Joined: Mar '10
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 38 (M)
Do you think pocket pairs are proffitable in mtts cos when ever im deep and pick up a good pocket like kk or qq im allways end up busting out or loosing a big chunk of chips playing these cards im starting to think just fold them preflop cos i know the ace is gonna hit and when i get these hands deep i dont just shove with them i try and play the hand but someone allways shoves on me wich i call but allways end up loosing
Joined: Jan '14
Age: 21 (M)
I really see what you mean right here , but in the long term pocket pairs especially the ones you are naming > the higher ones are worth it but it just sucks to be sucked out to a 3/2/6 outer all the time i know the feeling
It's really up to your position on the table, your chipcount, the level, opponents etc. Sometimes worth to be aggressive with them, sometimes worth just to play to see the flop as cheap as possible with them, sometimes worth to pretend you are an idiot and flat call anything with them. It all depends on who you are facing and what is the broader situation which surrounds you. Pocket pairs are profitable, but won't guarantee you anything even when you willing to play them out in the right way.
Joined: Mar '14
Age: 34 (M)
Think how many games it took you to get like 70.000 chips and then think good if you are going to go all in with KK or rather skip if there is no other chance than all in. By my experience it ussualy doesnt end up good in late game.
Joined: Jul '14
Age: 22 (M)
Sounds like you are definately over valueing one pair. Depending on how high the pair is will depend on both your preflo and post flop play.
AA-QQ: Try to get as many chips in preflop as possible. Unless you have from freaky read against someone when you have KK or QQ, or for some reason it's 7-bet all in and you have QQ (hint: fold), your hand will be best pre-flop the majority of the time. This doesn't mean open shoving from UTG, but being very aggreessive preflop, looking to raise and re-raise. With KK, an A will flop about 17% of the time, with QQ an A or K will flop 35% of the time. This is why re-raising preflop is SO important. You need to limit the amount of opponents in the hand, and the quality of their hands. If you limp from UTG with QQ and get 8 other callers and the flop comes AK9, the value of your hand has severely diminished. You also cannot get married to your big pairs. KK may look pretty, but you need to be able to get away from it, especially on scary boards. A flop of 987 isn't the best flop for KK, and so many people bust. You need to be able to throw away your hand when the situation has gone oh so wrong. Try to get in position with PP, as quite often (unless your opponent is prone to floating flops from out of poisition) a c-bet will win you the pot. THEY DON'T ALWAYS HAVE AN ACE.
JJ: JJ is known to be the most difficult hand to play in Hold'em. You'll see a flopped overcard about 60% of the time, and if your opponent is playing a 632 board very aggressively, it always seems they have an overpair to yours. Just watch out when you play this hand, be in position, and be prepared to fold.
TT-99: Similar to JJ although easier to get away from. The power of this hand obviously comes in a 3 way 4-bet preflop pot and then the board comes A T 9. Be very careful about playing it as an overpair, because just because an overcard didn't appear on the flop, doesn't mean your opponent won't float and catch on the turn. I've seen it so many times, these hands can go from feeling like the nuts to looking like bottom pair. This is where your position and ability to read the situation and the opponent becomes imperative; don't just fold everytime an overcard hits. Do you know how many hands an aggressive opponent has that doesn't have an Ace? ALOT. I'm not saying it's worth while to call a 1/2 pot bet every time they lead with an A on board, but they don't always have it. These are very tricky to play OOP, so try to avoid this as much as possible.
88-77: The real value in these hands is flopping sets. You could have a short stack, shove 88 and it will hold up against AK a tad more than 50% of the time, but that's about it. I have seen so many people bust with 77 on a T T 6 3 2 board because they overvalue the pair. It does not play well in a 3-4 bet pot out of position, it does not play well against overcards, and a fair amount of the time won't play that well as an overpair. Flop a set, or move on.
66-22: The ONLY value in these hands is flopping sets. The real value that comes from these pairs isn't the pair, its the implied odds of the pair if you were to flop a set. The odds are only around 11% of flopping a set, and you'll almost never get those odds preflop, but you can look at your implied odds. The implied odds are the amount you expect to earn if you hit that magic 2 and get paid off, which makes playing small pairs profitable (assuming you don't commit a large portion of your stack with them preflop) in multi way pot situations. Always try to play them in position, and hope to flop a set.
Joined: Jul '14
Age: 22 (M)
You guys are too kind haha.
No worries OnedOutAK.
Big aces can get very tricky in a tournament setting. Like any hand, the power is in the position. There's nothing worse than holding AKs preflop, making a standard open from early position, getting 3 callers and seeing a J 7 2 rainbow board. The majority of pots you will win with big aces are simply c-bets from position.
It gets a little more complicated once you get stack sizes into play. I will go over each big ace in different scenarios.
AK: Suited or unsuited, it is a great starting hand. There are many arguments that AK is 'simply a drawing hand', but from my experience lately, this isn't always the case. AK plays best with all of your chips in the middle pre-flop IMO. No way to make post flop mistakes (something a lot of people do, and blame the AK for it). Think of it this way, with AK, you beat any other ace, any other king, and are flipping against everything that isn't AA or KK (the worst) preflop. There are very rare instances where I would consider folding AK preflop in a MTT setting with a deep stack (calling all in 200BB preflop, against a complete rock that just 5 bet you all in, in a 6 way all in situation etc.), based on it's sheer power. Almost all of the time you will be getting correct odds to stack off preflop with AK. Only a freaky read, or some really weird circumstances would I consider folding it preflop.
