Image by mrdelayer via FlickrTournament Poker--Playing Pocket Aces
It is the WPT $25,000 buy-in event at the Bellagio. Everyone has $50,000. The blinds are $50-$100.
Only a few hands have been dealt at your table, when this hand is dealt:
A player in early position limps. You are sitting next to this player and you find pocket Aces--Ad-Ac (an Ace of diamonds and an Ace of clubs).
You raise to $300. The button, the big blind call, and the limper calls.
There is now $1,250 in the pot.
The flop is Ks-6d-5h.
The big blind and the limper check. That looks like a safe flop so you bet $800. Only the big calls.
There is now $2,850 in the pot.
The turn is a 9c.
You like your hand but you want to keep the pot small. You bet $1,800.
Your opponent raises to $5,800.
What should you do?
The pot is $10,450 and it will cost you $4,000 to call the raise. Can this guy have hit a set or two pair? Can he be trying to muscle you out of the pot, especially since your turn bet was small?
You decide to call. There is now $14,450 in the pot.
The river is the 8h.
You check and your opponent bets $7,500. What should you do?
Answer--Call. Your opponent has Kh-10h. However, here is the actual thinking of your opponent in this hand:
Pre-flop, he is thinking you have a big hand like pocket Aces because the raise is to only $300.
On the flop, with an $800 bet, he is thinking you an have aces, kings or queens. He does not raise you since he doesn't want a big pot.
On the turn, the $1,800 bet signals that you either have three kings or two aces. However, he is thinking that his check raise with the 9c on the flop, will make it look like he has a straight or two pair. He feels it is a good bluffing situation. (My comment: If you think your opponent has a set, do not try to bluff him off his hand because it's not going to happen!!!) When his opponent called, he knew his opponent only had aces. (My comment: What was he going to do if he got re-raised? Fold, of course. Good grief...sometimes I don't get what these pros are thinking.)
On the river, with an 8s, he feels that the board looks dangerous and that the $7,500 would look like he wanted to get paid off with a value bet.
But to this player's dismay, his opponent called and he lost the pot. He comments that against a weaker player you need to make a bigger bet so they get the message.
Did you call the river bet or did you fold? I would have made my decision on the turn. That is, if I called on the turn I really have to call on the river...especially with a bet that could be a value bet or a bluff....and that big of a pot. In fact, one of the mistakes I try not to make in these situations, is to always consider the size of the pot at the river. If I fold on the river with a big pot and I get bluffed out, it is a disaster.