Tens Facing an All-In, what do you do here?

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DECISION POINT: In a Tournament where blinds are 1400/2800 it folds to you in the Hijack. Your raise with Q♥T♠ and both the Small Blind and Big Blind call. Flop comes T♣5♦7♣ and both Blinds check. You continuation bet, the SB goes all-in, the BB folds, and action is on you. What do you do here?

PRO ANSWER: Somewhat late in a tournament with 1400/2800 blinds and a 350 ante it is folded to us in the Hijack with QTo. We make a standard raise for this level of 5750 and are called by both the Small Blind and the Big Blind.

The flop is Tc5d7c. We’ve flopped top pair with an okay kicker on a fairly coordinated board against two opponents. It is checked to us and we have a decision to make. The blinds are very likely to have wide ranges in this situation as they were getting very compelling odds preflop with the small standard raise size and the antes.

This is a spot where we likely have the best hand, but there are a lot of bad turn cards for us both for our ability to extract value and for our equity in the hand. Betting here is a must and we choose to bet a little over half pot, or 12,350 into a 20,400 pot.

Continued below...

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Our opponent in the Small Blind moves all-in for 51,200 and the Big Blind folds. A major factor to consider in this situation is the overall stack depth. At shallower stacks our opponents will move all-in with much wider ranges because the money in the middle is much more meaningful to their stacks. The starting stack to pot ratio (SPR) in this hand was just over 2. As a general rule, when the SPR is 3 or below getting all-in with 1-pair against 1 to 2 opponents in similar spots is reasonable play.

In this instance it was less than that. On this particular board our opponent could be moving all-in with a wide variety of hands including a flush draw, a straight draw, worse Tx hands, some 7x hands, and also some better hands (such as T7s).

Their overall range in this situation though is likely to be behind ours AND we are getting around 2:1 pot odds so we only need around 33% equity in this spot and it’s quite likely we are actually ahead.

Calling is the correct play.

What would you do here?
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