Game is 1/2 NL at the Venetian.

Hero has approx 225. Villain has 700-800; not particularly stellar player IMO but made money on splash pots. Villain is super tight post-flop and hero repeatedly bluffed her off small-pot hands with flop c-bets.

Hero has A-8 offsuit in late position relative to opponents (don’t recall exact spot). Raises to $10 and gets two callers.

Flop is Qd-10d-8x

Checks to hero who bets $15. Folds to villain who calls

Turn is 8 (not diamond)

Villain bets ~35. Hero thinks and goes all-in.


Villain thinks about it for about 2 minutes and finally calls. Hero is overjoyed as he's convinced villain has Q-10. River is a blank and villain reveals J-9s for the straight, beating the hero's trips.


3 Answers 3


5 bb is a hefty open pre flop. I am surprised you got a call from J9s OOP. It seems like TT+ would have re-raised. I would put villain on like AK, AQ, or KQ.

Bet 1/2 the pot with bottom pair is OK. I think I would have checked or bet the pot. Villain could be on both a flush and strait and is priced in.

On the turn when villain bets out they probably have something. If they are on a bluff they would likely have waited to the river. I would put them on like AQ with no diamonds. It would be nice to know if you held the Ad.

If you had a boat you would have just called hoping villain would bet the river. It looks like you are trying to chase off a hand like AQ or diamonds. You were up against a hand that should call in that position. On a draw heavy board I am OK with the all in.

  • Appreciate the feedback. FWIW, the 1/2 pot bet was a C-bet hoping to get folds, figuring I could still improve my bottom pair. But considering the wet board, concur a larger flop bet (or check) would make sense. Re: the turn, I had a red A but don't recall if it was Ad. I dismissed AQ because this villain seemed too scared to play with just TPTK; pretty sure I previously bet her off TP hands on the flop.
    – Craig
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 19:51

Well, let's analyze it. There are 95$ in the pot, you are reraising to $200 (all-in) with no action to follow.

One of the most tell-tale sign that you didn't play properly is when someone calls, and you are rejoiced thinking he had exactly QT. You seriously went all-in believing he has exactly QT? Any other random callable hand got you crushed. QQ (snap-call), TT (snap-call), Q8 (rare, but maybe), T8 (snap-call). I mean, if he's a loose player, you might be getting value of a 8x (lesser trips), but you said he's tight post-flop, so he likely didn't call your half-pot bet with lowest pair. Now, if the Q came out and you had AQQxx, then he might have KQQxx, QQJxx, that would give your All-in much more value, but the 8 is the one that came out and you are literally hoping to catch a QT. Honestly, even a QT is a questionable call with the paired board, your preflop could be KK/AA and got him beat.

Of course, you could always hope he's dumb and call you off with a flush draw or straight draw, but other than that, your all-in is only getting called by a better-hand.

  • It's definitely less likely, but still possible. TT is a often preflop call with a tight player who play medium pairs passively. QQ is a mistake to not reraise preflop, but it does happen. I agree that QQ/Q8 are mistakes preflop, but if you are thinking he can't make mistakes preflop, then you must assume he would never call you with QT and Flush/Straight draw neither because those are mistakes postflop.
    – Ying Li
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 15:43
  • (Couldn't edit my original comment so adding here) I disagree with your assessment of villain's range. A large majority of 1/2 players will re-raise pre-flop with TT+ (especially against a raiser and caller) so none of those are likely. Not sure who's calling $10 pre-flop out of position with Q-8 or even T-8. K-J suited seems possible here so an all-in makes chasing draws -EV. In hindsight, J-9 is possible considering the turn bet. In my assessment of villain, top two pair was possible and would be something she'd bet on the turn.
    – Craig
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 15:45
  • Ultimate, with an All-in bet you either want a worse hand to call or a better hand to fold. Clearly, no better hand will fold here, so the only worse hand that makes sense to call is maybe QT (flush straight draws are purely mathematical errors). T8s and J9s are extremely close, so both are just as likely. Q8s is a call from a loose preflop player, TT is a call from a tight preflop player. $10 raise is almost standard in 1/2 live games cause people are super loose preflop in live games (no one has the patience to play online style with 15% preflop play rate).
    – Ying Li
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 15:46
  • To be clear, I agree the push was bad (said so in my own answer). But not aligned on the villain's potential hands.
    – Craig
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 15:46

(Won’t accept my own answer)

My reasoning for an all-in (from the heat of the moment): If I raise any decent amount, I’m pot committed. If I call here, I’m not likely to improve and if a diamond, J, or 9 hit the river, then what? Also, I was thrilled I hit the miracle 8 on the turn.

In retrospect: At this point, my hand likely blocks villain from the case 8. Don’t think villain would bet the turn with QQ or 10-10, especially after I bet the flop. J-9 is possible. Q-10 (for two pair) seemed more likely. For a player so worried about having the best hand, expected villain to re-raise me on the flop with a straight out of fear of the flush.

If I go all-in, she will call (likely bad for me), fold two pair (very bad for me) or fold her straight thinking I turned a boat (very good for me).

If I could do it again, I'd call the turn bet and re-evaluate on the river. If the river is an A or 8, bet if she limps or shove if she bets. If the river is a Q, 10, or blank, call any reasonable river bet or fold.

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