Set of 2♠2♦ on the River, what do you do here?
DECISION POINT: In a Cash Game, your raise from Early Position with 2♠2♦ and get 3 callers. The Flop comes A♠J♠2♥. You bet, and get 2 callers. The Turn is the 6♥. You bet, one opponent folds and the other calls. The River is the 8♥. You check, and your opponent moves all-in. What do you do here?
PRO ANSWER: Given that we checked the river, we must call the all-in.
Normally, we could take the line of betting the flop, turn, and river with big hands such as a set. This is especially profitable with bottom set, since we are more likely to get action from Ax or Jx hands (we don't block any of those cards).
That said, given that there are a few missed draws out there (any spade draw, wheel turned open-ender) plus the fact that stacks are deep (making it less likely they will stack off with AQ type hands), the check on the river here is fine some of the time.
Checking here allows them to bluff with missed draws, while they will still bet for value with most of the hands that will call an all-in if we shove first to act.
If stacks were slightly deeper, we could also make a fake block bet on the river, allowing them to call with AQ type hands and occasionally bluff shove with missed draws. But we're a little too shallow on the river for that.
Overall, we should never fold this hand on the river, we beat too much of our opponent's value range (any of the two pair Ax hands) plus they have a decent number of bluffs (spade draws).
Calling is the best play.
How would you play it?
Share your answer in the comments below!