A lot of people consider A-K to be one of the premium hands that a person can get in Texas Hold’em. And it always helps when it’s suited too such as the hand I got the other day when playing $3/$6 Pot Limit Hold’em. Naturally, in holding A-K suited when I was in middle position, I decided to get as much money in the pot as possible. Luckily a couple of players at the table were up for keeping with the betting making the pot grow even more.
Then the flop came with absolutely nothing that I needed in a mixed 10-J-4. Rather than make a continuation, which might mean nothing since it was $3/$6 Pot Limit, I simply checked to the next player who bet and then was raised by the other one leaving the action to me. I decided that it was best to fold my A-K suited in that situation even though it meant losing all of my pre-flop bets and raises with the fold.
This was simply a reminder to me of my initial thoughts on just exactly what A-K really is. I mean they used to call it Anna Kournikova after the former Russian tennis star who gained more fame for her looks than wins meaning A-K looks pretty but never wins anything. But back then I used to think it was just a clever joke as A-K definitely still has value.
However, the question is, just how value does it really have? Some of the more aggressive experts will put A-K up there with A-A, K-K, Q-Q, and J-J as a starting hand. However, I’ve never been one to overvalue pocket jacks and I’m starting to lump A-K in there with pocket jacks. Quite often you need a set to win a hand with pocket jacks and obviously, with A-K, you need some help from the board to win and most often that help only brings top pair. And this is certainly a good hand in Hold’em but is it worthy enough of giving A-K premium status?