2-Pair Facing a River Bet, what do you do here?
DECISION POINT: In a live $1-3 game an Early Position player limps and you raise to $15 from Hijack with A♠K♥. The Button is the only caller and the flop comes A♥T♣T♦. You check, the Button bets $5, you call. You check-call Villain's $20 bet on the 6♥ turn. The River is 2♦ and you check. Villain bets $55 and action is on you, what do you do here?
PRO ANSWER: In a $1-3 cash game we are dealt AKo in the Hijack. The UTG player limps for $3 and it is folded to us. We make a standard raise of $15 over the limper. The Button cold calls the $15 and everyone else folds. We see a flop of AhTcTd.
This is a very interesting spot for us. Making a continuation bet here isn’t out of the question since this board hits our preflop range pretty hard. Our opponent is quite likely to have more Tx hands in their range as the preflop caller than we do and we often have incentive to check more frequently when out of position. Ace King isn’t incredibly vulnerable here since the only real draw present is a gut-shot straight draw and our king acts as a significant blocker.
We do decide to check and our opponent bets $5. In position our opponent will often take a stab here with a wide range of hands, although usually for a bit more than 1/7th the pot. Some players would be tempted to raise in this situation. We just call because we really want to keep our opponent’s hand range wide and allow them to bluff or even value bet worse hands all the way to showdown.
The turn is the 6h. There is now a backdoor flush possibility but not much else has changed. Our plan should still be to under represent our hand and induce as many bluffs or thin value bets out of our opponent as we can. We do check and our opponent bets $20. This is significantly more than the 1/7th pot they bet on the previous street, but still less than half pot and we can easily call here quite profitably against their range.
We call and the river is the 2d. Our plan thus far has been to play our hand quite passively to showdown to keep our opponent’s range as wide as possible and induce bluffs or thin value bets. No reason to change that plan now so we check.
Our opponent bets $55 which is their most meaningful bet size yet. They could have a Tx hand but our previous actions have kept their entire range quite wide. AKo is also one of the strongest possible hands we can have at this point, so if we are folding AKo here we are quite exploitable to opponents triple barreling when we check to them in position.
We are getting 2.5:1 pot odds, we have a hand that’s near the top of our range, and we’ve played the hand in such a way to keep our opponents hand range as wide as possible. These combined factors mean we should go to showdown with our hand.
Calling is the best play.
What would you do here?
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