Did I make the right move?

I was playing a soft tournament on PokerStars and it was early tournament–hadn’t even played for 10 mins yet and I get AQs UTG +1. Blinds are 50/100 and I still have the initial starting stack of 1500 chips. So I raise 2.5 BB and the person two seats to my left goes all in for about 25BB (he covers my stack), and there is a reshove from the High-Jack and Cut-off (initial shover covers them as well). I decide to call, and the initial shover has KJs, High-Jack has A10s and Cut-off was a fish because he had 24 and shoved 15BB. Anyway, a Jack comes on the flop and it is a triple knockout, but my question is, did I make the right call here, or should I have folded? Thanks all

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I would have folded…

My thinking is that it is to early in the tournament to get all my chips in the pot with less than QQ preflop

Greetings Champ,
One heck of a great question my friend ! It’s really not as simple as most think or believe it "should be " In a tournament setting, There are some different groups of thinking and logic in dealing with your question.
There’s no right or wrong conclusions to be gained here. If your style is aggressive most of the time and your comfortable with it. The only question I can see asking is: Is there enough chips in the pot to reward the risk of possibly being taken out here and now ? ? Don’t fool yourself with all the percentages calculations. Here it matters very little unless everyone misses or everyone hits… All 3 players have an equal chance of catching trips. All 3 players are now in gambling mode, and there’s really nothing wrong with it, I play these hands quite often. Sometimes getting to all in early will put you out early, lots of times still during the late sign up period. I’ve done it many times. And it never bothers me what so ever. I make those decisions with my eyes wide open. Nobodies robbing me. Nobody is sucking out on me.If he has two cards and chips in front of him, he can play any 2 cards he likes, or doesn’t like, and for as much as he wants to bet in a no limit game.
Now back to your hand.Champ. I’m a bit more conservative with my bullets, especially early like this. Ace - Queen suited under the gun is a decent calling hand only and folding at any hint of 2-BB bet or more. There’s just way too many two card combinations that will send you packing. I might look at tournaments a little different than most. I was taught to value survival first during a tournament. Winning is only second. One really does come before the other if you think about it.
The next really big thing for me to learn was, { it was pounded unmercifully into my very bones.} Use your chips and the different positions to extract information and control the hand / or hands, or at least be in charge without anyone’s knowledge in the hand. Anything less than this is gambling, which I still do occasionally . :innocent:


I agree with the other guys. A shove and a re-shove in front usually means that someone has a big pocket pair (QQ+, occasionally JJ), all of which you are dominated by. In this case nobody had that type of hand, and you were ahead, but with 4 players in the pot a disaster was inevitable. Folding is a +EV decision in the long run.


in pure basic theory i would have folded since normally 2 shoves (even in shortstacked tourney like this) of more then 15BB’s should mean at least one of em should have more then you, because the strongest thing you beat is AJ, and an UTG raise followed by an all-in and another all-in normally don’t mean they both have AJ or less. but since they did anyway with less this isn’t a normal situation to begin with.

so long story short: if you had a read that they are playing bingo multiple times already, then it’s a sure shove. if you didn’t had such a read or no read at all, i would fold.


You made a good call. You need to call 12.5bbs to quadruple up. Even if you assign your opponents extremely strong ranges, you have about enough equity to call, but I also think it is a bad assumption (which previous posters have made) that your opponents are actually strong. The stacks are extremely shallow, so players could reasonably shove 77+, KQ, AJ+, and even wider if they are bad players (as they appear to be). AQs is doing extremely well against these ranges. It’s a simple math problem, and you got it right.

I don’t get why the stacks were so short so early in the tournament, but in a high speed tournament like this, you can’t try to use a skill advantage postflop to build your stack. You have to take some risks and try to double (or triple in this case), and you did it correctly, with a very strong hand. AQs is a top 10 starting hand (in the top 4.5% of hands). Each caller gives subsequent callers a better price (and therefore an opportunity to shove with a wide range of hands, as your opponents did). I would be more than happy to call with AQs and expect to be ahead some of the time.


