A♠Q♠ on an Ace High Flop, what do you do here?

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DECISION POINT: In a Tournament where blinds are 1,500/3,000 you raise from Under the Gun with A♠Q♠. It folds around to the Big Blind who reraises and you call. On the A♥T♣8♣ flop Villain checks and action is on you. What do you do here?

PRO ANSWER: We are dealt AQs UTG in a Tournament at 1,500/3,000 blinds with a 3,000 big blind ante. We make a standard raise to 8,000 and it is folded around to the Big Blind who reraises to 28,000.

If we had opponent specific knowledge that Villain was only capable of doing this with a very narrow range we could make an exploitative fold. However, given that we are in position postflop and getting better than 2:1 pot odds with AQs, calling is very reasonable.

The flop is AhTc8c and our opponent checks. This is one of the better flops for our hand and is also a great flop for our opponent’s range. We would expect them to continuation bet this flop with a very high frequency. When our opponent elects to check here it should indicate something specific about their range to us.

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With a stack to pot ratio (SPR) of less than 2 we really can’t ever consider folding this flop. However, a check by Villain in this spot indicates a likely range consisting of big pairs like JJ/QQ/KK that are scared on this flop, or bigger hands looking to induce bluffs out of us.

Even though this is one of the better flops we could possibly hit with our range, in order to maximize our value against their possible range we want to induce action from as many of their JJ-KK type holdings as we can.

Given the preflop and flop action it is highly unlikely they have a significant draw so giving a free card here isn’t very risky.

Checking is the best play.

How would you play it?
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