Friday, January 14, 2005

Poker problem

I'm going to run through a hand I played recently, which illustrates a situation I run into quite often.

Short-handed game (6 players), no-limit.

Early position ("EP") calls. I limp in middle position with A-3 off. BB checks.
* * * Flop comes: T 7 2 rainbow.
BB checks. EP checks. I bet half the value of the pot, a standard bet to steal the pot with a trash flop. BB folds. EP calls.
* * * Turn is 6 D. Two diamonds on the board.
EP bets $3 (about half the value of the pot). I raise $3. EP calls.
* * * River comes a Q, no 3-flush on the board.
EP checks. What should I do here?

(a) Bet a little more than half the size of the pot, representing a strong hand betting for value.
(b) Sensing weakness, bet the size of the pot and muscle out EP.
(c) Check, since the book says you shouldn't bluff an A high when the other guy checks. Either you'll beat a drawing hand, or you'll lose to a calling hand.
(d) Go all-in and muscle out EP. (This is a play I never make, though it's a common online play.)

I'll reveal how it played out in the comments, but I'm interested in hearing how folks approach this situation. I put him on a hand like J-9 suited, straight and flush draw.