Calling all in with low pairs

Psyanide14

Psyanide14

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Hey all, I’ve been running bad lately in MTT and here’s the most frequent way I bust and just wondering if I’m just getting bad callers or if this is normal. Here’s the story.

So let’s say we are halfway through a tournament, still a bit off the money and I got 10-15 BB left. I’m pretty much in push fold territory. If the pot hasn’t been opened I’m going to shove my premium and semi premium hands, for this purpose let’s forget pairs and say I’m shoving most AXs, high AXo, and most broadways. What I’m finding is I’m getting called by someone with a weak pair, often 33-77. Of course I always lose but that besides the point. They aren’t in the BB and there’s usually a few players to act after them. It’s not a bounty tournament so they aren’t looking for a KO. They aren’t a huge stack, usually calling off at least half their stack. So my question...does this make sense?

IMHO, the best they can hope for is a flip, there’s a chance I’m shoving a higher pocket pair and they are dominated (though I still lose those too). I always fold my low pairs when the situation is reversed but should I be calling instead? Or is just because I’m playing the $1-2 MTT and they are loose?

Any advice would be helpful. Thanks all.
 
spectralwave

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The key to deciding whether or not to play your low pair before the flop is the number of players who act after you - and the presence of bets and raises before it's your turn to act. If there are a lot of players still acting and you know they are likely to bet and raise you would be less inclined to play with your low pair than when there are only a couple of opponents still at stake. This is because your small pair can be much more profitable if it is cheap for you to see the flop - in the hope of hitting a set and winning the big pot. If it is too expensive to go to the flop then the money you win on those times will not make up for the money you lose from all the times you don't win that set on the flop and then have to double, which means that your game becomes low profitable over time. When there have been bets after you, it is important to try to decide whether your action will end the betting round (for example when you are the last to act and watch it means that all of you will then see the flop), the if there is the risk of someone behind you making a new climb. If you think there is a possibility of a new round of betting, you should double, otherwise watching the small rise - especially when you and the last to act after the flop - is rarely profitable.


Ideally, you would like to hit a small set and win your opponent's big pot with the big pair. This will happen approximately once every 8 times you play, which means that you need to recover at least 8 times your pre-flop bet amount for the game to be profitable. What younger players often do not understand is that they cannot always win the hand and even when they win, it is not always possible to win all the other opponent's sauce. In order to account for this, we need to ensure that our opponent has enough chips to pay 10 or 12 times our initial investment when we watch before the flop. This should be done with an opponent only as it is rare to defeat two opponents at the same time. Finally, when you hit your set, you must decide how to play the hand to maximize the profit. Playing slowly is an option, checking instead of raising the stakes to pretend a weak hand causing the opponent to bet. Be careful when doing this if there is a possibility of straight or flushes on the flop and also if your opponent plays shyly. Leading with a small bet initially will start to build the pot, giving you a better chance of getting all the chips on the river. If this bet is your standard post-flop continuation bet, then even better- your opponent may see this as weakness and raise your bet big, when you have a monster hand.
 
Psyanide14

Psyanide14

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The key to deciding whether or not to play your low pair before the flop is the number of players who act after you - and the presence of bets and raises before it's your turn to act. If there are a lot of players still acting and you know they are likely to bet and raise you would be less inclined to play with your low pair than when there are only a couple of opponents still at stake. This is because your small pair can be much more profitable if it is cheap for you to see the flop - in the hope of hitting a set and winning the big pot. If it is too expensive to go to the flop then the money you win on those times will not make up for the money you lose from all the times you don't win that set on the flop and then have to double, which means that your game becomes low profitable over time. When there have been bets after you, it is important to try to decide whether your action will end the betting round (for example when you are the last to act and watch it means that all of you will then see the flop), the if there is the risk of someone behind you making a new climb. If you think there is a possibility of a new round of betting, you should double, otherwise watching the small rise - especially when you and the last to act after the flop - is rarely profitable.


