Playing A 9 Suited early in tourney

Question by dacoach1122 Posted

Here is a situation that I need assistance. Your in the cutoff seat and you are dealt A 9 suited and its early in the tournament. Blinds are say 50/100. 3 players limp in and the play is on you. You do not have a good read on the players and everyone still has a decent amount of chips. What is your play? Do you limp in as well? Raise 3BB or how much do you raise?


  1. Too many people like to play a ton of hands early in tournaments. Because of that, with 3 limpers, a 3BB raise is going to get called by all the limpers and probably at least the big blind. Probably even a raise to 5 or 6 big blinds will get a few calls because of the dead money from the limps. So, I think you either have to make a really big raise (like 10 big blinds) or just call. Of those 2 options, I like limping better than raising really big with a hand as weak as A-9 suited, particularly since there are other players yet to act on their hands. Not only could flop a really big hand, but you have position on the other limpers that have already entered the pot, so you can bet if you flop a flush draw and they check to you.


  2. It depends on stack sizes, positions the players limped from, any reads about the players who limped and who are yet to act, and my table image. If the first limper was UTG or UTG+1 and I have not seen that player limp yet from that position, then I limp behind in case the first limper is planning to limp/re-raise with a premium hand. If the first limper came in from MP, then my default play is to raise to 500. I expect one or two callers this early in the tournament. My plan would be to continuation bet 800 (into a pot of about 1750) and give up if I get one caller unless my hand hit the flop well or I have a specific read that my opponent will fold to more pressure. Usually you will take down the pot with a flop continuation bet unless one of your two opponents flopped at least top pair or a good draw.

  3. I think the most important thing besides everything that has already been mentioned is how the table has been playing. Has it been aggressive or passive? Have peeps been calling raises a lot after limping in? Personally, I don't want to go to a flop with 7-8 players and have an ace flop out just to lose to two scraggly pairs from the blinds. If the table has been passive, I would raise to around 600. If it's been aggressive, I would limp in. You need to mix up your play and not have only one way to play each situation. If you don't, the good players who pay attention will get way too good of a read on your play and that certainly won't be to your advantage.

  4. If you're deep (>100BB which is rare for low buy-in tournaments) you can limp and take a flop. Folding is fine too. Raising, getting called, and flopping a K-hi flop puts you in a tough spot.