Thursday, April 05, 2007

KK quandary revisited

In a recent article in Card Player magazine, noted poker authority Bob Ciaffone writes about adjustments for playing deep-stack no-limit hold'em. Especially interesting is the following excerpt:

Do not be overconfident in building or playing second-best hands. I suggest that you be particularly leery when considering whether or not to play a suited king. The second nuts is a very expensive holding when deep in chips. You will win quite a few pots with it, but when the big dough is put into the pot with strong betting, it is seldom the third nuts that is in your opponent's hand. Of course, two kings is a far better hand than a suited king, but the same type of thinking should be applied. I have seen good players tell you in print that you should be willing to play two kings for all of your money, and if you run into two aces, you were just unlucky. I believe that to be good advice under normal circumstances; that is, when you have 100 times the big blind, or less, in your stack. For at least 200 times the big blind, the only preflop through-ticket for your entire stack is pocket aces. If you're not looking at 'em preflop, you soon will be at the end of the hand.

I could not agree more. In fact, this validates my contention in the KK Quandary, where I was in the minority.