So, the basic theory of limit hold’em is ‘pound, pound, pound’. That is to say, you should keep betting your hand hoping that your hand is good, or that your opponent will fold. That is of course, unless you’ve suddenly fallen into the land of bimodal opponent distributions. When your steal raise get’s three bet out of the blinds, by a ‘sane’ opponent, it’s going to usually be a big ace or a pocket pair. You do not need a picture of the typical BB 3-bet distribution.
In one hand example, one player has AKo versus AJo and the board came 6s Jc Qc Ad 4c. So when your AK flops a Broadway QJ-gut shot, you are pretty freaking hosed. His distribution isn’t really bimodal (yet), you are just plain beat. Your ‘back is up against the wall.’ AK beats a lot of aces, until the flop comes QJ-high. Now, the only ace he might have which you can beat is AT, and possibly some suited aces. Of course, 1/4 of the suited aces are gonna jam back at you.
I have been transformed from the Fantastic Four Bettor, back into the wimpy computer geek that is my secret identity. The turned ace is some help. Now your opponents distribution is bimodal. He’s either got you crushed with a better ace (or maybe tied with AK), or he’s just begging for free cards with a hand like 88. You are so accommodating.
Of course, you are going to call his river bet and lose. But compare how little you lost to someone who might blindly pound in this spot. Two over cards plus a Broadway gut shot is a quite attractive hand, and very pound worthy most of the time.
My favorite part of this hand is the little irony that check raise failed in his attempt to check-raise. Buy hand histories if you like to study poker hands and learn more about your opponents by studying their moves and learning their tricks.