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is this such a big mistake?

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  • is this such a big mistake?

    This is late in a tournament, as you see I'm holding K9 on the BB, SM which is big stack at the table, its been pretty active...My thinking was if it gets folded around to us and he raises my bb, I'm going all in with my hand due to the fact that i think he's opening wide...but instead of raising 3x he goes all in..Now that i look at this situation i guess my play was too this such a bad decision?

  • #2
    There is a BIG difference between moving all in, and calling an all in.

    The difference lies in what is called the Gap Concept.

    When you bet or raise, you have 2 ways to win: by holding the best hand, or by making a better hand fold.

    When you call, you have only 1 way to win: holding the best hand.

    The gap concept elaborates on this by stating that it takes a BIGGER hand to call, than it does to bet or raise. This is a reflection of the absence of fold equity you have when calling.

    Practically speaking, you would apply a RANGE to what hands you think the villain would move all in with.
    Then, since you lack info on where within this range of hands his actual holding lies, in order to CALL you must have positive equity against top part of his range. If your hand is strong enough to say that, then a call is worthwhile. Example...

    Let's say the villain will open shove from the SB vs your BB 40% of the time.
    That establishes a range of 40% of all start hands.

    Using Poker Stove, and inputting 40% gives us a range of: Any pp 44+, A2s+, K2s+, A3o+, K7o+, Q4s+, Q8o+, J7s+, J8o+, T9o, T7s+, 97s+, and 87s. Pretty wide...

    Versus that range, your K9o has about 47% equity, so it would be quite similar to a "coin flip" with AK vs a middle pp.


    We have no clue where in that wide range the villain's actual hand lies. K9o has BARELY enough equity versus the totality of the range to be an "ok" call with a 10BB stack, as you need to win races to keep going when that short. But doesn't it stand to reason that half the time the villain will be in the top half of his range, and half the time he will be at the bottom half?

    Since you only have 1 way to win by CALLING, you cannot run the risk that this time he will be in the top half of the range, right? Afterall, versus a 20% range, your K9o has only about 38% equity. You cold fold away 1 BB and probably find a BETTER spot to stand than as a 62% dog (or worse), right?

    So the Gap Concept says you should have positive equity if you face to TOP HALF of the total shove range, in order to make a call viable here. The Hands which do not give at least a 50/50 shot versus the top half of the total shove range by the Villain fall into the "gap" that you simply cannot CALL on, because you only have 1 way to win...

    So in this spot, whether or not your K9o was a viable CALLING hand lies entirely within what you think the Villain might have as a shove range. He will probably be WIDER than his normal raise range, but because you represent about a 45% stack loss for him if you wake up with a calling hand, he is probably not jamming EVERY hand here (a 100% random range).

    The 40% range I showed you here is a quite wide range, but not maniacally so. Even versus that wide range, your K9o is simply not strong enough to make you want to risk a call. If he were on a more reasonable shove range, say 25% or 30%, it looks even worse for your K9o, and he'd have to be a LOT wider than 40% to shove before your K9o becomes a viable calling hand.

    If you had only 2 or 3BB, then you are SO SHORT you probably need to risk a all on just about any K or A, because folding a BB that short means you;d be losing 33%+ of your stack. But on 10BB, you can fold 10% of your stack, in hopes of finding a better spot.

    Hope it helps...
    Last edited by JDean; Sat Dec 03, 2011, 04:19 PM.
    Double Bracelet Winner


    • #3
      Unless the opp was shoving everytime they were in the SB, I'm going to pass on this hand. You still have a playable stack and when I put my chips in, I want to be the one shoving first, not calling a shove. That way, the pressure is on your opponent, not on you.

      6 Time Bracelet Winner


      • #4
        Thanks a lot guys for the analysis...Very nice info there JDean
        I think i can improve a lot with this info late in tournaments...



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