Ideally, you would like to hit a small set and win your opponent's big pot with the big pair. This will happen approximately once every 8 times you play, which means that you need to recover at least 8 times your pre-flop bet amount for the game to be profitable. What younger players often do not understand is that they cannot always win the hand and even when they win, it is not always possible to win all the other opponent's sauce. In order to account for this, we need to ensure that our opponent has enough chips to pay 10 or 12 times our initial investment when we watch before the flop. This should be done with an opponent only as it is rare to defeat two opponents at the same time. Finally, when you hit your set, you must decide how to play the hand to maximize the profit. Playing slowly is an option, checking instead of raising the stakes to pretend a weak hand causing the opponent to bet. Be careful when doing this if there is a possibility of straight or flushes on the flop and also if your opponent plays shyly. Leading with a small bet initially will start to build the pot, giving you a better chance of getting all the chips on the river. If this bet is your standard post-flop continuation bet, then even better- your opponent may see this as weakness and raise your bet big, when you have a monster hand.



Thanks for a response but it had absolutely nothing to do with my question if you read beyond the title. Thanks for trying.
 
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fundiver199

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You can use ICMizer to calculate the exact GTO ranges in push-or-fold situations, and this include both pushing ranges and calling ranges. A lot of different variables goes into this. Obviously each players stack size is important, but also the average stack of the tournament, the position of the pusher and caller respectively, the phase of the tournament, the payout structure and the size of the ante if any.

As for calling with small pairs each pair perform different. So in general calls with 77 are probably a lot more reasonable than calls with 33. With 77 the Villain will dominate some small pairs and suited wheel aces, that you are supposed to jam, especially from late position. With 33 it is, as you say, at best a coinflip, unless they run into exactly 22 or A2s-A3s, which is rather unlikely.

You will find that in micro and to some extend even low stakes tournaments, a lot of people will tend to call off to wide, if its not on the bubble or final table, and even then they might still call off to wide. Yesterday I lost most of my chips on the actual bubble of a 4,5$ MTT by jamming from SB and getting called by 22. This was someone, who seemed like a solid reg with a low gap between VPIP and PRF. And yet he still took the risk of bubbling by putting in 13BB with 22 as a call.

The way to adjust to games, where people call to wide, is to jam a little bit tighter. Take off some of those hands, that are clearly not happy when called. Also dont go to early into push-fold mode. This is also one of my leaks, if I am honest. Its so easy to push, but often it can be more +EV to min-raise even with stacks in the 10-15BB region. Often people dont defend their blinds enough, and they dont rejam enough, and then you can just pick up small pots without risking your entire stack.
 
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karl coakley

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I think you're right, it happens a lot, many are poor calls, but it is being done because people see it happen frequently.

This play is really what you want when you shove short. Everyone wins their share of flips. Keep your game consistent and the results will come.

Good luck.
 
darthjewel

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The answer depends on the skills of your opponents.
If they go all-in only with the likes of AA or KK, then a
low pair is kind of weak.
But if you spot that they all-in with the likes of Q9, you could assume that in general they have unmatched cards, hence your pair could have some advantage.

I would be cautious with all-in during MTTs anyway.
 
1sunchin

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This is strongly depends from your position, number of participants in this hand and how soon will be bubble.
 
Psyanide14

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Thanks for the responses. It’s good to see that this seems to be a normal thing. Easier to counteract that way. I agree with the poster about tightening up my jam range as well as the one that said to maybe wait til a bit shorter than the 10-15. I just dont want to end up so short that it makes the BB almost have to call based on odds. Maybe the 7-10 range may be better.

Thanks all for the responses.
 
F

fundiver199

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I agree with the poster about tightening up my jam range as well as the one that said to maybe wait til a bit shorter than the 10-15. I just dont want to end up so short that it makes the BB almost have to call based on odds. Maybe the 7-10 range may be better.

It can also be completely fine to split your range, when you have 10-15BB, and min-raise some hands, while you jam others. Hands like bad aces and small to medium pairs play rather poorly when seeing a flop, so these are prime candidates to jam and simply go for the fold equity + realising whatever equity, we have when called.

