A♠K♥ vs a Preflop Reraise, what do you do here?
DECISION POINT: In a Cash Game, two Middle Position players and the Cutoff call. You raise from the Button with A♠K♥. It folds around to the Cutoff who reraises. Action is on you, what do you do here?
PRO ANSWER: In a $2-5 cash game, three players limp into the pot, you raise on the button to $30 with AK, the first two limpers fold, but the third limper reraises to $90. What do you do?
After three limpers, raising with AK is crucial to maximizing your value on the hand. This hand performs poorly in multiway pots, since so much of the time it only flops one pair.
We are also well ahead of the wide and weak hand ranges of middle position limpers. After being reraised, we must reevaluate our assessment of our opponent’s hand range to determine our best course of action.
One of the keys to understanding this hand is that our perceived hand range when raising limpers on the button can be quite wide. Many opponents would believe that we might take this action with a variety of hands, most of which are significantly weaker than AK. This means that their reraising range does not necessarily correspond to only premium hands, since they may believe that their reraise can get us to fold much of the time.
The second major key to this hand is that our opponent limped in behind two limpers. This reduces the probability that they hold a premium hand, since most players would choose to raise with their good hands after two players have already limped.
The last key to this hand is the strength of AK itself. This hand is a premium hand, not just because it has significant equity against most hands our opponents hold, but because it also reduces the probability that our opponent holds a super premium hand such as AA or KK. The fact that we hold both an Ace and a King reduces the number of combinations of AA or KK that our opponent can hold.
All these factors together making reraising the correct play. Since a standard reraise is well more than half our opponent’s remaining stack, we should simply move all-in.
Moving all-in is the best play.
What would you do here?
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