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Another Tough Decision with Kings

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  • Another Tough Decision with Kings

    Okay, evidently I'm going to be a frequent poster here for a while -- hope you all don't mind. Here's the situation: It's the bubble of a Premier League Qualifier tournament (37 players left, 36 places paid). I'm sitting on about 6BB in the SB and am dealt KK. One person limps from the cutoff, everyone else folds. The blinds and antes are due to go up again very soon. There are a few stacks smaller than mine (one only 370) that will probably bust out before I do if I just fold. However, if I fold this hand, there is only a very slim chance I will be dealt a hand decent enough to shove from whatever position I'm in after the bubble bursts, and therefore I will probably get blinded down to almost nothing while waiting for a hand, and end up shoving *very* shaky holdings with no fold equity, knowing I will be called by one or more of the big stacks all around me who would be happy to have me for a snack. Not much chance of making the final table that way. Looking at it as a choice between that, or possibly having a chance to go a little deeper into the tournament, I decided to shove the kings even though I was on the bubble. I knew I would get *some* points, although not as many as I would if I made the money, but at least I was deep enough into the tournament that I wouldn't *lose* points for busting out. And recovering my $1.10 entry fee was not a huge concern. Anyway, the hand replay is below. I'm curious to know what others would have done in this situation -- would you shove the kings, or fold them and wait out the bubble? Or, would you do something I actually didn't even consider doing at the time -- limp -- and reassess after the flop, just because of the unique situation created by the school point structure? Thanks for your help, ~Luv
    Last edited by ILuvPoker77; Sun Oct 02, 2011, 08:30 PM.

  • #2
    Another situation where I am very happy with the shove, and equally happy to get a call with a low Ax hand, even a suited semi-connected Ax. Even at the risk of being bubbleboy (or girl).

    I don't really like the limp/call from the villain as a play with that hand on the bubble, though once you shove and the other players at the table have folded they know they have you covered and will be heads up so cannot bust themselves. They would surely have to include bigger aces and medium to strong pocket pairs (above 55) in your range, so are going to showdown knowing they may very well have to hit their ace, perhaps also pair their kicker, or even hit the straight or flush. I don't like their odds against most of your range, let alone against a premium pair. However, they are entitled to call a single player they have covered where the reward is probably both a bigger tournament cash prize and much higher league points, so I suppose it depends on how they assess the risk/reward to themselves and what they are trying to achieve.

    I don't know the cash payout structure of the PSO Qualifer League individual tournaments, but assume it is fairly standard. With a monster hand I am happy to use aggression preflop at the bubble to get folds. If I am called I am winning most times and if I am beat, the opponents at least see what superstrength hands I might be shoving with at that stage. Then you can use the aggression in future similar situations against opponents who were in this hand and they will be more wary. As I would expect to win more of these than not, again it is +EV to shove in the long run and move higher up the payout structure a few times rather than always creeping past the bubble with no fold equity a few extra times for minimum cashes.

    Are you using pokerstove or the PSO calculator to run these and analyse your equity? I think once you do that a few times you will see the benefits. Again this individual trial gives you the bad result that sticks in your head, but most times you are good here.

    Ed from Edinburgh - EdinFreeMan
    4 Time Bracelet Winner


    • #3

      Hello ILuvPoker,

      I agree with EdinFreeMan here - win this hand and you have 7554 chips - 15bb which isn't huge but you now have fold equity against all but one of the stacks on the table.

      The only occasion I might have limped, would be if this was the last tournament of the month - there were at least half a dozen villains with less chips than yourself - and you only needed one of them to go out in order to get enough points to win the league outright, or at least climb sufficient places to increase your winnings big time.
      Proving once again that every hand in poker is so different for so many complex reasons.

      Good luck with your flops.



      • #4
        If it is a standard pay structure event, you must be aware of this fact:

        The "money" in MTT type games is at the TOP.
        If you min cash frequently, you will need to have an ITM FAR in excess of what is probably possible on a long term basis jsut to BREAK EVEN; an itm approaching 50%+ will be needed with ALL min cashes!

        This is the genesis of the statement: "Go big or go home".

        With KK, you "fear" just 1 hand; AA.
        Versus the hand which called you, you have a 72% chance (roughly) to DOUBLE to 12BB, and those will probably be enough chips to get you to spots where you can get even more...f

        This means you are far more apt to get a critical double or triple up which may allow you to move BEYOND a mere min cash.

        The chance of doing that is worth far more to you than a min cash is going to be in a standard pay structure event.

        If this is not a standard pay structure event, such as a sattie where everyone itm gets the same ticket (or a league game with cumulative scoring, and each negative score will have to be over come), then there IS more benefit to considering a FOLD here to allow you to get past the point of benefit. In these sorts of pay structure event, it really matters little whether you reach the point of benefit with 1 chip, or 1 million chips.

        A standard pay structure event has increasing benefits once you have made it ITM though, so having chips DOES equate to a greater chance of seeing increased returns.

        That makes this a clear "go for it" spot.
        Last edited by JDean; Mon Oct 03, 2011, 01:07 AM.
        Double Bracelet Winner


        • #5
          Thanks, everyone, for your feedback.

          Yes, in any ordinary pay structure tournament, I agree it would be a no-brainer to shove the kings here.

          It was only the points factor related to the school league that I was concerned about.

          It turns out I still scored a decent amount of points, almost as many as my ITM (but not final table) finish from the day before. So now that I know there isn't a big points jump at the payout bubble, I feel even better about it.

          The payout structure for the Premier League Qualifier tourneys is fairly standard, and I totally agree with "go big or go home". In fact, I probably wouldn't have let my stack get this small in a non-school, non-satellite tournament in the first place, but I had been playing fairly conservatively to avoid losing points.

          I understand clearly that in micro-stakes MTT's with a standard pay structure, there is not a tremendous monetary difference between a 10th place finish and a 100th place finish -- most of the money is in the top 3 spots, so it makes perfect sense to aim there.

          Thanks, Ed, for the suggestion to use a tool to analyze equity. I do that for some hands when I am unsure. In this case, I was sure that I was making a +EV play; I just wasn't sure if it was smart to make it on the bubble of a school tourney.

          I hope that makes sense.



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