# Uncertain hands

• Bronze
Joined: 25.02.2018
Hi everyone!

I'm doing post play hand analysis for a while now but only recently got into the more mathematical juiciness of the subject.
Previously I've mostly been doing hand and range analysis and thinking of how different villains probably would hit the flop based on their actions so far.

But now that I've got a few more formulas at my disposal and I can actually calculate the \$EV for certain situations there's a whole new world for me to explore. However there's still loads of hands where I'm uncertain about my play (mainly because determining \$EV is far more difficult if there are no shoves) and I wanted to get feedback on them on a forum for a long time so I've finally decided to post some here.
I'm not that experienced with SnGs and Poker all together so don't expect to see the best hands here

The first hand I'd like to have some feedback on is this 9-max SnG (there's not really any stats on the players since I exported the hand histories only to review them on my laptop):

888 Poker - 30/60 Ante 5 NL - Holdem - 8 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

CO: 29.75 BB
BTN: 60.42 BB
SB: 17.92 BB
Hero (BB): 20.25 BB
UTG: 36.75 BB
UTG+1: 22.58 BB
MP: 9.92 BB
MP+1: 27.42 BB

8 players post ante of 0.08 BB, SB posts SB 0.5 BB, Hero posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 2.17 BB) Hero has A 2

fold, fold, fold, fold, fold, fold, SB calls 0.5 BB, Hero raises to 3.33 BB, SB calls 2.33 BB

Flop: (7.33 BB, 2 players) 9 T 3
SB checks, Hero bets 4.17 BB, fold

Hero wins 7.33 BB

I thought that when the SB completed he probably had something like a speculative hand or a weak pair and wanted to see a cheap flop. I decided to 3bet and try to get him off such holdings because I'd also have position on him post flop and a suited Ace with straight and flush potential seemed to justify that play for me in that moment.

He called which was a bit surprising but I didn't think that he was trying to trap me with something like KK or AA because in the micros I've seen people call big 3bets with 98o. So maybe he just got really sticky with whatever mediocre holding he had.
The flop didn't really look that scary and when villain checked to me I took a stab since he was showing weakness pre and post flop while I was doing the exact opposite.
My plan was that in case he still calls I'd just be done with the hand unless I improved to something like 2 pair.

My concern with this hand though is this: There were still 8 people in the tournament, the blinds were still somewhere in the low to mid range and after my final bet I had put a third of my stack at risk.
Do you think this play was justified at this point in the tournament or should I have rather just checked preflop and give up the additional fold equity at the post flop stab for more pot control? And what do you think about my bet sizes?

• 3 replies
• Bronze
Joined: 25.02.2018
I just thought of another question by analysing a different hand:

Blinds 50/100, Ante 10
Hijack open raises, it folds to me, I call and defend from BB with K T
Flop comes: 6 5 7

I check and villain shoves.

Villain ended up having J Q so I used that information to try and build a range of things he'd shove here which includes:
A5s+, A7o+, 55+ (assuming he'd also shove trips since the board is so wet), KQo+ and obviously QJs+

For this range my hand would have about 47% equity and I calculated a +EV outcome of 0.6% of the prize pool.
I used this formula:
\$EV = win% * \$EV(call and win) + lose% * \$EV(call and lose) - \$EV(fold)

Now as for my question: 0.6% prize pool equity is such a small profit that my call seems pretty much exactly around the break-even percentage equity-wise.
Even though it's theoretically +\$EV, would you still call here or play it safe and not risk your tournament life? And what if you didn't have the information about villains holding when it comes to assigning him a shove range here? Do you still think you'd have him beat enough of the time?
• Bronze
Joined: 15.03.2010
1st hand-posted: I understand that is a negative \$EV play this hand because you were in the early game since the chips won in SNGs are not necessarily worth as much as ones you already have. I didn't make the calc but this is my feeling. @Post flop your cbet could be smaller to save you from complications.

2nd hand-posted: Poker is a game of small edges and for SnG early game I would expect the best risk-reward than you got.
• Bronze
Joined: 25.02.2018
Originally posted by Arnalsan
1st hand-posted: I understand that is a negative \$EV play this hand because you were in the early game since the chips won in SNGs are not necessarily worth as much as ones you already have. I didn't make the calc but this is my feeling. @Post flop your cbet could be smaller to save you from complications.
Thanks for the reply! I also strongly feel that the entire hand feels rather -\$EV but I'm not so sure if the preflop 3bet is much of an issue or if the hand could be +EV if I had just chosen a better cbet sizing. It's a habit of mine that I tend to bet a little more than half pot as a flop cbet to deny equity and increase fold equity but I should really make it more dependent on the board texture. I guess my reasoning in these situations is mostly to discourage people from continuing with something like mid pair by going a bit bigger.
What's your opinion on the preflop 3bet itself?

Originally posted by Arnalsan
2nd hand-posted: Poker is a game of small edges and for SnG early game I would expect the best risk-reward than you got.
So if I understand correctly you think I made the right choice by calling here?