A♠K♦ in the Small Blind Vs the Button, what do you do here?

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DECISION POINT:
In a live $2-5 game it folds to the Hijack who limps as does the Cutoff. The Button raises to $25 and you make it $75 from the Small Blind with A♠K♦. Everyone folds to the Button who calls. The flop comes 6♠6♦6♣ and action is on you. What do you do here?

PRO ANSWER: We are playing a $2-5 cash game with most stacks being around 100 big blinds. We are dealt A♠K♦ in the Small Blind. It folds around to the Hijack who open limps for $5. The Cutoff also calls and then the Button raises to $25.

With Ace King in the Small Blind we are well ahead of the hand range the Button would isolate two limpers with. Calling here would be a huge mistake as it would encourage others to call as well and our hand does not play well in multiway pots. Given how ahead our hand is of our opponents’ hand range and the fact that our hand plays far better heads up with initiative than it does in a multiway pot, we elect to raise to $75 here. Everyone folds back around to the Button who just calls.

The flop is 6♠6♦6♣. One of the first questions we want to ask ourselves when deciding if we should continuation bet here is: Who has the range advantage on this flop?

Continued below...

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Since neither player is likely to have connected with this board, whichever player had the stronger range preflop still has the stronger range on the flop. In this case, the stronger range would be our range as the preflop reraiser. 

A flop of 6♠9♦T♣ would be a far worse for us to continuation bet on, as our opponent has a lot of 77/88/99/TT/87s/T9s/JTs/QJs type hands in their range and we have far less of those hands in our range.

While it is more likely on this board that our opponent can have hands such as 76s in their range, 6x hands are a very small part of their overall range. Our hand range also contains more overpairs than our opponent, including the best over pairs like AA/KK/QQ.

Given how substantial our range advantage is on this flop, continuation betting makes a lot of sense. Even a small bet in the $45 range puts a lot of pressure on our opponent and should force them to fold a lot of their random overcard holdings such as QJs/JTs.

Continuation betting is the best play.

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


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