This The Most Overplayed Hand In Tournament Poker?
wrote this article in March 2007. It takes a look at
what I personally consider to be the most overplayed
hand in tournament poker. I was as guilty as the next
person of overplaying this hand myself until I learned
my lesson as my game improved.
yes - I got burned a few time by the hand in question.
It's cost me plenty of chips and sent me crashing and
buring our of tournaments before now. Don't let it happen
to you! Read on to see what I'm talking about..........
hand Iím going to talk about in this article is AK,
the Big Slick. Sure, itís a premium starting hand and
you donít get dealt it too often. But when you do I
bet you find it hard not to get carried away and think
you now are a huge favourite to win the hand, take down
the pot, watch your chip stack grow and give you a boost
towards winning the poker tournament.
I advise caution my friend. Being dealt that Big Slick
can just as easily lose you a tournament as it can help
you to win it. They key is how you play your AK. And
thatís certainly not an all-in push with abandon. Sure,
if youíre short stacked and want to make a stand then
it doesnít come much better than AK for making a stand.
However, would you automatically stick all your chips
in the middle each time the Big Slick comes your way.
Of course not.
you look down at your hole cards and see AK, take a
brief moment and think about it before rushing to part
with your stack quicker than an F1 car away from the
start line. Review a few things. Are you in early, middle
or late table position. Whatís your chip stack size
in relation to your opponents are a couple of questions
you may wish to ponder before acting.
in early position, or there have been no callers or
raisers before itís your turn to act, then there can
be no doubt that you must raise, and raise well, in
an attempt to drive opponents holding lessor hands from
the pot. A nice raise of three or four times the big
blind is usually enough. It says you are strong and
should force those with marginal hands or rags to muck
their cards instantly.
Free Texas Holdem Poker Ebook - winning sit and go tournament poker strategy
If in middle to late position or the small or big blind
position and there have been raises before you or perhaps
even a re-raise then folding your AK could be the right
thing to do in the context of the tournament. Those
raisers ands re-raisers before you could holding big
pairs AA, KK for example. If they do then youíre behind
pre-flop even with your Big Slick.
consider folding argument also applies if you have raised
the pot from early position and are subsequently re-raised.
Remember at all times that although your AK looks huge
it is only ace high and unless that improves on the
flop then you are in trouble. When the flop comes down
study it carefully. It is about a two to one chance
that the flop will throw you an A or a K to give you
a pair. If you get no help from the flop then think
very hard about committing any more chips to the pot.
A continuation bet is probably the thing to do if you
are first to act post-flop to represent to your opponents
that your pre-flop raise was no joke and the flop has
improved your hand even if it hasnít.
flip side to that of course is that if the flop has
not improved your hand then your AK is beaten by any
player left in who has hit a pair on the flop or was
holding a pair pre-flop. If anyone comes out firing
with a tasty bet post-flop then get out of there and
live to fight another hand. Youíre still in the tournament.
Donít keep throwing in chips hoping to hit something
on the turn or river. You will most likely lose them
and possibly even the chance of an in the money finish
if your stack is damaged badly by your rush of recklessness.
summary, when the Big Slick comes along donít get dazzled
by it. Play it sensibly. Again, remember that it is
only ace high unless improved on the flop. And even
if it is improved by the flop you can still be behind
and beaten. Do not overplay AK. If you think you are
behind then fold and get out. A good idea is to use
odds calculator to give you an additional source
of information about the strength of your hand. You
will still be alive in the tournament to play some poker
and wait for another opportunity to build your chip
stack and finish in the money.
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