Whereas if we open jam KK preflop for 14BB, we take away the option for someone to rejam light on us, and we take away spots, where maybe BB would have called a minraise with QT and flopped top pair. So maybe we play some really strong hands, that would love to get jammed on, as a minraise, and then to stay balanced we also do it with hands, that can fold to a jam and play fairly well when called. Like maybe KJ, T9s and so on.
 
theANMATOR

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Hey all, I’ve been running bad lately in MTT and here’s the most frequent way I bust and just wondering if I’m just getting bad callers or if this is normal. Here’s the story.

So let’s say we are halfway through a tournament, still a bit off the money and I got 10-15 BB left. I’m pretty much in push fold territory. If the pot hasn’t been opened I’m going to shove my premium and semi premium hands, for this purpose let’s forget pairs and say I’m shoving most AXs, high AXo, and most broadways. What I’m finding is I’m getting called by someone with a weak pair, often 33-77. Of course I always lose but that besides the point. They aren’t in the BB and there’s usually a few players to act after them. It’s not a bounty tournament so they aren’t looking for a KO. They aren’t a huge stack, usually calling off at least half their stack. So my question...does this make sense?

IMHO, the best they can hope for is a flip, there’s a chance I’m shoving a higher pocket pair and they are dominated (though I still lose those too). I always fold my low pairs when the situation is reversed but should I be calling instead? Or is just because I’m playing the $1-2 MTT and they are loose?

Any advice would be helpful. Thanks all.

Thanks for the responses. It’s good to see that this seems to be a normal thing. Easier to counteract that way. I agree with the poster about tightening up my jam range as well as the one that said to maybe wait til a bit shorter than the 10-15. I just dont want to end up so short that it makes the BB almost have to call based on odds. Maybe the 7-10 range may be better.

Thanks all for the responses.


The opponents might also have noted you are shoving light, any suited rag ace any Ace off suit above T.

I'm slightly tighter than you, with the range you assigned I will only shove (under 10bb) A/9s+ 77+. AJ o+ & suited K/Q+. I know I'm tight - but it works for me. :cool:

More often than not I'm the one calling shortys with calling hands though.

I will say what frustrates me the most is getting it in strong JJ+, at the range you described only to be bad beat by 55s or below. That is tilt inducing.

Agree with above who suggested to tighten up your shoving range, and dont dispare about getting lower than 10bb. I've seen (and I have) came back from under 2bb to take 2nd once and 3rd a couple times in some of the toughest micro events on ACR.
 
sharipov8090

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yes, indeed, the limits on which you are currently located accompany the category of players who call pushes with low pairs.And you lose not because it is a mathematical calculation but because they are lucky.this will not happen often -I advise you to play your hands with a small raise, but not to play roulette.
 
Baldy86

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well since you are short stacked they could think that they are a favorite and if you have AK , AQ etc then they are indeed a small favorite and have a made hand already against your big drawing cards . and if they have a somewhat decent stack they could think that even if you have a high pocket pair that they can suck you out with a set . me personally i have pretty decent reading abilities and when i sense that the opponent has AK or similar and is shoving and i have more chips than him/her then i might call with a low pocket pair depending on situation

but there are many who just want to gamble it out too
 
Psyanide14

Psyanide14

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yes, indeed, the limits on which you are currently located accompany the category of players who call pushes with low pairs.And you lose not because it is a mathematical calculation but because they are lucky.this will not happen often -I advise you to play your hands with a small raise, but not to play roulette.


Unfortunately this does happen quite often to me. I’m currently on a streak of busting 5 straight tournaments in which I’ve had a pair over pair so about 80% to win and lost them all. The worst was the last one, I had KK and was up against two players, QQ and KQ. Of course the case Q hit the river. Extremely frustrating.
 
sharipov8090

sharipov8090

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Unfortunately this does happen quite often to me. I’m currently on a streak of busting 5 straight tournaments in which I’ve had a pair over pair so about 80% to win and lost them all. The worst was the last one, I had KK and was up against two players, QQ and KQ. Of course the case Q hit the river. Extremely frustrating.
There will be a day there will be a victory!More training sessions with motivation to win the tournament and then how it goes.All players experience bad games at times so you're not alone.don't lose heart.The game is waiting for us with a victory!
 
