I wanted to keep late Sunday night open this week, so I played an abbreviated schedule of six tournaments. Since that’s such a manageable number, I thought it might be fun to post the bustout hands. Maybe some of them are even interesting.
Tournament: $50 rebuy on Stars
Status: 383 players left out of 1090 starters
Blinds: 300-600/50 ante
Stack size: 5,640
Action: UTG folds, I move all-in. It folds to the big blind who calls with A5o. He wins.
Analysis: Totally standard play from me. What about my opponent? He’s getting a little less than 3-2, and needs 42% equity against my range to break even. Let’s just say for argument’s sake that my jam range there is A4+, K9+, QJ, suited connectors down to 65s, and any pair. He has 42.5% against that range. I may be slightly tighter or looser than that in real life, but looks like his call was reasonable.
Tournament: Turbo Takedown (3,000 FPP buy-in, one million dollar prize pool) on Stars
Status: 2,505 left out of 19,379
Stack size: 15,341
Action: Three folds, and I move in UTG+3. The small blind reraises all-in with TT. He wins.
Analysis: Totally standard by both parties. This was a fun tournament, and had about as much play as you can expect for an FPP buy-in and almost 20,000 people. Stack sizes for almost everyone were under 20 blinds throughout, which essentially made this thing one long jam-or-fold event. I was happy to cash in this crapshoot.
Tournament: $150 rebuy on FTP
Status: 316 left out of 553
Stack size: 7,750
Action: Five folds, and the cutoff min-raises to 560. I move all-in on the button. The small blind reraises all-in, and the big blind calls all-in for 2,800 total. The cutoff folds. The small blind has QQ, and the big blind has AA. SB wins the side pot, and BB wins the main.
Analysis: I have three options when the action gets to me. 1) Call. 2) Reraise to an amount less than all-in. 3) Reraise all-in. Let’s look at all of them. Option 1 of calling is not bad. I can try to see a flop in position for just 2 blinds out of my 28-blind stack. The downsides are that I risk getting three-bet from the blinds, I risk bringing the blinds in cheap, and I risk allowing the cutoff to outflop me. These downsides are significant, so let’s consider Option 2. I could make it 1,700 to go, which commits about a quarter of my chips. I would give some more consideration to this option with either a stronger hand, like AQ, or a weaker hand, like A6o. I’ll 3-bet to a quarter of my stack if I’ll have an easy decision after getting 4-bet. With ATo, I don’t know what to do against a 4-bet getting 5-3 on my money or more, so I don’t like Option 2. This brings us to Option 3, moving all-in and risking 7,725 to win 1,205 immediately. My rule of thumb is that it’s always a reasonable shove if you’re moving in for six times the pot or less. I’m moving in for slightly more than that here, but given how weak the cutoff’s action is, and given that I have a relatively strong hand myself for the situation, I think it’s OK to make a slight overbet here. To sum up, I prefer the choice I actually made here, which is Option 3. The play from the two blinds was, of course, automatic. How are these offsuit aces working out for me so far?
Tournament: Bodog $100k guarantee ($162 buy-in)
Status: 42 left out of 463
Stack size: 49,008
Action: Three folds, and UTG+3 opens for $6,200. I move-in. He calls with QQ. He wins.
Analysis: Completely standard for both sides. I flopped a king and he rivered a queen, which hurt. He also ended up winning the tournament, which is not all that surprising since he seemed to be a decent player and he’d started the hand with a good stack.
Tournament: Sunday Million on Stars ($215 buyin)
Status: 4,518 left out of 10,077
Stack size: 13,575
Action: Four folds, and the hijack min-raises to 1,200. Folds to me, I call. The flop comes J85 rainbow. I check, and the hijack bets 3,000. I move in for 9,350 more, and he calls with AA. He wins.
Analysis: I have two choices preflop: call, or reraise all-in. Believe it or not, I don’t love to resteal all the time. If an opponent will offer me an excellent price to call and see a flop, I’ll usually prefer to do that with a connecting hand, rather than reraise all-in and pray for victory. That said, either choice would be reasonable. An all-in 3-bet on my part would risk 12,950 to win 2,325 immediately, which falls under my 6x pot guideline.
After I check the flop (and my style is to always check there), I pretty much have to either move-in or fold when my opponent makes a full pot-sized bet. There is no card that could come on the turn where I could call on the flop, and then check-fold the next street, so I might as well go for the fold equity if I’m going to play, and not allow my opponent to catch up. Full pot-sized bets tend to be stronger than small bets, so I’m not excited about this spot. But are there enough AK, TT, 99, 77, and 66 in my opponent’s range to justify committing with the hand? Let’s say he could have those hands plus AQs, and let’s say he could also have any set, any overpair, or any jack better than mine. Let’s further say he plays perfectly against me after I move-in. Then he folds 42% of the time, and he calls the other 58% and I have 20% equity. My EV is .42*5,925 + .58*(.2*27,625-12,350) = -1,470. So if he plays perfectly, and can really have sets, my play is bad. I don’t actually think it’s very likely he shows up with a set there, really ever. So if we take those out, and also have him calling with TT and 99 (other things he might do), my EV becomes .37*5,925 + .63*(.33*27,625-12,350) = +155. After doing all the math, then, I think it was a close decision. My best play in a soft field like this was probably to fold to the overbet and give my opponent credit for a big hand.
As for my opponent, he played the hand pretty badly. If he makes a bigger raise preflop, we get all the money in then for sure. Then, after the flop, his bet size made me think about check-folding top pair. Any half-pot or even three-quarter-pot bet, and I move in automatically instead of even considering other options. When you play AA badly, however, you still often bust short stacks.
Tournament: Turbo $100 1R + 1A on Stars
Status: 46 left out of 861
Stack size: 79,502
Action: There are eight people at the table, and the big blind is all-in for 8,699. Three folds, and the hijack min-raises to 20k. I move-in on the button. The small blind folds, the hijack calls with JJ. The big blind has 43o. The hijack scoops the pot.
Analysis: If hijack had just moved in, my call would be automatic. His min-raise range is probably slightly stronger than his jam range, but not by enough where I can justify folding the hand, I don’t think. I have AT and eight blinds. I just can’t fold to a hijack raise. By the way, I flopped an ace and he rivered a jack, which hurt.
I hope some of you out there enjoyed reliving my Sunday with me. I cashed in three of the above tournament for a small loss on the day (remember, play to win, not to cash). It wasn’t a total loss, though, as there were great endings to Louisville-UConn and USA-Canada on the TV.
For those interested, my next big tournament will be Foxwoods. I’ll try to check in on the blog once before then, maybe with some PLO action.