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Thursday, January 8, 2009

OK, let's actually do a strat discussion...

Because I'm obviously trending a certain way lately, and PirateLawyer keeps telling me, in so many words, to quit overplaying AK preflop..... let's actually talk about this tourney situation with midsize stacks.

There are some good threads around that talk about playing AK, though not in a similar spot...

(I'd mention a specific 2+2 post, but they all always end with ARRRR INNN)

Obviously, with 15-20BB, if you open-raise and get reraised, it's a standard fourbet-shove or fold spot, and you'll only consider folding if villain is a KING UBER NIT. In position, you might, might flat and see a flop heads up, but that's pretty unlikely and you'll probably end up shoving preflop anyway with these stacks regardless of where the action's coming from.

With a deep stack over 60BB or more, out of position with AK, you've got a lot more options.
-you can flat a threebet and put yourself in a tough but playable spot
-fourbet if you think you're getting threebet light
-or even fold with a read -

but I don't think anyone thinks a fourbet shove that deep with AK is an optimal line - it's just too many chips, you're practically never getting called light, yadayadyada.... There's a place for it in the right spot, but not all the time.

However, I keep running into spots with 40-50BB effective stacks..
-I don't want to open limp AK, so I standard open 2.5-3.5BB
-I get pot reraised to 9-11BB by a decent player in position
-And now I either
*call off 20% of the stack preflop, hope to crush a flop and get paid off
*shove - which is aggressive and puts pressure on villain, but also allows him to fold AQ/JJ/TT and only call with AA/KK/QQ/AK leaving me running at 40% equity (I really don't care if villain is holding anything else or goofing around - they can call or fold with JTo/76s/55, w/e, I'm probably making money either way)
*fold. ick ick ick. Safe, preserves your stack, but probably not +EV in the long term
*make some ridiculous fourbet for 1/2 my stack in a "I'm a monkey, I have AA" line to get someone to level themselves and hero fold QQ or AK. (yeah, right)

I'm not talking about calling your stack off to a shove or playing AK in position or anything postflop.

I'm talking about preflop, out of position, facing a reraise with AK, in a tournament, with a stack that's a little too big to insta-shove, but not quite big enough to simply flat with and take a flop.

Where's the inflection point between shoving and flatting? 30BB? Deeper? Shallower?

Is folding ever the best option?

Preferred lines, ladies and gentlemen? Comments welcome...

4 comments:

SirFWALGMan said...

I think your logic is sound but your not applying it to the game. Do you really think 99.9% of villians in the Mookie are folding JJ pre-flop? Nope. So basically when you jam your AK your looking to race at best unless some idiot is overplaying AQ/AJ early in a tourney which is possible. More likely your usually up against some type of mid pair or another AK or a hand that crushes you.

I think your beating yourself up a little much. I have no problem with jamming AK and trying to get a lot of chips early. Why not? Also have no problem taking a weaker track and dumping it to the rejam and looking for a better spot.

MTT are all big fucking gambling fests. Especially no-foldems like the Mookie. Just enjoy yourself and keep on the illustrious search for real thinking players. You may never find them..

Shrike said...

Inflection point: probably 30 or more. If villain re-raises to 10-11 BBs, you don't have fold equity if you shove 20-25 since he is getting a price of 2:1, unless he is 3-bet bluffing with suited connectors or KQ or a few other random hands you have good equity against -- and those would be calls you would actually like to see!

In Mookie bloggament you'd have to figure most people's re-raising range is JJ+, AK. So if I have only invested 2.5 or 3 bbs and I have a decent stack to play with, a fold is eminently defensible. But if I think I am up against random LAGtard who can 3bet with a wider range (see: lucko), I'm all about shoving it in.

Heffmike said...

Not really beating myself up here as much as just pondering alternate lines... after all, there are other tourneys and SnGs to play besides the Mook...

I really fall into the camp of AK IS THE NIZZLES, SON when I can make the pressure bet preflop (to borrow the old doubleas term) and don't mind flipping early if there's any chance I can get a fold. But we'll see. I'll always probably err on the side of aggression with this holding.

Shrike said...

I sympathize with your fondness for aggression, but let's remember one thing:

AK is a drawing hand which likes to see all five cards. When you can put in the last raise, it's powerful, but you should not be comfortable if you are opening it in EP and someone makes the re-raise and you have a stack between 20-30 BBs. Either stick it in when you know you are likely a small dog, or sacrifice the 2.5 or 3BBs you have invested? If we're early in a tournament, I know which one I'd choose. Survival.

NB. Everything changes if I think villain re-raises light or can fold a chunk of their range even when they are getting close to 2:1 to call. Then I'll just get it in without regret.

-PL