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Protecting your hand against draws

    • AquamanBT
      Joined: 03.07.2008 Posts: 338
      Sklansky's Theory of Poker tells us that as long as you induce your opponents to make mistakes you win in the long run. But in a MTT, where it's about survival, how important is to protect your hand against draws?

      For example, recently I played a live MTT satellite and got to the final table, six players remaining, winner gets all. Blinds were 400/800, SB (around 10k stack), I am the BB (8,300) and the chip leader in mid position has around 25k. Chip leader limps in (loose-passive), SB completes and I have Js-10c and check. The flop was 2-J-8 with two clubs. SB bets 1,500 and I push w/7,500, almost twice the pot. MP thinks my stack is less than 3k and he is about to call, until he finds out that it's more than he thought. After a while, he calls. SB folds. MP shows Kc-9c. Turn was Qs, river was Jc, so I lose with trips to a flush.

      According to Sklansky's theory, he made a mistake based on pot odds, but it gets me thinking if I should push after I see that the turn doesn't complete the flush draw. I've noticed that people are more reluctant to fish with just one card to come.

      You may disagree that I pushed with just top pair-medium kicker, but with just less than 10BB I figured I still had folding equity (apparently not to a donk) and decided to make my move. If I'd just flat called, he would have probably raised, and now he is pot committed.

      What do you think?
  • 3 replies
    • timukasr
      Joined: 26.05.2007 Posts: 1,820
      You often have the best hand in these situations and on a draw heavy board it's right to push them. You have some fold equity and you give bad odds to opponent. If he calls you are winning this hand in long term.

    • mChavez
      Joined: 13.02.2009 Posts: 323
      AquamanBT, don't make the mistake of confusing $EV in cash games and $EV in tournaments.

      In a cash game $ = chips. In a SnG $=ICM(chips). So if you want a good explanation of whether to push or not in these situations, you need to build a model based on ICM and see how much do you risk in $terms, whats the pot price to you, what's the pot price to the villain, how much you win if he calls a shove and looses. You can easilly get chances of villain folding if he plays 0EV and see if they match you expectations. This is quite a lot of work for an MTT though, so you need to optimize it somehow. I only do this for regural SnGs or final tables.

      Have fun!=)
    • JonathanLittle
      Joined: 09.02.2009 Posts: 21
      In spots like this, pushing is usually good but you have to realize that when you get called, you are either going to be beat or only slightly ahead. Also, if your opponent knows his over and flush draw is live, he isnt making that big of an error. In tournaments where you are playing for 1st though, you have to be willing to gamble and in this spot, there isnt much you can do.