Bubble play: when is it acceptable to ignore mathematics?

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Axmanace

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Nash / ICM charts are a great resource to understand when you should push, call, or fold in late game tournaments.

Occasionally I find myself in a situation where I’m dealt a pushable hand (77+ and AJ+) in late position but a shorter stack goes all in before I can act.

<for the sake of this hypothetical assume stack sizes, blinds, and positions make the call/push mathematically profitable>

Typically in this case mathematics prompt a call - but I find myself occasionally folding (especially on the lower end of the range with AJo or 77) to play it safe to hit the money since loosing would leave me with less than 5BB.

What situations do you ignore the mathematics that say pushing/calling will always be more profitable in the long term vs playing it safe to ensure cashing?

Should I stop “playing it safe” if I want to become a profitable MMT player?

Appreciate your thoughts!
 
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DS3

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You haven't detailed how many blinds you have near the bubble, just a 'shorter' stack went all-in before you had the chance and if you lose, you will be left with 5BBs.

But do you have 50BBs and the villain 45bbs? Or do you have 15 BBs and the villain 10BBs for example?

At this point in a tourney, this near the bubble, I would not be trusting in maths personally, but my read of the table . I would have weighed up the aggression in the field and thought how far I could ladder up (or contend). If short stacked myself I would be content to fold and get into the money.

If better stacked I would weigh up the opponent and make a simple decision. If they had been playing tightly, I would fold and keep a large stack to maneuver with post bubble.

If they had been playing aggressively and went in after losing in a prior hand, I might test the waters. But the play would be with table dynamics in mind, not maths for me personally.,
 
blueskies

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MTT is about situational awareness. Whenever you play MTT, of course you wanna go deep, but you also wanna make sure you at least get something out of it or it would just be a waste of time. At the bubble, be extremely aware of opponent stacks and make calculated moves because if you want to make it into the money, so do they. Forget about the math in this situation. Read each opponent.

Make it past the bubble and THEN look to go deep.

Not saying fold AA in a headsup showdown, but if you can fold into the money, definitely tighten up your range if calling and losing would either eliminate you or take a huge chunk of your stack.

I've seen dudes who easily would have been in the money if they just waited a few minutes go from Top 10 to out of the tourney because they go all in with a small PP or they go crazy with a flush draw on the flop.

Dumb. And funny. And it helps me so I hope they keep doing it.
 
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Axmanace

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You haven't detailed how many blinds you have near the bubble, just a 'shorter' stack went all-in before you had the chance and if you lose, you will be left with 5BBs.

But do you have 50BBs and the villain 45bbs? Or do you have 15 BBs and the villain 10BBs for example?

At this point in a tourney, this near the bubble, I would not be trusting in maths personally, but my read of the table . I would have weighed up the aggression in the field and thought how far I could ladder up (or contend). If short stacked myself I would be content to fold and get into the money.

If better stacked I would weigh up the opponent and make a simple decision. If they had been playing tightly, I would fold and keep a large stack to maneuver with post bubble.

If they had been playing aggressively and went in after losing in a prior hand, I might test the waters. But the play would be with table dynamics in mind, not maths for me personally.,

In the specific example I had 10 BB. (He had 5 BB).

It was a hyper tournament though so everyone at the table has less then 20 BB. I was just under middle stacked at the table (at that point).
 
sharipov8090

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This will be easy to understand if you learn to feel the field of players with whom you sit at the same table.hands 77 and AJ are not profitable hands of small stacks with olline hands will be older( unfortunately.I wouldn't count on luck.but sometimes I allow myself such moves and they bring success.That's why poker is so complicated, because math doesn't always play a role, or as it is taught only at a distance.
 
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fundiver199

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Should I stop “playing it safe” if I want to become a profitable MMT player?

In short: Yes. If pushing is +EV even taking ICM into account, they you should push, even if it means higher variance in the form of less min-cashes but more deep runs. However this situation, which you describe, is actually very close. I plugged it into ICMizer making the following assumptions, which I know are not completely accurate, but I dont have enough information to do it any better:

Tournament 45-man turbo on Stars with 8 players left (7 places pay)

UGT: 18BB - folded
MP: 12BB - folded
MP1: 18BB - folded
HJ (Villain): 5BB - jammed
CO (Hero): 10BB
BTN: 20BB
SB: 15BB
BB: 15BB

According to ICMizer Hero should overjam 77+, AT+. However 77+ only nets Hero 0,02% of the price pool, and this is assuming, that everyone play the NASH equilibrium ranges. For the players behind that mean, they are supposed to play really tight. BTN and SB are even supposed to fold AKo, but are they actually going to do that, when its not their tournament life at risk?

