A♠A♥ vs a Flop Lead, what do you do here?
DECISION POINT: In a live $1-2 game it folds around to you in the Cutoff with A♠A♥. You raise to $6 and the Small Blind calls. Heads-up on the J♠9♠5♥ flop Villain leads out for $9 and action is on you. What do you do here?
PRO ANSWER: It folds to us in the Cutoff with AA and we make it $6. Often in $1-2 games a 3x raise preflop can be too small. In this case $6 may have been the table standard, and in the Cutoff there are only 3 players left to act behind us so it’s quite likely we end up heads-up in position. In this hand the Small Blind calls us and all others fold.
The flop comes Js9s5h and our opponent leads into us for $9. Some advanced players are capable of making this sort of “donk lead” with a balanced range. In most instances when we ask ourselves why an opponent would lead into the preflop raiser if they had a huge hand, in many instances the answer is they wouldn’t. Most of the time when opponents lead into the preflop raiser like this they have a weak one pair hand or a draw.
This board is extremely draw heavy. If our opponent has a draw, we would like to raise now so that they don’t get an opportunity to see a cheap turn card and crack our aces.
If our opponent has a weaker one pair hand then there are a TON of scare cards on the turn (any king, queen, ten or spade) that make it tougher for us to get action from weaker hands, making a raise a better option now when we can still get Villain to call with their weaker hand. Either way, all signs point to raise against typical $1-2 opponents.
Against more advanced opponents who will have more balanced ranges, calling in position will often be the best play.
However, in most $1-2 games, raising is the best play.
How would you play it?
Share your answer in the comments below!
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