All in on the flop

Here’s a hand that I think was kinda cool (even though I lost) from the 125k Replay Challenge MTT.

We get a min raise UTG and end up with 5 going to the flop. I flop middle pair and an open ended straight draw; being the short stack, I decide to get my chips in (knowing that I have ~35%+ equity against any caller, except sets). I end up with 3 callers, and it turns out the other players have 2 pair (Ts and 7s), QQ, and AA respectively.

What’s interesting to me, is how little equity AA and QQ have on this flop (they are a combined 20% to win), while the two suited (dis)connectors are a combined 80% favorite.

And it surprised me that it was correct for me to get my stack in with the worst hand on the flop (a pair of 8s); I was still 2nd in equity. With an all-in and a call in front of them, the correct decision would have been for both QQ and AA to fold because they are crushed by sets, 2 pairs, and drawing dead to straights.

The even more important lesson to take away from this hand is to never Never never min-raise (at least with strong hands or deep stacks) and never NEVER never flat a small raise with a hand like AA. You are giving all of your opponents a sick price to outflop you, and if you are willing to stack off on a flop as scary as this one, your game is leaking faster than the Titanic. Of course, QQ sucked out to win the pot, so it will take even longer for him to learn that lesson.

T7 was so messed on that flop lol, suited connectors into straight was really probable for the amount of calling pf. But then again i don’t think T7 could’ve folded that. QQ played it pretty bad as well imo even though he won the pot in the end. Aces got married in the end just like QQ but i would probably have made the same mistake (albeit not vs 3 all in opponents) because people will ship things like AT in this situation (too many donks imo) You were already pot commited so i don’t think your shove was wrong, mid pair + up and down + fold equity, might as well.

I’m not a fan of min raises, except in a few very specific situations. Why announce you have a hand if you aren’t going to bet enough to limit the field?

Flat calling QQ is one thing, but AA? Never in a million years. QQ could make a point of wanting to see the flop before committing, but flatting aces there is just bad poker.

Just calling with your suited connectors is ok. After all, with a drawing hand like that, you need several people in to make it worth the chase.

Shoving the flop there was questionable, at best. You’re only getting called by hands that beat you… in this case, by 3 hands that beat you. J9 had you crushed, 99, T9, T8, T7, 78, any set, overpairs… just too many way to lose.

You had enough chips to pick a better spot. Had you checked, T7 would have bet, QQ might have raised, and AA might have shoved. How would you feel about your hand then? Betting 1/3 or half the pot there would let you see where you stand without committing you totally.

Any 9 hand might come along there, but you would be playing to chop at best, and 99, T9, and J9 have you dominated.

This was a very unusual hand because you rarely see all 3 flop cards paired by someone and 2 overpairs. Yeah, you might have had decent equity in this specific hand, but you would have been hurting 90% of the time.

Just my opinion.

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I agree with Sun, I think your play post flop was questionable given you had 24BB left. So yeah in a ring game you’d have been pot committed but in a ring game you wouldn’t be playing with 26BB pre-flop so doesn’t really make sense, you weren’t committed in that pot imo.

Then purely on equity, 35%+ is if you assume that nobody has a set and nobody can outdraw your oesd. So basically it makes sense if one of your opponent has two pair or an over pair and will call and at least another one has about the same thing and will call as well or everybody else folds. You can’t assume that you have any fold equity there and even if you had, you’d need at least 50% or so and I don’t think somebody with a decent hand would fold enough of the times here given the pot geometry.

So yes it turned out that your shove was OK equity wise after the play but as you wrote:

Well it was because you dragged a guy with fairly hidden two pairs and a mindless QQ and a guy who slow played AA PF (so he had it coming, why did he flat there to a min raise?). But I don’t think you could have foreseen the way the hand developed when you shoved hence my remark on questionable.

Then yes it’s interesting to see that often times in MW pots made hands have less equity than drawing hands. Take the same situation but you only get QQ and AA to call then you’re ahead equity wise, you have 48%, AA, 44% and QQ 8%. The second made hand “takes out” 8% from the first since there are two other outs that beat it. The drawing hand “keeps” the same equity. Had you only been called by AA you still had your 48% making your shove valid equity wise with a decent ROI of 16%. And he would have been right to call as well if he pinpointed oesd+ lower pair (25% ROI).

