4-seat ring, 1k/2k. I’m on the SB with AdQc. So far the session has been a rough one for me, I can’t hit any board I play for, and have lost about a buy-in at this point, maybe more. CO opens to 6k, Button folds, I raise to 13k. BB tanks and calls, we’re 3-up to see the flop.
Flop is JsJd5s. I don’t much care for this flop at all, and check to see what everyone else does. BB checks, CO checks.
Turn is a seeming brick, 2d. I check again, this time the CO puts in a 1/2 pot bet. I consider folding, but decide instead to play this for a raise. I reason that if CO checked the flop, it’s more likely they don’t have a Jack than they would check top trips with no one behind them to act. A Jack last to act flopping top trips would have to at least bet something, probably on the small side to build the pot, hoping to get called, and they didn’t bet. So I don’t think they have a Jack.
Therefore, they might have a 5, or they might have even hit a 2, or they might just be betting with air from position, hoping that they’ll be able to take the pot down without a showdown. If he does have air, I should have a lot of equity with AQ.
In this spot, I think my range has some check-raise plays with Jacks, since I’m first to act on the hand. If V wants to call down a big raise with just a 2 or a 5, good for him, but I’m going to play this like I have a Jack here until I’m forced to show otherwise. If he does have a Jack, I’m going to give him a really big pot and feel dumb.
I raise from 19500 to 97500. I’m hoping this takes the hand down, and if he calls, I’m probably in trouble. BB folds, CO calls.
River is a 9h. V has only about 45k left behind, and I don’t think there’s much fold equity in a bet of that sizing with the pot now over 233.5k. But WWJackD? Jack would pot it again, that’s what. I don’t expect this to work, but I fire a pot-sized bet of 234k, V only is on the hook to call for up to 42k, and the pot odds for a 42k call into a pot of 275k aren’t that bad even if he did hit the two.
V folds, to my surprise. I felt for sure if they’re calling the Turn here that they’re calling anything on the River. It’s my biggest pot on the night, and brings me back from being down from earlier at this table to close to breakeven, and is the start of what ended up being a decent night.
I showed my bluff this time, and after doing so, I hit a few strong made hands in subsequent hands, and bet big on the river, get called each time, and win bigger pots. I conclude that I’m getting called wider now that I’ve shown a bluff once, and it’s paying off because they’re looking for me to be bluffing again with similar river action. This helps me turn the session into a profitable one.
What did I learn here? I don’t know. Initially, I feel like it was a stupid play on my part, but it worked out, much to my surprise. The thinking on each street isn’t unsound, but I’m still surprised I got this one through, especially after they called my raise on the Turn. Why did they call there only to fold on the River? But then it really paid off in the action following this hand, getting paid off more on rivers when I really had it. So even if I get called and lose a much bigger pot here than I otherwise might have, can I call that type of outcome a loss-leader that may pay off in future hands when they keep calling?