Hail Mary bluff proves to be a bad idea
This hand from a $5-$10 no-limit hold ’em cash game shouldn’t have been so costly to the player who opened the betting, but a late mistake proved expensive.
A player in middle position raised to $30 with Ac 9c. A strong player reraised to $95 from the cutoff seat with 10h 8h, and the button called with Ah Qh. The initial raiser called $65 more.
I’m fine with the initial raise and reraise. The cutoff could obviously just call with his 10-8, but since he has position, it makes sense for him to apply pressure and build a pot that he can often steal postflop.
The button probably should have either reraised or folded, though calling was an acceptable option with such a strong hand. The problem with calling is that if a lot of money goes into the pot after the flop, A-Q can’t happily continue with even top pair. In this scenario, I would have reraised to about $220.
I dislike the initial raiser’s call of $65 more from out of position. If he flops a flush draw, he probably won’t want to check-raise the flop. Since he’s out of position, he’ll have a hard time getting a lot of money in if he check-calls the flop and makes his flush on either the turn or river. This should lead him to simply fold to the reraise.
The flop came Qc Jc Jd, and everyone checked.
While it’s tempting for Ac 9c to lead with the flush draw, that’s not a good idea, because it’s too likely someone has connected well with this board. For the same reason, 10-8 should also check. I actually like checking with A-Q as well. It’s not a hand very suscep- tible to being outdrawn, and if it bets and gets called or raised, it will usually be in marginal shape. It’s best to check behind and try to get closer to the showdown.
The turn was the 10s. The initial raiser bet $130 into a pot of $300, the cutoff folded, and the button called.
I’m fine the initial raiser’s bet. He must expect one of his opponents to have at least a marginal made hand, but his flush and straight draws have a lot of equity. It was an easy fold for the 10-8 despite “improving.” (Bottom pair and a bad straight draw aren’t worth much in this spot.) The button again made a good choice by opting not to raise with A-Q. As on the flop, if a lot of money goes in, he’ll either be crushed by a better made hand or be just slightly ahead of a strong draw.
The river was the Qd, giving the button a full house.
The initial raiser bet $325, the button raised to $810, and the initial raiser folded.
The bluff attempt was ill-advised. While the initial raiser’s opponent likely doesn’t have a jack or straight, he could easily have a queen (as he did). The initial raiser simply has to check with the intention of folding to a bet.
The button had to raise, but his raise was simply too large and was likely to result in a fold from the opponent’s entire range.