Tourney hand with AK

Strategy & Advice by Wes88 Posted

Played the Mohegan Sun Deepstack last night and have one hand early that has been bothering me. I think the more general question is about how to play AK when you hit the ace.

Early stages (100-200) everyone is pretty deep (20K starting stacks) and I have AK suited from late position. One MP limper, I raise to 700 and get a called by the button, big blind and limper. Flop come A 10 4., two suited (not mine). Checked to me and I c-bet 1250. I feel like I always cbet in this situation (is this size OK?) and need to in order to disguise when I miss and get value when I hit. Button calls, BB calls, limper folds. Turn is a 7 off suit, its checked to me and I bet 2200. Button calls. BB raises to 6K.

I think for a little while and fold. I decide I don't want to go broke with one pair.

Two questions:

1) Is this too tight?

2) Now I am thinking that in this situation in general I should check behind so I can call the river from BB if nothing scary hits or bet if it is checked to me on the river. This doesn't help if I get check raised from the button on the river. In general am I going for too much value betting with only one pair on the turn? On a pretty dry board like this I am not too worried about forcing out draws on the turn so that suggests checking is OK. Also if I check and the button takes a stab at the turn I am fine calling a reasonable bet.



  1. I think you played it fine but it's not a horrible call on the turn imo. That's a tough spot. You should definitely bet the turn since there are some draws out there. Sometimes I call a check raise there on the turn to see what he does on the river, but it all depends on how aggressive of a player he is. If he's tight then I fold and if he's pretty crazy then I call there and see what he does on the river. And sometimes will call on the river too hoping he missed a draw or has a weaker ace.

  2. I don't think it is too tight either. The BB can have almost any two cards in this hand, he is getting his money in with great odds. He could have 10-7 suited , 77, 10-10 and your sunk! Two gap suited is great to play out of position because if it hits, it is disguised well, and no one will believe you. When someone , usually, puts that much in , in the beginning of a tourn. they have it! Your c-bet should always be 1/2 -2/3 the pot, (not according to me, to numerous authors I have read) this prices out the draws mathematically, esp. when your heads up.

  3. A lot of grey area as to whether betting or checking turn in your spot is better. I don't think that there's a 'correct' answer. So You bet 2200 into 6650, button calls then BB Chk-raises to 6k, leaving himself about 3k going to the river where the pot would be over 20k with one caller on turn. This spot shouldn't exist, BB obv needs to shove turn with value hands bc that's what they would do if they were ever semi-bluffing here. So BB is obv a fish and probly has Aces-up or better every time. For sure fold turn as played, as annoying as it is....

  4. @06 V Strom 'according to numerous authors I've read'...from books that were written 10+ years ago by guys who probably can't beat 2-5 nowadays....

  5. @Chadwick84 ok sorry, 20k starting stacks not 10k....still a fold, no one's ever light here at live pokers

  6. How much was the tournament buy in?

  7. V is never bluffing here and never has worse than two pair. You're the preflop aggressor and have represented a very strong hand. Your turn bet got called by someone else which shows strength. Yet V makes a big raise. Unless I have observed something about the opponent which makes me question what the strength that bet represents, I am always folding here.

    A minor point - your flop continuation bet size is OK, but usually you want to make it at least 1/2 the size of the pot to deny proper odds for people drawing against your hand. Here, however, it looks like one of your opponents outflopped you (probably a set of 4s, maybe A 10) and waited until the turn to pop it.

  8. I think you should always avoid calling because you don't know if you're falling into a trap. If you would have re-raised instead of call the turn and then he 4bets you, then it's a safe fold but yes, you played too passive. You can assume that he knows you have an ace at least, so if he's playing back at you like that, he most likely has something unless your read on the guy's playing style says otherwise.