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Call or Fold Decision for Tournament?

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  • Call or Fold Decision for Tournament?

    13 Players left from original 605 in HPT Main Event.

    My stack size is about 32 BB, which puts it fourth or fifth out of remaining 13 players. No one is super deep and no one is below 10 BB.

    Payout is $132K up top, going down to $6700 for 13th place, and about $9K for 12th place.

    I have had a series of big pots over the course of the day with a good TAG, going back for about 10 hours of play. Our chip stacks are now essentially equal. I have gotten the best of him (and/or just gotten lucky) on the majority of the hands, but in the immediately prior hand the TAG shoved on the flop on a J-5-6 rainbow board and I folded top pair/top kicker rather than get it all in on a call with one pair. That may have been a mistake, but it is behind us now.

    The very next hand I open UTG (six handed) with AJ suited for 2.1 BB. Same TAG in the BB three bets to 6.5 BB. I call, because AJ suited is pretty strong six handed and I will have position post flop/heads up.

    Flop comes J-7-3 (one heart), so the hand is virtually identical to immediately prior hand except that I now also have a back door flush draw.

    He shoves again, this time having me slightly covered as a result of my giving him chips in prior hand.

    He could have any pocket pair, above or below JJ. He could have a set. He could have AK or AQ, although I have a blocker. He could just be doing what he did the prior hand, since it worked for him, with some fairly wide range of cards. It's very hard to narrow his range, given the play in the prior hand, but my guess is that it is maybe 2 out of 3 that he has either an overpair, a set, or a J. Obviously, it would be great if he had a J. I simply don't have a basis to narrow his range further.

    Do I fold A-J again, or do I call the shove? If I call and win, I will be the tournament chip leader with 12 players remaining. That is a pretty big reward. If I call and lose, I will be out in 13th place.

    I need to put in about 25 BB to win about 40 BB in the pot plus my additional 25.

    Call or Fold?


  • #2
    I am going to have a hard time folding this for 30bb. If we fold this, we should not be calling the 3-bet. This flop is about as good as it gets for your hand. You have an SPR around 2-1 and TPTK.

    To me this is either a 4-bet jam or fold pre.

    I would strongly consider jamming this hand pre, especially if villain has been aggressively 3-betting. This is a great stack size to 4-bet jam and put the pressure back on villain. Especially if they have been taking super aggressive post flop lines as described. Flatting a 3-bet at this stack size will put us in so many tricky spots post flop with a hand like AJ.

    As played villain 3-bet to 6.5 bb on a roughly 30bb stack. Then jams his remaining 23bb into a pot of roughly 15bb.

    I would be asking myself what kind of player this is and what have I picked up on his showdown hands and how he has played them over the course of your 10 hours. Is this player the type that over-bet jams his strong hands because he is "scared" to get drawn out on?

    You don't mention the specifics of the prior hand. So it is hard to take it into account. Was it an over shove as well? 3-bet pot? etc. Out of curiosity did you discuss with villain how you laid down TPTK last time? This could play a role here as well.

    Monsters?

    You mention he is a "good" TAG. I can't imagine a "good" TAG over-bet jamming a super strong hand like a set or 2-pair on this dry of a flop very often. I would greatly reduce the likely-hood of a set here. And what 2-pair combo's could they be 3-betting? I would be reducing the chance of monster hands.

    Pairs?

    Overpairs - Again, if a good TAG held AA, KK, or QQ on this dry of a board you would think they would be trying to get some value from you. Betting the flop and jamming lots of turns. I guess its possible they just jam here so we have to keep those in.

    TP - AJ, KJ, QJ. Jamming a Jx hand here makes some sense I guess. But what hands are they 3-betting with at this stack size that contains a J. Not too many.

    Middling Pairs - 44-66, 88-TT. I guess they could get you to fold some better hands by taking this route. Not out of the question.

    Draws?

    There are very few on this board. MAYBE a hand like 9Ts or 89s with a backdoor flush draw.

    Air?

    KQ, QT, KT or a stone cold bluff are possibilities.

    You lose to overpairs and are well ahead of any TP combos, pairs, draws and air.

    I am calling.
    Last edited by JredA; 07-17-2017, 10:04 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Sounds like the effective stacks are similar.

      As a general rule, when our SPR on the flop is <3, we need to be willing to stack off with TPTK.

      Would be curious as to whether flatting a 3-bet here preflop with AJs is the right play, considering we're relatively shallow. What hands are we flatting here as opposed to 4-betting for value, 4-betting as a bluff, or just folding?

      Comment


      • #4
        I basically went through a postflop analysis similar to JRedA's above, which is what led me to the call.

