4 bet pot hand reading reveals I must have the best hand
About two hours into my session at the Bicycle Casino, gathering hands for my “100 hands at $5-$5 series” I played a rare four bet pot preflop at $5-$5. The hand was strange due to my opponents’ very small three bet sizing out of the blind.
We were paying five handed and I opened Ks Kd from UTG to $20. It got folded around to a guy in his fifties, totally unknown to me in the big blind sitting with $1000, which I covered. He three bet extremely small to $35. Immediately before this hand I had been somewhat active at the table so I was not sure if this was his counter to me being aggressive. Obviously I never thought that this sizing was AA preflop so I decided to put in a four bet to $110 for pure value, never expecting him to fold, and he did call.
The flop came out A♣ 8♦ 3♦ which I was not happy about. I thought that his three-bet preflop might represent a hand like AJ-AK that he was getting a bit stubborn with so I felt that there was no reason for me to bet when he checked to me. The turn brought the J♣ putting out a backdoor club draw and he lead out for $75 into a $220 pot. This bet did not please me but I was getting about 4-1 in pot odds and did not feel that it was correct to just release then and there. It is also interesting to note that when you hold KK it is less likely that your opponent has AK and a lot of players will not call a four-bet from out of position with AQ or AJ. His line was almost more consistent with JJ, if it were not for the small three-bet sizing preflop.
The river fell a very interesting card, the K♣ giving me second set and completing the backdoor club draw. My opponent now paused and bet $175. One of the things that comes from experience, and I have been playing NL cash for over ten years, is pausing and playing the hand back from the start. The most glaring thing that was evident in this hand was that it was almost impossible for my opponent to have a flush. It would be different if the ace on the flop was not a club, making A♣ X♣ possible. But here the ace of clubs was on the board. I also had already dismissed AA from my opponents’ range due to preflop and thought QT was extremely unlikely. So I put everything together and concluded that I must have the best hand.
But it is not enough for me to arrive here with the best hand I have to go one step further and figure out the sizing on my obvious river raise to come. A couple of things crossed my mind. My opponent bet the turn AND the river which indicated a fair amount of strength. I thought that he might play JJ this way, AJ or AK. It was unlikely that at the 5-5 level someone would go for sizing like this with AQ, as they would be scared of KK and AK. Its also interesting to note that at a higher level a bet should not be made with AQ here either for the same reasons unless an opponent thinks I may have four bet bluffed preflop with Ax and would call down on this run out for two streets.
Once I concluded that my opponents’ value range should be strong given his line (and the fact that we don’t care about his bluffing range as those hands will just fold) I thought my only play here was to move all-in. Unfortunately for me my opponent folded rather quickly and latter in the session I realized that he was very “splashy” and was most likely just bluffing versus my check back flop weakness. However that still does not make the all-in bad at the end if I thought that he would call with his entire value range, which I did.