11-12-05 [poker]Arg. I just made another one of the donkey mistakes that I thought I'd cleansed from my game. The mistake in this case is semi-bluffing on a good draw when there's little chance of the opponent folding. A lot of people flop a nut flush draw and immediately think "semi-bluff". That of course, is wrong. Semi-bluffing is only a good move if there's enough chance your opponent will fold. The first thing you should be thinking about is how to see cards cheaply, and also hopefully get paid if you do hit.
This hand is in a $20 tourney and there's a very dangerous mix of good players and complete donkeys. Everyone limps so people can be on almost any two cards (limpers in this game are very loose). I'm in the BB with A4s. I flop top pair with a good draw (11 outs against an overpair).
Seat 8 is the button Total number of players : 10 Seat 2: steerpike_x ( $585 ) Seat 3: alcher74 ( $530 ) Seat 4: Tempest61614 ( $2605 ) Seat 6: sdtaft348 ( $180 ) Seat 8: ruffster111 ( $1520 ) Seat 9: Silverdog ( $590 ) Seat 10: chukb ( $720 ) Seat 1: TIMETRAIN ( $1605 ) Seat 7: outformoney ( $2440 ) Seat 5: zurk11 ( $1715 ) Trny:17350698 Level:3 Blinds (15/30) ** Dealing down cards ** Dealt to chukb [ As 4s ] TIMETRAIN folds. steerpike_x folds. alcher74 calls . Tempest61614 folds. zurk11 folds. sdtaft348 folds. outformoney calls . ruffster111 calls . Silverdog calls . chukb checks. ** Dealing Flop ** [ 2d, 4c, 3s ] Silverdog checks. chukb checks. alcher74 checks. outformoney bets . ruffster111 folds. Silverdog folds. chukb is all-In  alcher74 folds. outformoney calls . ** Dealing Turn ** [ Ts ] ** Dealing River ** [ Qh ] outformoney shows [ Kc, Ks ] a pair of kings. chukb shows [ As, 4s ] a pair of fours.
There are several problems with this semi-bluff. One, I don't have enough chips to make them fold a better hand, so any kind of bluff is inappropriate. Two, the pot before the action is not that big, so it's not worth fighting over. Three, by the betting I can be pretty sure "outformoney" is on an overpair. I can't imagine that a moron would limp KK like that, that's a terrible play, but I could certainly imagine a medium/low pair. There's no way an overpair will fold here, so basically I'm running all my chips at 35% odds on a pot that's not offering that.
Perhaps the best play would have been to lead out with a probe bet on this flop, then when "outformoney" come over the top, I can either fold or call if the pot is then giving me enough odds. The pot after the flop was 150, so if I bet 90, it would be 330 and 600 more to call, so again clearly not the right odds and an easy fold.
Now, outformoney was a bit of a bluffer, so there was some chance that she just had two overs, but I don't think it was enough.