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Key Concept: A Tough Turn For Big Slick
You are eight-handed, playing in a $5,000 buy-in online tournament. You are the biggest stack at the table holding roughly 100,000 in chips with blinds of 700-1,400, with the next largest stack having 75,000. It folds around to you in the cutoff and you look down at A K.
Question 1: Should you fold, call, raise to 2,800, or raise to 3,200?
Answer: Obviously you should never fold, and calling invites problems. While you will definitely raise in this spot, 2,800 is the preferred amount because a min-raise has a higher likelihood of attracting out-of-position callers that you have crushed. A raise of 3,200 is also fine as long as you know that the larger bet will still attract callers.
You make the min-raise to 2,800 and it folds to the big blind who calls. The flop comes down 5 3 2, and the big blind checks to you.
Question 2: Do you check, bet 2,000, bet 4,800, or bet 7,200?
Answer: This flop completely misses your range, and while you may still be ahead, you must recognize how disastrous getting check-raised would be.
When trying to find marginal hands to check, ask yourself, ‘If I bet this hand and get raised, is it terrible?’ In this spot it is because you have a reasonable draw with your gutshot and overcards which has decent equity, but plays poorly if raised.
If you did decide on a bet, it should at least be for a small amount.
You check behind on the flop and the turn is the 7. First to act, your opponent bets 6,237.
Question 3: Do you fold, call, raise to 15,000, or raise to 22,000?
Answer: With your A K, you should call a turn bet on almost any card… other than a heart. The 7 greatly benefits the big blind’s range which will contain a lot of low cards. And while you started with a great hand, when a really bad card hits the board and you face aggression, you simply must fold.
Don’t make a small mistake which can turn into a big one.
You make the disciplined fold and live to fight another day. Nice laydown!
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