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More on playing AK; what to do when reraised preflop?

March 12, 2008

2 recent situations with AK led me to think some more on this topic. In the previous entry I had no mention of what I planned to do when someone reraises my preflop raise.

Hand 1, I raised 4 times the big blind from early/mid position, was called by two players behind. Then the small blind reraised about 5 times my raise, which is a good amount do so since there were three of us in for 4 times the big blind, so 13.5 big blinds already in the pot and he raised to about 20. Does this mean AA/KK, or was this a squeeze play with nothing?

Hand 2, different day, I raise 4 times the BB again, reraised by the cutoff about 3 times my raise. Again, does this mean AA/KK? If it were me in his position, I could be doing this with QQ/JJ/AQ to see if the original raiser is raising light, and to take control of the hand post flop if called.

At first I thought that if I 4 bet, I can fold out AQ and maybe even JJ/QQ, possibly even AK, and then fold if he shoves. If it doesn’t and he calls, then I’m a 1-9 dog against 6 possible AA hands, 1 -3 dog against 6 possible KK hands. However, I don’t know what hands call a 4 bet and doesn’t shove at my current level.

Against me this would be a good line to take but I suspect at the level that I’m playing at, my 4 bet rarely would get a fold and instead gets shoved over, and then I have to guess whether this is a donk shoving AQ/AK/QQ or worse, or someone with AA/KK.

And, more importantly, unless the player shows LAG tendencies, at this level I don’t think they 3 bet anything except AA/KK, so folding to 3 bets should be my standard line, except when I play forum events against better players.

Against someone with LAG tendencies I think the range opens up pretty wide very fast, especially if they’re playing short stacked. Later at the table of Hand 2 I was in middle position after a short stack LAG raise, I’m holding AK again. As soon as I saw his raise, I had my plan. I reraised for two reasons, to isolate the LAG (ie. chase everyone else out) and to get the short stack all in preflop, which he obliged with by shoving over my reraise. He turned over A8 and I took his stack.

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