View Full Version : 3 Critical spots

02-08-2004, 08:02 AM
These are 3 hands form 3 consecutive SNGs. Sure I was a little unlucky on three of them, I know that. I just want to be sure this is nothing more than a regular unlucky streak, and that I'm not making too many harsh decisions with my Tchips. These are 3 critical spots in anybody's game, IMO, so tell me what you think.

Important note: my image on these three SNGs is of a tight player, if not very tight.


1 table 22$ SNG. Down to last four. Blinds 50/100. I'm last with T740. 3rd place w/T900 (a 2+2er). 2nd stack (T5000) mini-raises from UTG. Could mean anything. Folded to me on BB, and I push with A5o. UTG calls and shows TJo. He catches a J and I'm out.


2-table 22$ SNG. Last 6. I'm 5th with T2036, pretty much behind leading four. 6th stack with T710. Blinds 300/600.

Big stack (9500) limps from UTG, MP (T3500) limps too, folded to me on SB with A4s. Pot: 2100. I push. Big stack calls with K9o, and catches a 9, I'm out.


1-table 22$ SNG. Last five. I'm big stack w/T3800. Blinds 100/200. Small stack (T1000) mini-raises to 400. Doesn't mean anything. Folded to me on BB, with AQo. I push, he calls with JTo, and catches a miracle flush. I'm down to T2700, and later bust on the bubble.

Any thoughts?


02-08-2004, 08:40 AM
Hands 1 and 2 are hard to argue. Hand 3 is somewhat hard to argue, although I probably would have done that too. I mean, all of these are bad beats obviously, and none od them is terrible.

One thing I have been working lately in my own game is that for a while I was getting unecessarily over-agressive with the all ins. This can cause you problems because it leaves you with a lot of coin flip situations that maybe would not have happened after a flop. For instance, take hand 3. I don't know how this played out post flop, but lets say you just call and the flop misses him. He checks to you, and NOW you push him in. I think he's far less likely to call, especially in low limit SNGs where players have no idea how to play short stacks against a small field (because if he knew what he was doing he would have just pushed it in in the first place.) I've come to the conclusion that in a lot of these siutations where people are just calling stations willing to take a coin flip, its better to see a flop first. Once they really know they have [censored] its much easier to get rid of them. I don't know how others feel about this, its just been on my mind lately.

Hey, as long as we're talking bad beats stories, last night I was short stacked on the bubble in the Stars $3 rebuy and pushed it in with TT. Called by AK. Flop QTQ. YES! Turn Q. River Q. /images/graemlins/confused.gif /images/graemlins/mad.gif

Kurn, son of Mogh
02-08-2004, 10:00 AM
Hand #1: His min-raise with JTo is horrible, his call borderline OK.

Hand #2: Was this at 'Stars? At 300/600, there'd be a 50 ante, so with 2 limpers when it gets to you, there should be 2400 in the pot. With your push, that's 4436 and it costs UTG 1436 to call. You don't need a pair so his call is fine. That's one problem with going for it with more than the blinds in the pot. Most limping hands have odds to call.

Hand 3: I don't see what you could've done differently.

Basically you want to play with people who think JTo is a good hand.

02-08-2004, 01:10 PM
Hiya P.M.,

Hand one is easily the correct decision, and you just got unlucky. His post-oak steal with JTo will cost him a lot more money than it will ever win him.

IMO, hand two was a mistake. Yes, you had the better hand, but it was only a 3:2 favorite and he had the right odds to call you down. I rarely try to steal short-stacked vs. limpers. I'd rather wait for a chance to be first in.

In hand 3, I think you had the right hand, made the right move, and you got outdrawn. heyrocker suggested calling pre-flop and pushing on the flop, but with only T1000 in his stack and 400 of that already in, I think he was pot-committed if he caught any kind of a hand or a draw (which he did). He was going to call at the flop regardless, so getting the money in as a 2:1 pre-flop favorite was fine.

Sorry about the tough beats. They do seem to come in waves.


