all-in Etiquette, check raise or fold???

Dagon7

Dagon7

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This is something that really confuses me about online tournaments, when a short stack goes all-in pre-flop and is called by two (or more) big stacks, what is the correct play? I always believed from home games and watching the pro's on TV that the correct play was to check it down so that ether of the hands against the short stack would have a chance of eliminating that player. This may get a little hard to follow bare with me.

Bob :kd4: :kc4: has 500 goes all in pre, Rick has :ks4: :qs4: 3000 and calls, John :ah4: :jh4: has 4000 and calls, pot is 1500. the flop comes :10d4: :qd4: :kh4:, all players flop huge but John clearly has the nuts, but no possibility for a better hand except 2 running hearts he checks to be polite and to not risk doubling the short stack, rick has top 2 pair with (he thinks) 6 outs to a full . He sees the check as a sign of weakness and bets 500, john, confused, calls. the turn comes :qh4: Johns hand is the same as before except he has a flush draw and a st flush draw, he checks, Rick now has Q's full of K's he goes all in. John sees the house and rather than risking the tourney on one hand with only 1 out he folds. the river comes :10h4: .
changing nothing about bob's hand or ricks, Bob triples up and Rick breaks even, John folded the straight flush and lost 1000. Who made the right play? Bob made money, Rick didn't loose money so obviously they are right? NO! If Rick had checked it down he would have lost the hand and 500 chips but they also would have eliminated Bob which is what a tourney is all about. Instead he now has the same amount of opponents only one is stronger than ever. The next couple hands a bitter John and a newly emboldened Bob crush Rick and his bad manners with low suited connectors.

What say you world?
BTW I tried searching for this topic and could not find it.
 
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kesc

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My belief is that if you have a hand you believe will win.. bet it...

I only get annoyed when I see someone protect an all in with a small pair or worse.
 
Dagon7

Dagon7

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I will give you that, if you are going to bet someone out it's much more excusable if they have a strong hand. this example is extreme, I try not to do it ever, but find it rewarding when you check the nuts to be polite and the other guy raises, unintentional trap lol.
 
pigpen02

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I would never check the nuts. Checking down is proper if two weak hands might put out the all in, but a strong hand should be bet.
 
arahel_jazz

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Try searching for "dry side pot" ettiquite. As everything usually goes, it all depends on where you are in the tournament and how big the all-in pot happens to be. I would never be confused if someone bet into a dry side pot while I was holding the nuts. The goal is to win, not to watch and hope one of you eliminates the short stack.

John made the right lay-down in my opinion. He had a one-outer for his tournament life, and wasn't getting good odds to call it. He only has 1/4 of his stack committed, so he got away cheap.
 
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switch0723

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if i have 2 pair or above in an all in situatiion, i bet it to create a side pot, i dont want the other person seeing free cards and beating me. Id rather bet my powerful hand and take on the shortstack myself. Tourny play isnt about being friendly, be aggressive and take down the chips. Even if i only have a pair of kings for example on the river, i might bet into a dry side pot to increase the likelyhood of me winning the main pot
 
zachvac

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This isn't an etiquette question, it's a strategy question. If you have a bad hand, there's no point in bluffing at an empty pot. It pisses me off when someone bets when there's an all-in and I fold my bottom pair and he has something like A high. It hurts me obviously and hurts him in the long run because when I call I have him beat and when I fold he wins exactly nothing, unless of course he knew beforehand that the all-in has less than A high and that he could bet me off my pair, which I guess is fine, but I doubt people who do that actually think that through. If you have a good hand though, why not bet it? Especially if there are draws against it. Never give opponents a free draw.
 
zachvac

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and in response to the hand in the OP, I'd say AJ should bet the flopped straight, but other than that nothing wrong with the hand etiquette-wise.
 
OzExorcist

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I would never check the nuts. Checking down is proper if two weak hands might put out the all in, but a strong hand should be bet.

If you're last to act, checking the stone cold nuts on the river will actually get you a penalty for soft playing in a live tournament.

If you've got a hand, bet it. If you've got the nuts, definitely bet it because there's no question of ethics: the reason you're silently agreeing to check it down is because it's possible the all-in player could beat one or the other of your hands. If you've got the nuts, that's no longer a concern so bet your hand and hope the third player comes along for the ride.

Of course, the hand above is an extreme example: the odds of a royal flush over a full house over a full house are... well, let's just say they're positively James Bond-esque.

I will agree that bluffing into a dry side pot (ie: there isn't a side pot yet, only the main pot) is a very questionable play.

But think about this: is it always to your advantage to have the small stack bust out?
 
jaymfc

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I check it down unless I think I will win for sure , I hate people that bet marginal hands and am always happy to see the short stack beat them and hopefully take them out later.

if it's on the money bubble , I check it down unless it's the nuts .

if I was was john I probably would gave bet .
 
Kenzie 96

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Call Buck & Qhris they will explain it to you. :D
 
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Kennyseven

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this is the best hand scenerio i have ever seen! IF I GOT THE NUTS AFTER FLOP >>>>>F ETEQUITE>>>>ALL IN!
 
