Big Stack Obligations

titans4ever

titans4ever

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I hate it when people feel the big stack on the table is obligated to try and take out the small stacks. I think it is big stacks right to lean on a small stack and make it tough by putting them all in, not calling their all ins.

Anyway, I was in the final 12 of a small MTT NL holdem and the big stack at one of the tables with about 11k in chips with blinds at 400/800 (some reason all the really big stacks were at the other table).

I am sitting in the big blind with 5h9h. The action if folded to the button who goes all in for 900, the small blind goes all in for 2500. The pot was now 4200 and I needed 1600 more to call the two all ins.

What do you do? Are you obligated to try and knock out two players at once?

I sat and thought about it for about a minute trying to decide what the other two might have. I would have had to throw in about 1/5 my stack guessing I am behind one if not both. I fold and of course my flush hit and I would have taken both out. I was right about what they had, they both had two over cards (kq and q 10).

I was stupid and groaned after the hand and said I would have taken the hand with my 95 since it is all friends in the tournament.

Two people proceed to try and tell me I was stupid for not calling in the first place with a chance to knock out two people. I told them they were crazy and you are not obligated to do anything in poker except pay your blinds.

I looked at it as let the two small stacks chomp at each other for my 800 and let me keep my big stack until I can put pressure on them and not call when I know I am behind. Why throw in with any two cards and let them double up.

Am I wrong here?
 
robwhufc

robwhufc

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If you think you've got pot odds call - if you haven't fold. Personally, i'd have called - of course you are behind, but if, as in the situation you had, their cards overlap, you've got a higher chance of winning than you need to make call correct. You aren't "obliged" to knock them out though, but with people chancing their arm late on with anything, this was an ideal opportunity to win a nice pot with lower than usual risk (and of course knock out 2 players to). Not much of an answer i know, but no-one else had answered (too busy checking out freeroll!).
 
L

Luske

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Nah, I don't think you're wrong. If you want to wait out for a better spot to get them, that's your business. It was a judgement call.

Besides, big stacks sometimes have good reason for wanting to keep players in the tourney. Short stacks are much easier to steal from on the bubble.
 
IrishDave

IrishDave

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Jeez, I hate to agree with Rob but I do. If the pot odds are good then make the call, if not then dump it. You're never obligated to do anything except play your cards as you see fit.

I was in a Jetset HH tourney Saturday and the short stack went all-in with about 300 chips. I had 9-8 suited (and a stack of over 3500) so I went after the bounty and called as did 2 others. The flop came 9-8-8 which gave me a boat. The other 2 players checked and I pushed all in. The other 2 players folded, I won the pot (and the bounty), and they immediately started bitching that I didn't "check it down". Yeah, I'm going to check a flopped boat every time folks...
 
t1riel

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:withstupi It's stupid to call two all-ins with 5, 9 suited? Who are these people? You're odds aren't very good with those cards up against two players who probably have better starting hands.
 
Alon Ipser

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I fold on this one. First, you don't have the odds to stay in. Second, the player with $2500 may take out the $900 at no extra cost to you and if the $900 wins, both players are down to 2 rounds before they get blinded out. I definitely pick a different hand to go after them.
 
bigjace

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Agree with Rob and Dave that if you're getting the correct odds then call,if not muck em.As for Daves play in the hh it was completely correct.At least you didn't bluff the all in like an idiot i played against recently.(He went all in on the flop with A rag,i folded and the pre flop allin won with a pair of 8s.Had he checked it down i'd have made a pair of ks and took him out.This was the final table and the player who had the 8s took the idiot out 4 hands later)
 
robwhufc

robwhufc

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t1riel said:
:withstupi It's stupid to call two all-ins with 5, 9 suited? Who are these people?

I'm stupid? Mr 5 times Cardschat tourney winner is stupid? ;). You get every single hand analysis wrong and you've never won a site tournament (not surprisingly!). This is hardly and open and shut case - you either call or you fold. I'd call - your opponents are pretty much pot committed so they could have anything. If they've got overpairs, then they got them at just the right time and you're unlucky to run into them. They both got 2 overcards? Well then they're likely to interfere with each other increasing the likelihood 2 small cards can catch. You've got big stack so can afford chips - if you win, 2 opponents are out. I'd guesstimate chances of winning at say 1/4 to 1/3rd - maybe a little bit short on pot odds, but even if you beat large stack and lose to small stack you're up.
Tell you what T1riel - win or place in a tournament, then you can call me stupid.

Edit - wait, i'm not sure if you're calling me stupid or not! If you're not, I take back everything I said!
 
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tenbob

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Ok here is my opinion, I won on the last Titan game, so can I have an opnion Rob ?;)

Neither play is overly poor here. Ok you were priced in but you had poor cards. Id call here, a win takes out 2 player and give you a great chance for the win. But what did you want to get out of this tourney ? If you were looking for a place or to "back into the money" then by all means fold.

But in these type of games its all about the win. I get chastised all the time for "silly" calls, but sometimes you just have to call, and hope for a little luck. Remeber the likelyhood is that BOTH your cards are live. You do need to make these calls in order to win a tourney.
 
robwhufc

robwhufc

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tenbob said:
But in these type of games its all about the win. I get chastised all the time for "silly" calls, but sometimes you just have to call, and hope for a little luck. Remeber the likelyhood is that BOTH your cards are live. You do need to make these calls in order to win a tourney.
Agree with this 100% - you'd be a moron to call with a hand like that early, but when blinds are up, and opposing stacks are small you have to adjust your game - people aren't going all-in with big hands, they are desperate or trying to steal. I'd have a play around with an odds calculator - you may be surprised that some hands are not as favoured as you may think against others. You dont need to be reckless late on, but super-tights dont win tournaments (Chicubs would back me up on this one!!).
 
