Ace-King Offsuit Versus a Straddle and Reraise - What Do You Do?
DECISION POINT: You’re in a $2/$5 cash game, and the player under the gun straddles. The next player to act raises, then another player in middle position reraises. It folds to you in the hijack seat where you’ve been dealt .
PRO ANSWER: In this $2/$5 cash game, the UTG player chooses to straddle to $10. Note that stacks at this table are relatively deep, as we have 150 big blinds to start the hand and several players cover us. We can treat the straddle as a third blind, which means we now effectively have 75 big blinds (750 divided by 10) to start the hand.
The UTG+1 player makes it $40 to go or 4x the straddle, then the middle position player chooses to reraise to $140. The positions and stacks of these players are crucial to understanding the correct play in this scenario. The range of hands we can put both of these players on should be very narrow by default.
The UTG+1 player will often have a relatively narrow hand range due to having chosen to raise from early position. Meanwhile the middle-position player’s range of hands should be even narrower, since this player is choosing to reraise an early position player and both players are relatively deep.
As a default, we would put the middle-position player on [QQ+, AK+] — that is, a range of pocket queens or better, and ace-king. Versus this range we have less than 40 percent equity. Continuing in this situation will not be profitable in the long run. Calling is also unprofitable, as we will miss the flop the majority of the time and we usually will fail to win a big pot when we do hit and our hand is good.
Folding is by far the best play in this scenario.
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