A♥J♥ vs a Limper, what do you do here?

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DECISION POINT:
The player in the Cutoff seat limps into the pot. What do you do with AJ suited on the Button?

PRO ANSWER: Whenever a player has limped into the pot in front of us, we can ask ourselves whether or not limping will be profitable. With speculative hands such as a suited Ace, we can usually call after a limper as long as stacks are 20 or more big blinds deep. So calling would be profitable here.

However, AJ suited is also a legitimately strong broadway hand with high card value. We can play this hand aggressively by raising with it and isolating this limper. Which option will be more profitable?

Continued below...

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To answer this question we should look at our opponent’s hand range. When their hand range is weak and wide, we should tend to play our hand more aggressively. When their hand range is narrower and stronger, the more value there is in playing our hand passively by calling.

Since our opponent limped into the pot from the Cutoff seat, we can assume that their hand range is wide and weak by default. This makes raising with AJ suited a more profitable play than simply calling. Raising gives us the ability to win this pot uncontested preflop or on the flop with a continuation bet.

Raising is the best play.

What would you do here?
Share your answer in the comments below!