I was playing against a player who was going all in almost every hand pre-flop. So after waiting until I had something that I thought could beat a random hand, I went all in with AKo. LOST to Qx. BUY IN(a bad decision in itself due to tilting). I am dealt AKs next hand, call the all-in and LOST to 99. Should I have only gone all in with a decent pocket pair?

  • Is it safe to assume this is a cash game and not a tournament that allows rebuys? Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 21:35
  • cash game is correct sir
    – yaki moto
    Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 21:57
  • 2
    Losing two good hands in a row to a lucky player is just a bad beat. If he continued his behavior, and you kept buying in, over the long run making calls like that are going to win your money back and the rest of his bankroll too. And if you don't do it, some other guy will. Going all in every hand is just begging someone to bankrupt you.
    – corsiKa
    Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 0:28
  • AK = Anna Kournikova. Looks nice but doesn't win anything...
    – Robbie Dee
    Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 12:12
  • Robbie, i loled.
    – yaki moto
    Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 21:47

3 Answers 3


If your laying down AK to a loose cannon that is raising all in all the time you are making a huge mistake. These calls you made all in were just fine. You will get the guy sooner or later. The 99 he had you were slightly behind but for the Qx you dominated.

I will sometimes get out of games like this, usually because I am not able to get the guy and getting tilted like you were, or I just do not have the bankroll to play this game. But if I have bankroll and I am feeling OK this is the game I want. This guy is going to bust out and then I am going to have a table full of tilted players with a lot of big stacks around the table.

  • +1 I too would be inclined to bail or use someone else as cannon fodder to take care of the villain.
    – Robbie Dee
    Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 12:34

It is definitely profitable to be calling with AKo and AKs against someone shoving 100% of their hands.

Using the Poker stove calculator, AKo will win 65.20% of the time against an opponent's random holding, and will still win 62.12% of the time against an opponent who shoves only with the top 20% of hands dealt.

Similarly AKs wins 67% of the time against a random holding, and still wins 63.9% of the time against the top 20% of poker hands.

If you call with any random pocket pair, you will win 68% of the time against a random holding - only a 1% edge over AKs.

So therefore you made the correct call, but since you will only win about 65% of the time, this play unavoidably has a high variance associated with it. This is why it is imperative that a poker player has a sufficient bankroll for the stakes he is playing in order to ride out this variance.

  • 2
    I think I know you from another site. Nice to see you here.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 2:37

Getting beat with AKo against Qx suited qualifies as a "bad beat." But if you go "all in," you are "getting your money in good." (When the odds are in your favor).

These decisions are measured ex ante, that is against the opponent's cards held before the flop. The fact that you lost against bad cards ex post has nothing to do with anything.

Over a lifetime, if you could face Qxs every time you got AKo, you'd be way ahead.

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