I want to discuss a hand I've played recently. At the late stage of a single-table live tournament, I am middle-stacked relative to others (about 16k), but dangerously close to the "yellow zone", on position, opening 3BB (3 * 400 = 1200) with K⋄ J♠ off suit (there are no limpers). I get called by both blinds (I actually expected SB to fold her hand and go heads-up with BB).
Flop comes A⋄ A♥ A♣
SB checks, a very aggressive (also not particularly good though) loose player on BB with 20k-stack bets 3k into the pot of 3600.
I take a minute to think. Because BB is very aggressive, I expect him to re-raise all pocket pairs preflop (including deuces), so there is very little chance he has a full house. He could easily have called my preflop raise with a weak ace. What troubles me is that I've been running pretty bad recently and already had a few bad beats against much worse hands / draws which miraculously turned into monsters on the river. So I am not in a very good position psychologically. With that in mind, I can't help to consider that I might be drawing dead against quad aces.
I decide that flat-calling is not an option here since I am 100% sure that my opponent would bet at least the pot on both turn and river. After thinking about folding for a minute, I elect to raise him in order to get some information.
The size of my raise has to be chosen carefully. I don't want to loose too much in case he re-raises me all-in. Also I want it to look like I am carefully setting a trap with four aces in case he doesn't have one.
My choice is to raise him to 6k chips (with 3600 in the pot and 3k of his initial bet). I kind of wonder if this is a correct amount or not (I was also considering a 9k raise).
SB folds her hand (it turns out she had K2 off, so a pretty good fold considering the situation; not a good call preflop though).
After thinking for 10-20 seconds BB tells me that he does not have an ace and re-raises me to 9k. Now this was a major mistake! Not only was I able to deduce from the intonation of his voice that he is telling the truth, but also his re-raise was so small, he almost screamed of his attempt to spend as little as possible on his bluff.
I elect to re-raise him all-in (hence risking my tournament life for about 4/5 of his stack), because I dominate most of the hands he would play this way (K - x with a smaller-than-jack x). He quickly calls and shows K 9 suited (whaaat?).
I end up flopping a full house (aces full of jacks) on the turn and win the hand.
Now I know that my opponent played this hand terribly (when I said that he was not particularly good, I meant that he is generally much better than this). But I am wondering if I played the hand well (despite the fact that I won a lot). Particularly, I want comments on the following decisions of mine:
Was it a good move to open against a loose-agressive BB cheapleader with a K J off suit holding? I have heard people dislike this hand (and call it a rookie hand). But it is still two face cards and thus worth a 3BB raise, isn't it?
Should I have re-raised my opponent on the flop to 9k total (instead of 6k)? I could see him folding a wider variety of hands to a 9k raise, and at this time I was definitely not heading for value. On the other hand if I had the ace, I would have re-raised exactly to 6k since I expect an aggressive player to set a trap for himself by re-re-raising a small raise.
Was it correct to move all-in on the flop? Or maybe after a handful of information (he does not have an ace, it is highly unlikely that he has a pocket pair, it is very likely that he is dominated with a weaker king) my hand has become strong enough for flat-calling his 9k mini-re-raise? I could see myself crushing him with a made full house (which I flop on the turn, remember?) In theory this could protect me from a low pair or a made-on-the-turn full house of his, but I don't think I would be able to fold later.
From my opponent's perspective, I still don't understand why he called my all-in raise. Did he expect me to bluff him after he told me he doesn't have an ace? That would've been a good move, I guess, but for two very strong cards (like QQ), not for K9! How could he be sure that I wasn't opening preflop with a pocket pair?
P.S. I have tried to look how people put images of cards in the markup here, but I haven't found it sadly :(