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AJ in SB with 20 BBs in MTT – Hand of the Week 2A

In the newest Hand of the Week segment, Courtney Gee “donkbee” looks at a blind battle – AJo in the SB against an unknown BB with around a 20 BB stack. What is the optimal play when folded to Hero? She approaches different raise sizes and how your position should affect your preflop action.

Part I | Part II >>

Discuss this video in our Poker Forum: AJ in SB with 20 BBs in MTT – Hand of the Week 2A Forum Thread

Full Transcript

Hey guys, this is Courtney Gee from Flop Turn River. This video is part one of two here talking about a hand where we have ace-jack here in the small blind with and around 18 big blinds in our stack. Part one will talk about pre-flop action and part two will talk about post-flop. In this particular hand, the action actually folds to us here in the small blind. It is a blind versus blind hand and let us assume we have no reeds on the big blind. It is probably pretty obvious to most of you that the decision is going to be about how much to raise pre-flop since we cannot exactly fold and limping against an unknown is usually a bad idea with ace-jack, since we want to be raising for value.

How much should we raise? One option is to go all in; we have around 18 big blinds in our stack and that would be an easy play. However, while it will make you some chips, we are definitely losing some value by jamming because the big blind is almost always going to fold. We would rather not do that, we would rather get some value out of worst hands.

How much should we raise then? We could min. raise and that is actually what the original Hero decided to do. In this hand there is a little under $15,000.00. While that is a lot better than going all in, I still do not like it as much as perhaps raising a little bit more. I would prefer to raise around two and a half or three times the blind, so around $18,000.00 to $20,000.00 chips. There is a few reasons why I might prefer to raise a little bit more. The first reason is that, if the big blind were to have a good hand, if they have a hand that they think beats us, it is a lot more appealing for him to go all in; against us if we raise bigger.

We would like to do whatever we can to induce a jam and raising more pre-flop is one way to do that. Another reason to raise more pre-flop is that we are going to be out of position post-flop, so if he does decide to call we should raise a little bit more if we are going to be out of position. Then, another reason that I can think of to raise more pre-flop is that it is a lot easier to get it in post-flop if we do end up seeing a flop.

I will talk about that, like I said, in the next video, all about post-flop. This is what the flop actually ends up being and so in the next video I will talk about why min raising pre-flop makes it a little bit awkward to play post-flop. Then I will show you what it looks like if we were to raise a little bit more pre-flop.

That is it for pre-flop action in this video. I will leave you with a question, however. Earlier when we were talking about our options pre-flop, I mentioned that we usually should not be limping against an unknown. However, if we had some reeds, this might change. In your opinion, I guess, against what kind of opponents can we limp? Let me know what you think about it in the comments. Thanks for watching and see you in part two.

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