That’s the beauty of poker and math :smile:

First of all, from a self-preservation standpoint I certainly did not play the hand as well as possible (there may have been better spots), but I was kind of short-stacked and this seemed like an opportunity to double or triple up or just end the tournament.

My logic was that the min-raise and call meant that I was likely up against overpairs or Ax, so I didn’t think there would be many 9s in anybody’s range except the BB. I expect that if I check, the original raiser will bet, and then where does that leave me? I either make a passive call, which is almost always a mistake or I check-raise all in anyway, but my stack is so short (probably 1.5x pot at that point) that I have no fold equity. So, instead my plan is to ship it and get called by an overpair or top pair, which I have almost 50% equity against. And that’s basically what happened, except there were 3 of them. I have decent equity against all 3 callers.

Whether or not I had fold equity is debatable, and I get into trouble sometimes by assuming that players will make intelligent folds. Tournament math is weird, and the small stack sizes kind of price my opponents into calling, but if I had been my opponents in this situation, is 2 pair really that strong when facing a shove, given that there’s a straight possibility (and sets) with 2 players behind? Is QQ really that strong when facing a shove and a call? Is AA really that strong when facing a shove and 2 calls? I would argue that all 3 of my opponents would have been correct to fold. The BB is the most reasonable caller, and his call gives everyone else a better price, but I would not be very happy to call with any of their hands in this spot, so in that sense if we assumed that everyone was a good poker player (which is obviously a bad assumption), then I did have fold equity.

I would expect a made straight to check raise the flop, and probably a short stack set too. A made straight might also check/call the flop and turn (or check/shove the turn if a flush draw showed up)

What kind of hand would flat a raise (min or not) from UTG, then shove the flop with that board? The short stack moving in there just looks weak to me, and probably did to them too.

What kind of hand did you think they were putting you on?

I’m not trying to be critical of you or your play, it’s obviously easier when we can see all the cards, but it is an interesting discussion hand.

I would definitely not give them credit for thinking that it looks weak. Of course there are some meta-game effects that may be involved (i.e., if I am a high ranked player I might not open shove a made hand), but I have seen literally thousands of hands in which players of all ranks flop 2 pair or better and open shove, regardless of stack size.

By flatting the min-raise I could have basically any 2 cards (as could any of the 4 players because this is Replay), but the bulk of my range is suited connectors and pocket pairs, so a set or a straight is very possible. That is not a particularly good flop for AA or QQ (though a non-thinking player might just see their overpair). The best case scenario for them was my exact hand, and more than likely they were crushed by 2 pair or better (which they were as it turned out). I would not really expect the player who flopped 2 pair to fold to my shove, so in that sense I agree with you, but if I were him it would be a pretty reluctant call.

This type of play isn’t really my style, but since I have gotten too comfortable (and bored) with playing tight tournament poker and picking my spots, I have been learning how to find other spots and edges, and a little aggression can go a long way. I know your motto may be “you can’t win a tournament in one hand, but you can lose one”, but looking at it mathematically, it might be better to win that pot in 1/3 of tournaments and become a big stack 100+bbs and get eliminated from 2 other tournaments than to be a small stack 3 times and try to find another spot or passively call. Plus, that math gets even better if you consider that my equity is closer to 50% against top pair and overpairs and if you add 10% fold equity. I don’t generally agree with that type of logic, but it is another way of thinking.

In real money poker, almost nobody shoves a made hand there OOP, especially with a PF raiser and 2 callers. But yeah, point taken: this is free poker. I do see that kind of play a lot here. I also see a lot of bluff shoves from that spot.

I still like 1/3 to 1/2 the pot to see where you stand. Nobody would have folded there, and you would expect one or more raises, which would have given you enough information to make a better decision when it came around to you.

If we all played the same, the game would be far less interesting, huh?

I can understand that. With that in mind then your shove is valid, not so much for the fold equity because I still think you had almost none but more to try other stuff. It turned out to be profitable but you were in a grey zone and knew it so it could have been bad as well and you factored that in so I think the logic is okay.

This is why I like Omaha so much, you can actually play a bit more looser and aggressively and get results even on RP.