If I tweak the ranges of the 3 players behind to have them calling with 99+, AQ+, now overjamming 77 is losing Hero 0,07% of the price pool. So in the optimal scenario jamming 77 is barely profitable, and in a more realistic scenario, where the players behind call slightly to wide, its losing Hero money. So if this was the actual bubble and not just "near the bubble" like 10-20% of the players still needing to bust, folding 77 seem completely fine to me with the assumptions, I made.
 
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Axmanace

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In short: Yes. If pushing is +EV even taking ICM into account, they you should push, even if it means higher variance in the form of less min-cashes but more deep runs. However this situation, which you describe, is actually very close. I plugged it into ICMizer making the following assumptions, which I know are not completely accurate, but I dont have enough information to do it any better:

Tournament 45-man turbo on Stars with 8 players left (7 places pay)

UGT: 18BB - folded
MP: 12BB - folded
MP1: 18BB - folded
HJ (Villain): 5BB - jammed
CO (Hero): 10BB
BTN: 20BB
SB: 15BB
BB: 15BB

According to ICMizer Hero should overjam 77+, AT+. However 77+ only nets Hero 0,02% of the price pool, and this is assuming, that everyone play the NASH equilibrium ranges. For the players behind that mean, they are supposed to play really tight. BTN and SB are even supposed to fold AKo, but are they actually going to do that, when its not their tournament life at risk?

If I tweak the ranges of the 3 players behind to have them calling with 99+, AQ+, now overjamming 77 is losing Hero 0,07% of the price pool. So in the optimal scenario jamming 77 is barely profitable, and in a more realistic scenario, where the players behind call slightly to wide, its losing Hero money. So if this was the actual bubble and not just "near the bubble" like 10-20% of the players still needing to bust, folding 77 seem completely fine to me with the assumptions, I made.



That makes sense. And is exactly what I experienced (which is ultimately why I decided to fold).

There were only 5-6 people left (all with less then 5 BB) before bubble burst. So not exactly the bubble but close enough to matter.

I was in a horrible spot once the bubble busted though (didn’t get another playable hand the rest of the game lol) so I was questioning my decision since it “technically” was incorrect if my opponents where playing optimal GTO theory. But it was borderline.
 
jordanbillie

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That makes sense. And is exactly what I experienced (which is ultimately why I decided to fold).

There were only 5-6 people left (all with less then 5 BB) before bubble burst. So not exactly the bubble but close enough to matter.

I was in a horrible spot once the bubble busted though (didn’t get another playable hand the rest of the game lol) so I was questioning my decision since it “technically” was incorrect if my opponents where playing optimal GTO theory. But it was borderline.


I also would have folded. At the stakes I play, avoiding borderline spots seems to be paying off. :)
 
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hohol97

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I do not care about bubble, when I know that I am better then field. So, I can get many value in case my 2up in upcoming phase.
 
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fundiver199

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There were only 5-6 people left (all with less then 5 BB) before bubble burst. So not exactly the bubble but close enough to matter.


In that case 77 was probably a push, but it would also be the worst pair, that was a push. And we are not always going to get it 100% right each time, so this is certainly not a decision, I would worry about. If you folded TT or called 44, then we can begin to talk about a leak, that must be fixed.

Its also ok to take off marginal spots, if you think, you have a large skill edge on some opponents. If for instance the players to your left seem to fold way to much to an open push, then that can be a more profitable situation to go for rather than calling off half your stack and potentially losing your fold equity.
 
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Axmanace

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In that case 77 was probably a push, but it would also be the worst pair, that was a push. And we are not always going to get it 100% right each time, so this is certainly not a decision, I would worry about. If you folded TT or called 44, then we can begin to talk about a leak, that must be fixed.

