Should this be played?

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FreshmanJoe

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Blinds are 2K-4K + 4K big blind ante. I make it 10K UTG with AsKs out of my 126K stack. Eveyone folds to hijack. She goes all in for 102K with 88. Action folds to me, should this be called? What if she had JJ? Is that a call?
 
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Phoenix Wright

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"Should this be called?" depends on many factors like the math, table image, live reads and so on. However, here is my approach (if my math is wrong, or something, please correct me) to my decision here:

126k stack with blinds 2k-4k + 4k ante makes you currently 31.5 Big Blinds deep, effective stack with an ante in play (126 stack divided by 4 [Big Blind] equals 31.5)

Open raising to 10k (2.5x open raise) with As Ks looks standard to me. Hijack (HJ) shoves 102k (88 tells me you called right? Otherwise, how would you know their cards?) The fact that we cover them helps us (we have more chips than them, so aren't out if we lose), but that is still a massive percentage of our stack at risk if we call. I'd also have my decision altered by other details not shared. For example, are we in the first hand at a new table (more likely to fold and observe playstyles and table images)? Is this an MTT or a cash game (ICM implications if an MTT whereas cash can just reload, so many players call off more in cash games)? What table image/playstyle does the HJ player have (a maniac might have us happily calling with AKs crushing their range, but a super NIT might be ICM suicide for us to call off if they only play AA, KK and AK)? Ultimately, we can determine pot odds and equity via a calculator, but our accuracy in the math is only as accurate as the range we assign to the opponent in the Hijack (hand Villain).

Here is roughly the pot size if I'm correct:

2k Small Blind + 4k Big Blind + 4k ante from every player (standard 9 player table including yourself) equals 42,000 plus your chips from the open raise of 2.5 bbs, or 10k chips) chips in the pot, so 42,000 + 10,000 = 52,000 before they shove for 102k [more?] This makes about 154,000 chips in the middle and it costs you 92k [more?] to call (since your 10k open raise is already in the pot, 102k-10k = 92k).

Your equity by pot odds needs to be roughly at least 0.597 (I'll round up to .60 for simplicity) to justify calling then (92k divided by 154k = about .60). Does As Ks have at least .60 equity (good enough 60+% of the time)?

Maybe it does, or maybe not. Ace-King (suited no less!) is a premium holding, but regardless of pot odds, it also depends on the opponent range. If they opponent ONLY plays AA and ALWAYS folds the rest, than obviously even AK is a fold! :D

However, let us invent a slightly more realistic range for the Hijack player (if this range is completely "off" what one thinks it actually is for this game with this specific player, then one can just adapt and use that range to calculate).

Using the free poker calculator Equilab (other free calculators should get the same answer though), let us see how As Ks does against a hypothetical range of 22+, A2s+, KTs+, QTs+, JTs, T9s, AJo+, KQo (just over 15% of hands)...

As Ks has 58.81% equity, so we should be inclined to perhaps fold since this isn't 60+% and close to break-even. It is important to note we are assuming this tighter range of 15%-ish hands shoving though. If the opponent will shove here with more hands, then AK is more justifiably a call. If they play even more selective than this range, AK is a more distinct fold. I'd lean towards a fold because they shoved OVER your open raise and most strong players likely wouldn't do this with hands like 22 or JTs we include in this range. Additionally, a thinking HJ player should realize that your UTG opening range is likely stronger than their HJ range.

It is close, but I'd say Fold if had to choose. More important than the one result is the process of how to come up with this answer in analysis post-game, or estimating in real-time during the game. Both get easier with practice :)

If somehow we knew they held exactly 88 before we decide our play, then replace pocket eights for their hand instead of a range. As Ks vs 8h 8d gives AK only 47.71% equity according to Equilab. This is even worse than before! (This is because the exact holding of 88 was in the upper half of their range we gave).

