*Originally posted by Rushinrogan*

Hey Brett.

I was'nt saying that i would'nt go all in a 77 in that position. But first i would evaluate the player i'm up against, the state of play, position and stack size just to name but a few. The problem i have is that too many players over value a low/mid pair. I've seen it so many times. Somebody is dealt a pocket pair in the low to mid range. The more they look at it the more it looks unbeatable.They go all in. From my experience they, more often than not, are beaten by someone holding two high cards who make a pair.

In this case i would've folded. He says he was playing against a known donkey.If this is the case he is unpredictable. You just don't know what he's going to do. On top of that he could be holding anything.Remember there are six cards higher than 7 and if he's holding two of them then he's chance of landing a

pair have just doubled. As for the stack size,i gather they were roughly equal or the donkey held more. So why risk it against a unpredictable donkey who holds more chips ? I'd rather wait for a better opportunity or at least take it against a short stack.

Don't get me wrong. My natural game is to play tight and 77 for an aggressive player is a very playable hand. If this the case then he should have raised all in. But was it worth risking your stack just win the blinds ? Not for me.

Cheers.....Rush

You speak about evaluating the play taking into account multiple factors. That is correct. But realize that once that is done, in this position, with this stack size, with two opponents holding random cards and with being 23rd our only move is an all in.

You present hypothetical situations about overvaluing middle pairs but they simply don't apply here.

The fact the player is a donkey makes a call even more tempting because we will have most of his range crushed and will likely double through him.

There is no time to wait for a better opportunity. It is mathematically correct to go all in here and that is why any procrastinating on the matter has been met with some abrupt responses. Some quick calculations on pokerstove to illustrate the point.

Pretend I am the big blind for a moment and that the small blind always folds. My range for calling is quite small . AK+, TT+ (this could vary if I thought you were very loose etc). In essence you would take down the blinds 95%+ of the time. This is clearly +ev as you would take 15k in blinds 9.5 times/10. The rest of the time 0.5% you would be an underdog to TT,JJ,QQ,KK,AA (40 different combinations of hands there) but a small favorite against AK (16 combinations). You still have a small chance to win against the overcards).

Even allowing for the small blind to have a hand our chances of stealing the blinds alone against two solid tight players would be 90% or so. I think you will now see that this clearly points to an all in.

In this case you worry that our opponent is not such a solid player and is more likely to call. Supposing he will call with any two cards. Should we make the move. Well we will never steal the blinds as he will call. According to pokerstove our 77 against a random hand has a 66% chance of winning. Compare this to the pot odds which is I recall correctly offer 105k to 45k it is entirely clear what the correct play is. We only have to win the hand 43% of the time to make the move +ev while we actually stand to win 66% of the time.

Suppose opponent will call with 50% of all possible hands. The we have 58% chance of winning when as illustrated above it need only be 43% to be a profitable play. But in fact, you have to remember the additional factor that the 50% of the time he doesn't call we steal the blinds. This actually means that we aren't required to win 43% of the time for this play to be profitable, it may be much lower.

I am by no means a poker expert and stand to make mistakes but I hope the above makes sense. Tournament Poker For Advanced Players is a book I recommend which deals with the above. The only time you might ignore the maths is when some situation occurs eg you are in 9th place and 2 people have only 5k chips left ie a laddering situation. In this particular hand only the math applies.