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Shove or fold


Wsop circuit main event in Baltimore last weekend. Level 12, day 1, 100 left out of 540 pays 54 players. I have a tight aggressive image, $47 k in chips, blinds are $500, $1,000 with $100 ante. Aggressive player who won the seat in a satellite opens shove under the gun for #19k. I put him on a large range, any ace, any two face cards, any pair. Folds to small blind who is an aggressive pro who has been all in four times in five rounds since he was moved to the table. He has about the same large range, he has about $90k in chips, he raises to $35k, casually throws in his stack of $5k chips. I am the big blind and wake up to pocket Jacks........ Shove for $47 k or fold?

I thought that I was probably flipping, given that I had two opponents, and I hate to flip for my tournament life with 40 big blinds, I also hate to play two other players for my tournament life pre-flop. So I folded. Of course, one had Ace-king (small blind) and the other had Ace queen, a jack hit the window and I would have ended up with $120k, double the average chips going into day two.

I think this was a good fold but also could justify making the call given my reads on the players. Any thoughts would be appreciated.


There were some big stacks who were aggressive at my table so small ball was not an effective strategy since they were pushing hard. This may have been my best shot.


  • highfive

    Would you ship if they turned over their cards? I would.
    The math says it's a call. You are getting odds and you are the favorite. Woohoo! Against their actual holdings you have the most equity. Against the ranges you lined out, you have more equity.
    Bigger picture:
    Clarify your decision making process.
    Are you going to do what you love or hate? Really?
    Are you going to go by the math of your holding against their ranges? It doesn't matter if you are flipping, it is flipping at what odds? If its flipping at 2/1 , then you do that 24/7/365.
    Lastly when you said wide range vs wide range vs JJ and sb has been allin 4 of 5, I'm in.
    Weaker play - Call leaving 9 bigs. No over cards-> ship. AK has to call b/c odds. In this case he would have called into your set.
    9 bigs not good but not dead. I dont like the play but its an option.
    Hand reading tip: when players raise an allin, weight them towards Ax-mid pair. They are raising to ISO. With KK or AA players tend to call thus inviting you to join/shove. In this case his ISO was successful.
    HTH @ncprof

  • ncprofn

    Thanks for the feedback. I agree, it was a good spot and I should have shoved. Need lots of chips to make a final table and there often are not a lot of good spots in tournaments especially given the level and blinds. Thanks again.

  • 1warlock
    edited May 2018

    IMO its a tight fold but a good one, regardless of the board runout. This is tournament poker, not cash. Always be wary of calling for your tournament life. Straight equity calculations are not sufficient. As you approach the bubble you need wider and wider gaps over straight equity to account for ICM implications. You aren't at the bubble but you still need to consider that chips won are not worth as much as chips lost so you add in a margin over straight equity estimates.. Yes, you have good equity vs both ranges but you also have 47BB at this point and a lot of play left. You don't need to put it all out there vs 2 players when you will see over-cards to your JJ 76% of the time by the river.

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