Take this hand for instance.
Heads-up at a 4-seat ring table. Admittedly bluffing and being very aggressive preflop is essential heads-up, as is a willingness to re-raise, and to call wide because of it. But I can’t make sense of my opponent’s play in this hand.
SB limps, I go to 5BB with A2o and get re-raised to 15BB. I 4-bet shove for my whole stack… plainly a bluff, I’m hoping to take it down preflop, but I get called… by 54o. We both miss the board and I win most of my opponent’s stack.
This player had gotten me to lay down some better hands previous in the session, but due to the board texture I gave them credit, and this time I wasn’t willing to lie down. You’d think a hand like 54o folds to a 10x 4-bet shove, would you?
Or take this hand.
10k/20k, 6-seat ring, four players at the table. I have AQo in the SB seat, and we’re 4-seated at a 6-seat ring table. The action limps around to me, and I make it 5BB. The player in the BB chair is the small stack and 3-bets to 9BB, 180k or about 25% of his stack. The rest of the table folds, I decide to shove. BB snap calls, and shows Doyle Brunson’s hand, T2o. I flop an Ace and he pairs his Two on the Turn and loses his stack.
I do not ask for review of these specific hands; they are but examples of a type of situation I run into sometimes. It’s OK to bluff sometimes with garbage, I suppose, if it will put your opponent off-balance or make it more likely that they call you when you do hit a strong hand and want to get paid off. But I don’t see the point of raising with junk, and then calling off when you get re-raised.
That said, I get killed constantly when people do call with random garbage hands and suck out a pair to beat me when I miss with hands like AK or AQ or AJ. Usually though they’re hero calling after they flop a pair and a draw, or when they know that my range isn’t finding many good hands with the board we got.
How do I think like my opponent and make sense of these types of plays? Is it simply that they’re bored and don’t care? Or could there be anything more to it than that?