A♠K♥ Facing a Preflop Raise and Reraise, what do you do here?
DECISION POINT: In a Tournament where blinds are 1,000/2,000 with a 2,000 big blind ante an Under the Gun player raises to 5,000 and the Button reraises to 15,000 (both opponents have been observed to be solid players). Action is on you in the Small Blind with A♠K♥. What do you do here?
PRO ANSWER: We are playing the middle stages of a tournament with 1,000/2,000 blinds and a 2,000 chip big blind ante. We are dealt AsKh in the Small Blind. The UTG player (who we have a read on being a good, solid tournament poker player) opens to 5,000 chips. It is then folded to the Button who reraises to 15,000. We also have a read that they are a very capable player as well. Now we are faced with a tough decision with Big Slick.
In order to determine what to do here, we really need to think of the hand ranges our opponents are likely to have. With 5,000 chips in the pot to start and UTG opening to 5,000 chips, the UTG player should be opening a significantly wider range than you would see if there was no ante in play and the standard raise size were much closer to 3 big blinds. In the early stages of tournaments UTG is often only raising 8-10% of total hands, but in this spot with the ante present and the smaller standard raise size, opening closer to 15-20% of total hands is correct.
Assuming that the Button, who is a very capable player, is aware of this they should also be reraising wider on the button. Oftentimes this is a polarized/mixed range that looks something like TT+/AJs+/AK/A2s-A5s and sometimes some mix of suited broadway cards as well.
So once we examine those ranges it’s quite clear that AKo is in pretty good shape here, assuming our read on our opponents is good. If our opponents are on the much tighter side and the Button only reraises a range like QQ+/AK here we are in a bad spot and must fold.
However, since we know our opponents are good tournament players their ranges should be more than wide enough to make moving all-in with AKo here a very profitable play.
Moving all-in is the best play.
How would you play it?
Share your answer in the comments below!
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