Welcome back to the conclusion of the latest What's He Holding? post here at CardSquad.
To recap, this hand takes place in the limit holdem portion of the late stages of the Full Tilt weekly 30k guaranteed HORSE tournament. I had raised from UTG preflop with A8o, and one opponent (puyop) called this UTG raise from middle position. On a raggy, paired flop of 226, I checked to him, and he bet out. I checkraised puyop there on the flop with my hand, in the hopes of finding out for just one half-bet if I was ahead, and puyop just called my checkraise on the flop. Then when the scary Ace fell on the turn and I checked to him, he checked it right back to me and took a free river card. I asked in Part II what you think this player is likely holding, given all the action to that point in the hand.
Once again I generally agree with the comments I received to Part II of this post. The middle position smooth call of my UTG raise preflop, followed up leading out on the flop when I checked to him, and then the smooth call of my flop checkraise, all that is indicative to me of either a medium pocket pair, or a reasonably strong Ace, but not AK which would have likely reraised me preflop in my experience. When the Ace fell on the turn, and I checked it to him, I have got to figure that, with a lot of chips in the pot at this point relative to our respect stacks, he is going to be this turn card if he is holding any kind of reasonable Ace. Any Ace at all even, most likely, at that point, and he has to bet out on that turn card. But he checked it right back to me, and that told me all I needed to know. He did not have an Ace in his hand.
And if puyop is not sitting on an Ace, then of the range of hands I had put him on, we were left only with pocket 8s through pocket Jacks. And that means that I can make some good money in this hand, if my check on the turn makes puyop believe I do not have an Ace. Then, he will have to think his pocket pair is good here, and I stand to make some good chippage on the river. And speaking of the river, after puyop checked behind me on the turn with 2♠2♥6♣A♣ showing, the gorgeous A♥ slammed the river, giving me the boat and a nearly unbeatable hand.
He did not flip his cards, as I took down the hand and over 7000 chips in the process. But, since he mucked on the river but saw it through to the end, I was able to check out his hole cards and determine how correct my read was (although once the pot was pushed my way, I all but knew I was right on). If you're interested, you can click here to see what puyop was holding. In any event, this was an absolutely key hand for me in what turned out to be one of my biggest career tournament wins as an online poker player.