Its also ok to take off marginal spots, if you think, you have a large skill edge on some opponents. If for instance the players to your left seem to fold way to much to an open push, then that can be a more profitable situation to go for rather than calling off half your stack and potentially losing your fold equity.

In that specific spot I had AJo.
(But I’ve been in nearly identical positions with 77 and have folded before).

I probably would have called if it was AJs.
I 100% would have called AQ+ or TT+.
I “may” have called with KQs
 
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eetenor

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In short: Yes. If pushing is +EV even taking ICM into account, they you should push, even if it means higher variance in the form of less min-cashes but more deep runs. However this situation, which you describe, is actually very close. I plugged it into ICMizer making the following assumptions, which I know are not completely accurate, but I dont have enough information to do it any better:

Tournament 45-man turbo on Stars with 8 players left (7 places pay)

UGT: 18BB - folded
MP: 12BB - folded
MP1: 18BB - folded
HJ (Villain): 5BB - jammed
CO (Hero): 10BB
BTN: 20BB
SB: 15BB
BB: 15BB

According to ICMizer Hero should overjam 77+, AT+. However 77+ only nets Hero 0,02% of the price pool, and this is assuming, that everyone play the NASH equilibrium ranges. For the players behind that mean, they are supposed to play really tight. BTN and SB are even supposed to fold AKo, but are they actually going to do that, when its not their tournament life at risk?

If I tweak the ranges of the 3 players behind to have them calling with 99+, AQ+, now overjamming 77 is losing Hero 0,07% of the price pool. So in the optimal scenario jamming 77 is barely profitable, and in a more realistic scenario, where the players behind call slightly to wide, its losing Hero money. So if this was the actual bubble and not just "near the bubble" like 10-20% of the players still needing to bust, folding 77 seem completely fine to me with the assumptions, I made.


Thank you for posting

What a great share once again with your post.

Demonstrating how you use math in specific scenarios by adjusting it according to villain ranges not GTO ranges clarifies this issue perfectly. Thus we do not ignore the math and make the gut call or fold but continue to refine the math situationally and take actions rooted in that math.

Thank you for your willingness to help us all grow.

:):)
 
Vitorbismark

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Nash / ICM charts are a great resource to understand when you should push, call, or fold in late game tournaments.

Occasionally I find myself in a situation where I’m dealt a pushable hand (77+ and AJ+) in late position but a shorter stack goes all in before I can act.

<for the sake of this hypothetical assume stack sizes, blinds, and positions make the call/push mathematically profitable>

Typically in this case mathematics prompt a call - but I find myself occasionally folding (especially on the lower end of the range with AJo or 77) to play it safe to hit the money since loosing would leave me with less than 5BB.

What situations do you ignore the mathematics that say pushing/calling will always be more profitable in the long term vs playing it safe to ensure cashing?

Should I stop “playing it safe” if I want to become a profitable MMT player?

Appreciate your thoughts!


I usually use this type of fold. I don't know if I'm making the right move, but falling into the bubble, I think it's very bad. I end up stressing about the game so I prefer to guarantee a little money anyway. now if you are a person who has a lot of tables in the session, I think the call can be an advantage. only I wouldn't.
 
foran

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you have to take risks, later on you have to play it with a worse hand.
 
Collin Moshman

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The math already accounts for the risk of busting when there's a huge penalty for doing so.

If you're second chip leader and the chip leader shoves against you on the bubble, for example, ICM software will give you a very tight calling range. The reason for this tightness is that the software knows you need a huge edge to take this gamble for your whole stack instead of folding and almost definitely laddering.

But there's some probability of winning so that it increases your equity to gamble instead of folding. If you turn down these spots, then you're losing money in the long run.
 
theANMATOR

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Should I stop “playing it safe” if I want to become a profitable MMT player? Appreciate your thoughts!
I'd not call here with anything less than TTs.

