AKo first hand of FT w/ $26,000 up top

EatRunPokerEatRunPoker NY, NYRed Chipper Posts: 91 ✭✭
edited September 2018 in Tournament Poker Hands
This hand came up for me the first hand of the final table of a 2 day live MTT in which I bagged the chip lead after Day 1 B and coasted to FT. 1st place was $26,000 and 9th place was $1,800 (we had a double elimination, so we began with 9 and not 10). I start the FT with 50bb and pretty much tied for 2nd in chips with the two other opponents in this hand. One player has like 3 million and there are two short stacks with about 12 bb.

Blinds: 20,000 - 40,000 with a 40,000 BB ante

Co (2.3 Million) opens to 100,000
BTN (2.2 Million) 3b to 350,000
Hero (2 Million) in BB with :As:Kh

This is the first hand of the FT and with $25,000 difference between 9th and 1st, I feel very hand cuffed here. The player who is 3betting is super aggressive, but usually in a very cally/splashy sort of way. I had played with him all of day 1 and he wasn't 3betting too much, but that doesn't mean he never was. One hand I noticed was 66 where someone just flatted his 3bet with AA and he flopped a set and stacked the guy. My main concern is that this guy is so gambly that he may very incorrectly call off a 50bb shove with 77-1010 which I think I need to fold out to make my shove profitable. I would hate to bust 9th AK<88 at the biggest FT I've been at. On the first hand!

Also, the original opener is a reg I know very well and he is very wide here, so I'm not overly concerned about him. I do think Villain does know original raiser is wide as well.

So what do you think is the most optimal play here when you wake up with AK in the BB here on the first hand of a big FT taking into consideration ICM and the loose player types involved?


  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 4,670 -
    Oh this is a good one. First hand of FT! Awesome. And the biggest FT you've been at.

    If I felt I was the weakest player at the table, I'd shove. And given the position of the open and 3-bet I doubt shoving can ever be extremely wrong. But if I think I'm one of the better players at the table I may fold.

    The sizing also interests me. Was 2.5x a standard open and 3.5x the open a standard 3-bet? For a tournament the 3-bet in particular looks huge. I don't think the button is folding to a shove.

    Moderation In Moderation
  • EatRunPokerEatRunPoker NY, NYRed Chipper Posts: 91 ✭✭
    Yes, I wait until the action is on me to check my cards and to my dismay I had AK (why couldn't it have just been another A behind the first!?!). In the past I would auto rip this hand under almost any conditions, but I've been doing a ton of work with ICM lately and specifically AKo and how little equity it actually has in these spots. Against a super wide 12% range for the loose BTN 3bet AK has only 56% equity. But we know he's folding some of that to a shove. I assume he'll call off 88+ and AQ+ here which is about 50% of the time (5.8% range). Against this range AKo is only 48%. So basically by shoving I'm adding 550,000 to my stack 50% of the time and 50% of the time I have to win a flip just to avoid busting 9th.

    In sum, 25% of the time I'll be out of the tournament, 25% of the time I'll be huge chip leader, 50% of the time I'll chip up to 2.55 million and put some separation between the BTN and myself. Also, the BTN is a maniac, but actually one of the better players remaining, so putting him in his place here does add some value for me for sure as far as metagame FT dynamics.

    In the end I opted to fold. Exactly like you said, I really felt I was the best player left and would win this tournament whether I jammed and doubled or folded. I felt the downside far outweighed the upside. It was mostly recreational players left with the two loose regs in this hand the only players that could give me a hard time and I was on their left.

    Over the next 3 hours this guy went on to 3bet at an absurd rate. One hand getting 4bet for half his stack, he calls and check folds flop! Another hand he opens A7s in middle position and calls a 22bb shove from bb and loses that flip, gets down to 2 bb, then doubles up through me 3 consecutive hands, one of which was me holding QQ against his K8o.

    It's easy to think I should have shoved the AK after playing for 3 hours and only laddering once (I got 8th). But I think the fold is still correct and if I don't run so bad in the 3 all ins against that specific short stack I probably do get the job done. It just sucks when you make a nitty fold like that and then the 3bettor in question just takes over and 3bets every other hand for the next few hours. Obviously I didn't know this on the first hand, however.

    As far as sizing these sizings are pretty standard amongst non online playing live regs. I would read nothing into the sizings. My main concern was that I really thought he may just call me off with PP as low as 55, because he's that bad, has a lot of money outside of poker, and no concept of ICM. Also I don't have the tightest of images (hoody wearing sunglass wearing). He knows I could be playing at him as we played together the day before all day and I had called him down for the biggest pot on Day 1 with 104 blind v blind on a Q10 872 brick out runout.

    And worse, if he's calling his PP's all the way down to 55 I have only 47% equity and my fold equity drops to about 36%.

    I was pretty devastated about this finish after being chip leader for much of Day 2 and not really winning a pot at final 2 tables. But I've finished in these spots in the past and I guess I've gotten better at not letting it derail me. With tournament poker you really have to be resillient and let it go immediately. I did just that and got a nice 4th place out of 250 runners the very next day for $7,500. The two scores combined helped me deal with the missed equity of the first FT.

    @TheGameKat do you play live tournaments? If you do I'm sure you understand the dilemma of placing 8th and the need to have a short memory to play at your best the very next day.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 4,670 -
    I only play about a dozen live tournaments a year and rarely cluster them. I don't know if it's my age (50s), but after a two-day event I need 48 hours off. That said, before Black Friday I used to play fairly full SCOOP/WCOOP schedules and you definitely need a mental reboot after a frustrating event.

    Congrats on the two cashes and bouncing back!
    Moderation In Moderation

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