no king, just an extra ace. I was in the SB and the BB was sitting out, so as the table slowly folded I was hoping the button, a similar stack to mine, would try to steal the blinds. They did, with a shove, and my aces held.




So nicely stacked again.

The Big AK Finale.

My 6th AK Hand - and this time its suited.


We are down to two tables, 11 players. I am the current marginal chip leader on about 8.5K chips with the blinds at 300/600. The table is six handed as we near the final table bubble. (The tournament only pays to 7th place.)

I get AK suited in the small blind. A 5K stack shoves and I call. A win here would lift me well clear of the field, looking good for a top 3 ITM finish, a loss will leave me only about 6BB to fight back with.

Is there any good reason why at this stage I should not make a similar call to that in hand 4?



Two hands later I am gone in 10th place, (see post in my Cowboys Challenge thread for the denouement).

In retrospect, 6 AK hands, 4 wins/1chop/1loss seems a decent win rate for a strong but vulnerable hand. Just hope to make good decisions when I do get them, for which all the advice here is very welcome.


Good luck all

Ed from Edinburgh - EdinFreeMan
 
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Sat Nov 05, 2011, 09:05 AM
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the last one is a classic race, which is what you'll be up against alot against a decent or better player. They'll have some sort of pocket pair, you'll have 2 overs (bonus if they're suited).

4/1/1 isn't a bad rate with AK. You'll see runs with it where you will win alot in a row....then you'll see runs where you can't win with it for anything (ex: me last month, think I was about 2-20 wtih it). They will even out in the long run, just play the cards the correct way and play thru the downturns... it's all you can do.
 
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Ed hand comment - Sat Nov 05, 2011, 09:55 AM
(#19)
Dr.Kauffer's Avatar
Since: Jan 2010
Posts: 127
Dear Ed,

I would liketo add the following to the comments that was already made here.

After watching your last hand i can say that this situations is in most of the time a +EV,here is my comment in that hand.

The player who shoved pocket 33 was a little out of line, as if we look in to it, what is planning to beat pocket 22, thats probably what he was playing to beat by shoving is chips to the table, in other hand is trying to get people to fold to his shove (Pushing folding equity), he only could improve by hiting his set, which in average will happen 1/8 times. He also have a made hand, which i think the best line for him would be do a standard raise, if you call you will be out of position against him, which will make your decision harder to make, the outcome would be the same, as i dont believe you would fold your AK in a King high board, the strenght of his hand is well hidden, also he could nring in another player just by opening with a raise and in this case he would triple up. If you run this hand over 1000's of time you will be winning over 60% of the time therefore is a +EV situation in my opinion, now for the player you shoved,i think he needs to think the way he played that hand as he puts his torny, in the line going all in and having players that can cover him.

Overall, you took the right decision, but for future events take notice if he does that with any pair, otherwise you have a leak there that you can explore on this particular player.

Dr,Kauffer
 
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Sat Nov 05, 2011, 01:43 PM
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Villain shove on 8 BBs is standard. Again, you're never folding here. You're ahead of his 8BB shove range, and you would love to gamble on AK to take his stack and become dominant table chip leader.
 

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