With an average stack, I pretty much follow the same principle, although fold to weirdness less. MTT's are all about survival AND accumulation. Get your chips in when you suspect you're ahead of their range preflop with AK. (consult with BeMyATMPlz further on this, he can give some really good ICM stats regarding pre-flop play).
On a short stack, look to get it in anywhere. Regardless of any weirdness, folding AK preflop on a short stack is never ok, people can be more inclined to call a short stacks shove because our range is lighter, and AK absolutely crushes almost all of their calling range (a big big bonus for us).
Post flop play can get incredibly tricky. This is where your understanding of opponents can really help you make decisions that seem very difficult. If you have to take AK to the flop, try your darndest to be in position, and HU. Otherwise, you'll never feel comfortable when you don't flop it, and you really shouldn't. So many players make mistakes calling down 1/2 pot bets to the river because you have 2 overs to the board, but this is seriously unprofitable. Instead of thinking 'darn I never hit with AK', think about the situation. What is your opponents stack? Where did they call from? How much did it cost them? What is their playign style? Their tendancies? How often do they come in when you raise? What's your image? Is your opponent on a rush? Are they tilted? Have they folded to c-bets from OOP before? That's just pre-flop thinking. Post flop is where it can get scary. How often do they lead, how often do they check raise, when have they check raised before, what was the board texture etc. There are so many things to consider before you physically put the chips into the pot, but the funny thing is, most of the time you'll get a fold when you bet from position. Remember, with unpaired cards you have a roughly 35% chance of hitting the flop, and so does your opponent. It's sometimes acceptable to raise an opponents lead, for information. If they call, you're most likely beat. if they raise, you DEFINATELY are beat. AK post flop needs to be played with aggression for a street or two. You will never get value from betting A high on the river, you're only getting worse hands to fold and better hands to call. If your opponent has lead on both streets and leads the river, you best believe them, because they have you beat. I've seen so many people bust from re-raising all in post flop with AK on a 7 high board. Yes, it's unlikely your opponent hit, but they probably have you beat, or at least have outs to beat you. Calling all in on the flop with AK high (unless you have a flush draw, adding so much value to your hand) is almost always a mistake.
AQ: The second best of the aces. The hand that's only crushed pre-flop by 5 hands. The hand you stack off with 80BB deep and get pissed off when they turn over AK. It happens. It's happened. And, you guessed it, it will keep happening. Playing AQ and missing the flop is almost always the same as AK. That part is simple. It's the pre-flop mistakes people make with this hand that makes it notorious IMO.
Suited or unsuited, it's still a great starting hand. Like AK, if you're first to the pot, raise, from any position. If you're in late position facing an early raise/limpers, raise most of the time. You're so far ahead of a limping range it's not even funny. I make mistakes with AQ all the time, and blame the AQ. It isn't the hands fault, its my fault. AQ is just under my premium starting range. I'll 3-bet in position with it. I'll call short stacks shoves. I'll c-bet it when I miss, but I won't stack off with it pre-flop. This is a personal preferance, people will tell you that AQ plays somewhat well against an opponents shoving range, but this is where I differ from AK. Instead of being crushed by 2 hands, I am now crushed by 4. AA, KK, QQ and AK are at the top of anyone's shoving range, and they all crush you. Your opponent is unlikely to call your shove and turn over AJ, or 77. It's usually a similar hand, or one that has you crushed. Be very careful pre-flop, as whilst you're only crushed by a small margian of hands, the probability that your opponent has those hands is increased when they play back at you (except when it's a turbo, when all rules go out the window).
On an average stack, i would probably still fold to more pre-flop shoves by similar/bigger stacks, and call 100% of short stack shoves. I'll try to play AQ a tad less aggressive, hoping to pick up an A or Q on the flop, when someone OOP raises preflop, still 3 bet from position, still call short stack shoves, and be a little less aggressive post flop.
AJ: An asbolute bitch of a hand. Too good to fold, hardly ever good enough to shove. This is where I like to really begin differentiate between suited and unsuited when deciding to play preflop. I'll hardly ever call an all in and turn over AJs in MTT's (unless I'm short stacked), but I'm still 3 betting from position (a bit less than AQ) , and calling short stack shoves.
The trickiness of this hand is your kicker. The TPTK is extremely difficult to get away from, and many people make mistakes. Calling a 4 bet from position with this hand, to see an A K Q flop and your opponent shove is the worst feeling. You're almost always drawing very thin. Tread lightly post flop when you do flop an ace, as it's always plausible your opponent is holding AK or AQ is they were very aggressive pre-flop. They could be betting KK or QQ for value against smaller pairs, but aggression on later streets is never a good sign. You have to be prepared to fold this hand.
A10: Fold from early position, fold to 3-bets, and VERY OCCAISIONALLY 3-bet from position. A10 is not a great starting hand. Your kicker is low, your pair potential is not that great, and over aggression with this hand is usually a mistake. You're now crushed by so much of your opponents 3-betting range that it isn't worthwhile playing. Be exceptionally careful with an average stack, as the room to move isn't that much. Still shoving late position when short, and calling less short stack shoves (depending on your stack size of course).
Most of this goes out the window when you are playing turbo's as accumulation is vital given the rapidly increasing blind structure.
Feel free to correct me/contribute. Thanks for reading!
Edited by tonespoker (Wednesday, November 12, 2014 @ 05:07 GMT)