Raised and Confused
During a recent live tournament, the following hand came up and completely stumped me. The tournament was a satelite to a WSOP event. There were 64 entrants at a fee 160$ each, top 5 places paid, with first place going to Vegas.

During the first level of blinds (10/20) when everybody had about the same in chips (~2500), I was dealt 8♣ 8♠ in the Big Blind.
Two early position players limped and then the cut off made it 170 to go.
I called and so did the early limpers.
The flop came A♦ 5♠ 5♦
I checked and so did everyone else, including the original raiser in position.
The turn brought a 9♣.

I had watched everybody watch the flop and no one showed any interest at all. So, even though it's very possible that one of the other early position players had flopped trips, I felt it was unlikely. So, I took a stab at the pot trying to take it down right there.

I bet 500.
It was folded around to the original pre-flop raiser who raised 500 more to 1000.

This play had me stumped. If he had had an Ace, he should have bet the flop to protect against the flush draw and to discover if someone had slow-played a 5. In fact there's almost no legitimate raising hand he could have had pre-flop that would warrant this play. If he had a real monster like 55 where he flopped quads, he may have checked on the flop, but then he certainly would not be raising me now. With 99 he should also smooth call me here and it would be strange to have checked his 99 on the flop, as again he would want to find the hidden five, or at least the Ace that someone might be holding.

I thought for a good long while and then finally decided that regardless of what he had, it was too early to take a stand and my hand was not strong enough to be involved in a big pot.

I folded.
The player then showed me his A♣ Q♠

Color me confused! My opponent here is by no means a fish, he is a decent player and we've played together before. In fact, he went on to win the entire tournament, but his play of this hand I just can't understand or condone. I think he tried to get fancy with a delayed continuation bet with the wrong hand at the wrong time. But hey, I'm sure I've done worse.
Anonymous Marc R. said...

One leason that I have resently cemented into my brain is don't assume that your opponents will always make the 'correct' plays. Also, don't think what you would do in a given situation, think what your opponent would do.

One more thing, I actually don't mind this play in a tournament. You really need to maximise your pots in a tourney, exspecially in a relatively low chipped tourney as described. I think, especially in position, this play may be worth the gamble.

My 2 cents.

4:45 PM  

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