Synopsis: you 3-bet red aces from the button in the limit holdem round of a HORSE tournament. Your opponent then goes limp, check-calling the flop and turn. On the river, the board is 7s Jh 9s 3h Td. It's checked to you.
The thing that strikes me most about this hand is that my opponent capped the betting out-of-position before the flop, and then went limp-- he check-called to the river. I asked what hands he might do this with. The results of the poll:
smaller pairs: 32%
some other hands: 29%
Some of these answers just don't make sense to me. If I assume that my opponent is at least a little bit rational, he's going to put in a bet at some point with AA, KK, QQ, JJ, and AJ. To me, check-call mode means one of two things-- a decently strong but possibly beat hand, or a monster that you're trying to trap with. AA, KK, and QQ are certainly going to put in a bet or raise at some point. I think smaller pairs will scamper away by the turn.
Given the way the hand played out, the candidate hands seem to be AK, AQ, TT, or maybe 88. He could also have flopped a set and is hoping to get me on the river, but slows down when the fourth straight card comes. Of those hand, the only ones I'm ahead of are AK and AQ. Do they pay me off? Sometimes, but far from always.
What hands check raise me? TT and 88, and maybe a few other sets. I don't think I get check raised by anything that I'm ahead of.
Basically, I think the hand comes down to hoping my opponent has AK or AQ. I might have considered a bet over the table, where I had body language to guide me, and I might have considered it in a cash game with linear-value chips. In this situation, it felt wrong to me.
So my analysis comes down to this: I don't think AK and AQ pay me off often enough to make it worth stepping in a mine against the other hands. The only caveat I'll put on this analysis is that I haven't played much limit holdem in the last several years, so my limit analytical skills are rusty. And yes, I might be out of touch with what a typical limit player would do.
By the way, I'm amused that only five of you thought that KK and QQ cap then go limp, but 14 of you include KK and QQ in "What hands play this way, then pay you off if you bet?"