Dagon7

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Ya know..

I think the hand was misleading, in this (once in a lifetime situation) everything was probably played on the up and up, but who can blame John for being bitter? The question I suppose is should you forget the all in completely? Because as soon as you show the initial weakness/courtesy whatever the case may be, your opponent will 50% of the time realize this, 50% of the time not. So who can blame a steal attempt if they are giving no thought to saving the short stack? I'm wondering if I should forget the notion of checking it down all together, because at this point the bitterness of trying to uphold it against ducks is putting me on tilt every other time. I think as a few of you mentioned that any nut or really strong hand should negate the all in and you should shift gears to the other opponent, on the other hand playing a draw or betting a draw in this situation is a plain dumb move. thanks for the input, I feel better. Going to search dry side now.
 
Dagon7

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If you're last to act, checking the stone cold nuts on the river will actually get you a penalty for soft playing in a live tournament.

But think about this: is it always to your advantage to have the small stack bust out?

Really? A penalty for soft play? What about trapping? Same thing no? Sorry if I sound like I'm contradicting, I really only play a little 4/8 live, never tournaments.

Why would I want to save the shorty? To maintain my table in multi? to hope he doubles through a larger stack than mine? Just curious, besides it seems by the way you phrased it I was supposed to hazard a guess:)
 
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switch0723

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Why would I want to save the shorty? To maintain my table in multi? to hope he doubles through a larger stack than mine? Just curious, besides it seems by the way you phrased it I was supposed to hazard a guess:)

If you have a large stack compared to others at a table near hte bubble of a tounry. If they are all playing tight trying to squeeze into money. By not knocking out a shortstack, you allow yourself to steal a lot more chips off the other tight players who are waiting for the button. You can eanr more than the shortstacks stack by doing this
 
zachvac

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Really? A penalty for soft play? What about trapping? Same thing no? Sorry if I sound like I'm contradicting, I really only play a little 4/8 live, never tournaments.

Why would I want to save the shorty? To maintain my table in multi? to hope he doubles through a larger stack than mine? Just curious, besides it seems by the way you phrased it I was supposed to hazard a guess:)

He said soft play if you check when last to act on the river. That means you've got the best hand. If you check you win the pot automatically and if you bet you either win the pot or the pot+the call.

And you are right with not always wanting a shortstack to bust out. Especially for example say it's 4-handed and 3 make the money. If I'm big stack here it's in my best interest for the short stack to stay around so I can continue to bully the 2 medium stacks who fear bubbling. I think Harrington discussed this in one of his books.
 
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ts69even3

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checking it down is nice to do, but if you have what you think is the winning hand and u can beat the all n, why not create the side pot or make it bigger? I would like most people to check it down when I am behind of course, but really bet ur hand as u see fit, there is no check it down rule... its just something that makes sense, unless u have a MONSTER
 
OzExorcist

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Really? A penalty for soft play? What about trapping? Same thing no? Sorry if I sound like I'm contradicting, I really only play a little 4/8 live, never tournaments.

Why would I want to save the shorty? To maintain my table in multi? to hope he doubles through a larger stack than mine? Just curious, besides it seems by the way you phrased it I was supposed to hazard a guess:)

Switch and Zach have pretty much covered it.

The reasoning behind the penalty is that the only reason you could possibly want to check the stone cold nuts when you're last to act on the river is that you didn't want to take any more chips from your opponent.

If you were first to act you could claim you were trying to check-raise I guess. Note it only applies to the stone cold / absolute nuts: you wouldn't be penalised for checking an ace-high flush when a straight flush was possible, for example. You'd get some funny looks, but you couldn't be penalised.

As for wanting the short stacks to hang around, the other guys have pretty much nailed that too: while they're still around, the bubble drags on and if you're a big stack, you can keep bullying the table and accumulating chips.

Greg Raymer talks about a similar situation on the final table bubble in the '04 Main Event - he started the final table with 8 million chips, 3 million of which he accumulated the night before when the game was 10-handed, because nobody wanted to be the one that busted short of the final table. It's obviously in your interests for that situation to go on as long as possible.
 
Cheetah

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If you are far from the money or in the money but the current prize structure is flat, then your considerations are to maximize your chips. I.e. cEV is the driving force.

In particular, you would LOVE to get rid of the other opponent because you would be getting overlay on your chips. You would be against one player, but if you win, you win double. That's GOOD.

On the other hand, when you are in the money and the prize structure is steep (as is the case in final tables, TV or not), then $EV is the driving consideration.

In that case, one should prefer a more passive play to maximize the chance that the all-in goes out because that is usually +$EV.

However, if you have a weak hand, say the pot is 3M, you have 9M left and the other stack has 18M left, then betting into a dry pot with bad or marginal hand is doubly bad. (1) They may fold, and you lose the pot to the short stack and you lost $EV; or (2) They have a better or similar hand, call you and get you busted.

In most cases I have seen and personally encountered, at the FT it is usually correct to check down unless you have a VERY strong hand with very little chance to get outdrawn.
 
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