AKs, big stack vrs next big stack; Call preflop push?

NineLions

NineLions

Advanced beginner
(Title should read "AKs"; I lost the A somewhere)


Mid point of a 10 seat SnG, micro stakes, I'm the big stack by 20%.

I think I'm seen as aggressive and maybe even maniacal, but that's because I hit good cards the first 4 out of 5 hands and won 3 of them. Table is typical; weak preflop so even minraises can take pots down. At least, that's my excuse for minraising AKs. :p

The next biggest stack pushes. Should I avoid getting into a battle with him and just let him take it?



Game # 523424567 - Texas Hold'em No Limit 100/200 - Table "€1+0.10/100VIP(€1) Sit & Go 2656400 1"

Players(max 10):
Nutz (2,525.00 in seat 2)
Surdegen (1,679.00 in seat 4)
boburjob (1,175.00 in seat 6)
Holdenc (1,607.00 in seat 9)
NineLions (3,014.00 in seat 10)

Dealer: Nutz
Small Blind: Surdegen (100.00)
Big Blind: boburjob (200.00)

ninelions was dealt: Ad - Kd

Holdenc Fold
NineLions Raise (400.00)
Nutz All-In (2,525.00)
Surdegen Fold
boburjob Fold
NineLions ?????
 
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dwolfg

dwolfg

Visionary
How has 2nd stack been playing? If he's been really tight, then fold. If he's shown any willingness to raise with lesser hands(worse than aj) call. If he likes to call a lot with everything,call. If he calls with soft-medium strength hands but raises with premium, fold.
 
CJAZEL

CJAZEL

Guest
I often find myself in the same situation so I would suggest folding early on in a single table SnG. Apply the TAG style of play early on in these, and then loosen up when you're down to the money.
 
P

PokerkingAAAA

Guest
This truley depends on how he has been playin so far, loose or tight? If he reraises you all in after you raise to 400 personally I think he has a farily high PP or even the same hand. So the decision from is that you should not call this as you do not want to risk being sent to last place and not win any money. The best you are against a pp is 50% so I would not gamble your entire stack on a coin flip. I may be totally wrong, but hearing other peoples views are good too :D
 
NineLions

NineLions

Advanced beginner
Honestly, this guy had been playing pretty inconspicuously; I had been paying more attention to some of the others.

I think the last comment is probably the most valid; there's a good chance he's playing the same hand or high pocket pairs. And even if it's not a high pair, I don't think I should be calling against another big stack who might be playing a pair.

If I know he's loose and might be playing high cards, or if our stack sizes are anything but the two big stacks it's different, but as it is I don't think it's a good play by either of us to push unless we've got aces or kings. Of course, if he's thinking that way, then my hand is pretty dead.
 
Bombjack

Bombjack

Legend
General principle here is that you're either dominating him or racing. So if you have him covered, the blinds are big and it's proportionately not much more to call (as here), go ahead and call.

From an equity point of view, you need 42% to call, so it's correct to call vs a lower pair. Worst case, vs TT you're still about 46% to win (43% if you weren't suited).

If he has AA/KK, that's unlucky, but also unlikely since you have an A and K. Still, you're not in too bad shape vs KK. Also because he pushed rather than raised smaller, it looks like he doesn't want you to call and is less likely to have AA/KK.

If you were deeper stacked you could probably lay it down and wait for a better spot, but I'd call here due to the money in the pot already.
 
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Bombjack

Bombjack

Legend
I forgot to take the money in the blinds into account when I calculated the 42% that you need. In fact you need less than that (37%) due to the 300 in the blinds... which makes it a clearer call.

I should have also made clearer it's not just the money in the pot that makes it a call - it's that a lot of the time you're against a worse ace and you're well ahead.
 
NineLions

NineLions

Advanced beginner
What range do you put him on? Is 88+, AK/AQ fair?

I think that's about right. Like I said, he had been pretty inconspicuous to this point and I usually note maniacs/really aggressive post-flop people first.

He had only recently move up to become a bigger stack, thereby becoming more noteworthy.
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
Against such a range, you're essentially 50/50, and pot odds make it a clear call. In fact, to reach the break-even point, you'd need to make his range only QQ+ and AKs. If you knew that his hand was specifically AKs, QQ, KK or AA, then you should fold. If you add any more hands, you should call.

Bombjack has of course already made this point; but I wanted to stress that even what may seem like a conservative range for his holdings will yield the same results. Now, if this is something he could do with even more possible hands then it switches from a "clear call" to a Phil Hellmuth insta-call :p
 
NineLions

NineLions

Advanced beginner
I forgot to take the money in the blinds into account when I calculated the 42% that you need. In fact you need less than that (37%) due to the 300 in the blinds... which makes it a clearer call.

I should have also made clearer it's not just the money in the pot that makes it a call - it's that a lot of the time you're against a worse ace and you're well ahead.


Interesting, BJ, as you're one of the people whose thoughts I have high regard for (actually, that applies to pretty much all of the regular posters).

So you would base this decision on the percentages, pot, and cards; what about the theory of staying out of confrontations with other big stacks? If I lose this hand, I'll still be alive but short stacked.
 
NineLions

NineLions

Advanced beginner
Against such a range, you're essentially 50/50, and pot odds make it a clear call. In fact, to reach the break-even point, you'd need to make his range only QQ+ and AKs. If you knew that his hand was specifically AKs, QQ, KK or AA, then you should fold. If you add any more hands, you should call.

Bombjack has of course already made this point; but I wanted to stress that even what may seem like a conservative range for his holdings will yield the same results. Now, if this is something he could do with even more possible hands then it switches from a "clear call" to a Phil Hellmuth insta-call :p

Hmmm, okay.

Then what about his situation; second biggest stack in this case, and as it turns out, JJ. Good push on his part?
 
