K♠K♣ on the River, what do you do here?
DECISION POINT: In a live $2-5 game, an Under the Gun player raises to $15 and you reraise from UTG+1 with K♠K♣. A Middle Position player 4-bets to $125, it folds around to you and you call. You check on the Q♥7♦4♣ flop as does your opponent. You bet the 3♥ turn and Villain calls. The river comes 3♣ and action is on you. What do you do here?
PRO ANSWER: We have pocket kings preflop and UTG raises to $15. This is a great spot for us to reraise as we are significantly ahead of an UTG opening range and we reraise to $55. The player to our immediate left cold four bets to $125. A cold four bet is when a player who has no prior money invested into the pot raises a preflop reraise (making the fourth bet after the Blind, the raise, and the reraise). After an early position raise and reraise, MP1 should have a very narrow range, something like QQ+/AK and maybe sometimes JJ/AQs from looser players.
Typically we are happy just to get all the money in preflop with pocket kings in a 100BB effective stack cash game. Given we both started the hand with over 250BBs, getting it all in this deep preflop with our kings may not be good. This is a spot where it’s beneficial to keep our opponent’s range as wide as possible preflop and call with our kings.
The flop is Q-7-4 rainbow and it checks through. The lack of a continuation bet from our opponent is odd on this dry board. It could be that they missed with AK and recognize we have a very strong hand range here or perhaps they are slow playing a monster like QQ.
The turn is the 3h and we bet just under half the pot and get called. It is possible our opponent would peel a card here with an unimproved AK. They could also have a hand like JJ/AQs in their preflop range and are just trying to manage the pot size. Premium pairs such as AA/KK may act the same and they could still be slow playing QQ.
The river is another 3 making this a very awkward spot. Our opponent has some medium strength hands we beat, the occasional AK high, and a monster. A bet here would be designed to extract some value from hands such as AQs/JJ, which may not have been in their preflop range. Checking here keeps the pot small and allows our opponent to occasionally bluff with their AK type hands.
This is a spot where if we had opponent specific information on how wide our opponent’s preflop range is here we could easily swing this from a check/call to a bet/fold.
Given we don’t have any specific information on our opponent and there are more AK combos that might bluff when checked to than worse hands in their range that could call a bluff, the best play is to check and call any reasonable bet. .
The best default play is to check.
How would you play it?
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