A♥T♦ vs an Aggressive Player, what do you do here?
DECISION POINT: In a live $1-2 game it folds to the Small Blind who raises to $5. You call from the Big Blind with A♥T♦. The SB leads out on the A♦Q♣8♥ flop and you call. The Turn is the 4♦ and your opponent checks. Action is on you, what do you do here?
PRO ANSWER: We are dealt ATo in the Big Blind in a $1-2 cash game and action folds around to the Small Blind who raises to $5. Our default is to reraise here with ATo considering it is well ahead of a SB opening hand range. In this instance, however we have a player specific read that our opponent is very aggressive and capable of 4-betting (raising our reraise) with a very wide range that includes many bluffs. We decide to call here rather than risk playing a $400+ pot with just ATo.
The flop is AdQc8h and our opponent leads for $7. A big part of our preflop plan assumes our opponent is quite aggressive and smooth calling under-represents our hand strength. Although this board is quite coordinated we do hold the Td blocking some of our opponent’s more common straight draws. Given their very wide range and aggressiveness we would much prefer to continue by calling.
The turn is the 4d and our opponent checks. We do know they are capable of making some bluffs and plays, so there is some concern about getting check-raised here. Considering how many hands we have in this blind versus blind confrontation facing a very loose player, we can safely assume ATo is well toward the top end of our overall range here.
While many players would be content to just take the hand to showdown, this is an excellent spot to pick up some extra value. If our opponent check-raises we are likely forced to call given our knowledge of their level of aggression and how high up our hand is in our overall range.
This is a still a good spot to value bet a reasonable percentage of the time.
Betting is the correct play.
What would you do here?
Share your answer in the comments below!
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