You're the short stack, now what?

t1riel

t1riel

Legend
This is actually my third attempt on writing an article. I don't know if I'm getting better or worse with it. Let me know what you think.

You're The Short Stack, Now What?
By:
Timothy Riel
Well, it's late in the tournament and there are about 20 people left. You have some bad beats and some big wins. Through it all, you've gotten this far. However, you're chances of making it even further look slim. You are the short stack and you have only one weapon left. The "All-In." To do this, you need to pick the hands to go all-in with and you don't have much time to be picky.
Before I go into the starting hands, let me first state this: Don't let your chipstack dwindle to about three big blinds left. You need to make a move sooner. The sooner you do it, the more chips you can win. Not to mention, the easier to build your stack.
At this point since you are the short stack, players on your table know your waiting for THE hand to go all in with and you can use that to your advantage. I've highlighted some hands you can use to go all in. I'm excluding Pocket Aces through Nines and Ace King since it's given you go all in with them but the odds of you being dealt that hand are not good, especially since you don't much time to wait for them.

Any Pocket Pair: Yes, even Pocket Dueces. Chances are you're ahead in the hand preflop and the odds of you winning are slightly in your favor. Not much, but any advantage would be good right now.

Suited connectors over 4 but under 10: Let me ask you a qustion: Which of these starting hands have the best odds against Pocket Aces? A,K suited, K,Q suited, or 5,6 suited? Believe it or not, it's 5,6 suited. Now granted you probably won't be up against Pocket Aces but these hands are good to go all in with at this stage of the tournament. I cant tell you how many middle ranked cards come up on the flop. With suited connectors, you have lots of outs. You could have a straight, flush, two pair. You might even win with just top pair. Hell, any pair! These hands are probably live as well since players who call your all in have at least a Jack or better.

A-X suited: Ace anything at this stage is good to make a move. If it suited, it's even better. Your odds are good if your opponent who called your all in doesn't have an Ace. If your opponent has an Ace with a better kicker, you still could have the flush or even get a pair with your lower kicker.

Now bear in mind, your probably not going to be called every time you go all in meaning you'll be able to steal small pots and blinds. Another effective (but slower) way to build your stack. It might happen more often than you think. Remember, the players think you have a good hand or you wouldn't be risking all your chips on it. So, the players will fold their marginal hands.
There is some risk that you will lose the first time you go all in, even if you're ahead after the flop. Well, there is always risk in poker. You do need some luck along the way. Use stragedy, play with the odds in your favor, and pray that luck will be on your side.
Before you know it, you be at the final table and the players will be baffled that you are still around, with a nice stack in front of you.

This is a first draft so there may be some errors and debatable advice in this article.​
 
ChuckTs

ChuckTs

Legend
Don't let your chipstack dwindle to about three big blinds left. You need to make a move sooner.

one thing is that, personally, I'd start to consider pushing when i got to around 10 BBs
i don't want to go out blinding, and like you said, the sooner you do it the more chips you'll get if you double up
im sure you were exaggerating but it might be taken wrong by newbies who have no clue
great article...i've never pushed with suited connectors, maybe im just not ballsy enough - i'll add that to my arsenal though :)
gj t1riel
 
holduplaya

holduplaya

Guest
I think it is a great article. I did notice some spelling/grammar errors but, other than that I think you did a great job!

As, for the advice I can see myself following most of this the thing I can't do is go all-in with 45 suited.:)
 
S

Styrofoam

Visionary
I agree with most of the advise here, although, suited connectors won't hit enough times to justify my tournement life.. I'd much rather be pushing with 2 face cards, and any ace... playing the board is all too common for me...

although, i may pushing with JT
 
titans4ever

titans4ever

Legend
the slippery idea of going all-in with suited connectors. LOL, I was writing an article about just that hand as an all-in hand. I will post it when I get it finished tomorrow hopefully. I have been working out the examples to show why they have value.
 
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joosebuck

joosebuck

Legend
45 is a hand you bust big hands like AK/AA/AQ/AJ, but not by racing. They raise, you call knowing theyll bet off their stack almost no matter what comes. Their value is in their extremely high implied value vs. big hands. I wouldn't push all in with them, I'd be more inclined to all-in with:

any a/x
any k/x suited
any q/x suited above 8
any q/x offsuit above q/10
any j/x suited above j/9
any pocket pair 77+

66 and under gives you a coinflop at best, at worst you're dominated. big stacks might call with a/5s a/3s and you have a much better shot with 77+
 
ChuckTs

ChuckTs

Legend
thats true but what i think t1riel is trying to say is that they are worth more than the average 2 random cards...and when you're in a last-resort kinda situation, they'll have to do when pushing to steal blinds
of course you're not hoping to get a call with them, but if it comes down to that, a suited, connecting hand is better than a non-connecting, unsuited hand
i dunno about pushing with them...but as a last resort when you're gettin nothing but 83 and 95 off, i guess i can understand
 
tenbob

tenbob

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brianna c said:
I've got 2/9 off and I'm all-in. TILT TILT TILT TILT TILT.:)

Ummmm....... Sure go for it if the situation arises Dennis. These decisions are tough but essential if you want to be a successful poker player.

So your deep into a freezout tourney with a stack of 20K and the blinds are at 5K/10K with a 1K ante. Your UTG with your 29o what do you do.

Well lets look at out obvious option of folding. Post our ante, fold and we are left with 19K. BB the next hand, and certainly because of how shortstacked you are someone will lean on you. So 19K-10K-1K= 8K. And facing the small blind of 5K+1K. Goodnight sweetheart.

Calling, hmmm not really an option.

But going all-in gives you some fold equity. Lets say 50% of the time your raise gets through leaving you with the blinds and antes. Leaving you with 43K (on a full table), or you get called and get approx 60/40 against AK. Double though and your at 63K. Very positive play.

Never let yourself get blinded out of a tourney, its totally criminal. I played out league final last sunday and both 2nd and 3rd played ended up all-in on the blind, not a situatiion you want to be in EVER.
 
SexyAceJoker

SexyAceJoker

Guest
One thing you forgot to mention i think ( if im wrong sorry ) is that when you get really low, like 5 or less BB, the odds of someone calling you with any marginal hand is higher, you need to have a decent amount of chips ( 10 BB or so ) to make this move, because your opponent will think ,if he wins , its gonna take a huge chunk of my chips vs. If he wins , with so little left it doesnt matter, and if i win i busted a player and gained a little . Also when low on chips and going all in, try and do it this when the player posting the blind is a tight players, as their is a^higher % that he will fold . ^_^
 
ChuckTs

ChuckTs

Legend
^^exactly.
if you've ever seen a professional play, they will never, ever wait til they're less than 10 or so BBs...probably even 20 - they will start pushing to try and double up
 
Xandit

Xandit

Guest
In regards to the short stack, the term used is FE or fold equity. You need to make moves when doubling up will improve your chances to win the tourney and also be a dent in most stacks at your table. 10bb is about the time to do this.
Another thing to consider when you are short stacked is moving all in when there has been a raise. There is a chance that the raiser will fold if you still have enough FE. That is just dead money in the pot. I know it's hard to move all in when someone has raised and you look down at A6o or 87suited ect. but it can be the right play depending on raisers stack. Something to think about.
 
tenbob

tenbob

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Ok the point i was making about pushing with any 2 cards when very shortstacked <5BB above.

Ok not allowing yourself below 10BB is really optimistic talking, its a good guidline though, its very easy to find yourself shorter than this escpially deep into a tournament after a beat or two.
 
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