Originally Posted by woedz
With what stack size can we still set mine profitably? Hypothetical: let's use the Sunday Mini Million (structure) for this example:
10k starting stack, 12 min levels.
Let's say we have 35BB at 500/1.000. UTG+2 raises to 2250 — he has us covered. We have 55 on the BTN. The SB has us covered too, the BB hasn't.
Can we set mine (in a vacuum)? If not, from which stack size could we? If we can: how much lower in stack can we go before we have to fold?
How do we calculate this? Any variables that I'm missing?
Thanks.


Let me preface my response below by saying I am not a tournament professional, as my background comes mostly from playing cash games. So the knowledge below comes from playing cash where effective stacks are normally at or around 100BBs. So my guess is that the math is a little different, especially when taking antes into account for tournaments, but this is a good general rule to think about when set mining:
The general rule that you should follow is that we need to have deep enough stacks and implied odds to stack that opponent when we do flop a set . Take the open raise and multiply that by 25. This all comes from math that I learned from SplitSuit's YouTube channel (a professional player) but the basic premise is that we will only flop a set or better about 12% of the time. Even when we do flop a set, we won't always get paid because sometimes the other players just miss and will cbet and then fold to any other aggression. So this rule is taking into account the times that we don't get paid and will help you set mine profitably over the long run.
So, if we multiply the open raise by 25 and the result is SMALLER than the effective stack of the opener, we can profitably call to set mine in a tournament. So, in your example, we should have effective stacks somewhere around 56k for this to be a profitable setmine with 55 which we do not have since our own effective stack is 35k. However, as I mentioned above, this math does not take into account tournament antes or anything like that. I would say in tournaments that you can profitably setmine when the effective stacks are 4045+ BBs. Once you get into the 30 BB mark, you want to start playing more conservatively with smaller pocket pairs, as we will be bleeding
chips if we're always calling those simply to setmine preflop. Once you get below 20BBs, you should never set mine and only fold or rejam your stack depending on the looseness of the opener and the openers position as well as yours (i.e. how many players still have cards behind me that can call if I jam?). Hope this helps!