Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How to Play Ace-King..From the Experts--Harrington

The Countdown Continues...

Given the importance of knowing how to play A-K, I am going to review what some authors suggest. I will start with Harrington using his book Harrington on Hold'em Volume II pages 234-238.

Harrington on A-K

Example #1:
Middle stage of a major event.
60 players left. 30 players get paid.
Blinds at $150-$300 and $50 ante
You have $37,000...which puts you in the top 10.

You get A-K unsuited. Raise to $1,200. The player in the cutoff raises to $5,000, leaving him $6,200 behind. It is folded back to you. What should you do?

You want to move all-in or fold since you will see all 5 cards and get the most value out of your cards. This is especially important when you are out of position, your opponent is short-stacked and pot committed.

Fold. While you are getting a fair price on your bet, it will cost you 30% of your stack at a time when your chip situation is comfortable. Wait for a more favorable situation.

Example #2:
Same situation. Except your opponent has a bigger stack of $16,200 when he made the $5,000 re-raise.

Here either fold or call since you are taking the worst of it if your A-K is up against a pair.

Call. Against the super-tight player, it is right to fold.

Example #3:
Same situation. Except your opponent has a smaller stack of $8,200 when he made the $5,000 re-raise.

Move all-in. Your pot odds will be 1.5 to 1; which is good enough to go all the way with A-K and your stack is in better shape if you lose.


GiJoeValdez said...

I usually fold that against tight players and call against loose numb nuts

Mitchell said...

That is a good approach.

However, there are times when it's a new player at the table and you don't have a clue as to his playing style.

What's Your Poker IQ?