Thursday, August 2, 2007

Which top/top do you want with Big Slick?

Some people love AK and some people hate it. The big selling point is that if you pair either card, you have top pair/top kicker...but which TPTK do you want? If I had my choice, I'd take flopping a King every time. Why? Because people have funny notions about collecting Aces. For some players, any Ace is worth holding onto regardless of kicker. Then there is the Ax suited contingent who are always looking for the nut flush draw or even better, flopping the flush (and getting action of course!). All that adds up to a bunch of two pairs that are lurking out to bite you and your TPTK. I was in a tourney once and raise it up the standard 3xBB. Get three callers. Flop comes out Ace high. I'm relatively short stacked and making a pot sized bet would pot commit me anyway so I shoved. Two callers and a begrudging fold. Turn brings a Seven and the guy downstream of me pushes, called. We three are now all in. Guy to my left shows A7, he called my all in with A7(!) and turned two pair. The third guy flopped top two with his AT and was in the driver's seat heading to the river. I make a comment about getting MY two pair but it bricks and I rebuy after getting felted. Yep. Flop me a King and I have a lot less to worry about since players are less likely to play King/trash and the threat of random two pair minefields is diminished.


Bob Loblaw said...

I like the king flop as well. Question: you were able to rebuy into this said tourney once you lost it all? What sorta tourney is that?

Sushi Cowboy said...

Caesars Palace LV tourney. As I recall it was an $80 buy plus a $50 rebuy/add-on. You could either tack on the extra chips any time within the first two blind levels, either before the tourney starts, when you bust out, or right before the third blind level. Personally, I prefer the combo rebuy/add-on because it discourages players from intentionally d0nking off chips in an effort to bust out so they can rebuy a full stack instead of being short stacked right as the rebuy period ends.

Marshall said...

I can see how it is safer to have the K flop, but I will take the Ace every time. You are way more likely to win a big pot against someone holding AQ, AJ, A10, hell any damn Ace in some games.

I give you 2 scenarios, you have AK in both cases, and you raised preflop and were called.

1. Flop is K 9 4 rainbow, and your opponent holds K7.

2. Flop is A 9 4 rainbow, and your opponent hold A7.

On which hand are you more likely to win the biggest pot?

Even though the hand ranking are identical, TP, the guy with the Ace will pay you off more, and more often. Aces are addicting to a lot of players, and they have a really hard time letting them go. With enough betting the K will probably get the idea around the turn or so and bail out.

The ironic thing about your example is that you had a pretty clear advantage pre-flop and happened to get sucked out on in this spot. Do you think that its the norm, long-term, that this hand will go like this?

Bob Loblaw said...


nick said...

Yeah, I'm with Marshall here. I'm willing to take the risk that someone hits a 3-outer on me when it means I'm much more likely to get paid off. Aside from the argument that people will pay off more with an A, there's also the fact that bad players are much, much more likely to play a junky A than a junky K (especially to a raise), so you will simply be in this situation more often.

Ironically, though, if I have AK and miss the flop, I'd much rather *turn* a K than an A, especially if someone bet the flop or called my c-bet. Since people play A-rag so much more often than K-rag, you'll often be reverse dominated and catching an A with give someone else 2 pair and leave you in a really bad spot. Sklansky talks about this, saying that you should be more willing to call a flop bet with KQ overcards than AK overcards.

jsola said...

I agree with Nick + Marshall. You're going to be pushing out most Kx hands with a preflop raise, which means most hands are folding to your CB when you hit.

Random aces love making bad calls though.

Sushi Cowboy said...

Well that's just Mr. Weak/Tight (that's MISTER Weak/Tight!) prattling on about how to not have to make as many hard decisions. Goodness knows I want to be the guy with two pair against AK on an Ace high board. It's just that my radar isn't tuned well enough to know when someone is getting pushy if it is because they think TPTK is the nuts or if it's because they have two pair.