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Good call / Bad call?

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  • Good call / Bad call?

    Here’s a situation that had me dithering badly. For some of you this may be an auto-call I guess for others it would be an auto-fold but I’m still unsure if it was the right play twenty four hours later. On the bubble in a $3.50 SNG. Villain 2 in this hand is uber tight playing 6/5 over 133 hands. Even though he has been short stacked for a while he has not been shoving light at all. About eight hands previously he saw me defend my blind with Q 9 os against a 3BB shove from Villain 3. I lost that hand and since then a combination of trash hands and people shoving in front of me has meant that I’ve been whittled down dangerously. I know I’m behind here but I also know that next hand I will have to shove any two cards against the big stack who I believe is a good player. He seems to be a $3.50 SNG Reg who I’ve played a number of times and I think he will call me with a super wide range. In the end I decided to make the call on the grounds that despite almost certainly being behind a win here would practically lock up second place but I wasn’t happy about it and I’m still unsure. The PSO equity calculator later showed that against a 30% shoving range from Villain 2 (and I think I was being generous to myself here) I was a 33% to 66% underdog. I actually went on to win the tourney after getting a hot run of cards head to head against Villain 1 but I would appreciate your thoughts.

  • #2
    Hi Robin,

    My gut said this was a fold (on the bubble of a single table sng we should be calling much tighter than normal here and shoving much wider).

    I plugged the situation into an icm calculator and folding is correct... here were the results I got:

    EV fold = 13.22%
    EV call = 11.97%
    Difference = -1.25%

    So it's a fold but it's close (vs. a 30% shoving range which you estimated for the villain)

    According to the ICM calc you should be calling with:

    Call Hands: 22+, A2+, K9s+, KTo+, QTs+, QJo (25.79%)

    Hope this helps.

    Dave
    Head Live Trainer
    Check out my Videos

    4 Time Bracelet Winner



    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for that

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi RobinQQQ! I agree on folding this one too. Since it's a STT, 3 get paid and with this tourney, there is one big stack and 3 smaller stacks that are fighting it out for 2 pay spots. I'd hope that I could get a better hand to shove with or have one of the others shove and get taken out. J8, even though it's suited, has too many hands for me that are ahead... and I'd much rather get my chips in when I was ahead than trying a hand that I'm most likely behind in. Good luck at the tables.umbup: John (JWK24)
        Super-Moderator



        6 Time Bracelet Winner


        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by JWK24 View Post
          Hi RobinQQQ! I agree on folding this one too. Since it's a STT, 3 get paid and with this tourney, there is one big stack and 3 smaller stacks that are fighting it out for 2 pay spots. I'd hope that I could get a better hand to shove with or have one of the others shove and get taken out. J8, even though it's suited, has too many hands for me that are ahead... and I'd much rather get my chips in when I was ahead than trying a hand that I'm most likely behind in. Good luck at the tables.umbup: John (JWK24)
          Thanks JWK, I've been thinking about the Langolier's comments for a day or so and i'll take yours on board too. It took me an age to make this call, using up most of my time bank in the process. My Nash charts have it as a call but given the type of player I was facing I knew that I'd be behind and it's hard to call on the bubble when you know you will have the worst of it. Having said that I have actually started feeling happier about my decision. Just the act of framing the this post for PSO made me focus on the factors I was taking into account at the time. And they were mostly to do with the tactical situation on the table rather than the maths. 1) The big stack had position on me and I felt that he was a good enough player to call me very widely in this situation. I felt even if I folded this hand and the next hand, his position would prevent me from attacking the blinds of the other two short stacks without getting some very good cards. 2) I didn't feel like I had time to wait for very good cards to come along, by the time the Blinds came back round I would have 740 chips. I did not feel like I could let that happen.(I can't remember if the blinds and antes were due to go up soon or not). It looked like a slow death to me. 3) All the advice I have, (from the SpaceGravy and 19honu62 videos and from the Colin Moshman book SNG Strategy), is that with my stack size the next hand should be a shove with any two cards, but knowing the Big Stack I feel that I would have zero fold equity in this case. Even if the next hand folds round to me I could well end up all in and facing a certain call with 8 3os. 4) This is what clinched the call for me: one suck out and I jump to a position where instead of praying for the min cash I have almost locked up second. If I had folded here even a double up next hand would not have achieved this result. The Langolier is probably a better player now than I will ever be and your posts on various threads seem full of sense as well but I think have come to the conclusion that I'm happy with this gamble. I've made plenty of bad decisions since I've come back onto Stars and in a similar situation in future I might well take your advice and fold, In general I think calling tight on the bubble makes sense if you can maintain your stack by topping up with the occasional blind steal. But in this particular set of circumstances I think that the potential reward justified the risk, to me at least. Rob.
          Last edited by RobinQQQ; Fri Jun 15, 2012, 03:02 AM. Reason: typo

