Top Pair Facing an All-in, what do you do here?
DECISION POINT: In a Tournament, you raise from Under the Gun with A♠K♥ and get called by a Middle Position player and the Small Blind. On the 9♠A♦7♠ flop the SB checks, you lead out, and MP1 (who you know well and plays both medium strength made hands and draws extremely passively) goes all-in. The SB folds and action is on you, what do you do here?
PRO ANSWER: We made a standard opening raise in early position and got two callers. We flop top pair with top kicker and a backdoor flush draw on a coordinated board.
We’ve observed Villain playing many medium strength made hands and draws passively on the flop in the past.
On the flop we make a continuation bet of just over half the pot and Villain shoves for 160K. This is a spot where normally we would be able to put a MP player on a range of both made hands (some of which we beat and some of which we don’t) and a wide variety of reasonable draws. Against this range and with this Stack to Pot Ratio (SPR) we would, by default, snap-call in this spot with our hand.
However, given the historical information we have on them, many of the hands we beat in this situation that most opponents have in their range, such as draws and worse one pair hands, are likely NOT in our opponent’s range.
Once we remove most of those hands from Villian’s range, their range becomes heavily weighted toward two pair and sets.
So while we would normally snap-call here against most opponents, against this specific opponent who plays most non-nut hands passively, we can make an exploitative fold.
Folding is the best play against this opponent.
How would you play it?
Share your answer in the comments below!
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