The following hand featured the largest cash game pot I have ever played.
In one important way, this hand reminds me very much of a hand that EricE wrote about last year.
In regards to the title of this post, my preflop 3 bet is an intentional -$7EV raise (with 6 opponents). However, this well documented type of slightly negative EV preflop/positive EV postflop play is perfectly reasonable especially considering that SB and UTG are in this hand.
Note that the substantial multiway play in this hand was not typical for the game. A number of hands involving the super LAGGY SB did have inflated pots due to some outrageous late street bluff raising/reraising/capping. Hero has tight pf image and weak/tight postflop image in this session.
9 handed Live $40/$80 LHE
preflop: super loose player limps UTG, Hero limps w 3h3d, very solid MP limps, typically solid but occasionally tricky MP+1 raises, MP+2 mucks, tricky player in CO cold calls, button mucks, super LAGGY donkey SB calls, tricky BB calls, UTG calls, Hero 3 bets, all call (7 players, pot size 21 small bets)
flop: 3sTcKs checked to Hero, Hero bets, MP calls, MP+1 raises, CO cold calls, SB mucks, BB cold calls, UTG 3 bets, all call (6 players, pot size 39 small bets)
turn: 3sTcKs6h checked to UTG, UTG bets, Hero raises, MP cold calls, MP+1 3 bets, CO 4 bet caps, BB calls all in for 2.875BB, UTG tanks and mucks, all call (5 players, pot size 39.375BB)
river: 3sTcKs6h7s checked around.
On the turn, UTG tanked for 30 seconds while considering calling the 3 raises that came after he bet. During this time, I had plenty of time to analyze MP+1's and CO's hand ranges and mentally re-count the pot size. I put him on only 2 possible hands given the action on every street - TT and AsTs. (he will always cap pf w KK and would never have raised preflop and on the flop w 66)
He is definitely capable of raising on the turn in a big pot w 2nd pair and the nut flush draw, however given all the actions that have occurred thus far in this actual hand I am EXTREMELY skeptical that his hand is anything other than a legitimately represented hand.
CO's hand range includes 66, KT, OESD, the plethora of pair and a flush draw combinations, and a lot of wacky 2nd best hands, and any hand that he intends to take to free showdown. He is certainly capable of cold capping with a drawing hand with the rationale that "it is going to be capped anyways...".
Regardless of my feelings on MP+1's and CO's (particularly MP+1's) hand range and my equity even if my hand is currently good, I can't find it in myself to make a fold here.
Result: MP+1 shows TT to take the puny side pot, BB's Js?s takes the main pot.
Final pot: $3145 (after a $5 drop/rake)
Regarding CO's hand, he didn't show his hand at the time, and I didn't have the opportunity to question him.
MP flashed QcJc in disgust.