          Comment


          • #6
            Hey Rob, By strict ICM application it's not a call, but it isn't all about the ICM particularly when ICM says it's close (and your range estimation plays into it as well when it's this close... if the guy is actually shoving tighter it's a clear fold, and if he's shoving wider it can become an ICM call as well). I like the fact that you're considering other in-game factors that will affect opponent calling ranges. You're right the next hand is going to be a shove first in, but remember even if you estimate zero fold equity vs. the big stack then you are going to have reasonable hand equity to double through him anyway. Surely he will fold some hands, but if he's calling off with rags too you'll rate to be in ok shape for this double up, maybe better shape than the J8 call. Just something else to think about. Keep up the good work. umbup: Dave
            Head Live Trainer
            Check out my Videos

            4 Time Bracelet Winner



            Comment


            • #7
              I was in no way undervaluing your advice Dave. I've given it a fair bit of thought and its a good point that if the big stack is calling as wide as I think then I may not be in such bad shape. As I say I think it was the chance to not only double up myself but also cripple the other short stack that got me. That and the fact that I think I call too much in a tight spot.

              In fact I actually think that a large part of SNG success must be the art of when to call or not as a short stack on the bubble. I find the shove / fold decision a lot more clear cut in the heat of battle then the call / fold decision.

              Thanks again for the advice I'm going to hunt down similar situations in HM2 and see if I can plug what I suspect might be a leak in my game. (After I've watched some footie).

              Rob.
              Last edited by RobinQQQ; Fri Jun 15, 2012, 07:22 PM. Reason: typo

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by RobinQQQ View Post
                In fact I actually think that a large part of SNG success must be the art of when to call or not as a short stack on the bubble.
                Hey Rob!

                With you saying that, you're ahead of a good number of your opponents, becuase you're way ahead of the players that are only looing at their own two cards. Keep moving in the direction that you are and you'll well be on your way to being a better and winning player.

                John (JWK24)
                Super-Moderator



                6 Time Bracelet Winner


                Comment


                • #9
                  I think and correct me if im wrong but gambling is about putting it out there and hoping to hit. Even though its online poker I think you still can get a gut feeling about hands. You took a shot and you made it. NICELY DONE!!!!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dopplerboyf5 View Post
                    I think and correct me if im wrong but gambling is about putting it out there and hoping to hit.
                    The key to winning longterm is to take chances when we're ahead and the favorite in the hands (+EV plays). With taking chances on anything, then due to the -EV plays, we'll lose longterm.

                    John (JWK24)
                    Super-Moderator



                    6 Time Bracelet Winner


                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What about the gut feeling. Do you think you can get it or is it all about stats.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks dopplerboy and John,
                        Whether I got this particular hand right or wrong I guess what we all working for is to be able to go through a similar thought process when we are actually at the table.
                        Rob.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          SNG Bubble Play

                          [
                          Originally posted by RobinQQQ View Post
                          I know I’m behind here but I also know that next hand I will have to shove any two cards against the big stack who I believe is a good player. He seems to be a $3.50 SNG Reg who I’ve played a number of times and I think he will call me with a super wide range.

                          On the bubble in a $3.50 SNG. Villain 2 in this hand is uber tight playing 6/5 over 133 hands. Even though he has been short stacked for a while he has not been shoving light at all. About eight hands previously he saw me defend my blind with Q 9 os against a 3BB shove from Villain 3. I lost that hand and since then a combination of trash hands and people shoving in front of me has meant that I’ve been whittled down dangerously.
                          The next hand you don’t have to shove ATC into the big stack. Your BTN will give you an opportunity to steal from the NIT. Better yet, maybe there will be a face-off during the next two hands before you might go for the steal attempt from the BTN.

