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Pocket Kings vs. a Check-Raise on an Ace-High Flop

Pocket Kings vs. a Check-Raise on an Ace-High Flop

DECISION POINT: In a $2/$5 no-limit hold'em cash game, a player in early position raises, then you reraise with {k-Hearts}{k-Diamonds}. It folds around to the EP player who calls, and the flop comes {a-Hearts}{5-Hearts}{3-Diamonds}. Your opponent checks, you bet, and your opponent raises all in. Action is on you...

PRO ANSWER: As a default, going to the flop we could put Villain on a hand range that includes pocket pairs, big Broadway aces, and some occasional suited Broadway hands. However, once the player check-raises all in after we continuation bet on this ace-high flop, Villain's range of hands narrows significantly.

We shouldn't assume our opponent will check-raise all in here with hands such as {j-}{j-} or {10-}{10-} that we dominate. Most opponents won't take that action with those hands.

Our assessment of Villain's hand range must change after the check-raise shove on the flop. After the check-raise, we could put our opponent on a range of big aces, sets, and occasional flush draws with a hand like {q-Hearts}{j-Hearts}. Against that range, we are well behind with {k-Hearts}{k-Diamonds} and should just fold our hand.

Even though we will sometimes be folding the best hand, we are too far behind Villain's range to continue here.

Folding is the best play.

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