Mandatory button straddle of 10, blinds folds to Hero (800) UTG who opens A♦
to 40 with an above average image. A decent player (young Asian who is a winning player but is too wide pre-flop) and another drunken whale (ATC) call in position. Hero is the effective stack with 800.
: - Hero bets 90 into 120 (don't think either player - esp. drunk whale will fold an Ace - I might've been able to just pot here...) Asian villain calls, whale folds.
: - Hero bets 125 to target worse aces, esp all A
: x hands. Villain calls.
. I'm a bit lost here, and I 'm not sure I can get value from worse (except AJ - maybe if I bet 1/4 pot or so, weak As can feel pot committed?) Is this a bet-fold, check-call, check-fold? I know this is Villain dependent, but I don't have a great read at this point. I'd love to hear your mental framework in this spots.
Hero checks, Villain bets 225 into 550. I struggle to construct his range and fold. Value wise, there are some flushes, 22, and a couple combos of AK. Villain knows that I can bet-fold top pair on flop, so is unlikely to raise with 22 and AK. I'm lost as to whether he will bet AJ/AQ for thin value - I am inclined to think that he won't, but I haven't seen him really squeeze out thin value when his hands go to showdown.
Important: My confusion is from trying to ascertain what level he's thinking: i.e. since my range is capped when I check River, maybe he thinks he can bet ATC and I must fold. HOWEVER, I don't know how big of a bluffing frequency he has, and my line looks like I'm checking to c/c. How do you all approach this type of situation?