# All-In Luck Of The Draw

#### StarlightCoast

##### Rising Star
Silver Level
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.

#### Grumbledook

##### Legend
Silver Level
nice post there starlight, though of course there is always the adage in poker of "it depends"

There are going to be situations where it may be worth taking the shot, you could be favourite. Eg like you said against someone you think probably has AJ etc.

Or maybe a short stack in late position when the blinds are large compared to stack size and its folded round. Thats a typical stealing situation and while they can have anything, you have to like AK there.

Still its all good food for thought and as always it depends.

D

#### dirty

##### Enthusiast
Silver Level
Too weak for me...

If the blinds represent 1/10th of your stack or less, and let's say you are on the button and had 1 limper in middle position with a similar stack. You get a q suited, should you push? Damn right you do, you probably have the best hand right now, and if they fold, you just added 1/4 of your stack to your stack, and if you get called, its either going to be you way ahead, way behind, or a coinflip.

Let's say you're way ahead, someone with A little off calls, that means you win 3/4 times (dont know the exact numbers, but it is something close). That means you double up and then some 3 times, making your stack healthy, and go broke one time. Good odds if you ask me, most pro's are looking for 5% advantages, you have a 75/25 advantage here.

Let's say you get called by 77. You got a coinflip, half the time you do more than double up, the other half of the time, you bust out. Thems the breaks, but if you play weak during that stage of the tourney, you will eventually blind out. A Q suited is too good of a hand to muck that early on, or even just call with.

Now let's look at what hands are way ahead of a q suited right here. We got 4 hands to worry about, ak, aa, kk, and qq. 2 of those hands, you are behind, but an ace hitting beats them, and ak, you need to hit a queen while not hitting a king. 3 outs versus kk, qq, and ak, not counting flush and straight possibilities.

Against aa, you are deep in the hole, but this is a good example of why the all in play can have its advantages, like when the blinds represent 10% of your stack or more.

If the blinds are 10/20, and you got a 1500 stack, I see no hand in the world that is worth a push, except for 2 exceptions. I would push aa or kk if there was a raise and a reraise in front of me, otherwise, I am just raising more. If you pushed without a raise and a reraise, you will most likely see folds, and that is not maximizing value.

#### lonemessiah

##### Rising Star
Bronze Level
Small point, but it is a complete myth that pocket 2's will beat AK more often than not, you have a 49% chance of making that pair over the 5 cards, whilst the have a 19% chance of making 3 of a kind to beat your pair (meaning that it is a roughly 40-60 in favour of the 2's if you just look at the cards in your hand).

Now we also have to take into account straights, you have over twice as much chance of hitting a straight with AK (since one of the aces has gone to spoil the a,2,3,4,5)

If a flush comes up the 2's are not likely to win it for you, aces or kings will.

And finally if two pairs come up, you suddenly have the worst kicker possible, and any hand will beat you, let alone AK.

This doesn't take into account other combinations such as full houses and the AK hitting 2 pair or 3 of a kind, as these are too rare to make much of a difference.

So as you can see AK is a massive hand, and with a fairly decent chance of making that pair well worth a gamble if you think that your opponent is just trying to buy the chips.

Remember if you do hit a pair, then only 2 pairs or greater will beat you.

And that bit about 'someone is likely to be sitting with an ace or king as well' really can't be taken into the odds, because you just don't know that they are, for all you know they could be sitting there with the 2 Q's amongst them, and no AK which improves your odds no end

All that said though, i would still be unwilling to go all-in myself in with AK but it is definatly worth a hefty bet

T

#### TITANS488

##### Rising Star
Bronze Level
the hand that i love to go all in on is a low [pocket pair because if u dont get a call u arent to pist off at urslef for pushing too much and if they call its usually a coinflip

C

#### capax

##### Rising Star
Bronze Level
I all to often here the myth that AK wins 75% of the time over a pocket pair. Its nice to see a discussion of true odds. But I often see the pocket pairs (below 99) overplayed when they havn't hit the set. I see all sorts going all in after a flop with an underpair "hoping" that someone didn't hit their pair.

V

#### vt_mruhlin

##### Rising Star
Bronze Level
I've picked up the habit of going all-in whenever I see AQ. Seems like if I try to play her, somebody else beats me. If I go all in and have a big stack, I'm likely to just pick up the blinds. If I'm shortstacked, it'll either double me up or end my suffering.

#### smd173

##### Cardschat Elite
Silver Level
pp 10's are my cursed hand. If I have 'em, I lose. If I don't have 'em, they win for someone else.

Case in point (2 recent tourneys).
Tourney #1:

Final 4, I have 32K. Person in front of me who was kind of aggressive goes all in preflop for 22K. I have 10 10. I call. She had AJo. She hits her A on the river.

Tourney #2:
Final 4, I have 10K (just worked my way up from having 2200). I see AQo and went all in preflop under the gun. Dealer and small blind were the chip leaders and I was looking to steal the blinds which were 600/1200. I realize now that I probably shouldn't have put myself at risk just to steal 1800, but I do feel AQo is still strong, especially 4 handed. Well the BB sat and thought, then eventually called with 10 10. Flop comes Q 7 4, then an X, and a 10 on the river.

#### Four Dogs

##### Legend
Silver Level
smd173 said:
pp 10's are my cursed hand. If I have 'em, I lose. If I don't have 'em, they win for someone else.

