Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Turning AK into a bluff on the river

I just played a $10 match on Stars against what I would call an average HU player for that stake, and this hand was certainly the most interesting point. It involved a note that I had made earlier:
"- check 77 in BB after button limp; call down on Jxxx"
This guy was fairly passive, a little past the point of being just trappy. Shortly after the hand where he checked 77 in the BB, I saw him do a similar thing with 88, checking in the BB after I limped and flat calling on an A42 flop (I had Q4, and made trips on the river, which might have taught him his lesson). I'd also observed him limping middling aces on the button. So I had made a mental note that this guy liked to slowplay fairly strong hands preflop.

Poker Stars, $110,506.46 + $0.50 NL Hold'em Tournament, 15/30 Blinds, 2 Players - Hand History Converter

BB: 1,520
Hero (BTN): 1,480

Pre-Flop: (45) K A dealt to Hero (BTN)
Hero raises to 75, BB calls 45

Flop: (150) 6 6 T (2 Players)
BB checks, Hero bets 100BB raises to 240, Hero calls 140

At this point I knew I was behind, but his very smallish raise intrigued me. I figured it meant one of two things: either he had a 6 or a very strong ten (or TT), or some other pair, 77-99 or JJ-QQ (AA & KK being less likely because of my AK). I did not consider a flush draw, as raising a draw was not congruent with this opponent's relatively tight/passive style. I also had the Ad, for whatever that was worth. So either he had the nuts, or I had outs, and given the odds his tiny raise laid, I decided to peel the turn.

Turn: (630) 3 (2 Players)
BB bets 240, Hero calls 240

I'm now pretty confident that he has some sort of pair, probably JJ+ since he doesn't seem afraid of the ten, and the turned diamond gave me the nut flush draw to go with my two overcards. Getting roughly 3.5 to 1, I call.

River: (1,110) T (2 Players)
BB bets 330Hero raises to 925 and is All-In, BB folds

At first, this river looks like a brick for me. My flush draw is busted, my overs missed, and any ten just filled up. But the second ten on the board makes it less likely that my opponent holds a ten, and when he pauses and bets only about 1/3 of his stack/the pot, I consider my read up until this point and look at how my actions appeared to him; small preflop raise, bet/call on the flop, call on the turn. This doesn't look like a busted flush draw, and it certainly doesn't look like AK, because only a donk would play AK this way. It looks like a medium ten; T9, JT, QT, KT, and possibly AT. After about 1.5 seconds I decide to go with my read and stick it in. Opponent tanks off his entire 60 second time bank and folds.

Results: 1,770 Pot
Hero showed K A and WON 1,770 (+900 NET)

Thoughts, comments, and criticisms appreciated.

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