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Ok, so I'm about 30K hands into my NL cash experiment. The first 20K went a heck of a lot better than the last 10K.

Anyway, I've been trying to look pretty deeply into my stats to see what is working and what isn't, and I'm always a little confused about how to properly play AKo, especially given relatively deep, 100BB stacks.

I raise AKo first in out of any position, tend to reraise from any position, except probably the blinds. Lately however, I like to play AKo and AKs a bit more passive, so I might just call preflop raises with it in position, things like that. The reason AKo is such a playable hand is because it has a huge amount of equity vs. other hands people play, lots of times dominating, usually at worst coinflipping, often racing, has decent equity against KK, and only a disaster if run up against AA. All these issues auger for playing the hand.

However, AKo is never going to win a huge pot. If you hit the flop, post flop you are not going to get much action. If you do get action, you are often way behind. The only situation the comes up where you might be ok is an all-in preflop hand where you know you see all 5 cards, but this is still going to be an unusual situation and you'll often be against KK or AA if the stacks are large.

How do you think about the lack of big pot potential with respect to the preflop decision of how to play the hand? I have difficultly completely reconciling the last two paragraphs. Afterall, if I can't win a huge pot with it playing 100BB stacks, is AKo just a stealing hand? And if that is the case, what is the difference between AKo and 62o?

Here are some examples. Assume full stacks. What are your standard lines in these spots?

I raise AKo in mid position, get reraised by someone with position. Can it really be profitable to play from here if he folds if I hit one of my outs (which tends to be the case the vast majority of the time)?

Someone raises in mid position, I reraise with AKo in LP. Flop is rags, he check/calls. Turn is a blank and he checks. Do I surrender and check behind?

Someone raises in EP/MP. I am in the SB with AKo. What do you do?

Someone raises in EP/MP. I am in the BB with AKo. What do you do?


I hope these aren't stupid questions.

NL Cash is all a big conundrum to me because of these issues.

I know my profit in poker generally speaking comes from making the best EV decisions all the time. However in NL cash, all your decisions (the vast majority of which are in 20BB and less pots) are going to be overwhelmed by the decisions you make in the 200BB ones. So if a hand has really no chance of winning you a 200BB pot, is it worth all the aggravation?

I guess I need to create a bit of action to get action on my big hands, so that is certainly an argument for playing these types of hands. Generally speaking though, these big card offsuit hands may not be the best way.
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