The Best Hand I Have Played in a While

Sometimes you feel like you are in the zone and that you know exactly what your opponents are going to do.  When they do exactly what you are expecting and it works out, it’s truly a great feeling.  I have been working very hard at the table paying attention to my opponents and that allowed me to play the following hand:

$5/$10 at the Borgata.  Villain has $2000 and I cover him.  He raises to $40 and I 3bet to $150 out of the blinds with 9h9c.  I played about 10 hours with the villain  and he doesn’t like to fold or be bullied and likes to raise at any sign of weakness.  In an earlier hand I watched him bluff a full stack on an all spade flop and spade turn.  I had also seen him raise smallish looking bets throughout the day when he sensed weakness.  In addition, he would also call the flop lightly(float) with the hopes of winning the pot in the future if his opponents didn’t have anything.

The flop was a beautiful AhQh9s, and I bet $150 into the $300 pot.  This is about what I would bet with most of my hands since it folds out a lot of hands that missed(against this opponent who liked to float and raise I might have bet a different amount had I missed, but that’s for another time).  He quickly calls.

The turn is the 2h.  I believed that if I bet small, the villain wouldn’t be able to help himself and would turn whatever pair he had into a bluff or bluff with whatever he floated with on the flop.  I bet $170 and he raises to $625.  This is great for me, however there are a lot of scary rivers that can either make him a better hand(if he has KhTs or JsTc), or kill my action if he does happen to have something like As2s.  Given what I had observed, I thought the likelihood of him bluffing, and bluffing the river were much higher than him having a strong hand, so I elected to call despite the risks.

The river was the 4h, making the board AhQh9s2h4h and giving me a 1 card 9 high flush.  I check and villain immediately shoves allin for about $1100.  Though I am not thrilled with my hand on this board, and am not generally in the business of calling such large bets with relatively weak hands, I had a plan for the hand and I followed through with a call.  Villain says, “just an ace” and I show down a flush to win the pot.

I was very happy with the way I played the hand since I used the observations I had made about my opponent to win a large pot.  Had I bet differing amounts throughout the hand, it likely would not have played out in the same way, and I would have won a much smaller pot.


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