Hand Scenario: $280 buy-in tournament with 6 day 1's which includes buy backs (if advance to day 2 twice, you play the bigger stack and get $1,200 for the small one that is forfeited). Start with 20,000 chips and will play 16 30 minute levels on day 1. Advanced with small stack in day 1A and playing day 1B. Have a very tough table but have managed to build from 20k up to 60k about half way through the day. We are in level 8 with the blinds at 300/600 and a 50 ante. 10-handed table. I am in the cut-off and it's folded to me. I have a very solid image as everything I have had to shown down has been a very good hand. I decide to open to 1500 with KJ offsuit (K spade, J clubs) (thoughts?) I get called by the button, a very solid player who doesn't get out of line but is definitely capable of floating and applying pressure. He is the only stack at the table bigger than me (of course) with about 70k (Derek Murphy for those of you in Minnesota). The blinds fold and Derek and I are heads up with a pot of 4,400. Flop comes A clubs, T spades, 3 spades. Thinking this is better for my open range than his button call range, I decide to continue for 1,500. (thoughts?) Derek re-raises me to 6,000. It will cost me 4,500 to call with a pot of 11,900. I decide to call bringing the pot to 16,400. My thought process here was that I could actually have the best hand as he is capable of making that raise and applying pressure, maybe with something like two spades, KQ, QJ. He could also have a T and wants to see what I do; calling the re-raise may cause him to slow down on the turn; if it's a T then any KQJ gives me the best hand. If he has an A, I do have out to the nuts with a Q. Further, another spade gives me outs to the second nut flush. Seems a little loose but I wanted to see what transpired on the turn (thoughts?) The turn is the A spades. This decreases the chance his range includes an A, and now I pick up outs to the nut flush. I decide to keep checking for pot control and Derek fires 10,000 into the 16,400 pot building it to 26,400. My thoughts are now that I'm probably beat; he has an A or a T or something like JJ, QQ. Potentially he has 33 also. Some of his range will have me drawing dead (AT, TT, 33) but I feel like a fair amount of his range I can beat with a spade or a Q (11 outs I figure) with a small chance a K or Q is good. I decide to call thinking the implied odds are pretty good here and I'm getting 2.6 to 1. Seems a bit dicey now, but it's what I did (thoughts?) The river brings the 4 of spades completing my nut flush. I decide to check again for both pot control and also to induce if he was betting a flush or bluffing. He bet 25,000 into the pot of 26,400. It seemed like a big bet and in my mind this made him quite polarized. Either he had me crushed with a boat or I had him crushed. I figured he now had AT, TT, 33 for made hands as I don't think he would bet just an A or even any spade including the Q. But I figured he would bet the hands that didn't get there or that if he thought he could scare me off an A, T, or something like KK, QQ, JJ because of the spades. I figured it was probably about a 50/50 shot that he was bluffing vs. having me crushed. I still would have 15-20 big blinds left if I was wrong. I decided to call (thoughts?) He had AT to win the very large pot. But I'm really concerned about the decisions along the way. The only one I'm confident of is the pre-flop open from the cutoff with KJ off, beyond that I'm still not sure about any of them. I go back and forth regarding each decision. The river was really one of those situations where I stayed on the turn thinking a spade gives me the best hand... and then I got there; which makes it tough to fold given my read on Derek.
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