Monday, February 11, 2008

Tough Spots Late In MTTs

I saved a few screenshots from some of yesterday's tourneys, three of which I post below, along with a description of the general sitation in each tournament. On the surface, these hands would appear to present relatively similar situations, with relatively similar hand strengths, but may call for entirely different actions on the part of the player. If you're so inclined, I'm curious as to what your actions would be in these spots.

This first one is approximately 10 spots from the $$$ in a FTP $5.50 Double Stack NLHE. Blinds are 300/600/75, and if my recollection is correct, I'm safely in the money spots, but nowhere near having a final table chip stack. If I win this pot, I probably am in a final table stack position, but still around the money bubble:

What do you do here? UTG raise seems to indicate strength, MP re-raiser can have anywhere from mid PP (which I crush), to a racing hand. Is this a gambool spot, or an easy fold? Smooth call, or re-shove to isolate?

This second hand is from the 800-runner $3.30 KO, and again, right around the bubble, but this time, on the other side of it. Again, UTG raiser seems strong, the flat call behind him possibly stronger. You've already made the $$$, but haven't picked up more than a couple KOs, so what do you do:

Do you smooth call hoping to hit the flop? Instashove? I doubt you simply bet pot here, because that would commit such a stack.

The final situation is on the final table bubble of the same $3.30 KO:

You're the 10th place stack of 10. Even gaining one spot doubles your payout in the tourney. UTG shove actually seems week, but the flat call from the button for 1/2 his stack would appear strong. Do you call and pray for your tourney life with the great draw, or fold and pray the UTG shove loses?

Post your opinions, I'd love to hear what you have to say. I'll post my actions and screenshots of outcomes later on.


pokerpeaker said...

My style tends to lean on the cautious side, probably to a fault at times, but it does work fairly well for me. But that's what these plays will probably reflect.

#1 - Given that the money bubble is so near and that's when most players play cautiously, I think you need to fold here. His M is 9, nt an M that forces him to shove with everything, and at best you are racing, and I can't win races lately at all. Your M, on the other hand, is nice, so there's no need to take such a chance. You're still in control.

#2 - You've made the money, and the fact that your hand contains and A and a K means you're probably not crushed here. Shove and try to pick up a nice pot here. You've already made the money anyway, now it's time to win it.

#3 - I was going to advocate folding here, but your M is very low. What better spot do you have to make your stack healthy again? It's a little scary here, but your M dictates you push and hope for the best.
That's what I like about the M thing is it basically makes your decisions for you. I'm putting the first push on a mid-sized PP or maybe A-high and the second guy on QQ or higher.
If you really want that extra payout, fine, then fold, but it can't be nearly as significant as the spots higher.

Jestocost said...

#1 I fold. Too much of a chance of a race at this point to risk half your stack. UTG can't hurt you anymore if you decide to call, but with two players in you are probably racing with at least one and could be dominated by either too. Plus, there's a $61K stack on your left who may decide to play or push; in which case you're pretty much pot committed to call and taking JJ in against at least two players. Yuck

#2 I lean to the shove unless the UTG has been a total rock. Smooth calling probably puts you in a position of calling off the rest of your stack with AK. Another yuck.

#3 Call. Your M is close to 2. You're not going to get a better chance to triple up.

Jestocost said...

Then again I'm a huge donkey loser, so take that with a grain of salt or two.

Scrupboy said...

The first two seem a little tougher decision wise then the third. Of course my aggro style may tend to get me into trouble with that first scenario.

#1: This is a tough one. It appears that the shove before you is an isolation bet, but it's tough to say. I would be inclined to call if I believe this person would push with anything. If this player has been pretty solid, lay it down. Of course the stack to your left is a factor and what are the chances that he would call your all-in. My choice, shove if the player tends to play loose and go for gold! =]]

#2: Safely in the money, I shove. AA, KK, AK are all pretty much shoving hands for me and your stack would most likely just take it down uncontested.

#3: Pretty much a no brainer for me. Push and hope for the best. The blinds will put you in a position to make a move within the next few rounds and what else are you going to wait for? The aces or kings that come around every couple hundred hands? Push, Pray, Play!