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Opponent is a good, thinking semi-loose regular, capable of almost all the things you'd imagine. 28/21/2.5 (VPIP/PFR/AF) over ~1200 hands.

This is early in this particular session although we've played quite a bit together over the week. I'm pretty sure we were targeting the same people, and generally avoiding each other.

$6 NL (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players

SB: $1190
Hero (BB): $1904
UTG: $2502
MP: $1067
CO: $912
BTN: $1215

Pre Flop: Hero on BB has A♥ T♠
3 folds, BTN raises to $26, 1 fold, Hero calls to $20

Flop: ($55, 2 players) T♥ 8♣ 9♣
Hero checks, BTN checks

Turn: ($55, 2 players) 4♣
Hero bets $39, BTN calls $39

River: ($133) 4⋄
Hero?

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Toby, as one of the more active members you might want to consider setting a good example by accepting some answers and upvoting quality content as you see it. –  Michael McGowan Jan 24 '12 at 0:55
    
What do you think I've been doing?! –  Toby Booth Jan 24 '12 at 1:54
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You have a 0% accept rate and it looks like you've only upvoted 3 posts. Sorry, I didn't mean to offend you. I normally would mind my own business except that the 0% jumped out at me, it's early in the beta, and you are one of the influential posters. –  Michael McGowan Jan 24 '12 at 3:16
    
What you deem a quality post is not necessarily the same as me. And yes, I'm more judicious with my approval than most. I may seem harsh, but I'm fair. Also, like you say, it's early in the beta. Most of my own questions have one, maybe two responses, even though 200+ committals are supposedly active on this site. I'm allowing time to gather more perspectives before I decide to "accept". I wonder if that's even possible for a hand history?! That said I'm always open to advice and I'll review all my activities and perhaps be more of a 'beta liberal' with the praise! –  Toby Booth Jan 24 '12 at 12:51
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I agree with Toby, with regards to poker there is no definite answer therefore there should be less pressure to accept answers. –  Tom Gullen Jan 24 '12 at 21:59

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I think the only way you're beat here is if villain turned a flush. With such a wet board, I think villain would have pushed QQ+, sets, 2 pair, or a straight earlier in the hand. Since our line doesn't look too strong, when he calls the turn bet, he could be calling with any pair (even a lower pocket pair), and even overs with a gutshot, planning to re-evaluate the turn.

We are way ahead hands I think he could get to the river with:

        equity   win     tie     pots won  pots tied    
Hand 0: 83.333%  81.56%  01.77%  115       2.50      { AhTs }
Hand 1: 16.667%  14.89%  01.77%  21        2.50      { JJ, 77-22, AcKc, AQs-A8s, Ac7c, Ac6c, Ac5c, Ac4c, Ah4h, Ac3c, Ac2c, KTs+, QTs-Q9s, J9s+, AQo-A8o, KJo+, JTo }

As for our river action, if we check and he bets, we will beat enough of his paired T, 8 and 9 hands that he could value bet to offset the flushes. If we choose to bet, we need to figure out what his calling range will be, and what his raising range will be? So far, our line is indicative of:

  1. A set/straight that missed a c/r on the flop
  2. A flush
  3. The hand we have, possibly down to a medium 8 or 9.
  4. A trash hand that is bluffing the flush.

Given that range for us, it will probably be tough for him to call with a hand that we beat. Also, given our fairly wide range, I think it would be pretty bad for villain to bluff raise here - I think that we would have to fold to a raise.

Since villain will be able to value bet more hands than he can call a bet with, I'd check/call any reasonable bet (less than $100).

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That initial bet smells of a middle pair. If he had 8's or 9's then you are beat bad. Your bet could read like a Flush, but I would suspect bluff.

I think the best bet here is a bet of 1/3ps. If he comes over the top strong I think I would give him credit for the hand and fold.

I think that the Check/Call option invites villain to take a stab at the pot, and if he has a full house then he could bet far more than you were prepared. If I(as villain) was going to semi-bluff I would go heavy handed pushing all in. But being me I do not want to call ~1100 with 10's. Similarly, if I as villain was playing 8's or 9's I do not want to give you the read cheap and go heavy too. The only value bet I make is 4-4s or the wheel, which would both beat what you have tried to represent. So basically a Check for me equates to a fold on any bet. I think Hero probably has the winning hand and I would hate to check fold with it.

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What hands will villain call $45 with that we beat? If anything, a bet of $45 will induce a raise from hands that we beat, putting us in a tough spot. I also don't think villain is going to be shoving here with any of his range - that would be a 10x pot shove, and I'm happy to lay this hand down getting just about 1:1. –  Chris Marasti-Georg Jan 23 '12 at 19:42
    
@ChrisMarasti-Georg - I do not want Villain to call. The OP has said that the villain has avoided tangling with him. I would expect the villain to play him more conservatively. More likely to call than raise unless he has a really big hand. And no I do not want a call. But I really do not want a PSB to be called and I am not calling anything but the smallest value bet if I check. In this position I want to put a little pressure on the villain and see if he backs down or is willing to pay me off. –  Chad Jan 23 '12 at 20:02
    
So you are running a post oak bluff with top pair? –  Chris Marasti-Georg Jan 23 '12 at 20:38
    
@ChrisMarasti-Georg - Yes. I would call it a semi bluff because I believe it is the best hand. If we get a straight call I think we win its only to see what cards we played. If the villain had a royal pair he might lay it down. But what I really want is not to show my hand to villain. –  Chad Jan 23 '12 at 21:20
    
A semi-bluff relies on the ability to make a better hand on a future street. One the river, a bluff is a bluff. Further, I feel that keeping your hand from being shown is a terrible reason to bet. You really think that having this guy know that you defended your BB with ATo and then bet the turn is going to help him? –  Chris Marasti-Georg Jan 23 '12 at 22:17

You have two choices. Bet small (1/3 to 1/5 pot) and get value from his 55 or AQ or A8.

If you bet 3/4 pot you have a way to ordinary line and it looks like youre trying to get value form a good hand, such as flush or what you got.

I would bet about 5/4 pot to make it look like a bluff. They love to hero call here when it looks like youre trying to push him off something medium. Especially against thinking people who like to overthink.

Checking here is extremely dumb and wishful thinking at best: He will never bet or bluff anything he can have here. He is looking for a cheap showdown, dont give it to him.

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