                          Villain 2 can’t derive much from your Q9 call, you were facing a 3BB shove, and were in the BB getting close to 2:1 odds from a much wider shove range. If anything, he may feel you are defending wide, and will tighten his shove range - possibly 15% range. J8o has 34% equity vs. a 15% shoving range. As it was, his shove seems to be from the bottom of his range (22% - wider range than I thought), but your call still isn’t justified.
                          ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          When dealing with bubble decisions, you need to figure in the Bubble Factor (BF).
                          The BF is always more than 1, and with other short stacks, it will be higher – this means you need better equity than the pot odds give you. For this given situation the BF = 1.2 (? guess-ta-mate, probably higher). For a better understanding of BF, read Kill Everyone (great book).

                          Below are your pot odds, and the EV for cash games vs. tournament bubble play:
                          a) Zero EV = (straight pot odds) 1.67:1 = 38% for 0EV (cash game)
                          b) Zero tEV = (pot odds/BF = 1.67/1.2 = 1.4:1 = 42% for zero tEV (tournament)

                          Below is an ICM % breakdown (tEV):
                          Before the hand (before putting up blinds) you had 18% tEV (within 2% of the other short stacks)
                          If you fold you’ll have 15% tEV (-3%) (Within 4%, and 7% of the short stacks)
                          If you call and win (34%) you’ll have 30% tEV (+12%)
                          If you call and lose (66%) you’ll be out of the tourney (-18%)

                          Conclusion:
                          By calling:
                          a) You have a 1 in 3 chance to increase your tEV by 12%.
                          b) You have a 2 in 3 chance to be out of the tourney, a decrease of 18%.

                          By using the above info - this is a clear FOLD.

                          Originally posted by RobinQQQ View Post
                          I've been thinking about the Langolier's comments for a day or so and i'll take yours on board too. It took me an age to make this call, using up most of my time bank in the process. My Nash charts have it as a call but given the type of player I was facing I knew that I'd be behind and it's hard to call on the bubble when you know you will have the worst of it.
                          NASH charts don’t consider the BF. They are unexploitable shoving and calling ranges. You need to also understand that unexploitable doesn’t mean optimal. There are cases where you need to vary from the NASH charts.
                          "May the cards be with you!"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I wasn't actually looking at my charts during play. I have them open but did not actually feel like they would be that useful. In game I guestimated I'd probably be about a 2:1 dog. Although he was super tight he must've been feeling some temptation to widen his range given the golden stealing opportunity presented to him.

                            I tend to feel that maths is a good guideline but tactics are paramount. And unfortunately I did not think I'd get the chance to steal widley from the nit. As I say I've played the big stack before and estimated my chances of getting a shove past him as pretty slim. While neither of the other two short stacks had this problem verses me. And even if I had managed to grab his blind my position would not have been improved. I would still be hoping to back into a min cash with no realistic chance of better unless one of the other two shorties got stacked by the chip leader.

                            All the advice I have read / watched from STT specialists is that playing for the min cash is a long term dead end. To be honest I find finishing third almost as annoying as finishing 4th. One second place earns you more profit than two thirds, one first is more than five times the profit. That is worth taking a risk for.

                            I have taken on board the Langoliers advice and I am making a conscious effort to tighten up my bubble calling habits but in the process of this discussion I have become convinced that I did the right thing making this particular call.

                            (Although I did make one today that I'm really not so sure about).

                            Rob.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RobinQQQ View Post
                              All the advice I have read / watched from STT specialists is that playing for the min cash is a long term dead end. To be honest I find finishing third almost as annoying as finishing 4th. One second place earns you more profit than two thirds, one first is more than five times the profit. That is worth taking a risk for.
                              I'm confused - If this is a STT your preceived payout structure is way off.

                              1st place (50%) - Doesn't pay 5 times 3rd (only 2.5 times)
                              2nd place (30%) - Doesn't pay more than 2 times, two 3rd place finishes (only 3/4)
                              3rd place (20%) - Shouldn't be considered a min cash (two 3rd cashes is 4/5 of one 1st cash)
                              4th place (0%) - Not even close to being compared to 3rd place.

                              I really think you should reconsider your STT bubble game.
                              "May the cards be with you!"

                              Comment

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