I have A♥T♦ and the turn card is the 6♥, making the board A♦9♥5♥ – 6♥. Both of the remaining players check. Me?
There is about $70 in the pot. This looks like a really good spot for me. I have top pair with a decent kicker, plus 9 outs to improve to an A-high flush. Neither of the other players is betting. I should bet, amiright?
On the flop, the first player checked and the second player made a smallish bet. For purposes of this blog, I’ll call him “Chad.” When I just called Chad’s bet, both of them should consider that I might have a flush draw. Even though my hand might be good as is, I could also be losing to a hand like AK, AQ or AJ or 2-pair. So the choices are to (1) exercise pot control by checking behind here with outs to improve, or (2) bet for value, with a small enough bet that a hand like Ax8♥, Ax7♥, K♥8x or K♥7x might call, or (3) turn my hand into a semi-bluff with a bet that is large enough to drive the most vulnerable hands that are beating me out of the pot.
Aggression wins in no limit Texas Hold’em, amiright? So I take door #3 and bet $55. That should do it, amiright?
The first player raises his eyebrows slightly and calls, fairly quickly. For purposes of this blog, I’ll call him “Brian.” Chad folds.
The river is a low, non-heart, irrelevant card. Brian is first to act and starts counting out chips. He bets $35, a down-bet from the previous round and just under 20% of the pot. Surely I am beat here, amiright? Yet I only need to be good 1/6 of the time to justify a call. I cannot resist Brian’s curiously small offer and make a curiosity call.
Brian tables 8♥7♥, for a straight flush. WHAM! This is the 3rd time this year I’ve called river bets to pay off a villain’s straight flush. #TheyAlwaysHaveIt. Even worse this time was my feeble attempt to push him off the pot with a fairly large turn bet.
Even worse worse is that there’s less than 10 minutes remaining until the house awards a High Hand bonus, which will be a little over $100. I had the reigning High Hand with AAA-TT, which has held up through nearly four hours of play. Not only did I pay off Brian’s straight flush, but he’s going to win the High Hand bonus too. WHAM, WHAM!!
Inside my head: F-@$%^&*()!
Emerging from my mouth: “Nice hand Brian.” After all, nobody really cares, amiright?
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