What does he think I think he thinks I think he has?

I played a mildly interesting hand today against a solid player that I face all the time at 30/60 and 15/30 on stars. I thought it might be interesting to walk through it and what I was thinking at the time. I almost entitled this post “A fine line between genius and donkey”

PokerStars 15/30 Hold’em (8 handed) Poker Stars

Preflop: Hero is MP2 with :Ac, :8c.
3 folds, Hero raises, CO 3-bets, 3 folds, Hero calls.

The blinds were both fairly passive and I liked playing pots with the BB who would call my raises and then check-fold the flop very often. The CO knows this, knows I could be raising fairly light and I think he’s going to 3-bet me here with a very wide range. Not insanely wide and he’ll probably avoid trap hands, but I’d guess 33+/A9+/A5s+/a mix of some medium suited connectors and most suited broadway hands. In other words, there is no certainty he is ahead at this point

Flop: (7.66 SB) :3h, :Ts, :Jh (2 players)
Hero checks, CO bets, Hero raises, CO calls.

This is a fairly terrible flop for me in that I’ve hit exactly nothing and I have a hand that is near the bottom of my raising range pre-flop. However, I think that check-folding here gives up too much value and encourages him to continue to 3 bet me. I will often check-raise any piece of this flop and lead the turn. This will probably fold his weaker hands like small pairs and weak aces. So, I check-raise as a bluff hoping to get him to fold the turn (players at this level will virtually never fold the flop). This is probably a dubious decision, since he is probably just calling down with aces or pairs.

Turn: (5.83 BB) :8s (2 players)
Hero bets, CO raises, Hero calls.

This is an odd situation. Now the board has two flush possibilities and a Queen picked up a gutshot. If I still had Ace-high, the call on the flop and raise on the turn would scare me. He would likely play a big hand like JJ this way. TT or 33 would probably have gone ahead and three bet the flop. I don’t love third pair here, but there are a lot of cards that might let me bluff at the river and I just don’t think I can be sure he is strong here.

River: (9.83 BB) :2d (2 players)
Hero checks, CO bets, Hero calls.

I really hate to fold getting 11:1, so I have to pull the trigger. This is maybe the most nuanced decision because I have shown enough strength that he should consider me fairly likely to call down. He probably thinks I’m calling with any Ace or pair here, so therefore he must be saying he can beat that, so therefore I should probably fold third pair. In the end, I didn’t.

Final Pot: 11.83 BB
Results in white below:
Hero has Ac 8c (one pair, eights).
CO has Ks Qs (high card, king).
Outcome: Hero wins 11.83 BB.

I’m not sure which one of us was crazier, but I’m pretty sure what he would say. I didn’t play too hands today. I had about an hour session this morning where I got absolutely buried and a good session in the evening. My net was a $170 gain and I’m up to 12,650 VPPs, so only about 400 VPPs today.

I organized a little thank-you to my buds at ITH and bought 11 people (I think!) into the Stars 100k, which is perhaps the most donkastic MTT there is. Two of them made the money and sent me half of their winnings. One other player decided to send me half his winnings even though I didn’t actually buy him in. As a result, I raised $50 for Colombianitos, which is a nice bonus. When the month comes to an end, I’m going to break down my Supernva quest results every which way. I’m doing great in every way so far.

By Nsidestrate

I'm a hard-core limit ring game poker player who is becoming a degenerate sports bettor. I'm sure it will all make more sense if you read on.