I’m interested to see what y’all think of my play in this hand, at a 1K-2K ring table earlier this morning.
Dealt K J in the BB, I check my option in the face of five flats (including the small blind). I think my hand is too weak to raise, and I don’t want to have to fold facing a limp-jam.
The flop comes 6 J 2 . The small blind leads out with a half-pot bet. I call - top pair, second kicker, with the backdoor second nut flush draw is a good hand, but we’re six-handed. There are a lot of players left to act, including the initial raiser, and I might need to fold facing further aggression. To my surprise, the rest of the table calls as well, building the pot to 24BB.
The turn is where things get interesting. K drops, giving me top two pair. Once more, the small blind leads out, with a full-pot bet, leaving only 11BB behind… and four other players to act after me. I choose to shove ~120BB. Three of the other four players have me covered, and two choose to call, while the small blind folds. (!)
I was definitely shoving for value and equity denial here. There are no possible made straights, but almost any river that doesn’t pair the board will bring one. If the board pair the 2 or the 6, I need to be concerned about someone catching up with trips that called a weak flop bet. Additionally, with two hearts on the board, a third could give another player a flush. Pretty much the only rivers that I’m happy about are one of the two remaining kings (giving me the nuts), jacks (giving me the second nuts), or one of the three offsuit sevens or eights.
I need to deny equity here, since there are so many potential scary runouts. There are only ten “good” rivers out of 46 unseen cards - just 22% of the deck. If I get a bunch of folds, I’m okay with that. Meanwhile, what better hands are going to call? I could be betting into a set of deuces, though they might be tempted to fold. Sixes could also be a possibility, and there are three of those out there. Both jacks and kings would probably raise preflop, but even if they decided to play that passively, I block all but one combo of each of those. Meanwhile, I could see other two-pair hands calling behind, and possibly combo draws (QhTh, 3h4h, 3h5h, 4h5h). Except for the small blind, nut flush draws likely don’t have the equity to call, though AhJh could work as a bluff-catcher.
Building out my value range, I could see taking this line if I held 22 (3 combos), or any of the nine KJ hands. KK definitely would have raised preflop and flop. 66 I would have raised on the flop, and K6 probably would’ve raised flop as well, so they’re no longer in my range here. There’s a possibility 22 is in my flop raise range too, which would remove it from my value range here, but I might also flat. Tough to play bottom set out of position. I’ll give myself credit for 2/3 of my deuces in this spot. That’s a total of ten hands in my value range.
What bluffs should I work in? I like my inside straight combo draws as bluffs. AhQh, AhTh, QhTh and would probably be a flop raise, so those can be removed, but I could have Qh9h, Th9h, 5h4h, 5h3h, and 4h3h - five hands in my bluff range for balance.
Not to be too results-oriented, but I ended up taking down this hand and nearly 400BB, my biggest pot to date, after getting two calls (though not the small blind!) on the turn and 6 fell on the river. I was up against AhTh and AsQh.
What do you think of my line here? Should I have shoved, or called and evaluated on the river?