Thursday, February 26, 2009

A deepstack tournament situation

From last night's Mookie, your standard enormous coinflip situation for review.

I hate gettting all my chips in the middle preflop this deep (50BBs) with AK, but this was an exception since I figured this opponent was highly likely to be making this move only with medium-to-large pairs and big ace-x hands, but would not shove AA or KK for fear of losing all of his customers. This is a high-variance gamble for me to take, but the reward for winning this flip is of tremendous strategic value. Since I do genuinely have the top of my range here (KK+, AK), this pushes my decision towards calling, but the countervailing factor is tournament survival. I could afford to pass up a marginal situation here and try to maneuver my chips in the middle with a bigger edge.

Context: I had opened the previous hand in EP with AQs and chipped up nicely when I bluffed unimproved in position vs. a big blind defender when the board four-flushed (clubs always get there). So I was happy to see AK the very next hand since I was even more likely to get action.

Long-term I believe calls like this are -EV. With only 240 invested and 4K behind I could easily -- and often would -- have folded and looked for a better spot to chip up.

As an aside, I think the villain here played QQ about as sub-optimally as I can imagine; results notwithstanding. He is basically turning his cards face-up and letting me play with virtually perfect information against him. Last I checked, poker was supposed to be about deception (unless of course you are able to put in the last raise with aces).

I also used PokerStove to see what the numbers said after the fact. I incorporated a couple of assumptions when estimating villain's range of hands: villain didn't shove with AA or KK or small pairs; and that he could make this move with some big aces.

equity win tie pots won pots tied
Hand 0: 48.017% 40.16% 07.85% 41263988 8067397.00
{QQ-77, AJs+, AQo+ }
Hand 1: 51.983% 44.13% 07.85% 45339458 8067397.00
{AcKh }

And here is the actual result:

Full Tilt Poker, NL Hold'em Tournament, 40/80 Blinds, 8 Players

CO: 7,665
BTN: 4,425
SB: 2,175
BB: 8,455
UTG: 9,455
Hero (UTG+1): 4,405
MP1: 2,560
MP2: 2,275

Pre-Flop: (120) K A dealt to Hero (UTG+1)
UTG calls 80, Hero raises to 240, MP1 calls 240, MP2 folds, CO raises to 7,665 and is All-In, 4 folds, Hero calls 4,165 and is All-In, MP1 folds

Flop: (9,250) 6 9 J (2 Players - 1 is All-In)
Turn: (9,250) T (2 Players - 1 is All-In)
River: (9,250) 4 (2 Players - 1 is All-In)
Results: 9,250 Pot

CO showed Q Q (a pair of Queens) and WON 9,250 (+4,845 NET)

Hero showed K A (Ace King high) and LOST (-4,405 NET)


Memphis MOJO said...

I hate his all in. Players are afraid to play after the flop, so shoving simplfies things, I guess.

Shrike said...

We agree his shove was terrible, but I decided this hand was blogworthy because it brought up an interesting tournament strategy issue that often breaks players into two schools: those who are willing to take the big gamble early and those who aren't.

Schaubs said...

I say gamboooool.

This is a blogger tournament.

Heffmike said...

I'll be contrary as usual...

CO has the third best starting hand in unlimited hold them with a UTG limp, UTG+1 raise, and a strange cold call in front of him, while sitting on a big stack of chips.

Yeah, a fourbet to 800-1000 is the standard move in position, but I don't think a shove is that bad of an alternate play if the cutoff thinks (assuming he is thinking at all)

1) he can drive out the BB and UTG, which are the stacks he's really worried about. The cold caller's stack isn't big enough to be a huge factor even if he has a monster - he's really isolating you with the shove.

2) he doesn't put anyone on AA-KK, doesn't mind flipping with AK, and thinks someone may hero call with a lesser hand.

Put it this way. QQ reraises, you shove - now he's got to think and tank over whether or not to call off half his stack - and he probably calls anyway, properly figuring you have AK more often than AA/KK. Hardly anyone reraise/folds QQ preflop to a single villain.

QQ reraises, you flat, if he has any brains he puts you on a high pair or AK and plays accordingly throughout the hand. Good line for a cash game, but tournaments demand taking greater advantage of these spots.

So, why not put the pressure on the rest of the table and have THEM tank and think about calling off their stacks.

Yes, if someone is actually holding AA/KK, oh well, cooler hand. He's taking that chance of looking like a fool, especially if UTG is limp-reraising aces or kings.

What he's really hoping is that someone tries to snap him off with AK/JJ/TT thinking he's restealing with two cards and a big stack. Or, he just likes clicking the all in button.

Plus, it's an online tournament, not a live event. Welcome variance in order to accumulate chips.

You know I would overplay Ax here anyway...

Fuel55 said...

since when is 50BB deepstacked?

Fuel55 said...

"He is basically turning his cards face-up and letting me play perfectly against him."

How do defend either part of this statement?

Shrike said...

It's deep by blogger online tourney standards, is what it is.

Riggstad said...

as discussed - you are calling every single time... and twice on sunday

Bayne_S said...

Poker is not about deception it is about extracting maximum value.

Since QQ got your stack I think he achieved goal.

Especially since your calling range definitely includes JJ, TT and maybe AQ.

Enough bloggers call with AJ, 99 and 88 as well

Shrike said...

Bayne -- that is results-based analysis in my view. And my calling range, 50bbs deep, does not include anything but AA, KK or AK. Period.

Bayne_S said...


Poker players call AKo vs. QQ a coin flip BUT QQ has a 14% edge.

This exceeds house edge in every -EV game that Las Vegas was built on.

The result of the hand in this case is immaterial. The result that he got you to call at a 14% disadvantage means he made a +EV move.

Shrike said...

Please elaborate on this 14% figure ...

Bayne_S said...

QQ is 57% to win against AKo.

57% - 43% = 14%.

Blackjack house wins 51.1%
Craps (pass/don't) house wins 51.2%
Roulette house wins 53%.
Sports betting house takes 10% from losing bettors.

Las Vegas was built on smaller edges than AKo vs. QQ