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AQ suited vs 63 off

I was playing on Sunday afternoon at Star City, for the first time in ages, the other day, and lost a stack in a hand I am still having trouble getting my head around.

Star City now has a $200 max buy in for the $1/$2 NLHE game - a welcome improvement, even though it remains the highest raked game in Australia, with a $5/hour time charge and 10% pot rake.

Anyway, I took my seat at the table with $200 in front of me. A quick survey showed a couple of stacks in the $400 range, most in the $100-$200 range, and one monster stack that looked like at least $1,000, belonging to a young asian guy. At least I think he was a guy, he looked very effeminate, perhaps his night job was as a 'lady-boy'. Not that I care, I am just making the point that his appearance was particularly feminine.

I won a few small pots without any drama in the first hour, to the extent that after time charges and rake I was up exactly $5. I had not been in any pots with LB (the young asian guy), but had been observing the way he played, and though I hadn't seen many of his hands go to showdown, he seemed to be making sensible bets and folds, looked like he had a reasonable read on his opponents, and was playing in a tight/aggressive style, without being a maniac. I therefore formed the view he had earned his stack and his play was worth respect.

So this is how the puzzling hand played out:

I am in early position and see AQ spades, I raise to $12 (a normal pre-flop raise for the table), and it is folded around to LB in the cutoff who calls, and everyone else folds.

The flop comes all low with two spades, 4, 5, 7. It looks harmless to me, given the pre-flop action, and I make a c-bet of $20.

LB immediately announces a raise and puts in $60.

And I reason thusly;

1. If he had AK before the flop, he would have 3 bet most of the time

2. If he had large pockets, say down to 10,10 or even 9,9, he would have 3 bet

3. His pre flop call was therefore most consistent with a) a small pair, b) an ace with a kicker weaker than mine c) Something like K x, maybe J, or even J,10, suited spades, so he now has a flush draw too

4. His raise may therefore represent a) Top pair with an ace kicker, b) A flush draw worse than mine c) ace high with a kicker worse than mine, d) a small-ish over pair e) a set f) a bluff or semi-bluff, say with A, mid or bottom pair, attempt to buy the pot

I feel I have pretty well picked his range and likely hands, but I have absolutely no read on him at all as far as tells go. For the purposes of my next action, I decide to ignore the possibility of trips (I have mentioned before I don't think you can correctly base actions on the fear of someone making trips, unless they are giving off a solid tell). Which means, I either have him beat now with a better draw/kicker/overcards, or he has me beat, but with only an overpair of eights or nines.

If he has pocket eights or nines, then I think I am in good shape to represent a bigger pair, because, I raised from early position pre-flop (and he must have noticed I am a tight player), and lead out post flop showing strength. So I figure a decent re-raise here should mean he will have to fold medium pocket pairs, and lay down any hand worse than mine. If he has made trips, well, he has, and I am going to lose a stack to a 1 in 200 event and that's the way it is.

A decent re-raise here would be about $150-$180, leaving me only a few dollars, hence I announce 'all in'.

LB insta calls.

The dealer quickly deals out the last two cards (red J, red Q) before either of us have a chance to turn ours over. We flip at about the same time and the dealer announces 'Straight wins'.


The title may have given it away, but LB had 3 6 off suit, and had flopped the nuts. I did not see that one coming.

What was I meant to do? Could that have been anticipated? Is there a big flaw in my thinking that causes me to lose a stack with ace high to the nut straight? Or was it just one of those random things from an opponent being hit with the deck where I was giving them too much credit?

I still can't figure it out.

I bought back in anyway. Over the next couple of hours I saw LB stack three other players with; K 4 off, vs A K, where he hit a king on the flop, called a large bet, another king came on the turn, called the all in, and then hit a 4 on the river. Made an eight high runner, runner flush against a flopped two pair, and called a $60 all in from a short stacked player with Q,10 vs Q9. Hmmm.

He cashed out a little while later with over $1,500, and I was not sorry to see him go.

I ended up wining back my first stack, plus $100, so it weren't all bad.


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