Lunch poker...I'm on the button. Nick is SB, Martin is BB. Joe limps in mid-late position, then it folds to me.
I have A8o. Hardly premium, but with position and what I figure rates to be the best hand at the moment, I raise to 5. I'm expecting Nick to fold, but I fail to process that Martin is likely to call, at which point Joe will as well. Oh well...
To my surprise, Nick calls, Martin folds, and Joe calls.
The flop is A♥ 8♣ 4♦, and the action checks to me. I bet 8, half the pot. This is such a standard flop bet for me when I'm the aggressor that I'm not sure how it will be taken, but I'm thinking it will probably buy it right there.
Nick calls, and Joe folds.
Interesting call from Nick...I'm not exactly sure what to put him on, here, maybe an ace or a mid-pocket and he doesn't fully buy that I'm on an ace.
The turn is 6♥, and Nick checks to me.
I'm awfully sure I'm good, now, but I check because Nick is a good enough player to read it as a c-bet/slowdown. It's blatantly giving him a free card, and I'm not totally comfortable with that, but at the same time, it's what will sell Nick on the c-bet/slowdown. I figure he either has two outs to his set or three outs to a better two pair, and a very longshot of two hearts, but the ace is out there, so I have a hard time putting him on two hearts, and I have mentally discounted a heart as an out for him.
Which is good, because the river is 3♥.
Nice and low, though. I don't put Nick on calling my raise out of position with something like 75, and now I'm hoping for a bet. He obliges with a bet of 15, and I think for a bit, and raise to 30.
The minraise is uncharacteristic of me, and I'm not entirely sure why I did it. I guess I felt like, if my move had worked, he was betting out fairly light on the premise that I had missed and was done with the hand. A bet like 40 would actually induce a fold, in that case, but it felt like he would look me up for 15 more, and he did. He mucked and I took it down.
I thought the hand was interesting because it was one of those instances where I got a perfect storm to pull a move I wouldn't normally do, and the storm was heavily dependent on Nick being a good player. I would not have checked behind on the turn against most of the lunch game players, both because I couldn't be sure they would feel the "failed c-bet" I was projecting, and because I couldn't be sure many of the other players weren't playing something like 75 or two random hearts.
Nick could have been on a set, at which point I would have been destined to lose money to him, because a deceptively-played set does fit all his actions, including smooth-calling a bone-dry flop and checking to an aggressive player on the turn who had bet every street so far. Fear of a set almost led me to smooth-call his 15 on the river, but I had that moment of, "Ryan! If you are going to get tricky and your plan appears to have worked, either go with it and accept the results, or stop the fucking trick plays!"
Anyway, I thought it was an interesting hand because of how I would only play it that way against a good player. Very representative, I think, of the sentiment that good players would rather play against other good players instead of donkeys.
In the end, I think I like a mix at my tables. 100% donks is really not that fun, even if I can make it profitable (bet good hands, value when they hit, check/fold when they miss, repeat, repeat, repeat). 100% sharks is fascinating poker, but the EV suffers, so I'll take a nice mix any day.