One of the most common problems with novice poker players is over valuing their hand. In this particular hand our hero picks up a strong hand and plays it almost perfect. I say almost because they really screwed it up at the end when it counted the most. This is also the type of hand that can cause a poker player to start going on tilt and making them lose more money they should in the following hands.
The stakes are 25nl and our hero is playing shorthanded against some weaker opponents. Our hero states the villain is a calling station and very weak. Calling stations generally play very passive and it's crucial to point this out.
We start the hand with AJ from the cutoff and make standard raise to $1.50. We get one call from the button and go to the flop heads up. We flop well with top pair top kicker. A bet of about $1.25 is about right in this spot.
Our hero does bet, but on the smaller side to $1.00. I prefer to make it a bit larger especially since we have a read that our opponent is a calling station. A common theme in my posts is extracting as much value as possible. If we miss out on $0.25 a hand over 1,000 hands that's a loss of $250. Putting situations into dollars always gets people's attention, and $250 is nothing to sneeze at.
The turn is kind of bad as it brings some draws and an over card to our pair. Still, we have to feel confident our hand is still good against a weak calling station and betting is a must when checked to. The pot is now $3.85 so a bet of about $2.50 is what I prefer.
Our hero makes a solid bet of almost half pot, but only this we get raised all in. Now if we go back to what I tried to emphasize earlier, calling stations usually only call. We are now faced with a large raise from someone who rarely bets. If we break the hand down street by street, we can deduce that our hand is no good. There is obviously the flush which beats us but a more likely holding would be a 3 or a full house. We cannot rule out the flush but we have to know that our hand is no good anymore and a fold is the best option.
Unfortunately our hero makes a crying call without going off his read and understanding exactly how this specific player type reacts and loses his stack. We should made an easy fold and moved on to the next and keeping the $18 in our stack.
You have to realize that this is call is especially bad since we will have plenty of chances to get this players money. There is no need to make a mediocre call when this player will give us no trouble and we can easily find better spots to extract more money.