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What To Do With ACE-X In Poker Tournaments

February 23, 2023
by Lex Veldhuis

The video discusses an array of poker hands, focusing on how to play with strong pocket pairs and Ace-X combinations. PokerStars Team Pro, Lex Veldhuis provides strategic tips for maximising value and minimising losses. The examples below are taken from the video.

Short Stack Strategy with Ace-Deuce 

While not the strongest pocket, Ace-Deuce can work to your advantage when you are down to a short stack. In the example, Lex shoves as he has folds and limps before him. As the calls are minimum, it is expected his opponents have high picture cards unsuited. The remaining players fold. This highlights the importance of table position and how to get the most value from your pots.

Playing Strong Hands: Ace-King and Pocket Jacks

With Ace-King, Lex raises 2.2x from early position. He faces a large 3-bet and calls, deducing his opponent has a hand like pocket nines. The flop is Ace-high, and Lex’s hand holds up, allowing him to win a big pot.

With pocket Jacks, Lex raises and bets on all three post-flop streets for value on a board with an over card. He sizes up on the turn when the board pairs, expecting opponents to have hands like Ace-King or King-Queen that will call. The river card does not change much, so Lex bets again for thin value, and his opponent folds.  Use the high cards you are given to work the table and establish greater value from each hand.

Putting Your Opponent on a Range Based on Their Actions

A player calls Lex’s raise with Ace-King, so Lex expects them to have a hand like Ace-Jack or Ace-Ten. The flop comes all spades, and Lex continuation bets small, expecting many hands without spades to fold, and his opponent may bluff catch with a weak spade. On the turn, Lex’s opponent leads into him, so Lex calls, putting his opponent on a flush draw that picked up equity. The river card is a blank, and Lex checks behind. His opponent shows a missed flush draw, demonstrating how accurately putting your opponent on a range allowed Lex to call profitably.

Finding Value in Your Aces

The examples given show how much can change over the course of a hand. The key is finding value in the Aces you are given. As they are the top card, it doesn’t take much for you to win the hand. Play smartly, read your opponents stacks and you can work any Ace combination to your advantage.

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