Friday, May 15, 2009

How to Play Ace-King: From the Experts--Gus Hansen

The countdown continues...

Gus Hansen is my favorite no limit tournament player. I reviewed the hands where he played Ace-King from his book Every Hand Revealed.

Gus Hansen and A-K

Gus is not as aggressive as I expected with this hand. Of course, he will raise with A-K pre-flop. If he gets one caller, he will make a continuation bet even when he misses on the flop. If that player check-raises him, he will look at the situation and decide to call, fold or re-raise. If he thinks he is ahead, he is willing to push all-in and put this check-raiser to the test; especially, if the play will not hurt his stack if he is wrong.

If he gets re-raised pre-flop, he will be careful before deciding his next action.

If that re-raise is a player who moves all-in, he will call the opponent if the all-in raise will not hurt his staff (20% or less of his chips). If he gets an opponent whose all-in move will hurt his stack he is willing to fold. This is very important in tournament poker! If you think your opponent has a pocket pair, and you have a big stack and playing better than your opponents, you should fold and wait for a more favorable situation--even with A-K.

If an opponent re-raises him a small amount, he will call that small raise given the pot odds. If the flop misses him and his opponent bets, he will fold.

Another scenario is when a player raises pre-flop in front of him. If he senses weakness or it comes from a late position steal, he will re-raise. That re-raise will be bigger than normal, such as 5 times the initial raiser.

It's interesting that the best tournament players tend to use A-K to build their chips with raises and re-raises, but they also are careful not to overplay Ace-King and lose a lot of chips with this drawing hand.

1 comment:

jusdealem said...

So many people overplay AK, it's silly. Hansen is my favorite tournament player, too. Haven't read his book yet, tho..I need to get on that!

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