Playing Ace King, what others say: I'm back again, so it is day 3 and I'm still blogging! There is the first goal down, now to make it a full week! The thing about goals is that they are much easier to focus on once you've written 'em down. I started my blog here with the goal of continuing it first for 3 days, and then maintaining it, so I'm pretty stoked I have hit goal day at a time baby! Other than that, I still seem to be catching AK a ton of the time, and I have seen it at least once in EVERY free roll/micro stakes game I've played since starting this thing! Perhaps the poker gods are smiling on my blog, or maybe it is just the normal frequency of AK to show up based on the number of hands I am playing, who knows. But that's fodder for a future blog entry. Each time I get AK, I immediately write down my then current table impressions, and capture the hand from the nice instant hand history feature on Stars (just left click table tray, and click the instant hand history). I am sure that simply making this blog a run down of my play decisions and a big block of hand histories will just lead to me becoming bored, and will easily become a snore fest for anyone who might be reading. So I thought I'd switch things up a bit tonight. Tonight's blog is going to be about goals in general, and specifically about making, and keeping poker goals. Another of my personal goals for this blog is to improve the way I play AK, examine all the various thoughts involved in this good (but not great) hand, and to relate that to anyone who might be reading. While I have a lot to say, I fully recognize I am not near to reaching the level of top professionals. I think I do have quite of bit of poker knowledge though, but one can always learn. So rather than post another hand history tonight, I'm going to delve into what other people have to say about AK. Realistically I am not playing very well right now, and I have just 1 cash in my last 12 PSO events. After starting really well with a win, and 6 Final Tables, plus about a 60% cash rate in my first 50 or so events, something might be a-miss in my play. If you read my last entry, you know I "failed" to account for my stack size when choosing an amount for which to enter the pot, and this "mistake" cost me dearly when I missed the flop. Check out This You Tube Video, with David Sklansky and Mike Matusow: Sklansky nails the exact point I made about my 2nd hand in the last blog entry. When I raised to enter, I committed roughly 45% of my stack. If I miss the flop, I am forced into a very precarious decision if my opponent (from the SB) leads at this pot, and even if he checks it, I am pretty much "forced" to C-Bet my entire stack on a semi-bluff over card draw. Too bad I wasn't good enough to realize this until after the fact. It would have been FAR better to exercise any potential "fold equity" I would have had against hands like 55/66/77/88 who may have called my big raise with a Big tourney, but who would possible FOLD if it meant playing for all my chips. But you live and learn... (BTW... if you are interested in seeing the hand I am talking about, see my blog entry here: You can skip the big text block, and scroll down to the bottom to see the Bonus hand.) If it seems that I am beating myself up over this mistake, I am. Because the very next time I caught AK, I ran into the EXACT same situation (down to being agaisnt he same opponent's hand), and made the same mistake. Check it out: Seems to be that BK hitz is a decently solid player, who only enters pots behind limpers with position, or for a raise. kcirred is extremely loose, and prone to attempt bullying with raises and big c bets from any position on any hand. wsbiller has slowed WAY down now that he is back in it after getting nearly knocked out earlier. Mr Clutch has entered the fewest pots of all, and has generally come in raising and firing. The Table is shaping up to see kcirred calling into about every pot, so his all range is very low. Clutch and BK Hitz are not making many mis-steps in post flop play, and tend to get out early if they missed. wsbiller's play is a mystery from this point on. PokerStars Game #46527891713: Tournament #288863167, Freeroll Hold'em No Limit - Level II (15/30) - 2010/07/08 22:17:55 ET Table '288863167 90' 9-max Seat #2 is the button Seat 1: jslievert (1395 in chips) is sitting out Seat 2: BKHitz (4650 in chips) Seat 3: yasudab (2830 in chips) Seat 4: Mr.Clutch04 (2055 in chips) Seat 5: YanToy (1715 in chips) Seat 6: kcirred5 (3850 in chips) Seat 7: lil_fishda (1395 in chips) is sitting out Seat 8: JBCD71 (1395 in chips) is sitting out Seat 9: Tybob123 (1395 in chips) is sitting out yasudab: posts small blind 15 Mr.Clutch04: posts big blind 30 *** HOLE CARDS *** Dealt to YanToy [Ah Kd] YanToy: raises 60 to 90 kcirred5: calls 90 lil_fishda: folds JBCD71: folds Tybob123: folds jslievert: folds BKHitz: raises 60 to 150 yasudab: folds Mr.Clutch04: folds YanToy: raises 360 to 510 kcirred5: folds BKHitz: calls 360 *** FLOP *** [7c 5d 4h] YanToy: bets 630 BKHitz: raises 3510 to 4140 and is all-in YanToy: calls 575 and is all-in Uncalled bet (2935) returned to BKHitz *** TURN *** [7c 5d 4h] [Td] *** RIVER *** [7c 5d 4h Td] [3s] *** SHOW DOWN *** YanToy: shows [Ah Kd] (high card Ace) BKHitz: shows [Jd Jh] (a pair of Jacks) BKHitz collected 3565 from pot YanToy finished the tournament in 745th place *** SUMMARY *** Total pot 3565 | Rake 0 Board [7c 5d 4h Td 3s] Seat 1: jslievert folded before Flop (didn't bet) Seat 2: BKHitz (button) showed [Jd Jh] and won (3565) with a pair of Jacks Seat 3: yasudab (small blind) folded before Flop Seat 4: Mr.Clutch04 (big blind) folded before Flop Seat 5: YanToy showed [Ah Kd] and lost with high card Ace Seat 6: kcirred5 folded before Flop Seat 7: lil_fishda folded before Flop (didn't bet) Seat 8: JBCD71 folded before Flop (didn't bet) Seat 9: Tybob123 folded before Flop (didn't bet) So a repeat of the same mistake I had just written about has promted me to look outside for info. Poker Pro Theo Jorgensen says this: I watched this a couple of times, and still do not quite "get" what he means by "Ace King tends to have the fewest outs if re-raised". Does he mean that if you've fired a C-Bet, and are raised, you have few outs? I can buy this... Even if the AK was dominating pre-flop, a flop hit by someone with AJ leaves you only 3 outs to the K. If he means that you are facing a pp, you may have as many as 6 outs, and the decision to call or fold would rest a lot upon the depth of money (in a cash game or Tourney). The possibility you may be drawing to running cards, or even dead would argue against a call of course. I'm not saying it is always wise to call a raise of a C-bet miss you've made, and I really only see this as reasonable in very specific circumstances, but I can;t really see that it is the "worst" thing you can do, especially if you can possibly have a bluff shove chance on the turn or river. This is from "The Poker Bank" Web site: This seems to be chock full of good info, and pretty much touches all the bases of AK. I will definately be looking at the secondary links here, and reading this again. This is from "The Poker Check-Raise" site: This doesn't seem to be quite as "clean" and clear cut as the info in the Poker Bank link, but the plus of this info is that is presents some possibly strategies for AK play. It is certainly worth review. This is from "Sun Tzu": This site seems to present AK in a much more "negative" light than the first 2, and it includes a lot of specific strategic play suggestions for AK. the thing I especially like aobut this info is that is presents its suggestions in a way that will force to to consider the table dynamic. I am always leery of any info which is presented as "the way" to play, without talking about the table situation. This site does consider the table, so it is worth a re-read. PSO does not have anything that is specific about playing AK, but there are a lot of good lessons which do talk about AK play. All the above sites pretty much look at AK in a No Limit setting, so PSO's Limit section can be especially good for play cosiderations for AK in that game type. And with that I'll end today's entry. Goals are really important to have, and meeting them really makes you feel good. I've met my first one by keeping at this blog, and feel very good about this blog moving forward. Since another goal I have is to eliminate some of my AK mistakes, I've taken this chance to look at a lot of good stuff, and will certainly be re-visiting these sites, and others, in the future. I have even passed some nice information on to you, the reader, that is highly likely to be BETTER than the donkey crap I have been spewing...stupid guy (me) can't even learn when it might be best to SHIP on AK, rather than getitng cute and missing fer cripes sake!!!! if I could just set a goal to stop beaitng myself up over it! So 'til next time... See ya!