A♥K♠ vs Multiway Flop, what do you do here?

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DECISION POINT:
In a Tournament, Middle Position player calls and you raise from MP2 with A♥K♠. The Hijack, Button and Middle Position player call. The Flop comes 8♠8♦4♦. The Middle Position player checks. Action is on you, what do you do here?

PRO ANSWER: A Middle Position player open limps in a live tournament, you raise with AK and get multiple callers. What do you do on this flop?

We are in a live tournament with medium stacks around the table. After a single player limped into the pot in front of us, we raised holding a premium hand (AK). However, our raise failed to thin the field and we got two more callers in addition to the limper, creating a 4-way pot going to the flop.

This flop, despite having a flush draw present, is relatively dry due to the fact that it’s a paired board. Paired boards are more difficult to connect with compared to unpaired boards, since there are fewer cards in the deck that connect with it.

Continued below...

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However, after it checks to us our continuation betting strategy must take into account the number of players that saw the flop. In this case, with 3 opponents, a continuation bet will fail to take down the pot uncontested often enough to show a long term profit. Therefore, we should check and be willing to fold this hand. We cannot profitably fight the multiway nature of this pot. Checking and being willing to fold is the best play.

Too many players let the preflop hand strength of hands like AK affect their assessment of its profitability postflop. In this case, due to the fact that we didn’t hit and because of the number of opponents, we should simply check and be willing to get away from this hand.

Checking is the best play.

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