Friday, July 2, 2010

What would you do? #131 - When to fold AK?

Full Tilt Poker $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em - 8 players
The Official Hand History Converter

CO: $17.50
BTN: $102.50
Hero (SB): $54.00
BB: $68.60
UTG: $34.00
UTG+1: $51.95 - 19 / 15 / 38% steal / 5.7% 3bet / 4.8 aggression factor / 2K hands
MP1: $65.05
MP2: $145.40 - 14 / 10 / 28% steal / 2.6% 3bet / 2.5 aggression factor / 50% cbet flop / 928 hands

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is SB with As Kc
1 fold, UTG+1 raises to $1.50, 1 fold, MP2 raises to $5.25, 2 folds, Hero requests TIME, Hero calls $5, 2 folds
Quite a bit of history on both players, from the stats.  Here are my thoughts on this:

I wonder whether I should be folding this outright.  A case could be made that this guy does not 3bet all that often (2.6%), which gives him a pretty well-defined range; perhaps QQ+, AK.

The second thought I have is that I believe I lose a lot of the value of AK by flatting and not 4 betting to $15.  If I 4bet to $15, I likely fold out AK, but get QQ to flat, and KK+ to overshove.

The third thought is to flat, out of position, like I did.  I can pray for the Ace or King, but I don't even know if that's good, given MP2's range here.  More to the point, even if I do hit my Ace or King, and it is good, what is the chance that I'm getting value out of it?

I think this mistake hand cost me $5, which is a small price to pay, but a price nevertheless.  I think, had I chosen option 2, it could have cost me a whole lot more.  However, option 1, folding outright, is probably the best choice here.


Flop: ($12.50) 8h 3h 5d (2 players)
Hero checks, MP2 bets $7.25, Hero folds

Final Pot: $12.50
MP2 wins $11.90
(Rake: $0.60)

As a side note, one commenter pointed out that I am placing too much priority on stats, particularly given datapoint sizes.  I have really taken this comment to heart; definitely learned from it - as I am indeed placing less stress on smaller sample sizes.  I have definitely been focused on that point.  It is much appreciated, Anonymous, whoever you are!


  1. Agreed that it's easy to place too large an emphasis on a small sample size, but it's the only data we have!

    I like the fold on this hand - I like to have some reason to think there's a chance the three bettor is making a move before 4 betting with AK. I have no evidence of that here.

    I was consdering if I might be more inclined to call with AKs in the extra hope of flopping a monster draw, but many monster draws end up being coin flips vs. his super tight range here, so I'm not sure that's the right either.

  2. You're welcome. I have been guilty of the same thing, so that's why mentioned it.

    btw, i'll stay anon, thank you.

  3. That's always a problem when you are dealing with a small sample size, but 928 hands from MP2 definitely indicates that he treads the boards somewhat frequently. I would probably quickly scan OPR if I could before flatting. The reraise shows strength, but I'd probably consider check-calling if I caught an ace or a king here. Since you didn't, an easy fold.


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