I folded AK preflop

Did not want to tangle with the tournament leader at this point of the tournament (40 minutes in).

https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/507203986

Just as well.

I find that when you are well placed in a tournament, it is best not to counter attack large stacks that can wipe you out when there are small stacks to pick on and bully for easy chips. Especially when you may well be playing two unpaired cards against a pocket pair.

However, a little later I did go for the jugular.

https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/507207715

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Good fold. I find it strange that you would find the large stack to be the threat there. I think that low stack reraising them looks stronger (although, after watching the whole hand, it turns out you were right this time). The big stack is supposed to be a bully. That being said, when a player raises and another 3-bets on Replay, it usually means at least another reraise, and maybe even a shove, so that’d be another reason to fold in that situation, if there is ever a reason to fold A-K pre-flop.

Yes, the reraise was what had me worried too, especially if there were three hands with aces contesting the pot. But if the leader went all in, I was going to lose a lot of chips if I folded.

Currently there are 11 players left in, and 1 will not get money. I am in fold mode in 3rd.

Postscript. I finished in 3rd place, so not too bad. I have won this tournament 4 times, but the last time was months ago. On the hand after I went out, the tournament was over as my protagonist eliminated the other player.

On the hand I went out on, for once this opponent was not bluffing and his trip Kings handily defeated my massive pair of 2s.

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Good fold, definitely.

“I folded AK preflop” - well, if you had just said “I once folded preflop” and left it at that, you’d still be in the top 10% of all players here. A goodly number of players here couldn’t fold a pair of socks :slight_smile:

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Yes. My experience of tournaments here is that you often have an early leader or two who have gotten lucky by getting into an impulsive preflop three or four way all-in and come out victorious. However these players rarely go all the way in spite of the early advantage, possibly because they lack the late game skills, or also because the big win gives them a rush of testosterone and makes them feel unbeatable.

In some ways the second hand I posted is just as relevant to tournament strategy as the first. Here it is again:

https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/507207715

You are the big stack bully in early position. In a six handed table K Js is a good hand and you are perfectly entitled to bully with it to take the blinds when you are the tournament leader, but when the second or third stack shoves into you preflop, that usually means that player has AA or KK and is prepared to risk their whole tournament on that hand. Any Ace starts ahead of you. Why would you want to put nearly all your chips at stake when you may be starting from behind when there are easier ways to win chips?

Indeed you might win the hand and achieve a near double-up, but if you keep playing like this, you will eventually lose a lot of chips unless your opponent is Puggywug, in which case you can confidently call and win with any two cards.

My big stack strategy is to bully preflop to pick up blinds, by all means, yes, but back off when little stacks fight back, and try to keep the pots fairly small so you do not get into megapots with marginal hands. You do not want to offer small stacks a chance to double up. You should constantly harrass them and wear them down, but back off if they fight back and you do not have a strong hand. They may shove back at you a few times, but eventually they will probably shove into you when you have a premium starting hand.

So play tighter with the big stack unless you pick up a monster, and then you can take a shot at the small stacks and then if you are fairly sure you are ahead at the flop with at least top pair or an overpair, put them all-in, or put them all in when you have a good flush draw (4 to the suit, plus overcards, or a pair on the flop with flush draw) and most times they will fold rather than risk it all on one pair. If they call, then you still have multiple outs.

As big stack I want opponents with small stacks to know that any time they limp into a pot, they need to be prepared to put all their chips at stake.

However, one should also be circumspect, because the biggest danger is that opponent has a pocket pair and makes a set on the flop, or they hit two pairs. If two face cards, or two connecting cards like T 9o come on the flop, there is an increased chance that opponent has made two pairs, so a small probing bet to see if they want to continue against the big stack may be appropriate. Be aware that if something like QT or KJ comes on the flop, these are popular hands to limp, and opponent may have two pairs or the nut straight draw. It is also best to stay away from flops that are potentially flushing, unless you hold the Ace of that suit, because players on RP love to risk their whole tournament on a flush draw.

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Good fold playing out of position here. And yeah, the pay-out structure is very important in this kind of situations…

so, u play scared…