02-08-2004, 01:32 PM
You are right about the T50 ante. I forgot to mention it here, and miscalculated the pot-size. The pot is T2400.

Among the three hands, *that* is the one I'm less sure of. The blinds are huge, it's true, almost 1/3 of my stack (BB+SB+antes will be 70% my stack next hand). But pushing here makes it too good and easy for big-stack to call, and I'm not such a big favorie over him. Waiting even 1-2 hands, and going in with any cards, but with hopefully no limpers in the pot, just to win the blinds + antes (T1200), might be better. Besides, Blinds will eat small stack in 3 hands, so the bubble situation could tighten my opponents up. It's a close decision, I guess.

But my A4s looked so gooood... /images/graemlins/smile.gif

02-08-2004, 01:44 PM

I think you have a point here, about hand 2. I was thinking along these lines in my reply to Kurn (that I wrote before reading yours /images/graemlins/smile.gif). Although it could be OK, sometimes, to steal against limpers, especially if they tend to limp-fold a lot, it was probably not a good move against a huge-stack limper, that is not too shy about calling bets with marginal hands.

And yes, the beats do come in waves, just like everything else...


02-08-2004, 11:52 PM
I'm going to take the contrarian opinion on #1 and say that I'd probably fold this one.

Sure, you're very shortstacked, but your A5o is still up against two live cards with JTo, and you also have another very short stack in the game, who might go out before you do.

tough call...had a similar thing happen to me with A5o vs QJ...Q on the turn...see ya...maybe that's coloring my decision here. I think the presence of the other short stack would cause me to fold it.


02-09-2004, 03:16 PM
Hand 3 I agree you made the right play --- you have two big cards, and you don't know when they might fall --- on the flop or afterwards. If you are lucky, he will call with a dominated hand (like KQ or AJ).

Hands 1 and 2 I strongly disagree with though. It has to do with being too aggressive on the bubble. In hand 1, he has enough chips that your all-in is not going to scare him. He easily could have YOU dominated with a bigger ace. I would probably call here, and check unless I pair. A case could also be made for folding, but I think a raise all-in could be trouble --- any pair above 4s and just about any ace has you dominated and won't hesitate to call.

Case 2 is also a mistake. Just complete the big blind. If you do pair your ace, either check or bet, if you get two of your suit on the flop (whether you pair or not) go ahead and push in. Again, your hand is easily dominated, in a situation where they are likely to call your bet if it is.

Looking at the cards they actually DID have and lamenting your poor fortune is NOT correct. Think about what they COULD have had. When you are on the bubble, don't be in a hurry to leave the tournament. In hand 1 the blinds are small enough that you can play for awhile and still eke into the money. In hand 2, who knows, someone may get out on this hand with a "second-best" hand.

02-09-2004, 03:41 PM
Thanks for your reply. I understand your points and tend to agree with most of them, since I DO play a bit over-aggressive on the bubble. At certain situations and against certain opposition it works fine, because opponents are likely to tighten around this stage, but maybe not here (hands 1,2)

However, I cannot agree with the option of calling UTG mini-raise on hand #1. I'm last w/740 (640 after posting). No reason I call for 15% my stack and check/fold on the flop. It is an all-in/fold decision. But it's true that my all-in won't scare big-stack here, so folding might be the better option after all.

And you are right about not looking at what my opponent's had, but rather at what they COULD have. I think that usualy I put them on pretty much the right range of hands, but still take too much of a risk when attacking them, especially if I'm not such a big favorite.

02-09-2004, 05:28 PM
My response to this topic is not meant to be advice. I would rather put in what I think and would have done and hear some opinions.

Hand 1

I would have had to fold this. If I am going to mess with the big stack I want very strong cards. Especially on the bubble. With a marginal hand I would push in on the T900 guy and put him to a decision. He is the one that can be hurt.

Hand 2

This one is tough, but I am very tight. I think I would have called and if no 4 flush fold. Again I don't want the guy that I cannot hurt taking me out.

Hand 3

I think this is a good play. One that I would like to use more.

Advice appreciated.