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colin_147

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To say you SHOULD call with pot odds is not a correct statement at all, particularly if it is costing you 1/5 of your chip stack. Also, look at the odds of you hitting a flush....now look at the odds of the pot? Here's your answer.

You knew you were beat and was in a coin flip situation, of which you was DEFINITELY behind, chuck your cards away and wait for a better hand.

Sure its worth a call if you are big stack, costing you 1/20 of your stack, sure, what the hell, but I lay this hand down in a second.
 
J

jpockets

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Wouldn't dream of calling it. You were right to fold. Okay so the flush came out, how often would that happen? If you make that call and lose you are losing 20% of your stack. Don't think you had the pot odds for that somehow.
Regarding the obligations of the big stack, when I'm the big stack the only obligation I feel is to try and win. Who cares what the other people thought. How many times have you been at a table hoping that the big stack will make a few stupid calls and lose their powerful position. Smaller stacks want you to mess up. If you take out a player or two before you do they're even happier!!!
 
titans4ever

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When I am the big stack I want to keep it at two tables for as long as possible to steal pots and lean on everyone as long as possible. I loose all my leverage when we combine into one table and you are not the big stack at the table.

I wanted two tables as long as possible to steal blinds and get in a better position to force someone all in when they don't really want to be. I still took out both of the players that I did not call, but when I knew I had a better hand and was in the lead.
 
Jesus Lederer

Jesus Lederer

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Of course you weren´t obligated to call, but in my opinion it was the best play on that situation.
The only logic reason that may explain a fold here is that you don´t want to lose 14% of your stack, because you may feel uncomfortable with your game with just 11xBB. But that´s not enough a good reason to fold there. You have some strong points to make the call, like EV. If you´re against overpair, then the right play should be to fold, but Rob mentioned a very good detail: at that point the players that went all in could have done that with any two face cards. The first player had to go all in with any high card, and the second probably went all in with 2 high cards to keep away more callers. A pocket pair by any of those 2 would be very less probable than having just overcards.
I think that maybe you have a wrong image on what are the odds of winning against overcards. In the situation you told, preflop you had 34% chances of winning the hand, but i´m going to suppose the most probable situation, where your 2 opponents have different overcards. Lets say your 5-9s is against A-10 and K-Q. In that case you have 30% chances to win the hand. Knowing that you don´t have to do any math operation to realize you get a positive EV. Your hand odds are 2.3:1 and your pot odds are 3.6:1. Clearly profitable.
So applying math, that is a must call. But the EV cannot be applied in every situation, especially if it´s in a specific tournament situation. For example, if in a tournament you call a bet for all your chips as the underdog but getting good EV, is a bad call, because there´s no long term. But if we analize the hand you told gf, if you lose you still have a good stack to play comfortable and if you win you build a nice stack that will allow you to steal more and put more pressure on short stacks.
If you want to win the tournament you have to take those chances at those stages of the tournament. Remember that unless you´re all in there are lots of situations were you want to call being the underdog.
...........wait, i still haven´t won any CC event.....wait until next friday after FTP event and then read this post.
 
t1riel

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robwhufc said:
I'm stupid? Mr 5 times Cardschat tourney winner is stupid? ;). You get every single hand analysis wrong and you've never won a site tournament (not surprisingly!). This is hardly and open and shut case - you either call or you fold. I'd call - your opponents are pretty much pot committed so they could have anything. If they've got overpairs, then they got them at just the right time and you're unlucky to run into them. They both got 2 overcards? Well then they're likely to interfere with each other increasing the likelihood 2 small cards can catch. You've got big stack so can afford chips - if you win, 2 opponents are out. I'd guesstimate chances of winning at say 1/4 to 1/3rd - maybe a little bit short on pot odds, but even if you beat large stack and lose to small stack you're up.
Tell you what T1riel - win or place in a tournament, then you can call me stupid.

Edit - wait, i'm not sure if you're calling me stupid or not! If you're not, I take back everything I said!

I wasn't calling you stupid at all. Look at my post again and see the question mark. I actually posted it wrong when I reread gfpokerfan's post. I meant to say "it's stupid to FOLD with 5, 9 suited?" I was referring to gfpokerfan questioning his remark that it was stupid that he folded. Take it easy! By the way, Hand analysis is open to discussion, that's why we have a forum for it.
 
robwhufc

robwhufc

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t1riel said:
I wasn't calling you stupid at all. Look at my post again and see the question mark. I actually posted it wrong when I reread gfpokerfan's post. I meant to say "it's stupid to FOLD with 5, 9 suited?" I was referring to gfpokerfan questioning his remark that it was stupid that he folded. Take it easy! By the way, Hand analysis is open to discussion, that's why we have a forum for it.
Oops - sorry. I suppose the "i'm with stupid" smiley was pointing to Irish Dave, not me! I've been on the wrong end of an accusation like this - re-reading it I understand that you weren't having a pop - i feel a tit now!
 
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