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All-in KAo tournament

edited September 2018 in Specific Hand Questions

Early in a tournament, about 40 players...

Seems to be a few all-ins happening...

So...3x open with KAo

Folds all around, then loose player (BB I think, who's been in pretty much every hand) goes all-in out of nowhere (40+ BB). It'd be hard for him to top my range, but it's not like KA is a made hand.

And regardless, it's still a flip. But if I hit, I double up, and that sets me up for a while. No rebuys...

I mean, this isn't something that's really covered in the Harrington books or whatever -- "there's a maniac in seat 5. Do I risk a double-or-nothing against a weak range?"

52s (really?) -- villain won with a pair of 5's.


What is the cost/benefit analysis here? How advantageous is it to have basically a double stack early on, considering only 1/6 of places pay out?

Tournament was Super Turbo with 3 minute blind levels. This was a consideration for calling.


  • highfive
    Easy pot odds call. If he's shoving 52s, you can give him a 100% range. You are 2:1 favorite vs a 100% range aka random hand.
    In a tourney there are other considerations which are personal in nature.
    Did you intend to rebuy? 40 bigs is a lot in a super turbo.
    You are getting great odds to get deep early.
    I would call it off against this villain every time.
  • dogsandjacks

    Well, you can only give him that range after you see the hand. Even so, you can't be sure he is playing any random cards. If this were so, he'd be in EVERY hand, not "pretty much." Against this specific hand you are only about 60-40 so if this is the bottom of his range
    you are probably about at 50-50. (Run it through Flopzilla)
    In anything resembling a real tournament, I fold this and wait for a spot where I've got at least a pair.
    In a crapshoot like this, however, you might never see a better hand, so go for it!

  • 1warlock
    edited September 2018

    Run it through ICMizer and see for yourself. No need to guess if you can get hard data or even a close approximation. As you know, cEV and $EV are not the same thing. The underlying concept is that a chip won is not worth as much as a chip lost, therefore you need a tighter calling range than you would if this was a hand played for cash. In early stages of tournaments, I've seen clearly cEV+ plays be only marginally $EV+. This is because doubling your stack does not double your estimated equity in the payouts. Anyway, run the numbers and have some fun with it. Its really interesting when you use hands like AA or KK instead of AK because these are no-brainer calls for cash but not nearly as clear cut for tournaments at most stages.

    Anyone curious about what the pros would do facing a shove in the 1st hand of the WSOP Main Event will enjoy this article:

  • think
    edited September 2018

    Nice article -- Paul Pierce says "any two will do!" Of course, a 10-time NBA All Star can probably afford to gamble...

    (rest deleted -- wrong topic/post)

  • 1warlock

    I think you are inputting something wrong. Should only be your open and the BB's shove (plus dead money like the SB and antes if any). If I get a chance later I'll take a look but I won't have the payout structure to work with.

  • think

    Oops...wrong post. I am deleting my previous one (I thought this was another thread).

  • think

    Same style tournament -- Hero 500, V 400 (400 effective)

    Hero on button with KJo, blinds 15/30
    Folds to hero, bet 90 (open)
    SB reraise all-in (~400), BB folds
    Pot 500+, 300+ to call

    Plugged into ICMizer -- result is -0.61% (fold) with KJo


    66 (-0.06%) and 77 (+0.49%) are borderline +/-
    AJo is -0.15%, but AQo is +0.98%.
    AJs +0.33%/ATs -0.26%


    So is that pretty much my "hand chart" for 2.5-4x open meets villain's shove (3-4x my open)?
    AQ+/77+ and AJs?

  • think
    edited September 2018

    I plugged in the AKo one at the top of the topic -- 10/20 blinds, AKo open for 60, V shove 500

    88 (+0.06%), AQo (-0.04%)
    AJs (-0.83%)

    So it's AQs+ (maybe AQo with slightly different numbers)
    and 88+/AKo

    So yes, AKo is a "call" (+1.36%)


    Note that this shove is about 8x the open.
    Only 77, AQo (barely), and AJs are cut from the "call" range compared to the one above (when the shove is 4x the open).

  • 1warlock

    Very cool that you ran the numbers. What range did you assign to the player that shoved? I love how tournament math differs from cash game math.

  • columbo

    "Tournament was Super Turbo with 3 minute blind levels. This was a consideration for calling."
    Stop playing these STs if you want to get better, IMHO. I am not sure you can fold any Ax here. or any pair. or anything after opening...

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