I was on the other side of the equation, putting my opponent to a tough decision on the river

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In this hand, I was on the other side of the equation, putting my opponent to a tough decision on the river. It was early in the $5000 six-handed no limit hold 'em event. Blinds were 100-200 with a 25 ante, and I raised under the gun to 600 with AQ off-suit. Both players in the blinds called the raise, and the three of us saw a Ts 8s 3d flop.

This is not the best flop to continuation bet into two players, but the SB was kind of loose pre-flop, and once he called the BB was getting pretty good odds to see a flop with a wide range, so I felt there was a chance my hand was still good. Both players checked to me, and I bet 1400. The SB folded, but the BB called.

The turn was an off-suit four, and we both checked. A Js on the river completed a possible flush, and my opponent checked again. I fired a bluff of 3200, and my opponent went into the tank, finally calling with T9.

Although I did not discuss this hand with my opponent, I have thought about it quite a bit since, and I imagine that his reasoning for calling the river was similar to my reasoning in the hand discussed above. The truth is that a lot of players will check down strong one pair hands when a possible flush gets there on the river for fear of getting check-raised. My opponent had no way of knowing that I was not one of these players, so if he thinks that my range is polarized to either a flush or no pair, then his call make sense.

In actuality, however, I am capable of taking this exact line with a great many hands that beat T9, including JJ, QQ, KK, AA, AJ, and AT. If my opponent knew that I was capable of value betting all of those hands even though a third spade came on the river, I think he would have to fold.



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