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My overbet

Villain opens for $10.

The amount of the raise doesn’t say much. Four-times the blind is a pretty standard opener in this game. Here an extra $2 is added for the new player who had to post an extra big blind.

It’s folded to me in the small blinds with AJ.

Villain is raising about 25% of his hands pre-flop, but that still puts this squarely in the middle of his range. If an ace comes and he has AT, or A9s I may win a medium sized pot. If he doesn’t have an ace at all, I’ll win a very small pot. If he has AQ or AK, or aces up, I risk losing a very large pot.

If I hit a jack I might win some money from KJ, JT, or even QJ. But I have to be careful not to run into an over-pair, two pair, or a even a straight or flush that may come.

All-in-all this is a very reasonable hand to fold, but I can’t bring myself to do it when I’m likely in great shape. I call and promise myself not to go broke on an ace.

The flop is TTA.

I remember my promise and check.

The plan is to call down until he tells me I should stop. He’s likely to be scared of me having a ten, so even AK won’t charge me much. On the other hand, if he has A3-A9, or JJ-KK, these are the only bets I can win.

Villain bets $16. I call.

The turn is the A.

Zippadeedohdah!. Now that I don’t have to worry about a bigger ace or a ten, my real concern is to see how much I can milk him for. The only hand that has me beat is TT, and the only hands that can out draw me are AK and AQ which have three outs each, and TX which only has one.

I can’t imagine him calling with any hand I beat, and I am not very concerned about being drawn out on, so I check. Maybe I’ll get a bluff bet.

Villain checks.

I’m eliminating TT at this point. Not that it was very likely before. Most people would instinctively check if they flopped quads. In this case a bet is a a good idea. If I don’t have an ace you really don’t have any chance of getting paid off so there is no reason to wait to start betting.

If you do get a call on the flop with quads, why not bet again? If he’s afraid of quad aces he’s quite a bit more irrational than most poker players.

The river is the J.

This is exciting. Having eliminated TT, I’m now certain I have the best hand. The question becomes, how might he pay me off here?

This is not a board he’ll bluff at, especially since he checked the turn. I can’t hope to win any money from a bluff.

Tens-full-of-aces isn’t going to call much of a bet. Only aces full of tens can call anything. So assuming he has the case ace, how much can he call?

Villain has $151 and I have him covered. The pot is $53 right now.

Sure an ace would call $20 or $30, or even $50. But what if I made an over-bet? If I bet $100 that would look too calculating. But if I bet all-in maybe that would read as giant bluff, maybe backed up a no-lose hand, with an ace in it. He can call and hope I’m bluffing, figuring the worst case is he get his money back.

I bet $260. Villain folds quickly.

The all-in over-bet was probably a mistake. In a live game I might get a call from a player who doesn’t think very deeply, or may have a personal stake in not being pushed out of pots. Online I think more players are capable of looking at the facts of the situation.

The villain would have to call $150, to win $26. Even if he has an ace, he’s beaten by AJ and TT and he can only beat a bluff, and given that I just bet three times the pot, on the river, it doesn’t look like I’m bluffing.