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Actually I don't hate pocket aces. In fact, I love pocket aces! The title of this article should be "Why I hate loving pocket aces".

The bullets... oh those powerful rockets... your heart beats slightly faster the moment you catch sight of the two As. The immediate reaction one gets is usually "Yes! I'm gonna win this hand!".

Hey don't get me wrong, pocket aces are great starting hands. However, I'll give you an example of why they can destroy you if you are not careful and overplay them.

I was playing in a single table SNG tournament online. I was the big blind and got dealt my pocket aces (hooray!). The player under the gun made an opening bet of $400 - four times the big blind. I reraised to $900, he called and we went on to the flop.

My Hand
Ace of HeartsAce of Spades
The Flop
Seven of ClubsTen of DiamondsSeven of Spades

Okay the flop did not help me at all. In fact it looked pretty dangerous with the pair on the board. Since my opponent had bet big under the gun, I don't believe he had a hand like 7-x, but there is a chance that he is holding a high pocket pair. I ruled out pocket Sevens as that will give him quads Sevens - extremely unlikely. Pocket Kings and Queens are no threat to my pair of Aces... The only exception is pocket Tens. 

Well, if it looked dangerous to me, then maybe it looked dangerous to him as well, I thought and so I fired off a continuation bet of $600.

To my surprised, he pushes all-in. At this point, my rational mind was telling me he is holding pocket Tens and had flopped the nuts full house. Alas, another part of my mind was screaming "How can I lose with pocket aces!? He's got to be bluffing!"

Opponent's Hand
Ten of HeartsTen of Clubs

Internally, I struggled, but the power of my dearest pocket Aces won and I called.  He flipped over a pair of tens - he had indeed flopped the full house. There wasn't any ace on the turn or the river and so I lost.

At that time, I was totally convinced I was bad beat, but looking back now, I had simply played badly... played badly because its simply so damn hard to lay down pocket Aces!!!


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