Having trouble playing AK lately.. need help with that
Alright, so I far prefer pocket pairs over AK when it comes to preflop hand selection at this point. I hear a lot of people say they'd take it over JJ, and I am way the opposite. Even 77, 88 I would prefer over AK in terms of POSTFLOP PLAY, because there are plenty of 752 or 225 flops that I'll see to where I actually have something more than two big looking cards. Perhaps the worst of all is when I make top pair on an otherwise dry flop and I'm up against a set.
There are also draws that can turn it into nothing in a hurry when they make their hand, where at least with a set I can still redraw with the paired board. So you'd think I start calling preflop instead of raising with AK, but when I start doing that I find myself up against KJ hitting top two pair when I only have top pair. It's like I'm punished for raising it, and punished for not raising it. AK seems to me a hand that requires someone to play worse hands like AJ, KQ etc. and even then they have plenty of chances to beat you anyway. I think it seems best in terms of hand ranges to raise instead of simply call, because you need to make weaker hands pay. But this goes back to the top pair thing, even if you make top pair, the pot becomes too big for simply one pair after it starts getting raised because of set potential. A pocket pair is easily a hand someone potentially called me with.
Overall, it just isn't working too well for me right now to be playing AK. Obviously it's awesome to make broadway, but you could say the same thing about QJ etc. so in a way AK is no different postflop than any other two non pair cards. So I guess a way to start controlling things is to raise preflop, bet the flop when you make top pair and potentially just give it up if you're raised and if you're only called, maybe just check the turn? But again, this gives flush draws a free card when those would be folded, but if you raise again on the turn then someone slowplaying a set is going to exploit you...arrgh, I think I'm just going to be a pure set and boat miner from here on out unless someone can convince me otherwise.