        On the questions from JREDA and JPGiro on the preflop play, I agree that they are the right questions and it was a pretty close decision. The reason I flatted preflop was that there were 8 or 9 players with shorter stacks than me, and given the steep curve in payouts (going from $6700 to $132K over 13 players), I didn't really want to play for all my chips preflop with AJ. It was very close to a fold preflop, but the history with the player (he had shoved 8-8 on me preflop with a deep stack much earlier, as just one example, and had shoved and gotten me off TPTK in the immediately prior hand (and no I didn't tell him that)) and the fact that I had position and had had quite a bit of success in position against the player were all factors that caused me to flat. I thought that perhaps one of the reasons he shoved was that I had had previously put a lot of pressure on him in position on the turn and the river and he wanted to just eliminate turn and river decisions. In hindsight, I wish that I had just folded the AJ as I would have done against many of the players at the table.

        I think maybe I was playing the player a little too much on this one, and it cost me, as he had QQ this time. But it was just very close the whole way, with each decision, even against a random player who was good enough to make it this deep in the tournament. Of course I would fold in a heartbeat earlier in the tournament when people only play this way with nuttish hands.

        Comment


        • #5
          You have played all day vs this "TAG". Do you think he is making a legitimate 3-bet. (I find that I usually discount 3-bet strength too often assuming everyone is making weak or polarized 3 bets.)

          Here are some comments from JL's new Mastering book:

          "when you raise and get 3-bet, unless your opponent is on the aggressive side, folding most of your range that is not getting the proper implied odds to call is often ideal. Do not feel inclined to call and see what develops with all sorts of junk."

          "[you should] proceed quite cautiously. This is because you expect to be against only strong hands. A-Jo and K-Qo are often dominated versus a strong range. Do not feel like you have to call and see a flop, which is what most amateurs do. When you flop top pair with A-J or K-Q and a lot of money goes in the pot, you will usually be crushed.'

          I almost always call a 3-bet with A-J to "see what happens" but I wonder why. More often I should 4-bet vs loose players or fold vs tight players.

          Comment


          • #6
            I think if we're going to have a flatting range preflop then AJs probably fits into it. But my question is more along the lines of whether we'd want to be flatting many 3-bets pre at these stack depths, knowing that we're creating a small SPR.

            Comment


            • #7
              Also, BDS, you were on the Television bubble. Getting on television again would be a big incentive for me (I know I am not supposed to let this influence my play) and also getting to the final table in this event with very large payouts at the top would be a big incentive.

              But, it is a big problem of mine that I call two often when someone is aggressive vs my top-pair top-kicker. I wish I could get away from more of these, (And, therefore, I wish that you could have gotten away from it) But it is also tricky when the previous hand was almost the same and he saw you fold to aggression.

              A final table like this, on the third day, plays differently than a final table where you all just sit down, because you have a chance to think and regoup before continuing.

              In this case I guess you should have folded to try to make the final table.
              (It's easy to offer advice after I know how this turned out)

              Comment


              • #8
                Good advice Al. If I just say something like "I had a pair of jacks with an Ace kicker so I called off the 4th highest stack in the tournament, risking my tournament life with 13 players remaining and $132K up top" it sounds like a rather moronic play. Sometimes I think that I get too entangled in a complex set of thoughts, and would be better off just folding AJ to a three-bet every time.

                Comment


                • #9
                  That;s what I am concluding. But it is hard to fold AJ when you just know he is three betting light.

                  We both should just fold AJ to a three-bet. Except while still deep stacked when we might 4-bet: (and don't remember this if you are ever at my table)

                  - The first time I get three bet by a player I am almost always going to fold non-premium (AA, KK, QQ, AK) hands.
                  (Except with pairs I may call if I think I can get 10X the remaining chips that I need to put in if I catch the set)
                  - If I get three bet again by the same player and still have 80+ big blinds I am going to 4-bet with my entire opening range and see what happens.
                  - If I get 5-bet with a non-premium hand I will fold non-premium hands.
                  - If he folds to the 4-bet, I will remember that and see if he three bets me light again
                  - If he calls, I'll bet the amount of the 4-bet on the flop and see what happens.

                  There are more and more players who don't call preflop raises - they either 3 bet or fold. I am hoping they don't like to get 4-bet.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jpgiro View Post
                    I think if we're going to have a flatting range preflop then AJs probably fits into it. But my question is more along the lines of whether we'd want to be flatting many 3-bets pre at these stack depths, knowing that we're creating a small SPR.
                    I agree with this.

                    I don't think I even have a calling range here at these stack sizes in this situation. If anything it would be super strong hands like AA and KK that I want to keep an agg players entire range in. But for the most part I am either folding or 4-bet jamming.

                    Against unknowns, nits, or tight players who have yet to show they can 3-bet light, I am just folding.

                    Against solid players who we know 3-bet light I am jamming a large percentage of the time.

                    Even though AJs looks nice, it really is tough to play at these depths even in position. I remember reading in Elky's book I believe - and this is paraphrasing, that when a good-solid player flats a 3-bet with a stack around 30bb alarm bells should be going off. Meaning the 3-bet flatting range around these stack sizes is usually very strong hands willing to go the distance.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      "when a good-solid player flats a 3-bet with a stack around 30bb alarm bells should be going off. Meaning the 3-bet flatting range around these stack sizes is usually very strong hands willing to go the distance."

