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This week I had this peculiar situation. The villain is 60+ old black woman who came and sat next to me with about 100$ on $1/$2 and ofcourse with a stone-cold grim-poker-face with no smile. She folded her first 5 hands.

Now, I am in the early middle position and my stack is about 280$.

Hero: A♥Q♣ raises to 12$

The lady next to me decides to play this hand and calls. All others including SB and BB fold their hands.

Flop: A♣9♠8♥

Hero bets 20, the old-lady calls fairly quickly after looking at her cards.

Now, all of a sudden she decides to play a hand and decides not to fold.

How do you play from here?

Turn: J⋄

What should I do here and how would you play here? How do you play pre-flop and on flop with this hand and how will your betting structure be on $1/$2?

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Generally in these sorts of spots you want to be betting for value because $1/$2 live players will call with all sorts of worse Ax hands and draws.

This turn card isn't great for us because AJ is now ahead and AT picked up some equity vs us. But still, she bought in for only 50bbs so without better reads that she could be a tight player I would just bet/call on the turn here and jam safe rivers if she calls a turn bet. Even when we're behind we have a gutshot - we're just not deep enough to fold this hand in this spot imo.

Also, the fact that she folded her first 5 hands is fairly meaningless. It is very easy to get 10-20 unplayable hands in a row, even for a loose player at FR.

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Yeah, I agree that we don't have enough information about her but I want to know how you would bet-size if you are betting (or differently on pre and post flop). Now after she called the flop she has committed 35% of her stack. – Subs Aug 20 '12 at 21:29
You mean 32%? I think pre is on the big side but it depends on the make up of the rest of the table - if they're all willing to call $12 with worse Ax hands then it's quite fine to raise that much if not more. Flop sizing is fine. OTT she has $68 left and the pot is $64 so I think I like betting something small like $22 with the intention of calling a shove or shoving blank rivers. – Silversana Aug 21 '12 at 0:55

lets review the not suited situation. So you have AQ.

She sat in with a short stack and was playing tight for a while. Usually a goal of players like that - to find a perfect moment to go all in and to double up. And your goal is to catch them with better hand and to avoid getting into trap with marginal hand :)

Pre-flop raise is always reasonable with that hand. That will help to eliminate trash hands. After the flop - I would play this hand as a marginal hand (carefully). This is a cash game, not tournament. Big pots are usually being won with 2 pairs or higher.

Consider making small continuation bet. No more than 35% and not less than your previous bet. With $26 in the pot - $12-$15 is ok. Good sign for you if she folds or just calls. Bet 18-20 on the turn and the same on the river if she keeps calling. If she has marginal hand - she will less likely to raise you, and small bet will eliminate bluff possibility. Your goal is is to win the slightly elevated pot with a best hand on the river. And you most probably will have the best hand on the river if she just calls, otherwise she will reraise you before the river.

Small bet will protect you from her bigger bet in case if you check. Called "protective bet." Small bet will allow you to keep the pot small and controllable.

Think of the boxers jab. Small punches to keep the opponent disballanced, while avoiding opponents big swings and looking for a moment to finish him at his first mistake.

So if she just calls that's good for you. Push her with small bets, do not reraise, do not go crazy.

If she suddenly reraises all in or bets big (>75% of the pot) on a straight danger - probably it may make sense to fold and to study her range better, looking at her next hands. But use your read and follow your instincts to make this decision :) Even if there is a chance that she bluffs - its pretty small, since its a cash game.

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If you bet small, would it not allow for the possibility of the villan improving his/her hand by calling low bet for a 2-pair or lowest set. – Subs Aug 24 '12 at 0:05
everything is possible. 1)Set: how often your opponent will catch a set ? Maybe 5 times out of 100. Good thing that its possible that tight short stacked player will reraise you all in when he/she catches a set. Beware of these sudden all-ins and remember what kind of player you're agaist. 2) Possibility to catch 2 pair - if he's playing A-x. Well, there is a chance of that also. But also its less likely. Play with caution. 3) the worst opponents hand for this case would be J-10. If Q comes on the river- you'll have 2 pair and the opponent will score a straight. Gotta trust your instincts :) – Dmitriy Naumov Aug 24 '12 at 0:25

I think your flop bet is a bit big. You should still value bet the turn, anywhere from $30 to $40 seems okay. With how small her stack is, you may want to bet her all-in on the river for value on a blank, you'll certainly bet all-in if you improve. There's a good chance this player will call off the last of her chips with any Ax hand on the river.

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What would you do if she pushes allin when you bet 30-40$ on turn? – Subs Sep 5 '12 at 22:14

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