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Raise or shove JJ with six players left and middle stack?

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  • Raise or shove JJ with six players left and middle stack?

    6 players left in a small weekend $200 noon tournament. First place is about $3K, 6th place is about $400.

    I have 22 BB, the third largest stack. Two other stacks are much larger (more than 60 BB), two stacks are are much shorter (less than 8BB and about equal) and one stack is slightly smaller (19 BB).

    Blinds and antes are 1000/3000/6000 so it is a level in which the antes are large, as a percentage relative to the blinds.

    Action folds to me in the cutoff. I have JJ. The two players folding in front of me were the two big stacks, so what is left to act behind me are two stacks under 8BB and the 19BB stack is in the BB. Folding the JJ does not seem like the correct play.

    The player in the BB with 19BB understands ICM.

    I could do a standard 2.2x raise. That might induce a shove by one of the short stacks, which I would call. If they limp or fold, the BB will undoubtedly call with the top 33% of hands, at least, and will probably raise with a top 7 or 8% hand.

    If we see a flop, there will almost certainly be an overcard to the JJ on the flop, and my stack size will be quite awkward to play postflop (although I will have position and the BB will have an equally awkward stack).

    I believe that if I shove, one of the short stacks will call with maybe a top 20% type hand. JJ will be fine against their ranges and if I lose to them I will still have about 14BB. If the first one calls, the other will probably fold due to ICM considerations unless he has a super-premium hand.

    If I shove, I believe that the BB will fold everything except AA, KK, QQ, AK, and possibly AQs. He will not want to risk his stack against mine when there are two stacks so much shorter.

    So I shove. Is this the correct play given ICM considerations, or is my stack too big to shove with two short stacks still at the table?

  • #2
    Tricky spot.

    I think a shove here is right. We want to isolate against one of the short stacks pushing with a wide range, as opposed to either a multi-way pot or a raise from the bb.


    • #3
      You can never fold here. Shoving is fine. I would probably do that or make it a standard 2.5x raise and hope one of them shoves. JJ is great, but even better 6 handed. You shouldnt be afraid to play it post flop or worry if an overcard happens to hit, I have no doubt some will disagree but if it folds to me with 6 left and I have JJ, I am hoping to get it all in. And if they turn over AA, KK, or QQ, oh well. I understand ICM but with 6 left in a $200 buy in tournament, I am going for 1st place. And if you are folding in this spot you are folding almost your entire range.


      • #4
        The comment about folding not being the correct play was sort of dry humor. The question, obviously, is raise or shove.


        • jdavison2725
          jdavison2725 commented
          Editing a comment
          I figured. When I say that if you fold in this spot you are folding almost everything, I meant if they shove over your 2.5x raise. I was just making the point that even if the 19bb stack shoves over the 2.5 raise, I am calling.

      • #5
        I think raising 2.2x is fine here. We may induce light shoves from short stacks and if we get jammed on by the BB we can comfortably call. Even if the BB's shoving range is exactly TT+, AQs+ and AKo we're still getting the right price. If the short stacks are positionally and stack aware, they're going to realize that an open jam with a 19BB stack behind them is likely to be very strong, while a 2.2x raise may just be an attempt to steal blinds and antes.
        Last edited by jpgiro; 06-19-2017, 02:05 PM.


        • #6
          2.2x/call off.


          • #7
            I'm of the shove mindset here, mostly due to the lower stakes. Reasons;
            1) Many players will call off AX, and KX mostly suited hands. Playing 2.2x puts us to the test when these cards hit on the streets. By shoving pre, villains have the tough decision. If we're pushing action properly, their lives are miserable.

            2) Betting 2.2x builds committing pots for villains. The late street algebra isn't favorable for us on wet or dangerous flops (see item 1)

            3) Most villains at this level don't have the post flop, reading skills and fully operational fold buttons that give us good post flop fold equity when/if needed. There's are a lot of flop textures that JJ doesn't fare well in. (See item 1 & 2)

            4) Middle pairs play poorly post flop, we got it or we don't so at 20bb's knowingly bleeding chips is bad form to my thinking.