TPTK no good

Playing online at $0.50 – 1.00 no limit hold’em.

I’ve been trying to play a little bit looser, a little bit more aggressively lately.  At this table, I won a nice pot by stacking off a short stack with A-5 on the button.  Another player called me a “donkey” in the chat box after that hand.  So my table image is questionable at this point, but I’m up a few dollars.

Since then, I’ve been out of the hand at least three times that I would have had a monster and watched fairly large pots build in each case.  Once I had A5 again, would have flopped 2 pair and another ace on the turn.  Another I had J8 on the button and would have made a nut straight on the turn.  Another I had 86 and would have made a full house.  I’ve been trying to play more of these types of hands (in position!) just to capitalize on such opportunities, so the last half-hour has been maddening.

Perhaps I over-reacted to the donkey comment by tightening up too much.

Now comes this hand.  I have AJ suited in the cutoff seat.  A middle position fish (VPIP 52, PFR 39 over a small sample of 23 hands) opens for $3.50 and the next player calls.  I make a squeeze bet (a large re-raise after an initial raise and one call) to $15.50.

The button calls, rather quickly.  Better make a note of that.  His squeeze calling range should be pretty narrow, and includes setting a trap with AA or KK.  He could also have me dominated with AK or AQ, or have some stronger suited connectors like KQ or QJ, and pocket pairs 88-QQ.  He starts this hand with $91 vs. my stack of $108.

The original raiser calls too, and the original caller now folds.

Flop ($51.50)  9-8-J rainbow.

The fish checks to me.  Well now, I’ve got top pair, top kicker (TPTK) and surely must bet.  The only problem is that it’s hard to imagine many weaker hands calling (KJ or QJ suited?) nor any stronger hands folding.  On the other hand, I need to know where I stand, don’t I?  If I check and yield the initiative to the button and he bets, then what?

I bet $30, about 60% of the pot.  That should clarify things.

The button player goes all-in for his last $76.50, and the fish also ships in his short stack of just $12 more.

Now doesn’t that just suck?  AA, KK or set.  I’ve represented a big pair here and he’s totally unphased.

On the other hand, this is a drawy board for any hand containing a ten.  Is that a possibility?  (Note to self:  Nope!)

Concluding that I’m way behind here, I call anyway.

The fish shows 74 suited, for the idiot-end of a gutshot straight draw.  Button shows KK, one of the very few hands that could justify calling (and not 4-betting) my pre-flop squeeze.

Year-to-date online results:  – $832    🙁

Month-to-date online results:  + $373    🙂


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