Everyone knows that no limit hold’em is a very positional game. In full ring games then you are out of position to more opponents which is a problem and in six max then a potentially superior opponent can isolate against you more easily than they can in full ring.

I am going to look at playing A-K in early position here in a deep stack full ring game and look at the problems that are inherent in the position.

Escalating the Pot

Firstly when you raise here then you are beginning the process of escalating the pot. Remember that getting all in is not something that you may wish for when you non-pair hand is building a hand like no pair and top pair with top kicker.

Whether you realise it or not then this is the type of hand that you are building with A-K. Problem number two is that your raise from early position basically tells the table that you have a strong hand.

So with 100bb+ stacks then your raise is such a small percentage of your stack and those of many of your opponents that you could be easily giving good implied odds if you are not careful.

Even if you flop top pair and top kicker then you need to be careful if the pot is multi-way and you are out of position to boot.

Getting Creative With A-K

Here though is where I think you can get a little creative with the play because limping in with the A-K has lots of advantages attached to it.

Firstly it is deceptive and if you limp and it gets limped by several players with no raise and the flop comes 10-9-8 then you can simply check-fold with your opponents being no wiser.

However in these situations then many aggressive players in position often attack limpers. This is where limp-raising basically tells the story that you have aces (or possibly KK).

As long as you do not abuse the play then you will force a lot of folds and I have even seen players flash big pairs like queens and jacks here when they have folded.

The key of course is not to abuse the play and having A-K drastically reduces the number of AA and KK combinations against you also.