AK in Middle Position

Strategy & Advice by Krusherlaw about Horseshoe Baltimore Posted
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5 Comments

This was a hand that came up in a $1/3 nlhe game at the shoe.

I am in middle position with AK. One caller to me and I make it $15. Folds to small blind who I would describe as tight, he makes it $60. He has another $70 behind. Folds to me. There is about $80 in the pot, it's $45 to call and $115 to shove. What is my play here?

Comments

  1. I'd probably fold. 3! from a described tight player is KK or AA.

  2. First you need to ask yourself some questions.

    What is the environment of the table?

    Are people regularly putting in a lot of money, especially pre-flop? How do the other players view your play? (especially the guy in the pot)

    Are you playing loose, tight, or somewhere in between?

    How many hands have you been in / raised with recently?

    Does he think that you think he is a really tight player?

    How is his demeanor? Is he getting bored, angry or does he look calm and complacent / confident?

    Do you have any tells other than that he hasn't plaid very many hands?

    What about the players that were in before you?

    Does he have a read on them?

    Have you folded before in a very similar situation that was both recent and that he was paying attention to or apart of?

    Has he lost money recently?

    Has he won money recently?

    Have you lost money recently?

    Have you won money recently?

    Does he have more money to re-buy?

    How long has he been playing? (and if you know, how long does he usually play?)

    Has someone come up to him recently, called him or has he looked around for another table / tournament or dinner, indicating that he may be leaving soon?

    Do you have more money to re-buy with?

    Is the table worth putting more money into?

    Who is the table captain?

    Who are the fish? (if you don't know then it's you, fold and go to a different table)

    What is your mood?

    Finally, what will happen if you loose?

    How will the table view you? Better / worse? what do you want them to think?

    How will you feel after you loose? Will you play better or worse?

    What will happen if you win?

    How will the table view you? Better / worse? what do you want them to think?

    How will you feel after you loose? Will you play better or worse?

    There are two courses of "correct" action here. You can fold or you can go all in. (calling is a sucker play)

    Depending upon how you answer the questions above determines what you should do. Mind you, these answers should be deliberated, you should already be aware of your environment, the table, the players, everyones attitude and so forth. This should only take you a few seconds (maybe a minute or two in a tough situation) to go through.

    These are similar questions you should always be asking during your play. there are other questions as well, but not pertinent to this situation.

    In the end, do you feel like a gable or is he tight/weak? (shove)
    Or do you feel comfortable where you are at, don't want to take a big gamble right now? (fold)

    just know that what you do will influence the other player's choices in the future, how do you want them to act toward you? every action we do in life causes people to react in a certain way. either we can be in control of it, or we can just let it happen. make people act towards you how you want them to by giving them cues based on your own actions.

    Good luck!

  3. Thanks for the comments. Here is my analysis:

    I agree that calling is a terrible option. So it is a question of math whether an all in or fold is better.

    He is a tight player so I don't think he is making a big 3 bet pre flop with less than a pocket pair and probably a pp > 99.

    So... if he is holding 1010-QQ I am about a 45/55 underdog.

    If I shove:

    A. I don't see him folding, so we can completely discount fold equity.
    B. After a shove and call the pot will be about $260. As a 45% underdog my equity in the pot will be $117 which is very slightly more than it costs to shove so, assuming my read is correct the expected value of a fold or a shove is approximately zero (actually +$2).

    However,

    It is possible that he could have AK, AA or KK.

    If he has AK my equity in the shoved pot is $130 and my expected value is $15.
    If he has AA my equity in the shoved pot is (11/89) $28 and my expected value is -$97.
    If he has KK my equity in the shoved pot is (35/65) $91 and my expected value is -$24.

    Absent a read that he must have AK this is a pretty easy fold.

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