A♦K♣ vs a Preflop All-In, what do you do here?
DECISION POINT: In a Tournament where blinds are 500/1000, an Under the Gun player raises to 2000. You reraise to 6000 from Middle Position with A♦K♣. It folds around to UTG and they go all-in. Action is on you, what do you do here?
PRO ANSWER: Whenever we are considering calling a preflop all-in, we can run through a similar decision-making process. Note that this is not something we do on the fly, but we can do it readily away from the table and come up with decent estimates during the hand.
First, determine our pot odds and equity needed to call. In this case, we are considering calling off 19k to play a total pot of 52.5k, so we need 19/52.5 or 36% equity in order to call this all-in.
Second, determine our hand's equity against our opponent's likely range. In this spot, let’s say that Villain’s 4-bet shoving range is a very tight JJ+, AK. Using an equity calculator, we know that against that range our hand has 40% equity. Since we have more than the required equity, we should call.
Even if we narrow it further to only QQ+AK, we still have 39% equity. In order to consider folding AK here, we would have to know that our opponent never 4-bets with AK or QQ.
That isn’t reasonable, since even tight opponents will put us all-in at this stack depth with those hands most of the time. Against any reasonable opponent hand range, this is a very profitable call with AK.
We can simplify this down to a reasonable guideline for AK preflop: if we are heads-up and getting better than 1.5 to 1 pot odds to call an all-in, we should not fold, even against a very narrow hand range. Against wider hand ranges, we are often a favorite with AK and do not need to be laid odds to call.
Calling the all-in is the best play.
How would you play it?
Share your answer in the comments below!