Feel free to comment a response or even message me with any other questions :)

Good luck and see you all at the cardschat tables :cool:
 
BelFish

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I played a $300 CardsChat freeroll at 888Poker on Saturday, and when there were 10 players left, i was about 5th on the list. In general, i also called all-in with AK, and my opponent had QQ. If i won this hand, i would be in 1st or 2nd place on the list. The stack before the deal was about 20BB. I don’t even know if it was correct to call there taking into account icm... I don’t remember the exact prize grid, but for the first place the payout was about $30+, and for the 10th place i received $2.64...
 
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FreshmanJoe

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2k Small Blind + 4k Big Blind + 4k ante from every player (standard 9 player table including yourself) equals 42,000 plus your chips from the open raise of 2.5 bbs, or 10k chips) chips in the pot, so 42,000 + 10,000 = 52,000 before they shove for 102k [more?] This makes about 154,000 chips in the middle and it costs you 92k [more?] to call (since your 10k open raise is already in the pot, 102k-10k = 92k).

Your equity by pot odds needs to be roughly at least 0.597 (I'll round up to .60 for simplicity) to justify calling then (92k divided by 154k = about .60). Does As Ks have at least .60 equity (good enough 60+% of the time)?

Why do you say we need 60% equity? We need to call 92k to win 246k(154 in the pot + 92 that we would call with). Although there was only big blind ante, but even then I only needed 42% equity. I don't think you need 60% equity with AKs against any pocket pair other than AA or KK
 
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fundiver199

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You need to pay 92 to win 2 x 102 + 10 = 214, so you need 43% equity in pure chip EV. Its not a sitaution, I am thrilled about, because you opened UTG, and its a fairly large 25,5BB jam. But even so AKs is a mandatory call, and if you happened to lose the hand, just sucks to be you. "Flips" like this are an unavoidable part of tournament poker, and for those of us, who play online, we win and lose so many of these every day, that we stop caring about it. Or at least the more sensible of us do :)

Just for fun I plugged your hand into ICMzier assuming, that the tournament has just begun, and then everyone has around the same stack as you. If everyone play "correctly", and HJ play push or fold, then HJ can push around 8% of hands in this situation. However if I change your calling range and those of all the players behind to be only QQ-AA, now HJ can profitably push with any two cards, and her cards hardly even matter, because she gets called so rarely. And whenever she dont get called, she just increase her stack 20% over and over again.

Some people might say "oh but she never bluff, so we can just fold". Well she did actually. Jamming in 25,5BB with 88 against an UTG open is certainly not for value, so she clearly wanted you to fold. And if she would do this with 88 then why not with at least some AX? If people are only calling her with QQ-AA, then jamming even something as bad as A2o actually makes her more money than jamming 88 because of the A bloker. My point is, we just cant say, that this is *always* a pocket pair, and therefore we should just fold AK. And if we do, we are simply not playing good fundamental poker.
 
magister1

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It's a sigh and click the call button situation. Unless you are on the bubble or there is some weird ICM math going on you gotta go with it for those odds.

I see a lot of deep analysis above me but I don't think it has to be that complicated. You can remove AA/KK from range pretty much all the time because nobody is 10x re-raising that. Way more likely they are spazzing out with AK/AQ or middling pair which you have the odds to call against.
 
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fundiver199

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You can remove AA/KK from range pretty much all the time because nobody is 10x re-raising that. Way more likely they are spazzing out with AK/AQ or middling pair which you have the odds to call against.

I completely agree with that, and we also block KK/AA, so even if its included in their range, its not going to be very common.
 
