Here is an interesting decision from last night.
I am playing in a $1/$2 NLHE home game, and familiar with all of the players.
“K” raises UTG to $9 and there are 2 callers, including “R.” I am on the button with 9-8o, and call. I could easily just fold here, but I like to see flops on the button as I can manage the pot size better from here than anywhere else, so when I hit a big hand I am more likely to realize good value.
Flop ($36): Ts-7d-4s.
I have an open-ended straight draw (OESD). Let’s see what happens.
K opens for $25. At this point, I think he likes his hand, betting that much from out-of-position. He is a generally competent but fairly tight player, and would not bet into 3 opponents here with air. This suggests an over pair like AA, KK, QQ or JJ, or possibly a strong flush draw with As-Ks or As-Qs.
I’m debating whether to call. The pot odds are not quite good enough, but with my position there is a good chance to realize some implied odds if the flush hits. I could also raise here, but knowing K I’m not sure I have much fold equity with his range. For sure I will call if one of the other players calls, especially R who is very loose and aggressive.
R, however, has other plans, and raises to $85. He has about $55 remaining in his stack.
Let’s try to figure this one out. R is a very aggressive player who likes to put pressure on his opponents. He is prone to over-playing top pairs, so we’ll start his range with A-T, K-T, Q-T, J-T and T-9. We’ll also add sets (TT, 77, 44) as his LAGGY reputation enables him to fast-play big hands and get paid a lot. Also top 2-pair… he is loose enough to call pre-flop with T-7. Also 9-8 for the same OESD that I have. Also 6-5 for a lower OESD. And finally As-Xs for nut flush draws (excluding As-Ks, As-Qs, As-Js that he likely would have 3-bet with pre-flop). This is 142 combos.
For this calculation, I’m keeping K’s range tight, with only AA, KK, QQ, JJ, TT, As-Ks, As-Qs, and As-Js. Just 33 combinations.
My equity is 25.7%, vs. 49.5% for K and 24.8% for R.
My stack is fairly deep with nearly 200BB’s, and K has me covered having just won a large pot in the previous hand. If I even think about calling here, I have to consider the possibility of K shoving over the top of me.
I must fold, and do fold.
Back to reality: K calls the $60 raise, and the turn card is a 6 (not completing any flushes), leaving me writhing in agony staring at the large pot in the middle of the table. K checks, R shoves his last $55, and after a long time in the tank, K calls. The river is an off-suit five. R shows A-T off-suit, for top pair, top kicker. K shows AA and takes down a nearly $300 pot.
AAAaaarrgh! (or equivalent expletive not suitable for a family publication)
Given the facts at hand, folding was clearly correct.
R, on the other hand, really effed it up for me by over-playing his top pair hand against the continuation bet from UTG opener. It should be noted that I ended the night with a healthy profit, whilst R was last seen slowly shuffling out the door with his pockets empty.