April 7, 2010 8:57:53 AM EDT
I think that this is a situation that you can easily fold AQ. I know a lot of people will be critical of letting AQos go here, but there are a lot of reasons to do so.
I agree with AJ in that the play of just flatting w/ AQ puts you in an impossible situation if an Ace hits the flop. If villian bets this flop, you're likley coming along. If he shoves the flop, you're faced with a really tough spot. I'd rule out the passive play of a call here just because it makes the play too difficult after the flop by playing passively with a flat. AQos, isn't really a trappy kind of hand.
Now to look at the 3-bet. I don't hate this play, but you have to ask several questions prior to making this play. 3 betting AQ is sometimes a great play, and sometimes a disaster. In this spot, the first question is how much are you going to raise. I agree that a $45k raise here is about right. You have to raise to a minimum of $30k, and account for the blinds and the initial raiser, so maybe even to $52500 would be the right amount. But $45k is alright. The next question is stack size of your opponent, and does he have fold equity. Because Villian has more than twice your stack, there is little risk in him getting hyper aggressive, and he can be on a huge range. So calling your 3bet from out of position may happen, but shoving your bet is a very HIGH probability. By committing yourself to making the pot at least $72,300, you're risking a little less than 30% of your stack here, so you're going to have to take it to war in a 4bet shove, which means calling $104k and hoping that you're up against AJ or a smaller Ace, or in a flip. You can't really fold to the 4bet because you're then just leaving yourself with 20BB's. At this stage of the tournament, you don't really want to risk that much with just AQos.
The big reason you fold pre flop here is that there simply aren't that many hands that you're THAT ahead of that make taking this to the matt cost effective. AQ is only a 60-40 against hands like KJ, and you've only got hands that have a weaker Ace crushed. Given that villian is openening to 3x from UTG+1, I would range him on a pair, or absolutely AK. The other options are pair's that have you crushed, or a smaller pair where you're just a flip to win. At this stage, it just doesn't make sense to flip when you have your M.
So to recap, fold this hand preflop, and wait for a better spot.
Now, had this been an open raise from someone that would be risking stacking off to you, then a 3bet makes total sense. But running AQ into the chip leader at this stage of the event is not a great idea.