Jonathan Little's Weekly Poker Hand: Playing Ace-King Cautiously

Jonathan Little's Weekly Poker Hand: Playing Ace-King Cautiously

Poker pro and coach Jonathan Little has been producing a wide variety of strategy content for poker players for some time, including authoring multiple books and sharing videos and articles on his website and elsewhere, much of which is free to players of all levels seeking to improve their games.

Little started his popular "Weekly Poker Hand" series on YouTube more than five years ago, using the format to focus on particular concepts and common mistakes as illustrated in his hand analyses.

In the episode shown below, Little analyzes a hand he played in a $1,000 buy-in World Series of Poker event, one highlighting just how much position can matter.

It was early in the event (blinds 50/100) and a tight player with a short stack of 30 big blinds opened the action with an under-the-gun raise to 250. It folded around to Little in the small blind where he had a stack of 100 BBs and had been dealt AK.

As he explains in the video, he generally doesn't do a lot of three-betting versus UTG raisers, especially from out of position. Thus he chose to call, the big blind folded, and the flop came QJ4.

Both players checked, then the turn brought the 10 to give Little a Broadway straight. Little runs through the pros and cons of betting versus checking here, and ultimately he decided to check.

His opponent then bet 400 into the 680 pot, and at this point Little discusses whether or not a check-raise is in order. Ultimately he chose just to call as the likelihood his opponent would back down to a raise was too great (although in retrospect he thinks check-shoving would have been a better choice).

The river J then paired the board, and again Little opted to be cautious and checked. Alas for him, his opponent checked behind and he won a small pot. Little then explains how the hand well illustrates how difficult it can be sometimes to get money in the middle from out of position.

Listen to Little's analysis below, which includes discussion of several concepts, including...

  • starting hand selection and strength
  • blind defense
  • position
  • ranges and range reading
  • value betting

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $7,000,000 in live tournament earnings. He writes a weekly educational blog and hosts a podcast at Sign up to learn poker from Jonathan for free at You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.

  • A hand from @JonathanLittle demonstrating how hard it can sometimes be to play from out of position.

  • .@JonathanLittle turns the nuts with A-K, but being out of position still limits his maneuverability.

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