re: Poker & $2 NLHE 6-max: Bad Beat or poorly played?
Calling UTG opens with KT is asking for trouble. Even over a very small sample, 18/12 indicates a tight player, and when he opens UTG you're behind his range with KT and dominated by a good percentage of it.
On the flop, you called a pot-sized bet with a flush draw. I don't like this play - I think raising or folding is much better. You're not getting the direct odds
to call a pot sized bet, and when you flat, it's really easy for him to barrel turn. Turn is not a heart more than 80% of the time, and you usually have to fold to a second barrel.
On the other hand, if you raise flop, he's folding most of his preflop opening range (almost all of which is still ahead of you). The hands he can continue with are sets, overpairs, and nut flush draws. Most of the time these hands flat call a flop raiser and check to you on the turn, where you can check behind, see a free river, and realize the entire equity you have in the hand.
As played I probably would've raised the turn, because that A hits his range far harder than it does yours. He's raised UTG and double barreled OOP postflop - chances are he has a hand, and players at 2NL tend to have difficulty letting hands go.
Slowplaying definitely isn't bad though, because he's probably betting or check/calling most non-heart rivers.
The river is a really tough spot in my mind. I can't think of a hand that logically takes this line other than 8s full, aces full, 3s full, or quad 6s. Overbets are generally polarizing - either a monster or air. Ace-broadway wants to get called by worse aces, so should usually be betting smaller for value.
The thing is, at 2NL, players don't always make logical decisions. Your hand is huge - you're beaten by a very small number of full houses. Despite my inability to think of logical hands that you beat, I would still lean towards a call. You played passively the whole hand, and there's plenty of aggro fish that will just barrel away mindlessly at a passive player.
This was a very hard hand to play in my opinion. I think the correct decision was marginal on every street (except preflop). On the flop, calling, raising, and folding are all perfectly viable options. On the turn, raising and calling are both viable. And on the river, calling and folding are both viable. I recognize that I am a very aggressive player and as such tend to favor raising over calling even with big hands, but playing monsters passively definitely isn't wrong.
I'll wrap up with this quote from the Mersenneary E-Book (the book is about HUSNG but a lot of concepts are applicable to all forms of poker).
"The more rare the situation and the closer the decision, the less you should care about the answer of what action you should have taken."
While the board pairing when you have a straight or flush isn't ultra-rare, the fact that the decision is so close means that it's not very important to your long-term EV. So don't worry too much about it