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Small stakes MTTs, AK vs small pairs

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  • Small stakes MTTs, AK vs small pairs

    I started playing small stakes tournaments a while back and it has been extremely frustrating. Most tournaments I only last a few orbits. The most common scenario is that you pick up AK and raise and one guy shoves behind you and you make the obligatory call and he shows 55 or some other small pair, you don't hit and your out early again.

    Do you ever fold AK to avoid these scenarios? I know from an equity standpoint it should be a call but it seems a bit silly to take these flips all the time, and when you inevitably lose one you are out.

    Is it a good strategy to jam all small pocket pairs like a lot of people seem to do? We are talking early in tournaments so around 80BB deep.

    Another common theme at these stakes seem to be jamming up front even 80BB deep. The ranges seem to vary but it is usually a medium holding like 88 or AJ but some people do it with AA and AK as well. I'm a bit lost on how wide you should call these huge shoves, are there any preflop charts that deal with these scenarios? I usually call very tight against these shoves like JJ+ and AK which is probably way too tight.

  • #2
    At 80bbs I’m very rarely going all in possibly just with QQ+ and AKs for me personally that’s just far too much once it gets to approx 40bbs then I’m far more inclined to widen my calling range but even then I’m not calling a shove with small pairs ,would be more like TT+AJs AKo once it get approx below 25bb then it changes again with a wider calling range ,

    As for open shoving any hand at all I’m not doing that until around 15bb that’s just roughly what my strategy would be hope that helps


    • #3
      It depends on how deep the player is shoving and the range of hands he is shoving.

      In short, any hand that is a profitable call, I call. Sometimes you lose. That's poker and that is why you need to have disciplined bankroll management.

      You don't love everytime AK versus underpair. AK will win 45% and 48% if suited.


      • #4
        To answer your question on the 80BBs shoves, here is ICMizer run on that spot:

        I set it up with 99+, AK - 100%; 88, 77, AQ - 50%; 66, 55, 44, AJ - 25%; and 33 and 22 about 10%.