With that said the common understanding we all have probably heard before is the more risk = the more reward. Kinda true - when we risk more often - we will bust more often - but that one/two times we hit, and win - we make final table and once on the final table - we can aim for top 3. That top 3 pays for all the times we missed, x10 - usually.
Unfotrunately - we will bust considerably more often risking it. So we will not min-cash as often, there will be a lot of bust outs, and the occasional final table (hopefully more often than occasionally) not as many min-cashes - which doesn't really help the bottom line anyway. Min-cash essentially pays for the two bullets the following day. :)

With that said - there is strong merit in playing tight with such a small stack, and hoping you catch a good hand that can result in a double up before you blind out. You'll have a better chance at making the min-cash - but less of a chance making FT - unless you go on a run. :)

I would not be trusting in maths personally, but my read of the table . I would have weighed up the aggression in the field
150% agree
 
nuttea

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Nash / ICM charts are a great resource to understand when you should push, call, or fold in late game tournaments.

Occasionally I find myself in a situation where I’m dealt a pushable hand (77+ and AJ+) in late position but a shorter stack goes all in before I can act.

<for the sake of this hypothetical assume stack sizes, blinds, and positions make the call/push mathematically profitable>

Typically in this case mathematics prompt a call - but I find myself occasionally folding (especially on the lower end of the range with AJo or 77) to play it safe to hit the money since loosing would leave me with less than 5BB.

What situations do you ignore the mathematics that say pushing/calling will always be more profitable in the long term vs playing it safe to ensure cashing?

Should I stop “playing it safe” if I want to become a profitable MMT player?

Appreciate your thoughts!
If the size of the player's stack does not provide him with getting into the prizes, and the player is below the prize places, he needs to pay attention to opponents who are in a similar situation or are close to it. The tactics of the game should be aimed at ensuring that such opponents leave the game before the player, increasing his chances of getting a prize. To achieve this goal, the player can use a common technique - stalling for time and making a decision in the last seconds of extra time. In this case, there are more hands at other tables, and the blinds come faster and more often to players with small stacks. As a result, such players can be eliminated from the tournament faster.
 
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Usually at the last table, I ignore the math and act intuitively. Basically, I rely on the idea that opponents would play each other without me if I have a good stack. I wait when there are few of them left. But I don’t let the blinds eat me either. Sometimes I steal the blinds with big raises. I get into the game only with a very good card and I don't risk it. On the contrary, with a small stack, you need to go all-in more.
 
adoadoado76

adoadoado76

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,,

very interesting topic, so I'm not an experienced player and I'm not a mathematical player. I like to play with a strong hand, was I successful, honestly, yes and no. poker game comes to me relaxation and not that it tires me.:rolleyes::confused:
 
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donpiatnik

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You have to decide whether the final table is the goal or whether to get into the money?
To be a successful mtt player it is essential to win, but at least finish in the top three sometimes in tournaments. :) To do this, you have to forget about the overly safe mode.I only ignore strong cards if even making money means big money to my bankroll. Otherwise, you should take advantage of the ease of large stacks. Of course, sometimes this can mean the end of your tournament at an annoying time. But I think this behavior usually increases your chances at the final table. GL!
 
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fifille07

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Always go for first place. Don’t play scared.

So yes you should ignore maths to go for first place sometimes.
 
martinlgs

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At this stage, I generally play in terms of the position I have at the table and my chip ratio in proportion to the blind and to each player present at the table, beyond the cards they have in hand, in the bubble it is very vital the position, the number of chip you have and the characteristics of the players at the table
 
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WellAA

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Nash / ICM charts are a great resource to understand when you should push, call, or fold in late game tournaments.

Occasionally I find myself in a situation where I’m dealt a pushable hand (77+ and AJ+) in late position but a shorter stack goes all in before I can act.

<for the sake of this hypothetical assume stack sizes, blinds, and positions make the call/push mathematically profitable>

Typically in this case mathematics prompt a call - but I find myself occasionally folding (especially on the lower end of the range with AJo or 77) to play it safe to hit the money since loosing would leave me with less than 5BB.

What situations do you ignore the mathematics that say pushing/calling will always be more profitable in the long term vs playing it safe to ensure cashing?

Should I stop “playing it safe” if I want to become a profitable MMT player?

Appreciate your thoughts!


Wow, after reading all beautiful mathematics poker thing, and You state want to become profitable MMT player. Aren't you already?
humn, question, for how long have you applying this mathematics stuff?
See You at a beautiful FT. GL!
 
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WellAA

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Always go for first place. Don’t play scared.

So yes you should ignore maths to go for first place sometimes.

nice, so, do You think that You are a profitable player?
For how long have You playing like that?
 
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