All-In Luck Of The Draw
I would like to touch on an aspect of any tournament you happen to play in and all comments are welcome. That is the all-in play.
The way i see it is this is one of the worst plays you can make with the exception of holding AA or KK.
How many times in a tournament have we seen the all-in move and how many times have we seen 55 vs AK, AQ vs AJs and no matter what the all-in may be, what cards are involved with the 2 3 or 4 players involved it is pure luck of the draw. 22 vs AK the 22 is the favorite but as we all know it is nothing more than a coin flip. I see no logic in risking your whole stack of chips, your entire tournament life on something as sketchy as luck. To me it's crazy. There are 5 cards to be turned and anything can come. How many times have we seen someone bluff all-in with an 89o and someone holding AQs calls just to have the board show K2359.
Cards like AK, AQ, AJ whether suited or not are simply drawing hands and nothing more. Rarely it is that they can win on their own. Take AK FOR EXAMPLE. aHHHH BIG SLICK, probably the fourth best starting hand you can get in holdem, but how good is it really? Let's look at the numbers. With AK you are trying to hit one of your pairs which leaves you 6 outs to do it with 5 cards to be drawn. The opponent who called you is holding a respectable QQ which is not uncommon That leaves 48 cards unknown and 6 outs. Divide 6 by 50 and you get the percentage. 6/48=.125 That's 12.5% folks. 12.5% of the time you will hit your AK 12.5 times out of 100 leaving 88 times that you will not. Numbers do not lie. The percentage goes up slightly as more cards are turned on the board but not much. And let's not forget the fact that it is quite possible and likely that someone else sitting at that 10 person table received an Ace or King as well dropping your outs to 4 or 5 and if that's the case 4/50=.08 which is 8% or 8 times out of 100.
Pocket pairs on the all in unless they are rather high is also a crapshoot if there is more than one caller. Suppose you have 99 and push it all-in. You get a caller holding AQ and the inevitable lunatic who calls holding KJo. maybe because he has a large stack and its worth it to him/her to call and try to eliminate a couple of people, which has its merits, or he's just a nutty player. In either case you are now fcing 4 overcards with only 46 unknown cards the outs against you 12. 12/46=.26 26% of the time they will hit that card and although that sounds not bad think about it. out of every 4 times you try it you will lose once, but how many times might you try it in a tournament that lasts 3 hours or even longer. Sooner or later the odds
will catch up with you. If you know however that you will be facing only 1 opponent in this all-in then with that pocket pair you might want to go for it. You'll be the favorite going in against anything other than a higher pocket pair which is always possible so tread carefully.
AA or KK is a different story. The top 2 hands in the game you have to go for it but using the odds from before you are favorite to win this big time. You have to go for it and do it gladly.
What's all this mean? If someone pushes all-in and I have AK am i supposed to fold? If you even suspect they have a pocket pair your damn right you fold and fold it quick. Your behind in the hand from the start and is that the way you want to start any hand when all your chips are riding on it? I think not. As with most things in poker a lot will depend on your opponent. if they go all-in with AQ or AJ a lot that AK or even AQ is golden so this is where watching and noticing how your opponents play can become vital.
In a tournament where your only mission is to get to the final table or hit in the money a coin toss or underdog play to me seems foolish and absurd. It may work once but that's a long tournament your going to be in. When you know you have top pair play it strong no doubt. If your a large stack preflop aggression can steal your way to the final table, but to put my tournament life on the line as an underdog..........no thanks, I'd rather muck that big slick and wait for a better opportunity.