NWPatriot

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well since you are short stacked they could think that they are a favorite and if you have AK , AQ etc then they are indeed a small favorite and have a made hand already against your big drawing cards . and if they have a somewhat decent stack they could think that even if you have a high pocket pair that they can suck you out with a set . me personally i have pretty decent reading abilities and when i sense that the opponent has AK or similar and is shoving and i have more chips than him/her then i might call with a low pocket pair depending on situation

but there are many who just want to gamble it out too

I am sort of aligned to Baldy's thought process here as well. Position, players left to act, and relative stacks are the variables I use to make this specific decision.

One of the things about a small pocket pair that hasn't been mentioned is its "equity realization". If we are set mining in a non all-in hand, then we can feel like we have 12% chance of hitting a set, but we know there will be many overcards on the flop that will cause us to fold to flop pressure. This really means we will only realize our equity 12% of the time. This ignores the fact that a 55 is a 53% favorite to beat the top 15% of non-paired hands. When we or our opponent are all-in, we will realize 53% of our equity every hand. We will not fold off the flop. Our opponent must outdraw us, because we started the hand ahead (unless of course they already have a pocket pair). We will see all 7 cards now instead of just the first 5.

While 53% isn't a great place to start, we are only dominated by bigger pairs. If we are short, or if the call isn't too dramatic an impact to our stack, it may not be as bad a play as it seems.

Good luck and God bless
 
Luvepoker

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Hey all, I’ve been running bad lately in MTT and here’s the most frequent way I bust and just wondering if I’m just getting bad callers or if this is normal. Here’s the story.

So let’s say we are halfway through a tournament, still a bit off the money and I got 10-15 BB left. I’m pretty much in push fold territory. If the pot hasn’t been opened I’m going to shove my premium and semi premium hands, for this purpose let’s forget pairs and say I’m shoving most AXs, high AXo, and most broadways. What I’m finding is I’m getting called by someone with a weak pair, often 33-77. Of course I always lose but that besides the point. They aren’t in the BB and there’s usually a few players to act after them. It’s not a bounty tournament so they aren’t looking for a KO. They aren’t a huge stack, usually calling off at least half their stack. So my question...does this make sense?

IMHO, the best they can hope for is a flip, there’s a chance I’m shoving a higher pocket pair and they are dominated (though I still lose those too). I always fold my low pairs when the situation is reversed but should I be calling instead? Or is just because I’m playing the $1-2 MTT and they are loose?

Any advice would be helpful. Thanks all.

I know the feeling here but many time there calls are just not good. They are hoping for a flip and praying you dont have a pair. With players behind them some of the hand they play are very dangerous for them. While your luck has been running bad there is one thing you should realize, you want them to make bad plays. This bad run will turn.

As for your folding in these situations, you should not care what others are calling with. You are playing smart and that's what count there. If you start playing hands like them say 2's 3's or 4's, you maybe ahead but with say pocket 2's you are only 50% to win the hand against any 2 cards. Think of that, 50 /50 if you are shoving trash like 73o. yet they call and you are playing hands with much better equity than that.
 
Luvepoker

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I am sort of aligned to Baldy's thought process here as well. Position, players left to act, and relative stacks are the variables I use to make this specific decision.

One of the things about a small pocket pair that hasn't been mentioned is its "equity realization". If we are set mining in a non all-in hand, then we can feel like we have 12% chance of hitting a set, but we know there will be many overcards on the flop that will cause us to fold to flop pressure. This really means we will only realize our equity 12% of the time. This ignores the fact that a 55 is a 53% favorite to beat the top 15% of non-paired hands. When we or our opponent are all-in, we will realize 53% of our equity every hand. We will not fold off the flop. Our opponent must outdraw us, because we started the hand ahead (unless of course they already have a pocket pair). We will see all 7 cards now instead of just the first 5.

While 53% isn't a great place to start, we are only dominated by bigger pairs. If we are short, or if the call isn't too dramatic an impact to our stack, it may not be as bad a play as it seems.

