Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Representing AK with specifically KK

Quite often I find myself in a situation where I have to shove with AK but I wouldn't shove with anything else, except maybe QQ. For example, say 100-200 blinds, mid pos makes it 600, button calls and I have AK in the big blind with 6K. Clear shove. But most opponents will figure that I'm not doing this with a big pair and make the appropriate call with AK/QQ-TT.

So how about I mix in some big pairs as well ? I can't claim credit for this because I read it in a book somewhere. It might have been Sklansky/Miller NL. Shove with Kings sometimes as well. Better to do with Kings than Aces, because if I really don't want to make AK or AQ fold when I have Aces, but if I have Kings it's no big deal. Then again, AA v AK isn't usually going to extract the lot on many flops.

Twice in a tournament today the same player made a huge squeeze which looked like AK. Both times the initial raiser (who was also the same player each time) called with AK. The second time, if he had passed, I would have called with TT (having flat called the initial raise). Good read on my part, the squeezer had 94 off :-). Nice try. He had AK as advertised the time before. Next couple of times I have KK and I would shove with AK, I'll trying shoving with the Kings as well and see what happens.

Just quickly, is: "100-200 blinds, mid pos makes it 600, button calls and I have AK in the big blind with 6K." always and undoubtedly a "Clear shove"?

You advised in the last tourney you advertised "If you're just patient in these, and take flops with hands like AK instead of reraising, sometimes they'll just throw their chips at you." Do you never flat call in the position in the first paragraph?
Er ... good point.

Perhaps I should have said "A shove is clearly +EV". A call might be higher +EV against the right opponents, although being out of position is a minus point.

So I do call sometimes, but in a tougher tournament like a decent Stars rebuy then I'd always be shoving with AK there. Then I could shove with KK too. Thanks for helping me clarify that.

what about AA then?

If it's not a shove, how do you play it?

Well, AA you can make a case for doing anything except min-raising (and folding obv). I try to avoid saying "it depends", but ...

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