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FreshmanJoe

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You need to pay 92 to win 2 x 102 + 10 = 214, so you need 43% equity in pure chip EV. Its not a sitaution, I am thrilled about, because you opened UTG, and its a fairly large 25,5BB jam. But even so AKs is a mandatory call, and if you happened to lose the hand, just sucks to be you. "Flips" like this are an unavoidable part of tournament poker, and for those of us, who play online, we win and lose so many of these every day, that we stop caring about it. Or at least the more sensible of us do :)

Yes, I need 43% equity, 42.99 to be exact. I have played with her before and she can be a bit of a gambler. I have seen her getting married to her overpair on a paired board in a cash game where I tried to bluff her off of her aces on a 5688x kind of board but she just said "if you got it you got it, gotta call" and she called my all in on the turn. I don't remember what the stack sizes were but I noted it and she paid me a few days later with all her chips when she flopped top pair (king) with, I think ten kicker. So in this scenario, as you said, I was blocking aces and kings, and I called her putting her on jacks kind of a hand, and I lost. So do you suggest making these calls at any point in a tournament other than the bubble? In this case we were down to 18 people out of 72 and top 8 were getting paid.
 
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fundiver199

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The absolute default here is to call, and in real time its not something, I even need to think for a second about. The only thing, which could perhaps make me fold, is, if its some crazy ICM situation like on the final table, and 3 other players are running on fumes. Then MAYBE I would consider folding.
 
Phoenix Wright

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Why do you say we need 60% equity? We need to call 92k to win 246k(154 in the pot + 92 that we would call with). Although there was only big blind ante, but even then I only needed 42% equity. I don't think you need 60% equity with AKs against any pocket pair other than AA or KK

I said 60% equity because that was the equity the poker calculator gave for As Ks against the exact range I assigned, but math might be slightly off (I don't know, I'm no math major). Of course the equity needed changes a lot based on altering the range we assign the opponent and our exact holding.
 
Phoenix Wright

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You need to pay 92 to win 2 x 102 + 10 = 214, so you need 43% equity in pure chip EV. Its not a sitaution, I am thrilled about, because you opened UTG, and its a fairly large 25,5BB jam. But even so AKs is a mandatory call, and if you happened to lose the hand, just sucks to be you. "Flips" like this are an unavoidable part of tournament poker, and for those of us, who play online, we win and lose so many of these every day, that we stop caring about it. Or at least the more sensible of us do :)

Just for fun I plugged your hand into ICMzier assuming, that the tournament has just begun, and then everyone has around the same stack as you. If everyone play "correctly", and HJ play push or fold, then HJ can push around 8% of hands in this situation. However if I change your calling range and those of all the players behind to be only QQ-AA, now HJ can profitably push with any two cards, and her cards hardly even matter, because she gets called so rarely. And whenever she dont get called, she just increase her stack 20% over and over again.

Some people might say "oh but she never bluff, so we can just fold". Well she did actually. Jamming in 25,5BB with 88 against an UTG open is certainly not for value, so she clearly wanted you to fold. And if she would do this with 88 then why not with at least some AX? If people are only calling her with QQ-AA, then jamming even something as bad as A2o actually makes her more money than jamming 88 because of the A bloker. My point is, we just cant say, that this is *always* a pocket pair, and therefore we should just fold AK. And if we do, we are simply not playing good fundamental poker.

I especially like the last two sentences ("My point is...") because of course we need to consider far more than just pocket pairs and then there are random bluffs they might have in the range too.

Yes, I need 43% equity, 42.99 to be exact. I have played with her before and she can be a bit of a gambler. I have seen her getting married to her overpair on a paired board in a cash game where I tried to bluff her off of her aces on a 5688x kind of board but she just said "if you got it you got it, gotta call" and she called my all in on the turn. I don't remember what the stack sizes were but I noted it and she paid me a few days later with all her chips when she flopped top pair (king) with, I think ten kicker. So in this scenario, as you said, I was blocking aces and kings, and I called her putting her on jacks kind of a hand, and I lost. So do you suggest making these calls at any point in a tournament other than the bubble? In this case we were down to 18 people out of 72 and top 8 were getting paid.

This is critical information about your "hand history" with them. If you see them as a "bit of a gambler" and getting attached to overpairs to the point of calling off All-Ins, then their range is likely MUCH wider than the tighter 15% range I assigned them when coming up with 60% equity AK needed. If they play this way, then the wider range they have translates to me being much more inclined to call with AK.
 
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