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You Decide #28

My posting output is through the roof following the most recent AC Trip.

One of the reasons why I was successful in the two MTTs in AC was my unwillingness to be all-in. I wouldn't allow myself to be in any situation where my fate was dependent on a coin flip, unless, of course, I was shortstacked and desperate. But I kept myself un-shortstacked and un-desperate by avoiding second best or coin flip situations.

With that in mind, I present:

You Decide #28

We are in level 7 (100/200 blinds, 25 ante) of a 45-person MTT on PokerStars. We are fairly shortstackde with only 2235. We only outchip one other player.

We are in the Small Blind with Qd8c. The button (5500 in chips) calls. I call. The BB (about 3500 in chips) checks.

The flop is 5h Qs 3s. I bet 2010, and am all-in. The pot was 750 at this point. Both players fold.

So, here is my question: With top pair and a medium kicker, but on a short stack, does it make sense for me to intentionally push out the competition here, or should I have given a massage bet to induce a call? I could use more chips, and this may've been my chance. Thoughts? Questions? Comments? Thanks, people.

posted by Jordan @ 11:22 PM,


At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although it seems like a safe flop, i think u should bet only the pot. Not many hands are going to call your all in but if they do you are probably beaten. The worst scenario would be the bb holding 3 5, Q 3 or Q 5 (holdings not likely for the button to have).
On the other side, it couldve been a good move in order to encourage some button holdings to fold (Q 9, Q 10, Q J?, A 5). Aside from this 6 holdings, i think the rest would fold to the pot sized bet.

At 11:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah I think you are in one of those situations where you are only called if you are beat. If you are looking for a massage bet, a bet to take the pot down there, or a feeler bet, you can accomplish those with a pot sized bet. That way you can evaluate the play depending on the other players action. If they fold, well you got your answer. If they call, you might proceed with caution. If they go all-in over the top (or put you all-in) you know TPMK might not be so great...

Then again, big stacks will often overplay medium and low pair so what do I know...

I haven't read your AC trip posts yet...plan to do so today when I get some time...

At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I likely would have made the same play as you. There are a wide range of hands that may have called a pot sized bet, especially since they likely had bigger stacks than you.

Winning 750 at that point would increase your stack by 33%. That's rather significant.

With top pair, weak kicker, you don't want to induce callers. And had you been called and lost, that's just the way it goes in tourneys. If you believe you are ahead, and need the chips, make a bet to win the pot. Chips matter.

At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm probably all-in there too, it being unlikely that you're behind to a 53, Q5, Q3 or an overpair and more likely that you get a call on a pot-sized bet from a heart flush draw or something like A5s or A3s. I don't want those hands out there drawing against me for anything less than all of my money when I'm ahead in the hand and short stacked.

At 12:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can’t answer these posts because the thoughts in my head are too freaking hard to put on paper. So I like the move, you put the decision on them. Way more detail involved in answer but that’s all u get…on paper.

At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I definitely say you made the right move in pushing allin there. You NEED to win this pot, and letting someone stick around when it is likely that ANY king or ANY ace on the turn or river will beat you, that is just not good short stacked poker. Normally, I'm all about the slow-play, when appropriate, but here I think you have a decent shot of getting your allin called anyways since you are so short stacked, so the slow play probably increases your chances of getting called for your whole stack only by a very small amount, and as I said, it also greatly increases the chances of someone staying in to suck out and beat you. With that flop, between the spade draw, the possible low straight draw to someone with A2 or A4, and the likelihood that a King or Ace on the board will also beat you, you should be taking your best stab to get this guy out of that pot now, and take down those chips.

At 2:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I prefer the all-in move. A pot-sized bet might not be enough for you to take it down. If someone has a set or two pair, then sure, you're in trouble, but you need those chips.

At 2:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again, its time for me to give my own input. I liked my own move but I knew a lot of people would question it. I'm surprised that so many actually got it.

Someone stated that the only person who was going to call would have me beat. Valid point, somewhat. However, a lower Q kicker would maybe call. Mid-pair might call too. And more importantly, I don't want a call. I want them chips.

If AK is playing, they might call. But that isn't good. I want those chips now! I don't want to have to cross my fingers. A small bet would encourage AK's call. An all-in may do the trick to push him out.

The same can be said for an open ended straight draw or flush draw. Bet low and get called, hoping to not lose. Bet big and hopefully push them out or at least get them to pay too large for thier draw.

This brings me back to my main point. You don't want to be all-in in a tourney, ever. You might have to be all in at some point, but when you do go all in (as here), you want to make it as hard to call as possible.

At 2:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The board isn't totally safe -- especially with a flush draw out there. It is better to pick up that 800 in chips (1/3 of your remaining stack) than risk someone out drawing you. Lets say they have the flush draw -- that's ~36% chance you'll be out of the tourney. I feel like the value of those extra chips is less than the value of exiting the tourney 1 out of three times in that spot.

There is a lot to be said for surviving in a tourney, especially at low stakes where people will make plenty of mistakes for you to exploit.

As far as a pot sized bet (~700) vs pushing, I would push. At this stage, you'll pretty much be committing yourself with any bet since you have top pair. If you're willing to put your chips in anyway, you might as well put them in now.

It seems a little like scared poker to just push in that spot, but most people will see that your committed to the hand no matter what you bet, so I think there is very little difference between pushing and doing a pot bet. But... if you bet pot you'll have a hell of a decision if someone comes over the top of you. In my book, this hand you're pretty much committed to anyway, so you might as well get as much fold equity as possible.

At 3:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank the poker gods for the top pair and the chips. Because you're short stacked and do not have a hand to be "slowplayed", there's no reason to get fancy.

Shove and pray they fold or call with second pair.

At 4:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've already explained yourself, and I happen to agree. You were shortstacked and you needed chips, now. You were in the SB, so all you had to worry about for a while was the ante. Build the stack, bit by bit and wait for a more premium hand to try and get fancy. If your stack was larger, then a pot-sized bet would be more appropriate. Given your stack, a pot-sized bet would have left you with 1260 in chips If somebody calls, they've got an ace, a king, a queen with possibly a better kicker, or two pair. You needed the chips now, so the all-in was correct. How long did you last in the tourney?

At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And the other thing to keep in mind is, since Jordan has said he was only barely ahead of just one other player remaining in the tournament, it will probably be easier than you think to get a call, given your situation. A lot of big stacks will expand their calling requirements dramatically when a short stack moves in, especially when moving in on a seemingly not so dangerous flop. They'll put you on a flush draw, they'll put you on AK, they'll put you on second pair, whatever they have to tell themselves to take the chance to knock another guy out. So I don't even agree that in this case, the only people who'll call you are the ones who have you beat. I think there's a decent chance that you get called with someone who does not have top pair or better.

At 5:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's what I think is hard about this. You are all pretty short stacked. The average stack at this point is probably in the vicinity of what the button has. So, if you made a pot sized bet on the flop, and get smooth called, what do you do? Are you afraid to follow through for fear of QJ, QT, Q9? This dominates the range of hands that are playable against you, and dominates you. You're out of position and in negative equity range (I'm guessing on the equity thing, but against that range of Qs, suited As and Ks, and A(3/5), I would estimate that you are not doing very well).

If you made a bet so the next person in was getting 1.5-1 and he called, do you put him on the Qs and lay it down?

I think that you are too vulnerable to being played off the hand to do anything but go all in.


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