You are at a nine-handed tournament table with 25/50 blinds

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You are at a nine-handed tournament table with 25/50 blinds. A smart, aggressive player opens the action UTG+1 with a raise to 150, leaving 600 chips behind. The action folds to you in the SB, holding AQo. I recommend folding.

Fold Ace-Queen?! But heӳ an aggressive player! What if heӳ stealing?

I did say he was aggressive, but I also said he was smart, and smart players donӴ often invest 20% of their stacks in early position with hands that canӴ stand some action. In fact, it would be reasonable to put him on a range of {AQo+, AJs+, 88+} and assume that he wonӴ fold any of these hands pre-flop. Given that your AQ has less than 40% equity against this range of hands, your best play is to fold.

A similar situation arises if the same player makes the same raise UTG+1 to 150 with 2000 chips behind, but there are 4 or 5 players left to act with 500 chips or fewer. These players are getting desperate and may jam a somewhat wide range even against an early position raiser. Thus, a strong player opening the action must realize that if any of these short stacks wakes up with something halfway decent, he will be playing for 500 chips rather than for 150. Once again, you should proceed with caution and possibly just fold hands like AQ, even if your read is that the raiser is generally loose and aggressive with his opening requirements.


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