Rookie bet $6650 into a pot of $18288. By all accounts I should fold here given that I have the absolute bottom of my range. I was reluctant though, as Rookie had a very persistent betsizing tell which made an appearance. Generally, on dry boards, or boards which looked favorable to Rookie’s range, and especially in position, Rookie liked to bet a polarized range on the flop for 1/3 pot. He had exhibited this tell many times across various sub-textures and in various potsizes. I also had some stirrings of memory of him making a larger betsize with some strong but vulnerable hands, at least sometimes, and so this betsize made me think that he was some unknowable amount more likely than normal to have a range of AxKs+ type hands along with pure bluffs (as opposed to semibluffs). He might also have a range of AQ+ QsQx+ and then pure bluffs, electing to checkback with Ax type hands, mediocre made hands, and mediocre spades, and then some percentage of his nuttiest hands to trap. Whichever of these strategies he chose, everytime he had made this betsize his turn strategy was very transparent- he would barrel on the turn with the strong parts of his range as well as his strong semibluffs and the occasional pure bluff, and then check the remainder. He might also checkback some very strong hands on the turn in order to induce a river bluff, but as I had never seen him do so previously, I thought he was significantly more likely to play these hands as a bet/bet or as a check back flop to call/call. This texture presented an especially good opportunity for me to take an OOP float against many of the strategies he was likely to play- in all previous cases Rookie had not shown down a non-suited hand in a 4bet pot except for an offsuit ace, and since he cold 4bet with very deep stacks I expected him to have a range with more suited connector hands than his usual for deception and implied odds. So, on this board texture, his probable 4betting range would either flop a strong pair of aces which would bet flop, a flush which would usually bet flop, a few big pairs with spades which bet flop, and a few Ax w/ spades hands which would bet flop. This left him with a high ratio of essentially zero equity bluffs, the precise amount of which would depend on just how polarized a flop betting range he decided to play in this case. So, I could pay $6650 for the option to gain very accurate information about his range on the turn, and then if he checked, I could exercise my option to make a highly profitable river bluff for 2/3 pot. To sum up, if his range was possibly bluff heavy preflop, and by assumption from previous play I knew he was almost 100% likely to checkback AJ or worse without a spade, and if he was bluffing flop this was his single most likely betsize, I can update the Bayesian probability of his range containing bluffs to some amount higher than I had attributed it based on preflop play alone. If I had to quantify the muddle of my quantitative and psychological reads at this point, such as they are, I would estimate he was 6betting around 40% of his 4betting range, and cbetting a range of well over half bluffs. I chose to exercise my option and see if I could get my turn checkback.
-Ben Sulsky aka Sauce123