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StrategySit & Go

Push or Fold in Heads-up

1.1. Introduction

In this article
  • Pushing strong hands which have low playability
  • 4 different pushing charts

Let's examine the following situation:

Hero finally reached the heads-up stage of an MTT after several hours of hard work. He is already assured a sizable amount of prize money, but would win a lot more as the winner. This makes Hero nervous and desperate to avoid making a mistake, whether it's by pressing the wrong button in an online game, or making the wrong decision on a real-life table.

Hero sits in the small blind and receives A7. The blinds are at 5,000/10,000. Hero has 260,000 in chips. His opponent Villain is an experienced player with a big bag of tricks, and a similarly-sized stack of 250,000.

What to do?

Hero perceives his hand as being strong, but is afraid of his opponent holding a stronger ace or pocket pair. Not wanting to risk his whole stack, he raises to 40,000, ready to fold after a re-raise all-in. His opponent only calls, though, and the flop comes with T J 9. Not really what he was hoping for. Villain checks, Hero makes a CB of 50,000, and Villain pushes all-in. Hero folds without a second thought.

His situation is now considerably worse (170,000 to 340,000) and his experienced opponent can put him under pressure even better now. Hero frets over the raise. Would a push have been a better choice after all? As we will see later: Yes. Even a push with a considerably larger actual stack would have been +EV, whereas the raise puts him into a difficult situation in the post-flop game should he not hit his ace.


That's not the entire article...

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Comments (9)

#1 Gungunhana, 09 Jun 08 12:53

Very good. This approach was missing to me as I´m not that experienced in HU situations

#2 bakoy, 09 Sep 09 02:23

fantastic article. what a great reward for becoming gold!

#3 Koshburger, 10 Feb 10 02:08


#4 SebastjanB, 13 Jul 10 13:00

I have to be gold for entire article??

#5 svelgen, 28 Jul 10 18:58

@SebastjanB: yes...

#6 illeaglez, 25 Sep 10 14:43

i like how i cant press (2) to view next page...

#7 doremoo, 06 Dec 10 22:06

Very helpful.

#8 mis018, 05 Jun 11 22:14

could anyone send this one to me? id really appreciate that..... might be very helpful article. thanks in advance


#9 tigerace999, 15 Nov 12 13:50

I feel more first places coming my way.
First an afternoon nap to process information my brain has gone into overload.
Great stuff and good confidence builder thank you P.S