DECISION POINT: In a Tournament, it folds to the Cutoff who raises. The Button folds and action is on you in the Small Blind with 5♦5♣. What do you do here?
PRO ANSWER: In this hand we have 55 in the Small Blind against a Cutoff raise. In order to call and play this hand speculatively, we want to make sure we are getting the correct implied odds.
In this case, we have to put in 182 more with an effective stack of 2750.
That means we are calling 6.6% of the effective stack with a pocket pair. In some cases with pocket pairs it may be profitable to call that amount since we can sometimes go up to 7-8% (only with pocket pairs).
However, what is our opponent’s hand range? They raised from late position, so they likely have a wide hand range. This makes it less likely that we will be paid off in the long run if we flop a set. We’d actually prefer that our opponent raised from UTG instead, since if our opponent holds a strong preflop hand they are more likely to continue against is postflop when we hit our set.
In addition, we are not closing the action. The player in the Big Blind could reraise and shut us out of this hand. In fact, they have a stack size that is reasonable (but at the high end) for a reshove squeeze play against us and the CO player, especially given the 4x open raise size.
Since our opponent’s hand range is so wide, the call amount as a percentage of effective stacks is relatively high and we are not even closing the action, we will not be profitable calling here out of the Small Blind in the long run to play this hand purely for set value. Reraising or folding will be a better long term play than playing for set value.
Given a default wide hand range from the player in the CO, reraising will be the most profitable line.
Reraising is the best play.
How would you play it?
Share your answer in the comments below!
Start Improving Your Game Today!
Join LearnWPT.com And Get:
- On-demand access to in-depth Strategy Episodes
- All of your poker questions answered with our popular Ask a Pro feature
- Expert analysis from LearnWPT Pros using The Hand Input Tool
- The 30-Day Winning Blueprint email series for success at the tables
- Sharper decision-making skills with Poker Hand scenarios
- Downloadable Tools you can use at and away from the tables
- Exclusive access to interactive Monthly Q&A Webinars with LearnWPT Pros
Click below to join (just $5 your first month) and start improving your game: