How do you play aces: Part One
There are few things in poker that make a poker player happier than looking down at a pair of cards that have the letter “A” on them. Pocket Aces aren’t going to be folded by anyone pre-flop. It just doesn’t make sense. But how you play them before the flop can determine how a hand gets played after the flop, the turn, and on the river.
I want to take a look at a hand that I played at the Los Angeles Poker Classic at the Commerce Casino yesterday where I was dealt pocket aces, and get some feedback on the way that I played them. I’m going to present two different scenarios in two different post for the same hand, and let everyone weigh in on the best way to approach the play. Poker is a game that has a bunch of different opinions, and I’ll explain what my line of thinking was, and why I made the plays that I made, as well as the results which are far less important. It should be how you play the hand that matters, not the end result.
I’ll set up the scenario by letting you know that I was playing in my very first ever LAPC event. It was event #23, a $340 Buy in No Limit Hold’em Tournament with a $100,000 guarantee. I didn’t recognize any player at my table, but by the end of the first level, I’d had a pretty good read on all of my opponents. There were a few big pots that were played, but nothing that was really out of hand. And it would be the very last hand of the first level that we’ll be dealing with.
The event begins with a 6,000 chip starting stack, and at the end of the first level, I’d been very active and very successful, chipping up to almost 9,000 in chips by not showing down a hand. Basically I was able to do whatever I wanted at the table, and I think my table mates respected my image.
With the blinds at 25/50, the hand begins with the player under the gun opening to 150. The opening amount was pretty standard at either 150 or 125. So the open wasn’t out of the ordinary. Two players made the call, and action then came to me in the cutoff seat where I looked at the Ace of clubs, and the Ace of diamonds.
My question to you….
With about 180 big blinds in my stack and holding AA versus an open and 2 callers, are you raising your bullets, or are you just going to flat call here?
Other things to consider are that the blind levels will be 30 minutes for the duration of the tournament, so action will move pretty quick. But this IS just level one after all.
Lets see if you raise or call, and if you raise….how much are you raising to?