A♣K♣ Facing a Flop All-in, what do you do here?

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DECISION POINT:
In a live $2-5 Cash Game, a Middle Position player raises to $20 and the Cutoff calls. You 3-Bet to $100 from the Big Blind with A♣K♣ and Cutoff calls. You c-bet $120 on the Q♠9♠7♥ flop and Villain goes all-in for $250. Action is on you, what do you do here?

PRO ANSWER: One thing we always want to be doing at the table is looking at future scenarios that may unfold and adjusting our decisions so that these plausible scenarios play out in our favor.

We can’t (and shouldn’t) try and plan for every possible outcome, but in this situation one likely outcome is that the Cutoff calls our raise. Given that the Cutoff only started the hand with $350, when we raise to $100 and get called by them we are left with $222 in the pot and a $250 effective stack.

A better play for us preflop would have been to raise to $120 so that when the Cutoff calls the pot is instead $262 and the effective stack $230. This adjustment would result in a stack to pot ratio (SPR) of less than 1 so we can easily just shove the flop and maximize our fold equity. Given our preflop raise to $100, the best play on the flop is to move all-in with this hand.

Continued below…

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However, in this situation we are in, we’re getting almost 5:1 pot odds to call with our Ace King. If we assume we often have 6 outs here (3 aces and 3 kings) which should often be true given the low SPR situation we should have at least around 24% equity in this pot.

Sometimes our 6 outs won’t be good but sometimes our opponent is also shoving with a draw and we have the best hand. On average, 6 outs is a reasonable assumption and if we have 6 outs on average we only need around 3:1 pot odds to make this call. In this hand we are getting well over 4:1 pot odds.

While we could have made adjustments preflop to make this hand easier for us, we’re still getting too good of a price to fold here.

Calling is the best play.

How would you play it?
Share your answer in the comments below!