Poker strategy: You Young Guns Need To Check Your Egos

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AK Tourney AK Cash

I hope everyone had a great holiday! I would like to get some feedback from some of you guys on a particular hand I played over the weekend . It was a $200 buy in NL Hold em event at a card club that I was not a member of, but was invited by a friend of mine. It was a small field of 24 players ,, starting chips were 10,000 ,, blind levels increasing every 25 minutes , no antes.. it was a great structure , which I knew was going to take 5 or 6 hours to get to the final few players.. I kept telling myself to be patienct early on, as with blinds starting at $25/$50 I had plenty of time to play real poker , before it became a shove fest..

About an hour into the event with blinds at $100/$200 I was sitting on about $8800 in chips . I had been pretty card dead , tried to steal one pot and got snap called when my opponent hit two pair on the river.. Any way in ealy positon I am dealt A K offsuit .. 8 players at the table,, I raise it to $700 ,,now other than my one bluff attempt my play has been fairly snug,, it folds to MP who re raises it to $1700 ,, both blinds fold and it comes back to me.. My problem here is I never played with this guy before , and this is the 1st time we have both played a pot . he had been pretty tight so far , but when he did enter a pot , he entered with force. Plus he was a young guy ,maybe 25 ,flashy dresser, you know the prototypical super aggressive player,,, yet he hadnt really played that way yet..I am out of position, I am not sure of what type of player I am up against,so I wasnt quite sure howto proceed. Of course I am not laying A K down here , but I also dont want to commit to an All In re raise this early in the event , when I am sure I am probably racing against any pair up to QQ , or worst casr scenario a big dog to KK or AA ... The only hand in his range at this point that I would have a distinctive edge here would be A Q or remote bottom end of his range A J .. So being a live player , I just dont like putting my entire tournament life on the line this early against a player I cant really quite peg as a super aggressive type yet... This is my dilemma though .. I despise just calling in this spot ,, but based on the info that I have at this time ,,and the stack sizes..he has about 10,200 I decide that is my best play. I call the extra 1,000 .. The flop comes 8 6 3 rainbow.. Ugh!! This is whre the power of position is so valuable . I am really in no mans land now , out of position ,with a player behind me who has shown strength pre flop ,, a continuation bet here is so transparent with the texture of that flop , particularly if he is holding almost any pair. So , like the nit that I am I checked the flop hoping he would check behind , but fairly certain he wouldnt .

He fires out a $2500 flop bet ,about 3/4 of the pot, now I know he is not that strong, just by his body language , and the way he made the bet.. However,, I have merely A high here , and I cant just call here , I pretty much have to commit all my chips here on merely a feeling that he is not that strong . He still has over 7k in his stack so he could still get away from this hand if I re raise All In . I finally come to my senses and fold my AK ,, and he turns ove A Q and smirks as he rakes in the pot .. Kudos, to my young friend as he read me very well , used his position and took down a nice pot .. Now fast forward to the end of the tourney where we chop it 3 ways and I pocket a cool $1300 ,for a nice Sunday afternoon profit of $1100 ,, and my young firend who pushed me off the A K was knocked out of the tourney about 30 minutes after our fateful hand when he over valued two pair on a scary straight board and was busted... My question to throw out to you younger internet guys is ... How would you guys have played this hand? Pre flop , and post flop ,, and give me you thoughts as to why you would play it in a certain way.. I didnt feel that comfortable with my play of the hand by my main thought was chip preservation is as important as chip accummulation , particularly at this point in this event....

Can you make acase for folding A K to a pre flop min raise early in a tournament with the stack sizes as they were? I think not but would like some feedback


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