Junell made a very profitable move a couple weeks ago and posted it. I was wanting to pick it apart here. He starts by saying:
After an hour and a half, we were playing 5 handed, and Kim Hock was dealt AA in early position. She opened it up by raising preflop to $15. I smooth called her on the button with 97o, and it was heads up.
Clearly at this point, Kim played correctly, raising her aces. Junell played incorrectly by calling with garbage. Of course, if you have read my strategy posts, you will know that I recomend calling with complete garbage such as 97o rather than high-garbage such as J9. So if you want to mix up your play, I guess this is a good hand to do it with. If your aim is to baffle the table, you can be extremely successful by calling a big raise from the tightest player with 97o.
The flop was Kxx, and Kim led out for $15. I immediately raised her to $30 (hoping to find out where I was, and possibly get a free card). Kim hesitated for a second and then smooth called. For whatever reason, I sensed that she did not like my raise (although I would've loved it if I had been in her shoes). I didn't realize how strong she actually was.
Obviously Kim was right to bet. Mark could only fold or raise here. Calling would be very bad. I would fold. So he raised. The fact that Kim hesitated could either mean that she was considering a re-raise or considering a fold. Kim doesn't slow play much, so Mark was probably correct in assuming she didn't like the raise.
The turn is a blank, and she again checks to me. I immediately bet $40 to try and take down the pot. She hesitated for a long time, and then "reluctantly" called.
Mark raised the previous street, so you have to assume he will bet this street (and the next!). If Kim is planning on calling the raise (which she did) then she should go ahead and get her money in first. She checked and Mark called. I think that Kim should have either led out or folded, but the check-call was wrong (it almost always is).
The river is another King. She checks again, and I know that I have to represent this King, otherwise I have no chance to win the $170 pot. I quickly fire out an $85 bet (putting her all-in). She folds showing pocket Aces. I muck my garbage hand.
I think they both played correctly. Mark has represented a King the entire time and now there are 2 Kings! He may well have a boat. He probably has trips. She was right to fold. Because the right move was to fold, and because Mark knows that Kim will 99% make the right move, he bet. Smart move because it won the pot.
In summary, each player made a combination of bad and good moves. Mark's worst move was the preflop call, but each subsequent move was smarter than the previous one. He was very lucky to get that 2nd King because I suspect that Kim would have looked him up without that 2nd King. Kim played pre-flop, flop and the river correctly. But the turn was wrong. She should have decided on the turn if she was willing to go all the way with the aces, and if so, go ahead and lead the betting. Point #1: If you intend to call a bet and you are nearly certain your opponent will bet, go ahead and make the bet yourself. You may win the pot right there. At a minimum, you will stop your opponent from attacking you on every street.
I think another key piece of psychology here comes from Caro's Book of Tells. Kim made all bets/calls pre-flop with her winnings. At the river, she had her original buy in plus a small profit. In this situation, Caro suggests bluffing with a very big bet. Most players will choose to bag a winning session and avoid the risk of calling. I think Kim did. Point #2: Pay attention to where your players stand in relation to their buy in and use it to your advantage.
Good analysis. I would not have been able to make the big bet on the river if certain things had played out differently:
1. If she had shown any more strength by reraising me or calling me quicker (on the flop or turn).
2. If the 2nd King doesn't come.(I was 99.9% sure she didn't have that King, and knew I could represent it).
3. If she had much more chips (and could break me). This is the importance of a big chip stack. If she had me covered, I would've been extra stupid to try that move.
4. She wasn't playing very tight, and had shown a willingness to lay down hands to big bets. I viewed this as exploitable: just applying pressure until she either gives up (and folds), or comes back at me with a re-raise (in which case I fold). She never came back at me, so I kept my foot on the gas.
If I had been in Kim's shoes, and I were playing against an aggressive player like myself, I would've:
1. Raised $15 preflop (which she did)
2. Led out on the flop (which she did).
3. Fake hesitation to a raise on the flop. You really have two choices: re-raise right here (not my style), or wait and pop it on the turn (I like this better).
In other words I would've hestitated to the raise on the flop, but only to show weakness so that I can guarantee a continuation bet from the aggressive player when the turn card comes. If I hesitate, and he doesn't think I like the raise, he's certain to bet on 4th street.
So I reluctantly call the flop (which Kim did).
4. Automatically check-raise the turn (unless a true scare card comes off). Check the turn, and raise approx 2-3 times the bet to me. I might even consider going all-in here, depending on the chip stacks. Any decent player who is bluffing cannot call the all-in bet unless the pot odds were right. In this case I didn't have any odds to call a decent raise on the turn.
In this situation, when I lead out for $40, Kim had approx $125 left. If she had moved in right there, she would've won $85 from me.
Like Morris said in his comment, he would've put an end to my antics much earlier, and I wouldn't have been able to see that last King. That's very true.
"The flop was Kxx, and Kim led out for $15. I immediately raised her to $30 (hoping to find out where I was, and possibly get a free card)."
I think not taking the free card that you wanted was a mistake. You raised to get her to slow down, then don't take the free card she gives you. If the river doesn't come a king, how would you have played the river?
Fro said, "Obviously Kim was right to bet the flop. Mark could only fold or raise here. Calling would be very bad." I am not sure either statement is entirely correct. Kim could easily check the flop to Mark, knowing he is an agressive player, especially short-handed. Mark bets out, and Kim check-raises. That's a perfectly acceptable way to handle an agressive player who has position on you when you have an overpair and want to win the hand quickly. On the other hand, Junell is not necessarily in a raise or fold situation. He can "call-bluff" the flop. This is a good way to steal the pot without involving your entire stack when you have position and the other player has basically announced a big pair. Now, it may not have worked in this particular case with Kim's AA overpair, but here's how it can work: tight player raises pre-flop in early position, announcing a big pair. You call in late position. Flop comes A63. Preflop raiser makes a continuation bet on the flop. You CALL. Now, the preflop raiser is in a no-win situation. If he has an Ace (or two) and bets out again strongly on the turn, you can fold and get away from the hand with minimal loss. If he makes a timid bet, you raise. If he checks, you bet. Either way, your call on the flop with garbage has set you up to represent a set, top pair, etc. on the turn if he shows weakness. So, Kim didn't have to lead at the flop, and Mark could have simply called the flop (although the call bluff may not have worked in this instance).