Good luck and God bless

You are dead right about equity realization being a valid reason to call but it also needs to be player dependent. Pocket pairs like 6's and 7's have only 35 TO 40% equity against tighter players. At time it can be the easiest call and others a snap fold.
 
azforlife

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With no info, & in 20-40 bb range shoving mid pairs or calling random shoves or re-raises except for a nitty player is A OK IMO
 
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Zirkzee

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These players take a huge risk of calling with low pairs. Because it may well be that the raiser has a higher pair and they are an 80:20 outsider. In addition, it is very possible that the raiser holds at least 2 overcards and thus it is a coin flip. That's why it doesn't make sense for me to take such a risk with small pocket pairs. These players think that small pocket pairs are good for heads up, so they call. I think they are not aware of the risk they are taking.
 
inox73

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luck is everything in poker with deuces A`s droping out is a nice feeling and big luck many players are angry after such a luck but it is like it is you have or you havent luck
 
mariale_1990

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I think that many times it depends on how many players enter the play, the reading that that player has of the rest of the players, I have sometimes bet with low pairs, but I always do it depending on what I see from my opponents, I do it by following My instinct, with this I do not mean that I always win with low pairs, when someone bets a lot with low pairs and they always win I wonder what they see or what they know that I do not know, or what they think, it is difficult not to think about that, but I suppose that apart from the theoretical knowledge that they have more their intuition, strategies, and another series of factors that they take into account
 
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MakTrue

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Hey all, I’ve been running bad lately in MTT and here’s the most frequent way I bust and just wondering if I’m just getting bad callers or if this is normal. Here’s the story.

So let’s say we are halfway through a tournament, still a bit off the money and I got 10-15 BB left. I’m pretty much in push fold territory. If the pot hasn’t been opened I’m going to shove my premium and semi premium hands, for this purpose let’s forget pairs and say I’m shoving most AXs, high AXo, and most broadways. What I’m finding is I’m getting called by someone with a weak pair, often 33-77. Of course I always lose but that besides the point. They aren’t in the BB and there’s usually a few players to act after them. It’s not a bounty tournament so they aren’t looking for a KO. They aren’t a huge stack, usually calling off at least half their stack. So my question...does this make sense?

IMHO, the best they can hope for is a flip, there’s a chance I’m shoving a higher pocket pair and they are dominated (though I still lose those too). I always fold my low pairs when the situation is reversed but should I be calling instead? Or is just because I’m playing the $1-2 MTT and they are loose?

Any advice would be helpful. Thanks all.


Good day!
All the arguments that you have listed seem to me to be true!
Cheap MTTs with a lot of recreational players are loose.
They make mistakes, but they are lucky anyway.
Just play the distance and everything will be fine.
You play the court according to the above from you correctly, in my opinion. I would do exactly the same.
Good luck at the tables!
 
LFC_yllnwa

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When you put a preflop all in, it's always a lottery for you and your opponent. I think if the opponent against you has a bigger pot and remains in the game after losing, he has the right to take the risk, because if he loses, he will take your place and play push all-in every hand. He has a choice, and I think a lot of players choose the opportunity of luck (winning against you and increasing the pot by 2 times), it's a great opportunity, to be high in the prizes as a result.

You said that you always throw out the younger pairs, i think you are not mentally ready to fly out, this is bad for you... I think you're constantly stressed and don't enjoy the game. You have to play such hands, but it depends on the opponent, for this you must carefully study it. Are you doing this?

If we talk about the fact that you have 10-10BB left, why don't you think that you are the problem? I think you don't play well in the middle of the tournament or the beginning, because you don't have a comfortable pot for the late stage of the tournament... Think about it;)

I think it's not right to say all your thoughts, for all your opponents, because there are also stupid players who play all hands, and there are different situations at the table, but I think my words make sense :)
 
0546474

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Even if you are low in chips (10-15bb), going all-in (if you act first) with AK, AQ and premium hands, you are depriving yourself of the opportunity to play hands like aces with a weaker kicker than yours and also hands KQ, KJ, QJ and K10, which could call for a raise but fold to all-in !!! It's another matter if aggressive actions have already taken place before you !!!
"Just keep it in mind"
 
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