9 man SNG : "Teaming up" to make bubble boy die

    • stevegold87
      stevegold87
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.06.2009 Posts: 2,640
      Hi everyone,

      I had a question :

      While reviewing my hands, I realize when somebody has 1 BB left and it's the bubble when he goes all-in I will almost call with any decent hand (Ax, Kx, etc.)

      and then I will just check down with the BB or the other limper to hope to take him out, it's like an unwritten poker rule that you don't bluff when a player is all in on the bubble because everyone wants to make it to the money.

      What do you think about being loose in those spots? Do you call more often to try to take the bubble out or do you follow the regular ranges? (Not giving a chance for the short stack to triple up?)

      Thank you for your inputs
  • 9 replies
    • DucksEatFish
      DucksEatFish
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.12.2010 Posts: 318
      It's very common to team up like that. Most ppl will check down with top pairs and two pairs, and just bet if they make a really good hand and want extra value...
    • dangermowse
      dangermowse
      Silver
      Joined: 24.10.2010 Posts: 1,185
      Check down as a 2nd or 3rd stack but as CL shove over whoever's remaining in the hand to try keeping bubble alive. Well, sometimes do the same as 2nd stack if CL was 1st and folded. Also doing it when villain has more than just 1bb, usually around 3-4 depending on positions/ranges etc.
    • Bliausmas
      Bliausmas
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.03.2010 Posts: 741
      I also prefer to "team up". In most of the SNG's (especially 9max) when the bubble is reached the difference of stack sizes between chip leader and other players may change at almost every hand, so I find keeping bubble alive unnecessary. With a deeper structure - yeah, why not.
      And when a short stack shoves with 1-3 BB's left you should call with any2 if you have enough chips according to ICM, or am I wrong?
    • Hlynkinn
      Hlynkinn
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.06.2008 Posts: 4,998
      Originally posted by dangermowse
      Check down as a 2nd or 3rd stack but as CL shove over whoever's remaining in the hand to try keeping bubble alive. Well, sometimes do the same as 2nd stack if CL was 1st and folded. Also doing it when villain has more than just 1bb, usually around 3-4 depending on positions/ranges etc.
      also if the player has a reasonable stack I think as a chip leader seeing a flop and bet out on that is a little bit more profitable.. A lot of players think that "checking down on the bubble while theres a short stack all in unless you hit a good hand" is an unwritten rule.. so if you bet out they'll normally give you a bunch of credit and you'll keep the bubble going for some minutes =)

      Also trying to keep the bubble going when the bubble ain't really as profitable for you as you think can be a big mistake.. so be sure to think logically =)

      "teaming up" is also most of the time referred to as "co-op play" or co-operative play... just fwiw :) and it pretty much shines through the word that you should only do it when it profits both players... so when your the chip leader it often looses you value to bust the bubble.. so you get the point :)
    • dangermowse
      dangermowse
      Silver
      Joined: 24.10.2010 Posts: 1,185

      Also trying to keep the bubble going when the bubble ain't really as profitable for you as you think can be a big mistake.. so be sure to think logically =)

      Yeah I'm talking as significant CL not marginal. Wouldn't be too wreckless as a slight CL I'd rather bubble burst lol.
    • stevegold87
      stevegold87
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.06.2009 Posts: 2,640
      That's very interesting.
      It's true that as CL we want to abuse the bubble so if the bubbles dies we won't be able to do it anymore.

      I saw it more like, there's always a chance to not make it to the money so playing co-op like this is always what you should do even as a chip leader!
    • pzhon
      pzhon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      First, definitely don't say in the chat that you want to check it down. That would be cheating, and you would risk severe penalties. PokerStars disables the chat when a player is all-in to help to prevent this type of cheating. Part of the equity of the all-in player comes from when the others don't check it down.

      Second, although many people think it's an unwritten rule of poker that you are supposed to check it down, that's just wrong. Checking it down is often the wrong play. It will upset people greatly if you bet postflop or isolate preflop and the short stack wins, but that's just part of the game. It's not your responsibility to knock the short stack out, or to maximize the chance that the short stack bubbles out this hand. Is it worth spending your money to do that? How many tournaments' profits are you willing to spend to knock the short stack out this hand instead of next hand?

      You should often isolate a short stack's preflop push by raising rather than flat-calling to invite other players in. If you prevent the blinds from having a profitable odds-call, that usually means both you and the short stack benefit at the expense of the blinds.

