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hand analysis and thought processes - opinions please

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  • hand analysis and thought processes - opinions please

    I played a 45 seat non turbo game today, and aside from running so good you'll never believe, I had an interesting hand when down to the final 3 players.
    To set the scene, i'm the big stack at around 50K. Second in chips has about 23K and the remaining roughly 3k is in the short stack. The blinds are 300, 600 and the seats are as follows.
    Button - 2nd place (23K). Fairly aggressive player, sometimes difficult to handle.
    SB - 3rd place (3k, ish). Tight, kept out the way for the best part of the game and has pretty much always been short stacked since hitting the final table. Shoving with decent hands and folding the remainder of the time.
    BB - ME 1st place (50K). Been struggling dealing with the guy on the button since hitting top 4.

    The hand in question, I was dealt K2 on the BB. The button bets 2.5x bb to 1500 and the small blind raises all in for his remaining stack, leaving roughly a gap of 1500 between the button bet and what he has to call to see the SB to showdown, a definate call going by his style and his stack. The button has been betting often, so at this point to isolate the SB I re-raise it to 12k and the aggressive button folds. It now goes to showdown and I have K2 and the SB has KQ suited. I lose and the SB doubles and a bit more on top. Bad result you would think, though i think this was a good result, and your thoughts on my thinking is what i'm after.
    The button is aggressive and difficult to handle. I dont want him knocking out the guy on the SB because that will take his stack of 23k and turn it into 26k going into heads up which is more than half of my stack. Now, we've been jostling for some time 3 handed, and i've sent a few chips his way. I feel if he knocks the SB out he's going to be even harder to handle. So, in this situation, i would rather personally knock out or double up the short stack. Knock him out, i get the extra 3k and the button doesnt, or... I double the short stack up and this keeps the aggressive button in check a bit more because he doesn't want to get confrontational with another player who now has the potential to damage him...

    In short, by preventing the button from knocking out the short stack, i re-affirm my dominance on the table, double up the short stack, and create a second threat to the aggressive button which keeps him more in check.
    This is in fact what happened, the button slowed down a bit, and became more manageable. In the long run what i would have preferred would be for the SB to be doubled up again by the button and then end up heads up against the guy on the SB as I had a better feel for his game. More straight forward.

    Sorry that this was long, but I had to be descriptive. Any thoughts would be appreciated, even if you disagree with my play.

  • #2
    I would agree with your action only in the case where you've got over 80% of the chips in play (you're close) and if you can apply some bubble play pressure on the short stacks. In this case, your chip lead isn't big enough and there's no bubble play as all of you are in the money. So I'd tell you to Keep it simple! Secure the second place finish if you can by letting the short stacks knock out/double-up each other. Then you take your opponent heads-up. Even if he plays better than you, you've got a good chip lead. He'll need more luck to win than you so you'd be in good shape by folding the hand.

    Who won the tournament?


    • #3
      I believe you are over-thinking the situation.
      Your goal should be to exploit any opponent at your table and not ''avoid playing with the loose guy because he is unpredictable''.
      As for the hand I would be folding K2 since the shorstack's range would be crushing our hand.
      Now as for the reraise, it has to be the worst move, because if he shoves you will have to make the crying call and you will be in terrible shape.
      I think if you want to apply pressure to the Button guy, you should always do it with a playable hand like KJ,KQ and not with trash hands like K2.


      • #4
        Hi knuckles,

        I actually don't mind the idea behind this play, but I'm not a fan of the execution... I think your 4b sizing is way too big. The button is only going to shove with a monster as he does not want to bust out before the micro-stack, but we can risk much less to accomplish this. Like Gamblingprop suggests, raising to 12K puts us in an atrocious spot when the button shoves.

        The pot will be 38K and we have to call 11 more, so almost 3.5-1 and we need 22% equity to call off the rest mathematically. Even against a tight shoving range of TT+, AQ+ (4.7%) we have 25% equity with K2o. That's why GP suggests we can't fold now. Actually I think that's a mistake, we can still fold... although it's a math error on this hand, it's probably better for our tEV to fold instead of give the button a great chance to double all the way through us, but this sizing has made folding a pretty disgusting option.

        If we call off and lose, button has 49K and we have 27k, roughly reversing our situations in one unnecessary errant step.

        If we fold, button is not at risk and has a very good chance based on his super strong range to end the hand with 38K, and w'll have 38K... even stacks and a nice momentum shift for him. Still preferable to going down almost 2-1 in chips though.

        Both of these options really stink. If we are going to make this play I think our move should be a 4b to about 6.8K and fold to a jam by the button. I feel pretty secure that the button will still only jam a monster, so our fold equity with this raise is roughly the same as it would be for 12K (he's probably not flatting us either for 5300 more with only 21.5 behind). Now if he jams we can fold and retain the chip lead regardless of what happens... stacks will be 43.2 to 32.8 or 43.2 to 23.8 to 9.

        I generally like this type of play in spots where the mid stack player is clearly trying to outlast the short stack, allowing us to steal from him by leveraging the threat of a 3rd place bust out. So isolating only costs us 2400 more chips when the short stack beats us, which is easily recoverable stealing from the mid stack, and when the free chips ends becasue the shorty busts in 3rd, at least we get his chips in the process. If the button is not afraid to bust in 3rd, and it seems like he's not from your descritpion, then it's probably better to just fold here intitially as he may be comfortable coming back over the top of our 4b wider and forcing us to fold too much to make the play attractive. (of course your sizing of 12K eliminates the wide shoves, since he can't think we'll ever be folding now, but the down side is that it's a disaster when the button wakes up with a real hand... when we have the chip lead at the end game, it's usually best to avoid courses of action that can end in a disaster, and 4-betting smaller/folding to a jam is not a disaster since we still retain the chip lead no matter what).
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