Flopped a Pair with A♥8♥, what do you do here?

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DECISION POINT:
You are in a Tournament at 500/1,000 blinds with a 1,000 big blind ante and it folds to you in the Cutoff with A♥8♥. You raise to 2,500, the Button raises to 7,500, both Blinds fold, and you call. You check the 3♠8♣4♥ flop and the Button continuation bets 4,500. Action is on you, what do you do here?

PRO ANSWER: We are in a tournament where blinds are 500/1,000 with a big blind ante. It folds to us in the Cutoff with 50 big blinds in our stack and Ah8h. We open to 2,500 (2.5BBs) and the Button raises to 7,500 (7.5BBs). All other players fold and it is back to us.

If we were playing against a tighter player on the Button who is not capable of reraising with a wide range here, this would certainly be a reasonable hand to just fold preflop.

However, if we are folding this hand against a good, aggressive player on the Button then we are folding far too often when we open. We do make the call and see a flop.

The flop is 3s8c4h. We check and our opponent makes a small continuation bet of 4,500 (4.5BBs) into the 17,500 (17.5BB) pot.

While our opponent does have a range advantage in this spot, a good opponent will be using a mixed strategy of reraising preflop both with big overpairs and a ton of hands that include a lot of overcards, they will also be reraising with any two broadway cards some percentage of the time as a part of a mixed strategy.

Continued below…

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Because this is a low stack to pot ratio (SPR) situation (the SPR is ~3) we are incentivized to get money in the pot on earlier streets.

Combine this with the fact that our hand benefits greatly from denying equity against hands like KQs that have a reasonable number of outs, raising starts to look like a much more preferable play than just calling here.

Our hand has a lot of equity against our opponent's range and is also very vulnerable to overcards on the turn. Protecting the value of our hand and denying cheap turn cards dictates our correct strategy.

Raising is the best play.

How would you play it?
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