      If there is no side pot, generally don't bluff. Bluffing can't make the short stack fold, so if the bluff works, you get no reward, or the highly questionable reward of transferring chips to the short stack. You are still risking a significant amount of equity by bluffing.

      It is very common for players to confuse the idea that you should not bluff into dry side pot with the incorrect idea that you should not bet into a dry side pot. There are many times that it is correct by a lot to bet into a dry side pot for value or for protection. Of course, be prepared for a table captain to berate you for the rest of the tournament after you make a correct bet while a player is all-in. However, it is solid poker in theory to make some bets into a dry side pot, and it is even more valuable in practice when players expect you to have the nuts when you bet, or at least top pair or better.

      If the side pot is substantial, then you can make pure bluffs. If someone is all-in for a 10 chips at 300/600, a limped pot would still be worth a lot to you. Of course, your opponents will get to see that you bluffed, which may mean that they will make spite calls later to prove that they know you are a bluffer.

      There are times when you might make calls which superficially look like you are acting against your interest to try to knock the short stack out. Normally, the middle stacks are quite risk-averse against the chip leader on the bubble. However, if the short stack is already all-in, that risk-aversion is decreased dramatically, since if you both lose to the chip leader, you make it into the money and the short stack bubbles out. For you to bubble out, the short stack has to win the main pot and the big stack has to win the side pot. So, there are times that you can't call the chip leader's shove with AK, but you can overcall with A7o if the short stack calls first. That's not to try to harm the short stack. It is to increase your equity.
    • stevegold87
      stevegold87
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.06.2009 Posts: 2,640
      Super interesting post pzhon. It will change the way I play bubbles for sure where I tried to "get rid of the short stack" as a chip leader and checking down top pair in case bubble boy hits 2 pair or straight of flush.

      I definitely never "asked" anyone to co-op obviously but most people do it naturally.

      Let me give you guys an example where I would check down to understand my idea and my further explanations :

      Full Tilt Poker $6 + $0.50 No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t120/t240 Blinds - 4 players - View hand 1150133
      DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

      CO: t240 1 BBs
      Hero (BTN): t2140 8.92 BBs
      SB: t4260 17.75 BBs
      BB: t6860 28.58 BBs

      Pre Flop: (t360) Hero is BTN with K :heart: Q :heart:
      CO calls t240 all in, Hero calls t240, 1 fold, BB checks

      Flop: (t840) K :spade: 2 :spade: J :diamond: (3 players - 1 is all in)
      BB checks, Hero checks

      Turn: (t840) T :spade: (3 players - 1 is all in)
      BB checks, Hero checks

      River: (t840) J :club: (3 players - 1 is all in)
      BB checks, Hero bets t240, BB calls t240

      After filtering my hands this is pretty much one of the hands that is related to this post

      Let me explain what I think I thought during this hand :

      KQs is ahead of BB and CO ranges for sure but I don't want to push all in here, should I have? I mean if BB and CO wins I am out of the tournament so I thought about calling and evaluating on the flop and try to "take CO out".

      As you see, on the flop I checked top pair. Now I guess people will say this is a bad play but why triple up SS? There's a FD or SD on the board and with 840 SS could be back in the game and I would getting very close to short stack.

      Don't ask me about the river bet...i guess after seeing BB check so many hands I just assumed I had the best hand and wanted the side pot :) . Imo as the second shortest stack this seems like a good play, would you have bet here on the flop? (I was scared to build a big side pot and commit myself to all-in)

      Maybe I should of posted this in hand evaluation forum, but I thought this was very relevant to the thread.

      Also :

      Of course, be prepared for a table captain to berate you for the rest of the tournament after you make a correct bet while a player is all-in.
      lol :D very funny term : Table captain

      Obviously every situation is different but it's very nice to hear about people opinions on this.
    • pzhon
      pzhon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      I would push preflop, and as played I would bet the flop.

      The logic in this paragraph is badly flawed:

      As you see, on the flop I checked top pair. Now I guess people will say this is a bad play but why triple up SS? There's a FD or SD on the board and with 840 SS could be back in the game and I would getting very close to short stack.
      You feel that betting on the flop will cause the short stack to triple up. How would it? There are two ways for that to happen: You could knock out a weak draw which would make the best hand by the river, while the short stack also beats you, or your bet could encourage the big blind to take the pot from you while your hand would be the best. Neither outcome is that likely. With top pair, you have great equity against both the short stack and the worse-than-random hand in the big blind, and you can partially protect that equity by betting on the flop.