For what it's worth, here's my evaluation the hand. Not saying it was a great call by me - I was pretty confused as to whether I'd done the right thing, which was why I posted.
Villain's range = any two remotely coordinated cards. So re-raise with my premium hand.
Villain has stuck around. He could have a small / medium pocket pair, but really, facing a hefty re-raise and given the limited implied odds
(5x the pre-flop raise), these are fold-or-push hands. Could have suited connectors, or two high cards. If he's caught any part of the flop, he'll probably bet, so I check to him. At this point, having missed the flop, I'm ready to fold to a sizeable bet.
I don't really like the continuation bet here with AK out of position. A decent-sized continuation bet will leave me pot-committed, and if he has a hand that beats me he's probably calling. After that I have to either move all-in on a bluff on the turn - unlikely to work given the size of the pot - or give it up, having wasted another $10-15. A check can look strong too, as it could look like I'm setting a trap, so I decide to check and see what he does.
My bet here is a value bet, hoping to take down the pot here, as I believe at this point I have the best hand. I put Villain on two high cards. If he had a Ten or an overpair he would certainly have bet the flop.
My first thought after his all-in was that he was bluffing
. If I were playing a rock in a full ring game, it's an easy fold, but I'm playing someone who's shown down some hands of questionable quality 4-handed.
If he didn't have a hand worth betting on the flop, why does an 8 suddenly make his an all-in hand?
a) He doesn't have a hand but has read me for AK/a pre-flop "move", and thinks I'll fold
... in which case I'm favourite and call. Made more likely by the fact that if he does have some sort of weak hand, he'll try to limit the pot size, and just call - no reason to raise, as I'm only calling him / re-raising if he's beat
b) He's picked up a draw and this is a semi-bluff
... similar to above - I call. Slightly more sophisticated move. BUT, more likely just to call if he has a big draw and odds?
c) He has a genuinely strong hand but is afraid that I might have a strong draw
... Would make most sense if he has a set, and now sees flush and straight draw possibilities. With J9, he's more likely to take the risk of playing it slower. Alternatively could have something like 87 which has now made 2 pair, which he needs to protect.
d) He has a genuinely strong hand and thinks I have a strong hand that's likely to be second best, like AA / KK
But the all-in raise is suspiciously large. Re-raising pot is less common in no-limit games than pot-limit, especially on the Turn (rather than the flop, where there's a greater chance of someone making their draw). With a strong hand like a set, or J9 for the straight, a more inviting raise would be appropriate.
As for the pot-odds, it's $30 to call a $70 pot, so I need 30% equity to break even. Aces and Kings may still be outs, which would give me 12%. If he has one pair, maybe half the time he has an Ace or King kicker, wihch would reduce my equity to 6%.
So let's say I have 9% equity. That leaves me needing another 21% from the chance that he's bluffing. This is where we need to separate the pure bluff from the semi-bluff. On a pure bluff, say with A2, he may only have 3 outs, and 6% equity. With something like A9o he'd have 13 outs and 26% equity... or 32% with Q9. Similar figures for the flush draw with two live cards. Seeing as I might lose on average 20% of the time if he's bluffing or semi-bluffing, the chances that he is bluffing on the Turn need to be higher than 21% - add 20% of 21% to make 25%.
So is there a 25%+ chance he's bluffing or semi-bluffing? Given
- he didn't have a hand worth betting on the flop, leading to
- my post-flop read of "two high cards", and the facts that
- his raise is larger than could be expected with a real hand,
- I'd noted he was capable of aggression without a strong hand, and
- the board is fairly co-ordinated (6 or 9 make open-ended straight draw, plus two clubs),
there probably is.
Congratulations if anyone has managed to read this far. Does it make any sense?