in the current situation i agree with you that shoving the AQ was right against bad players, and i also agree you have to take more risks with such a turbo structure.
but i also see a few points i have to disagree with:
you mentioned that people could reasonably shove with 77+ KQ and AJ+. so lets assume for a moment they are all reasonable strong players. the first shover had 25BB’s in MP. so that means unless he was making a huge bluff, he was willing to play for his whole stack containing 25 BB’s, which he also used into a UTG +1 raise. so we have lots of seats after him and a player showing aggression in one of the earliest position, and still he was willing to risk his whole stack for it. and on top of all this comes that two players after him were willing to risk their stack as well, and if they were all decent players they should have known what i told before about the MP and shove both with an even stronger range. if this was some high stake tourney i would have folded the AQ within a second.
second thing is you mentioned that every caller gives a better price to play. this is true of course, but it will be compensated by the fact that you also get a lower chance of winning, this because more hands will need you to avoid more cards and/or hit more cards. and it gives your opponents a bigger chance of having a hand that dominates you. and it gives also a good possibility that some people have blockers to your outs.

long story short: i fully agree that this was the right choice to make. however i disagree that this was the right move if they were reasonable players.

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I admit, what it means to be a “reasonable player” is pretty vague. If I assign all 3 opponents the exact range I said “reasonable players” could be shoving with, AQs still has a 21.27% chance to win, which is about break-even, so in that sense you are correct, hero isn’t doing particularly well, though they aren’t making a mistake either. I also generally add a “fish factor” where I expect to have a little more equity than I would against a reasonable range if opponents are not great players.

But, I just don’t think a 25bb shove is indicative of a strong hand like QQ+, AK because 25bbs is still a very short stack. If he can get hero to fold a reasonable % of the time and has some equity if he gets called, it makes a ton of sense for him to shove a wide range. From the perspective of the other shovers, they have a chance to double or triple up and have <20bbs, so it makes sense for them to go with just about any hand. They have very little to lose with the blind pressure they face.

From hero’s perspective, you have one of the strongest hands in poker with 12.5bbs left and a chance to quadruple up. If the opponents have a slightly wider range than the one I suggested, you are getting a fine price to call, and given the type of tournament and nature of opponents, that seems like an easy assumption.


Random - You are describing a low stakes turbo tournament. I wouldn’t love making the call in this spot but I’m going to. If I could offer any advice at all, its these 2 things:

  1. At 15BB’s, shove, don’t raise. Its push/fold when that shallow in most spots (i.e. except in the blinds). You must utilize your stack as a weapon and take some pots uncontested in these games to survive.

  2. Don’t play these formats if you aren’t comfortable gambling or would prefer to actually play some poker. These tournaments are super-high variance events, suited for gamblers, not players.

@yiazmat and @JoeDirk - As usual, you both make great points, based in solid poker theory. However, I believe you are overcomplicating things in this situation. There is no “reasonable” in these games. There is barely any poker at all. Even if you double or triple up, the blinds go up so quickly that everyone is almost always in push/fold territory.


thx. great points of u2.
was so busy with the current situation that i forgot to mention about the fact that is was a open shove in the first place, especcialy against these calling stations :grin:.

u2 nice points joe. i think also when assuming this “fish factor” you mentioned they are “reasonable” in their own way assuming they play very low stake. which makes them loose enough to call all these shoves with.


Fold it. Too early and too many players. A-Q is the most likely hand to lose with, per Doyle Brunson.

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Fold!!! AQ is not called the parking lot for nothing.

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I personally think you could make a case for folding pre with AQ suited there, but with 15BB I think its a sigh shove. It really depends on the read/info you got on your opponents and if you have the patience and steel to fold. Folding gets a bit more merit because you get all the info on your opponents no matter your action. With 3 shoves, folding is certainly fine, but calling with AQs only has to be a good call 30% of the time for it to be profitable.

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Thanks everybody for the replies. I don’t play turbo tournaments often, which is why I was asking. In the end I think I will stand by original decision of making the call, but in hindsight I do agree with Warlock and yiazmat that making a preflop shove was probably a better move.

