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ITM play in MTTs

    • VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 10,491
      In this afternoon's (2100 GMT) PS freeroll, I was in the CO, and got a shove from UTG. A few hands before, I had 31000 or so, the the same player, shoved with a stack of ~3000, which I called loose and lost. If I can find the hand I'll post it.

      In this hand, I am just a few places above the next money level (yes, only a penny more), and I folded here.

      Not to worry about this specific hand -- it is just an illustration.
      The question is:
      What principles should I be using to judge call/fold in these cases?

      It is quite different than SNGs -- which I suck at but that's another story.

      Grabbed by Holdem Manager
      NL Holdem $1,200(BB) Party
      SB ($74,657)
      BB ($18,015)
      UTG ($6,230)
      UTG+1 ($17,953)
      UTG+2 ($16,115)
      Hero ($28,640)
      BTN ($1,945)

      SB antes $50
      Hero antes $50
      UTG antes $50
      UTG+2 antes $50
      UTG+1 antes $50
      BTN antes $50
      BB antes $50

      Dealt to Hero A:diamond: T:club:

      UTG raises to $6,180 (AI), fold, fold, fold, fold, fold, fold

      UTG wins $3,350
  • 2 replies
    • BigOVERBET
      Joined: 23.11.2010 Posts: 433
    • pzhon
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      Obviously you have to think about the pusher's range and how much equity your hand has against that range. You should also look at the dead money in the pot from the blinds and antes.

      You are usually not that risk-averse before the final table, particularly against a shorter stack. However, you need to worry about the possibility that someone acting after you will enter the pot, too. You can't make a marginal odds call in middle position with 4 people acting after you. When someone has a hand like AK or QQ behind you, the cost depends on how large your stack is and how well your hand does against premium hands. As a rough estimate, the chance that one of n players has a top 3% hand behind you is 3xn%. So, with only 3 players left to act after you, there is about a 9% chance one will have a premium hand. With 5 players left to act, there is about a 15% chance one will have a premium hand.

      Let's suppose you are considering pushing over a short stack with 5 players left to act after you, and you think the only players who will cold-call will have top 3% hands. If you expect to lose 50% of a 24 BB stack when you get all-in against a premium hand 15% of the time, then you lose 12 bb 15% of the time, or about 2 bb from running into premium hands. You need to expect to gain more than that 2 bb from the short stack when no one overcalls in order to get involved.

      Very short stacks (such as the button in your example) who may have the odds to call with weaker hands also take some of the dead money out of the pot, and they are reasons to play tighter.

      What about flat-calling the short stack's push? This will not lose so much if someone has AA after you. However, it invites other players into the pot, so you will see overcalls and reraises by nonpremium hands. In fact, this is often the right way to get more action when you have AA, but with a hand like ATo you don't want to invite a player with 88 or AJ or KQ into the pot.

      So, particularly when you are in early or middle position, you should often fold hands which are ahead of the short stack's range. The odds you are getting are more important from the big blind.