Bombjack

Bombjack

Legend
Interesting, BJ, as you're one of the people whose thoughts I have high regard for (actually, that applies to pretty much all of the regular posters).

So you would base this decision on the percentages, pot, and cards; what about the theory of staying out of confrontations with other big stacks? If I lose this hand, I'll still be alive but short stacked.
You have to gamble at some point. I wouldn't look at it so negatively - you're still alive if you lose, just one double-up away from the other players. If you win (and you have a very good chance of doing so), you'll be sailing ahead with more chips than the rest put together.

I wouldn't really criticize you too much for folding - it's the safe option, and you're still ahead of 3 other players if you do so. However with just 15 BB left, this is probably the best hand you're going to see for the rest of the tournament, so I'd go with it.
Then what about his situation; second biggest stack in this case, and as it turns out, JJ. Good push on his part?
Again, yes, 4th best hand in hold'em, well ahead of your range. He's only got 12BB so it's an insta-push.
 
NineLions

NineLions

Advanced beginner
Okay guys, thanks for your help, esp. FP and Bj. I think the advice about staying away from big stacks comes from big MTT advice, whereas a one table SnG is a lot closer to a cash table.


I did call, and lost as the JJ held up, which is why I questioned it later.

Came back, though. Villian won, but I ended up second.
 
Dorkus Malorkus

Dorkus Malorkus

HELLO INTERNET
Lifting some questions from here...

1) What happens if we fold? <-- 2.1k chips left at 100/200 blinds, we're the second biggest stack but that still doesn't change the fact that folding leaves us on the push/fold borderline, and with little strategic advantage over the other short stacks.

2) What happens if we call and win? <-- With nearly 6k chips unless a lot of freaky/stupid crap happens we're ITM and in a good position to win the thing with over half the chips in play.

3) What happens if we call and lose? <-- We're not out, but we're crippled with a 2.5bb stack.

...and to answer 4) How likely is 2) compared to 3)...

1) What's the tournament situation? How is this likely to affect the mindset and play of the 'big raiser'? <-- not the bubble yet, 5-handed, villain has a big stack and has a raise from another big stack in front of him. He probably knows we can't call his shove with many hands and he also probably knows that our raising range is light. It is a little worrying that he's making this raise considering that we have him covered, but we still can't call with a lot.

2) What's our general read on the 'big raiser'? <-- Dunno

3) What other action has happened in the hand aside from the huge raise from the 'big raiser'? <-- Just our ill-advise UTG minraise, as can be interpreted in 1).

4) What, therefore, is the range of hands that the 'big raiser' could be holding? <-- Certainly not just AA-JJ/AK. We can add AQ, maybe even a weaker Ace or two and some lower pairs (as per the linked thread we're not really bothered about what pairs he could have here though). It's safe to assume we have >50% equity here, and consider also the money we've already put in the pot and the fact we're left with ~10bbs if we fold.

All this plus the slight equity increase you gain from it being sooooooted seems to add up to a call. My absolute first impressions upon looking at the hand were 'fold', which goes to show the value of asking questions, because my first impressions were wrong. :)

If you're calling this pf, then just open-shoving UTG pf isn't the worst idea in the world (although it has it disadvantages), but that's another topic for another day.
 
Bombjack

Bombjack

Legend
If you're calling this pf, then just open-shoving UTG pf isn't the worst idea in the world (although it has it disadvantages), but that's another topic for another day.
I knew there was something I was going to say and then forgot about...

Yep, Sklansky & Miller say you should always know what you're going to do if someone pushes after you've raised, and if you don't know, you're raising the wrong amount.

Basically only make a small raise if you're giving yourself room to fold if someone pushes. Otherwise, if you're going to call a push, you might as well open-push, because it'll fold out a lot of hands that might be flipping or have a slight advantage. The example they give is if you have AJ in late position with about 10-15 BB, it's probably better to open-push so that stuff like 77 won't push behind you, leaving you pot-committed and having to flip for all your chips.

Same kind of thing with AK I imagine, although it's not such a bad situation because it dominates a lot of hands.

Anyway, in practical terms this means you should probably raise more pre-flop.
 
Dorkus Malorkus

Dorkus Malorkus

HELLO INTERNET
Exactly. I didn't want to touch on it because I thought it might digress from the discussion at hand, but I think we've probably exhausted the "call/fold as played" line.

Raise 3bbs UTG and you have an easy call, for the same reasons you have a call as played, except having made a 3bb raise some of the reasons are exaggerated (more dead money in the pot, we will have fewer chips left if we fold etc etc). Shove UTG and you don't have to worry about calling anything, of course.

Open pushing also increases our fold equity by forcing out some hands which may push over a small raise, as BJ said.

Actually, the only real problem with shoving UTG here is that it looks like you have exactly what you have, AK.
 
NineLions

NineLions

Advanced beginner
I knew there was something I was going to say and then forgot about...

Yep, Sklansky & Miller say you should always know what you're going to do if someone pushes after you've raised, and if you don't know, you're raising the wrong amount.

Basically only make a small raise if you're giving yourself room to fold if someone pushes. Otherwise, if you're going to call a push, you might as well open-push, because it'll fold out a lot of hands that might be flipping or have a slight advantage. The example they give is if you have AJ in late position with about 10-15 BB, it's probably better to open-push so that stuff like 77 won't push behind you, leaving you pot-committed and having to flip for all your chips.

Good advice. Something that I often forget to consider when there are small stacks behind me with say 6x BB. I raise, they push and then I think to myself, I should have considered this before I raised.
 
R

rivertapped

Enthusiast
Even if you lose you've got 1500 left. I call and hope I'm racing for a huge chip lead and a good chance to finish in 1st place.
 
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