I have another scenario for anyone that is interested.
I was playing a $22 18-player 6-Max MTT SnG, 4 places paid and there are 5 left. Everybody’s stack is about even around 2k-4k chips except for the chip leader who has 14k chips, and he is one seat to my right. Blinds are 150/300 and everybody is playing pretty tight because they don’t want to bubble. I am UTG and in 2nd place chip-wise with about 4k and I raise to 880 with pocket 6s, folds around to chip leader in the BB, who calls. Flop is 4 5 7 rainbow. Chip leader has been playing pretty reasonably, and I have been playing pretty aggressively. I said I could probably make a continuation bet here and take it down–there’s only one overcard on the board and I have an open ended straight draw and there are no flush draws out. I figured he probably didn’t hit the board since he called a pretty big raise pre-flop. I decide to shove and he calls and has 4 7?!? DAMMIT! I didn’t even watch the turn or river but I miss on both. What should I have done here? Was shoving the correct move or maybe a smaller bet would have been better, or even a check? My goal wasn’t to win it, I just wanted to cash, but I was very confident I had the best hand here. But what got me tilted was he called my raise pre-flop with 4 7 off? ugh, you can’t win them all, I suppose.

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Random -

Are you familiar with ICM poker? If not, this is about the most important concept you can incorporate into your tournament play. Here is a link that will explain it better than I ever could but essentially it is explaining the differences between ChipEV and $EV. All chips are not valued equally in tournaments and quite often, the value of the chips you stand to win are worth less than the chips you stand to lose, therefore your decision making cannot be based solely off pot odds :

IMO, I would not have attacked the BB (large stack) with 66 UTG on the bubble. Too many things can go wrong here. What do you do if someone 3-bets you? What do you do you do facing the exact situation you were in (fyi - it isn’t shoving)? Attack shorter stacks where you can apply pressure and/or let the big stack do the heavy lifting.

For anyone playing tournaments, becoming familiar with this model is crucial. It isn’t complicated to get the basics of and once you have the concept locked-in, you should be far more successful navigating the bubble and laddering up once you reach the cash.

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indeed a hard one. utg 5h with 13 BB’s holding 66 is quite difficult, it really feels too weak to shove and to strong to fold. and shortstack also means raising or limping is rarely a good idea either. below 10BB’s i would defenitely have shoved. but i honestly have to say i don’t know which action i would prefer here. i might have leaned towards shoving because of the tight table image.
as played, with this flop i would shove for 100% sure. the problem is that he called with a hand that should have folded. but with almost all hands that should be in his range you are having him crushed. even if you knew what he holded you still got 10 outs (3,6 and 8) and according to the rule of 4 and 2 it means you still got about 40% chance to win right now.

another thing around the bubble is as warlock already mentioned is the ICM, and ICM is the biggest in the bubble stage, which means losing chips count stronger then on any place in the tournament.
the flip side however is that it also means that people know about this (at least they know about the difference of cashing or not) and tighten up (too much) a lot. which means you should play looser instead. so the bubble really a bit double edged. but in general, a big stack allows you to loosen up and a small stack to tighten up.

don’t know if it helps, but i once made an explanation of ICM once in a forum. but my thread is mostly about the math behind, but it can help you understand it by knowing that.

hope this helps.


I really want to know if I made the right move here. I was given trips on the flop and bet light to keep people in. After the river I bet more and someone raised me. I called and he had a higher trips, or in effect a boat with two of mine glory from the river. That person was in front of me but didn’t initiate any bets. I lost.

Here’s my dilema.

I wanted to wish him well with a compliment. Someone else said NH and got a TY right back. I wanted to compliment him with his betting strategy, so I typed ‘nice bs’. Then a debate ensued about saying bull pucky to another player.

Should I have abbreviated bs or spelled it out like I did for nice? What is the Mrs Ettiquette here.

What I’ve seen, and used, when a player has made a good play is to type something like “vnh wp” meaning “very nice hand, well played”. I suggest using that versus an abbreviation for betting strategy that will be misread by many of the USA folks (and others) on the site.

Hope that helps.


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i don’t know if there really is a shortcut for betsize or betting strategy (don’t think there is, or if it is, it isn’t really known well) but as vtpc mentioned you can also say wp (well played). nh is purely the hand itself, for example: if someone played a royal flush and checked it back on the river or something crazy like that it’s horrible played but you can still say nh or vnh since it’s a great hand. while wp can also be said for herocalling ace high on a all-in or something like that. so nh is purely about the hand, and wp is purely about how he played it. of course you could also choose to just say something like n betsize (still a small word :wink:).
hope this helps.

I have a feeling that when some people type “NH” or “NB” or something similar after a particularly strange and bad beat, what they are really thinking is more along these lines:

Added: By “some people” I am of course referring to myself and just hoping I’m not the only one. :wink: