Friday, October 28, 2005


Decisions Decisions

Key hand from last night's E100 on Betfair. 8-handed in the final, hero has a little under 30K out of 180K in play. Chip leader with 50K is on his immediate right. Blinds 800-1600, 200 ante. Passed to hero in small blind, who makes it 4800 to go with T8. Chip leader calls. Flop 853 no suits. Hero bets 7K. Chip leader minimum-raises to 14K.

What now Captain ?

Well, you have reverse implied odds, of a sort, but your "win small" is quite a large proportion of your "lose big".

My typical comment would be "I wouldn't start from here". But, having got here, I would launch.

He has a wide range of hands that you are beating, but you can't be sure how you are beating him. he might have overcards. He might have middle-pin or bottom pin with an overcard. he might have an overcard and a gutshot.

He has a much smaller range of hands that are beating you (8 with a higher kicker, a higher pair, or a set) and I can't see him mini-raising with these hands. He wants to see two cards cheaply and to shut you up on the turn.

If you launch, he may well call you, but the EV is in your favour. This is not a matter of 4th vs 3rd -- the jumps in prize money are still quite small.

Go for it.
Blind vs blind situation with almost 40% of your stack in the middle allready. Top pair and still small changes that opponent will fold to a reraise. I would move in.

What do you think about blind vs blind play in nolimit tournaments in general. Is T8 worth a completion from SB. Or do you just raise or fold? Of course it's a matter of balancing and it's easier to do with dichotomy. Last time I played a bigger live tournament I was completely outplayed in blind vs blind situations by a player who frequently just called from SB.

I can see I'm preaching to the choir here. I (T8) moved in. As soon as he went into the tank I knew I was good. He finally called with KQ and my pair held up. He was Swedish by the way, that's always a clue given no other knowledge :-). I wonder if I posted that on a forum how many "fold" responses I would get. The pot's way too big to fold top pair IMO. If he has an overpair or a bigger 8 them's the breaks.

As for how I got there, it wasn't the soundest pre-flop raise. But I had been fairly quiet and the antes do weight the situation heavily towards playing. I felt that if I limped, he would raise with a lot of hands and I would have to pass.

In general, blind v blind is where the better player can make a lot of money. But you do have to be careful in the SB, given your positional disadvantage. Dan recommends either limping or making an over raise (4 or 5 x BB) to end it there. There's a lot to be said for that.

Here's another one I had at a final table on Coral a few weeks ago. No antes this time, full table of 10 players, I have a little above average stack. SB limps, I have 77 in the BB and bet around the pot, he calls. Flop comes K55 2 diamonds. He checks, I bet about 2/3 the pot and he moves in. He has me covered, I'm getting about 2/1 on the final call. Long story short I called and he had K6. Bugger. I was quite annoyed with myself on that one. Should have passed to the check-raise.

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