                      Meaning that you should 4 bet or go all in with your premium hands and fold the rest., since "flatting is sending off alarm bells".

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Albert Hart View Post
                        "when a good-solid player flats a 3-bet with a stack around 30bb alarm bells should be going off. Meaning the 3-bet flatting range around these stack sizes is usually very strong hands willing to go the distance."

                        Meaning that you should 4 bet or go all in with your premium hands and fold the rest., since "flatting is sending off alarm bells".
                        I looked up the exact quote from the book just so we were all clear:

                        "Many experienced and intelligent opponents know they should rarely flat-call a re-raise when effective stacks are 30-40bb deep, so if your opponent does this to you and you know he's good at poker, major alarm bells should go off in your head. With many very good tournament players, the only time they flat-call a 3-bet with stacks this deep is when they have KK or AA and they believe their opponent isn't intelligent enough to realize how small his range is in this scenario."

                        Im not sure how other player's approach this situation, but I thought this was relevant info for the discussion.

                        The book is Raiser's Edge
                        Last edited by JredA; 07-17-2017, 05:30 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks Jred - I assumed the alarm bells should be going off in the head of the flatter- not the 3-better - (like why am I calling this 3 bet - AA or KK makes sense as a trap)

                          Comment


                          • JredA
                            JredA commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Yes. Sorry for the confusion. I didn't exactly word it clearly.

                          • Albert Hart
                            Albert Hart commented
                            Editing a comment
                            He also says "experienced and intelligent opponents know they should rarely flat-call a re-raise when effective stacks are 30-40bb deep"

                            I need to remember both

                            1. Don't flat-call a reraise when relatively short stacked.
                            2. Get very suspicious when a good players to flat call my 3 bet.

                        • #14
                          Like everything else, while there is a lot of value in simplification there is also something that gets lost. I note that the word is "rarely" as opposed to "never." For example, what would you do with AKs in exactly this spot, with the same payout structure and the same relative stack sizes? I can easily conclude that I should have folded the AJ but I think both folding and shoving would be wrong with AKs in this spot. Now AQs...I don't know.

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Originally posted by BDSattva View Post
                            Like everything else, while there is a lot of value in simplification there is also something that gets lost. I note that the word is "rarely" as opposed to "never." For example, what would you do with AKs in exactly this spot, with the same payout structure and the same relative stack sizes? I can easily conclude that I should have folded the AJ but I think both folding and shoving would be wrong with AKs in this spot. Now AQs...I don't know.
                            I agree that this is just a statement and should be used as a guideline or a means of learning as so much of this information is.

                            I am curious to get your thoughts on why shoving AKs is wrong here?

                            I am happily getting it in.
                            Last edited by JredA; 07-17-2017, 10:01 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #16
                              I don't think shoving is completely wrong, I just think that it is not as good as flatting. At this point in the tournament, you can fold your way into the final table. That isn't the objective but I don't think you want a 45/55 kind of situation for all your chips. Better to get all your chips in when you have an advantage, ideally a big advantage. A three-bet, at least to me in the tournaments that I play, seems more like a pocket pair than AQ or worse. While there is some chance that you have the other guy dominated, it seems much more likely that you are somewhere on the short side of 50%. I would prefer not to get it all in preflop in that situation. Others may see postive cEV and have a different view. Of course, I am the guy who took the chance with AJs to try to double up and take the tournament chip lead right before Al's so-called "TV Bubble" so what do I know?

                              Comment


                              • #17
                                I am sure there are some mathematical ICM justifications you can make to fold AKs in that spot. But it's AKs.

                                The only way you can even contemplate folding AKs there is if you think your opponent is a nit who would only 3-bet you with AA or KK. If you think your opponent has any bluffs or has value hands he is willing to fold (like TT-JJ or AQs) then you have to 4-bet shove AKs. Probably QQ and AKo as well.

                                Maybe we can start contemplating folding AQs or JJ but I have to be pretty sure my opponent's 3-bet range is pretty linear and tight.

                                Comment


                                • #18
                                  Can someone talk about ICM in this spot? Seems like quite high since the pay jumps are big.
                                  Is villain abusing getting on TV table / bubble? Is he worried about laddering up or going for the win?
                                  I see this often where villain ships once to get a fold and thinks he can constantly do it / setup same play when he gets a monster. I do this in the local tournaments since most players think 30bb stack is still deep in the "chip n a chair" mentality.

                                  Had you 4b and he flats and he shoves flop, what do u do?

                                  for flatting 3b, wouldn't that depend on player type/stack size? I would flat a lot in position w/Axs, suited connectors, possibly small to medium pairs and not only JJ+, AJ+...

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