Case in point (2 recent tourneys).
Tourney #1:

Final 4, I have 32K. Person in front of me who was kind of aggressive goes all in preflop for 22K. I have 10 10. I call. She had AJo. She hits her A on the river.

Tourney #2:
Final 4, I have 10K (just worked my way up from having 2200). I see AQo and went all in preflop under the gun. Dealer and small blind were the chip leaders and I was looking to steal the blinds which were 600/1200. I realize now that I probably shouldn't have put myself at risk just to steal 1800, but I do feel AQo is still strong, especially 4 handed. Well the BB sat and thought, then eventually called with 10 10. Flop comes Q 7 4, then an X, and a 10 on the river.
Well, probably nobody,s going to call you with worse than AQ. He saw an opportuinity at the final table and he took it. He started out with the best hand and won with it. Unless your short stacked i can't think of a good reason to go all with less than AA-QQ. If your trying to steal the blinds a strong bet would do the same and he probably would have bailed after the flop.

T

#### thecat35

##### Rising Star
Bronze Level
all in

you should go all in when you feel the cards are going to come you need luck in this game and sometimes going searching for it pays off

Q

#### qsilver1

##### Rising Star
Bronze Level
in my last three trhs i took two bad beats, well the first was not i had kk went all in after first round of betting i was bb got called three players down all else folded caller had aa 44 to 1 but hey next four times i got kk won four all ins. the beat that stunned me was my p was qq raised blind by three. had two players calling flop 4 ? 4. heavy bet 4000 125 players left in trny at time calle dby original caller second player layed down. turn card 4 so comm was 4 ? 4 4. i went all in player in called had k/q river flooded me and gave him a king. but i must say at least i got my chips in on best hand. well at first lol. i was down to 12000 and bb blind at the time was 2000. i think i went out a fighter and that is all you can ask. good luck all

#### twizzybop

##### Legend
Silver Level
LOL@ if you feel.. All in is for 2 things.. #1 If you do find yourself short-stacked, then you're going to have to pick an opportune moment to put all of your chips at risk, probably several times, in order to rebuild a viable position; otherwise, the blinds will just eat your stack up. If you find yourself in this situation, try to put all of your chips in with a starting hand that's at least a pair, or contains an Ace or King, or a suited hand - in order to give yourself the most outs.
and

#2Also, don't call an all-in bet heads-up unless you have a real hand, since it's likely that your opponent also has a very strong hand and is deliberately trying to pull you in.
It's best to have a good hand and to be the one calling the other player all-in, if possible.

Notice the part about a REAL hand it is is best to have a good hand and to the bhe one calling the other player all-in if possible. Not to mention they are deliberatly trying to pull you all-in.

#### Four Dogs

##### Legend
Silver Level
thecat35 said:
you should go all in when you feel the cards are going to come you need luck in this game and sometimes going searching for it pays off
Go All-In when you feel the cards you need are going to come up? How the heck can you know that?

C

#### colin_147

##### Visionary
Silver Level
Four Dogs said:
Go All-In when you feel the cards you need are going to come up? How the heck can you know that?
Of course you dont know, its about instinct, feeling, nerve and luck. If you only ever played the really good hand (AA, AK etc) and you was having a bad night, you will soon lose your chips on the blinds.

There will be hands where you know it will take a good flop, turn etc in order for you to win, but if everyone is folding, take a chance.

I have often raised with only the BB left in order to steal the blinds, sometimes he will fold, often he will call and you might hit trips on the flop.

Sometimes you just know you will win or lose! Strange feeling

#### IrishDave

##### A Member
Silver Level
I think it also depends on the "personality" of the table that you're on. I was in a multi-table SNG last night on FullTilt, and once we got to the final 9 it became an incredibly tight (and VERY boring game). We spent an hour passing the blinds around the table while everyone was waiting for THE hand to hit. I finally loosened up a bit and started taking a few risks just so we could progress. To make a long story short, I got the table moving again and finished 3rd (so I made a little). Lost on an all-in with pocket kings to a river inside straight - but that's poker...

N

#### nextdoggie

##### Rising Star
Bronze Level
"There are going to be situations where it may be worth taking the shot, you could be favourite. Eg like you said against someone you think probably has AJ etc."

Ahhh, situations. Don't forget the bluff factor. I've seen players who bluff so often that calling their raises or all-ins is tempting. The key thing to consider in every case is, "What if I lose?".

Z

#### zeta056

##### Rising Star
Bronze Level
everyone who decides to push all-in willl always think they will catch or have a "all in hand" i mean everyone has their own opinions but to me, if you are short stacked, pockets and face cards will always catch your attention and leave you with the question: "should i push all in? or should i wait for a better hand?"

N

#### nextdoggie

##### Rising Star
Bronze Level
True,

if you are short stacked you don't have much time. Sometimes you get lucky too, but the bottom line is the blinds will eat you up and the lower your stack goes, the lower the pot if you should win.

K

#### kardmania

##### Rock Star
Silver Level
The Flop

One can make assessment of what the flop might contain based on the number of calling players. AK, AA, KK, are not as powerful relative to a suited connector when half the table calls.

V

#### VegasGrinder

##### Rock Star
Silver Level
Luck has nothing to do with it....It is all about odds.

Searching for "Luck" will never payoff. Yeah you ca catch and win a allin but losing the next 4 or 5 cost you in the long run.