AK re-stealing

i had a question about re stealing with AK preflop:

2 days ago i played a tournament of pokeren.nl series. which is a live poker tournament in the netherlands where you can’t win money prizes, but it has preliminaries all over the netherlands so you can play a very big tournament.
the skill levels are very varied, since it’s not money poker there are lots of fish playing, but there are some very skilled players as well.

i had a question about a specific hand i played at the tournament:
first the basic information. the tournamnent has a starting stack of 15500 and starting blinds of 50/100. however the blindlevels are 16 minutes each, which is kinda turbo when playing live.
the actual hand happened at 700/1400 blinds with no antes yet, my stack holds close to 30000 so i was having about 21 BB’s. the hands were folded to the CO who raised to 3500, the CO was a fish that liked to call a lot, it’s not like he called anything, just more then would be right. the BTN folded, i was the SB holding AK. i decided to shove here and the BB and CO both folded.

shortly after i was taking about the hand to the player at my right and eventually i told him i was shoving AK. this player seemed like a good player, he played the game well, and he also mentioned he played much online money poker and played in the casino several times. which both means he should have a lot of experience. imo the AK shove seemed like a clear one, but yet the player said i made a bad shove here and i should have called AK because it’s too strong. since he seemed like a good player i just wanted to ask teh same question here to make sure which option was right, and know for sure it’s not just that i’m too stubborn to alter it.

my reasoning behind the hand was like this:

  • first of all, since i’m playing AK, i will miss the flop about 70% of the time, making it a serious posssibility i have to fold with possibly the best hand, or call and find out i have to fold anyway and pay even more
  • since i’m the SB, i have to play OOP for teh rest of the hand, making it even much harder to find out if i’m good on a missed flop, even a flop i hit might probably yield lesser profits since i can extract less value
  • the villain was opening from the CO, a LP raise means he has a wide range, meaning i have much more fold equity if i shove (which sounded like a good thing to me)
  • 21 BB’s is in my restealing shove range, with 11-20 BB’s i like to stick to restealing shoves if someone raised (i’ll count 21 close enough to do that as well). the reason of this is that calling will bring you into an awkward spot most of the time since it means you will miss most of the time, meaning you bring about 13% of your stack at risk in a situation where you will usually miss. and 3betting seems even worse, when you 3bet low enough you can make sure you aren’t commited yet, but that same sizing will also make sure the villain can call with a wide range of hands, giving you teh same issue as with a call but with an even greater part of your stack at risk
  • there are only 2 hands that dominate me and i would hate to see calling here, which is KK and AA, even though the odds are already small someone has that, the fact i’m holding AK means i have a blocker both of these hands, so the odds of that happening hare halved for both of these hands, clearly i rather don’t see a smaller pair call here as well, but it would not be terrible either.
  • there is a value range of teh viallin as well here i would love to see call from, if he holds AQ or AJ (maybe even AT) there is a serious chance i see a call from them, AK dominates all Ax hands, giving me serious equity against his calling range.

here the arguments of the other guy:

  • the villain was calling too much, he mentioned that by a simple call, i could have got much more chips. and if i would hit i might got his entire stack instead of just 4 BB’s
  • AK is one of the best hands, by shoving i’m make them fold instead of taking the opportunity to get maximum value out of one of teh premium hands.

there are porbably more arguments for both sides, but these are teh ones i thought of now.

long story short: how would you have played the AK in my situation? and more importantly, why?

1 Like

100% correct to shove, calling is never right for the reasons you gave. You are going to miss most flops and be forced to bluff or fold when you should just be getting your stack in with what is probably the best hand. The CO is going to have to fold their equity a lot and you win a large percentage of your stack uncontested or you have plenty of equity vs their calling range.


thanks for the information :+1: