It’s later in the evening at one of the worst tables I’ve ever sat at in the local games, definitely tougher than the average 5/10 game. I am on the move list, but the truth is, I want to be here. I'm stubborn. The long run includes situations that will be both worse and more lucrative at the same time, and so hanging with good players is always worthwhile and instructive.
At this point, I'm back in the black, making do with the napkins I am dealt, when I finally am given a hand. However, a little wrinkle effects this one. I've just made the mistake of moving seats for a questionable reason, and the table LAG instantly took my left in order to turn the tables after some things between us didn't go his way. I didn’t foresee this, amateurishly, and changing a positive dynamic is not a good tradeoff for merely a clearer view of the table mark and the nit to her left.
Middle pair under the gun isn’t the best spot, obviously, but it’s a clear open at a mostly tight table. With all the folding and the weakest player down in MP, I can expect at least one flat. My hand plays well and I will use the board shamelessly.
Eight hundred effective at 3/5.
I open 8h8s from UTG to 20, LAG flats from UTG, everyone folds.
Something is going on here, because real LAGs don’t spend their time flatting. They are usually mislabeled in the forum hand histories, and here something is going on that I did not catch until it was too late.
Pot 45. :Kc :Td :7c
I bet 25. I decide for an ambiguous bet sizing, as I expect the hand to really develop on the turn. I want some heft to my turn bet, as I am going for multiple streets on certain runouts. LAG min raises to 50. Button folds. I have not seen a min raise from him yet, but I choose to interpret this as a one pair hand trying to find out where it is at. I am going to continue to represent an UTG range.
I raise to 160. LAG slowly calls.
Pot 365. Turn 9h.
This is becoming a scary board on the surface, but it in truth it is not. He has a one pair hand, and I am going to take a line that should be uncallable. I now lead 270, going far past the point of commitment. He will not have seen this line very often as a bluff. I can have QJ suited which just improved, or already have one pair destroyed given position and action. WIll he expect me to have the heart to continue with a naked draw? What draws could I even have? A rag of spades from UTG? I think he can let go of what has to be KQ, I think, or a very sticky nut flush draw.
However, my opponent does not have KQ, it turns out, and ships in his stack. Getting 4:1, open ended with two set outs, I am now priced in to gamble.
Villain played his hand well. He flatted AK correctly against an UTG range that he was probably half worried about; you don't have to raise AK every time. The other half was the implementation of his plan. He had moved to gain leverage on me, and saw the opportunity to misrepresent a strong hand. Faced with a very aggressive line, he did not flinch or peg my range solely as AA etc. He had a blocker to both hands that beat him, and must have been more worried about middle set.
My errors in this hand really trace back to the seat change and our history. Why did I change a situation that I had complete control of? To get a better view for some subtle tells? This was a misplaced priority.
In the hand itself, I disregarded just how strong a hand the UTG2 player should have here. Because so many players misplay this position, I was relaxed into thinking he was going to make a typical positional error. I don't think you should call from UTG2 with KQ/KJ, and I thought he could. However, this is discordant with what I judged to be competence from this player.
History isn't priceless in poker, it is usually measured in very traceable dollars. With observation, intelligence, and reasonable execution, you can make a far greater number of winning reciprocal decisions. In this hand, I obviated one aspect of our history, then created an interpretation of his hand that did not match his own concerns. The fact that I deduced with accuracy his one pair standing does not mean he will lay it down, nor is bluffing players off of top pair really the best low stakes poker.