The Chip Sandwich

ChuckTs

ChuckTs

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(taken from a FullTilt Poker "pro-poker newsletter" from back in august of last year written by Phil Gordon)

The reason i post this is because i've found it increasingly effective and valueable in tournaments.
So this is the strategy:

Say an early position player raises the standard 3BBs (preferrably he's a looser player, so maybe he's got AT, KQ, or 99 strength hands), and two middle and late position people call.
Whether you have reads or not on these cold-callers, they won't have a premium hand 90% of the time here, because they would have reraised to isolate, or take down the pot right there.
Then it gets to you. Say you're in the big blind with 78s, with 15BBs left. Pushing all in here is not a bad option; both middle position players didn't really show weakness, but definitely didn't show all-in-calling strength. They probably have KJ, 9T, 66 type hands, hoping to see a flop. The initial raiser (assuming he's loose; this play works best when he's not a tight aggressive player, who would probably have a top 10 hand here) most probably doesn't have a premium hand. If he's got AK or two big cards, then you're still going to have a decent shot at the pot; %41 was the percentage Gordon used. You have to gamble sometimes with a shortstack in tournaments.
Becoming shortstacked, and desperate for chips, the above example nearly doubles your stack; adding 10.5 BBs to your 15BBs smaller stack.
The types of hands i would suggest using for this play are medium suited connectors (not completely dominated by big cards) medium to high pocket pairs (for obvious reasons) BUT not lone aces or kings. The reason why is because if you do get a call, you'll be at a bigger disadvantage then had you pushed with that 78s. AK has A7 dominated, and will probably call your all in.
With all these hands, AA or KK will dominate you, but that's just a risk you're going to have to take with this play. Decrease the chances of this happening by making sure the initial raiser has a loose table image.

Tournaments success requires the odd pot steal, and this play serves the purpose perfectly.
It's helped me more than it has hurt me (watch out for those AA minraising guys!), and is definitely something to try :)
 
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truushot

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I'm certain that you could find a better play to get your money in then there. Your likely to get called by someone and do you really want to be taking the worst of it. At 15bb your not even in trouble yet. I understand that your chip stack increases your fold equity but I don't think that this is a good play. Your assuming that the early position player isn't holding a premium and often the 2nd or 3rd caller could easily not be reraising JJ or 1010 because they want to see a flop and fear the early position raise. So you raise, you get the early position player to fold and one of the other limpers probably has a hand to call you. Certainly they don't have the junk you stated unless they are really weak players. This move would work best against better players but those players wouldn't be calling 3 times raising with the garbage you describe.
 
ChuckTs

ChuckTs

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truushot said:
Certainly they don't have the junk you stated unless they are really weak players. This move would work best against better players but those players wouldn't be calling 3 times raising with the garbage you describe.
Maybe the 15BBs example isn't the best - i agree that a push of this size would only work with strong players (assuming that they do hold the garbage i described, which is unlikely).

15 is what phil gordon suggested, but in the tourneys I play, people will call A9 with that small of a raise. Maybe a bigger push is what I meant. In the MTTs ($20 freezouts, $5 and $10 rebuys) i play, people are weak enough to cold call an EP raiser with marginal hands like KT A7 and so on.

Here is a perfect example of the chip sandwich, the way I like to play it(see attachment) which led me to responding to this thread.

Initial raiser is a fairly loose/passive player (raised previously with AT in EP for 4BBs)
The rest of the players are basically the same at this table, and that's why I put the MP caller on a weak QT or KJ type hand.
Keep in mind I had also been playing super tight, which is also an important factor with this chip sandwich thing. They obviously need to also respect you for them not to call.
 

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titans4ever

titans4ever

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ChuckTs said:
Tournaments success requires the odd pot steal, and this play serves the purpose perfectly.
It's helped me more than it has hurt me (watch out for those AA minraising guys!), and is definitely something to try :)

I know you could find better cards but the point is that there are times in a tournament when you can take a calculated risk and try to increase your chips without harming other deeply. All players in the example are not pot committed by any means and the only way you can pull it off is before you are shortstacked. You want to have enough left that if you are going to do it, it will be forcing the other players to commit a large portion of their chips to the hand before the flop.

Chip stacks will matter greatly in this move. You are looking to do this against medium to smaller stacked players. You don't really want to try it against the chip leader who may be willing to gamble a little more than most. You need to have players in the hand that may be crippled if they call or even eliminated. Nobody wants to say their last hand was a marginal one. This move puts alot of pressure on the others and you can pick up a nice sized pot without even seeing a flop but you are taking a risk.

I have used this move a couple of times without really thinking about it. People will raise and you just know none of them really have a great hand so you just push to steal the pot right there. It is done more often after the flop but why not do it before any cards are dealt.
 
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baudib

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I like open pushing 87s in this situation. Yeah, with 87s shortstacked and with no raise, I am pushing from most positions.
 
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