A♠5♠ Multiway Preflop, what do you do here?

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DECISION POINT:
In a Tournament where blinds are 100/200 an Early Position player raises to 500. Both Middle Position players, Hijack, Cutoff, and the Button call. You call from the Small Blind with A♠5♠. The Big Blind reraises to 3,000 and all 5 players behind call. Action is on you, what do you do here?

PRO ANSWER: In a multi table tournament the blinds are 100/200 and we are dealt A5s in the Small Blind. The UTG+2 player raises to 500 chips and everyone calls up to us. This is a fairly trivial call for us with only 400 chips, or under 2% of our stack, with a speculative hand in a multiway pot and with only one player to act behind us. We call 500 and the Big Blind makes it 3,000.

To our surprise everyone calls the 3,000 and action is back on us. The additional 2,500 chips from the Big Blind's reraise represents nearly 10% of our stack, and generally we don’t want to be calling more than 5% of our stack preflop with a speculative hand. However, in this scenario there is already 21,500 chips in the pot we can win in addition to the 29,500 we have behind. Adding the main pot and our remaining stack together we can potentially win over 50,000 chips, making the 2,500 chips less than 5% of what we can effectively win.

We also have other factors working in our favor.

Continued below...

Our hand has a Nut Advantage fairly often when it does connect with the flop which can be important with 8 players in the pot. We also close the action here, meaning if we call we’re guaranteed to see a flop. As an added bonus, even though this is less important with 8 players in the pot, we do have relative position on the preflop raiser. That means that if they continuation bet we get to see how everyone at the table acts before making our decision postflop.

All of these combined factors make calling this raise multiway a very good spot for our speculative hand. This is an extreme scenario where there is so much money in the pot already that even though the call is close to 10% of our stack we can still call speculatively preflop. It is important to remember that the money already in the middle is money we can win as well and we need to factor that into our decision making process.

Calling is the best play.

How would you play it?
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