A♦J♦ Facing a Turn Bet, what do you do here?
DECISION POINT: In a live $1-2 game you raise to $6 in Early Position with A♦J♦, MP1 calls, and everyone else folds. The flop comes 8♥4♦3♦. You continuation bet $10, MP1 raises to $20, and you call. You check the 7♥ turn and Villain bets $35. Action is on you, what do you do here?
PRO ANSWER: We are playing a $1-2 cash game where most of the players have slightly over $200 stacks. We are dealt AdJd from UTG+1 and after UTG folds we open to a standard raise of $6. MP1 cold calls our raise and the rest of the table folds.
When we raise in early position and a player to our immediate left cold calls, this often indicates a very condensed range for the cold-caller. They would have reraised us with the biggest hands (AA/KK/AK) and assuming they are a reasonably competent player, are usually cold calling with heavy implied odds hands such as pairs, suited connectors, and suited broadway cards.
The flop is 8h4d3d and we flop a flush draw with two over cards and a backdoor straight draw. While this particular flop is pretty favorable for a lot of MP1’s range we have a ton of equity in this spot. If MP1 floats or raises our c-bet it’s pretty easy for us to continue. We also benefit when we get folds from hands in their range that have significant equity here like KQs or 22, so continuation betting here makes a lot of sense.
We elect to bet $10 into the $15 pot and our opponent minimum raises to $20. The pot odds are really good on a call here, and if we raise and open the betting back up we won’t be super comfortable calling an all-in shove. Most opponents won’t min-raise in this spot as a pure bluff. They would expect to be called here frequently given the good implied odds here, and often this sizing represents some type of made hand that doesn’t mind a call. This makes some sort of 3-bet semi bluff from MP1 in this spot unlikely to work without some sort of opponent specific read here, so we do decide to call.
We check the 7h turn and MP1 bets $35 into the $55 pot. Our read on the flop that they’re likely to have some sort of made hand here is likely still true when they continue betting the turn. We likely have at least 9 outs here, and sometimes our ace or jack might be an out as well. On average we can estimate 10 outs meaning we are roughly 4:1 against hitting on the river. To profitably call $35 we need to win more than $140 on average in this spot. There is $90 in the pot already, so the question we have to ask is, if we hit on the river are we likely to win $50 or more on average? The pot will be $125 on the river if we call and every action our opponent has taken up to this point screams that they have some sort of reasonably strong hand.
It seems that it is quite likely we have the pot odds plus implied odds here to continue. Raising is a potential option, however if we believe we have pot odds plus implied odds then our opponent’s range is likely strong enough that getting a fold doesn’t seem likely as often as would be necessary to make raising more profitable than calling here.
Calling is the best play.
How would you play it?
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