7♠6♠ at the Final Table, what do you do here?
DECISION POINT: You are in the money at the Final Table of a mid-stakes tournament with six players left. Action folds to you in the Cutoff with 7♠6♠ and you raise 2BBs. The Button calls and both Blinds fold. The flop comes 5♥7♣A♦ and action is on you, what do you do?
PRO ANSWER: We are playing a mid-stakes multi table tournament with only six players left. We are well in the money with first paying $3,000, second paying $2,000, third paying $1,140, fourth paying $740, fifth paying $580 and sixth paying $430. We are fourth in chips with 30 big blinds with the big stack (70BBs) to our immediate left and two shorter stacks (10BBs and 12BBs respectively) still at the table. There is a big blind ante in play.
Action folds to us and we are dealt 7s6s in the Cutoff seat. We should be opening narrower in this situation given the big stack to our immediate left and the ICM pressure we are facing. At this stage of the tournament a standard raise is just a minimum raise (2BBs). The risk vs reward of raising 2BBs to win 2.5BBs is too favorable to fold a hand as strong as 76s, even with a table setup such as this.
We open to 2BBs and the Button calls with everyone else folding. It should be noted that if the button is aggressively 3-betting or frequently calling in position to take the pot down postflop we can exploitatively adjust to fold preflop more often here, and hands like this that often flop middle pair would be prime candidates for that adjustment.
The flop is 5h7cAd and action is on us. Typically on a flop that is so favored for our range we would be looking to continue bet a very wide range of hands here.
Our hand has a lot of showdown value versus our opponent’s wide button range. The more we bloat the pot early the bigger the chances that our opponent can apply ICM pressure forcing us to fold what might be the best hand. We also risk busting out before the two short stacks, which is fairly catastrophic at this point, and strategically we’re going to want to try and get to a cheap showdown and realize our equity as often as possible here.
We’re going to be looking to check most of our range in these spots versus the big stacks and navigate to cheap showdowns when we have reasonable equity, including this one.
Checking is the best play.
How would you play it?
Share your answer in the comments below!
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