So What Do You Think?

https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/623845215

I will be commenting after the lambasting I am sure to get.

What are the ICM considerations? Has the bubble bursted? Average stacks?

Preflop
At 18bb with the ante, SB is within shoving territory. SB should either shove or call. Min-raising will not get folds and puts in more money when BB do decide to shove. Given the great pot odds and a good stack size to limp shove, calling with hands like AA and weakers hands like 87s is fine too.

Facing the min-raise, I would argue 72o is worth calling. With the ante, you are getting great pot odds to play in position. This may change depending on the ICM pressure. Raising 72o is terrible. You are just putting in more chips with a worse hands. Against a shove, you have to fold and against a call, you are way behind.

Flop
The flop is unlikely to have hit either player’s range. Given no one shoved preflop, it’s unlikely either player has a pair, although aces would prefer to slow play over shoving.

The min-raise from seems like a blocker bet. With second pair, a small raise is good for charging draws and worst hands without forcing it to fold. If you have a read on your opponent, I think the raise is fine.

Turn
Your opponent could have played some ace highs this way and now will have top pair. However, given the stack depth, there is no way for you to get away.

I would bet 1/3 pot on the turn to continue to charge draws. A hand like J8 doesn’t quite have the price to continue and you may induce your opponent to shove. By checking, you are letting opponent realize too much free equity.

River
The draws missed, so your opponent either has a draw or an ace. It is unlikely your opponent has a 4 due to the preflop action, except for maybe A4, 43s, or 45s. There are just too many missed draws, so you have to call a river bet.

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This is about half way through the tourney, so I think av stacks were about 6,000.

I don’t like calling preflop there. I was wondering what kinds of hands would min bet there with his stack? It looked pretty weak, so I took a shot. I expected him to jam or fold, the call surprised me.

The min bet on the flop looked like a blocker to me too. I thought I was ahead, so I raised. Again, I was surprised that he called. What hands would just call there?

The ace on the turn didn’t really scare me, any decent ace would have raised more or jammed pre., but I didn’t get anything he had done so far, so who knows? I figured he had something like KJ, QJ, or a small pair,. Maybe I should have bet, but I wanted to see the river first. Yes, this was dangerous. I was confused! I mean, more than I usually am.

I didn’t think the river changed anything. Yeah, he might have had A4s, but his line didn’t add up to me. Min bet/call, min bet/call, check, jam? If I was ahead on the flop, I was probably still ahead, and all the draws missed, I was getting a good price, so easy call.

I thought this was an interesting hand as an exercise in reading your opponent.

This is a pure limp/call at 15BB (either to a 3x BB raise or shove). Shoving this hand is profitable but not the most profitable. Min-raising from the SB is the worst option available but that’s what many players here do. No idea why since you get to play a bigger pot out of position every single time. I guess some people fold for a min raise but that’s also awful.

After the min-raise, I don’t hate a raise/fold with the worst part of your range. You really don’t want to call offsuit 2x hands and there’s a lot of dead money out there. A bluff raise doesn’t need to work that often for it to be profitable. Lead on the flop from SB is terrible and 2nd pair is more than enough to get it in with. Can’t fold that much equity vs what should be a ton of unpaired high-cards.

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I should have mentioned that this was a 7.5k regional. A lot of the people who play those are trying to ladder the leaderboard, which is kinda why I thought a preflop raise would get a fold more often.

The turn was the most interesting point to me. I didn’t think he had many aces, but there were a few hands he could have that beat me. 88,99, JT, QT were possible.

Still, I felt I was ahead on the flop because he didn’t shove over my raise.

I get that it’s correct to bet the turn, and I usually would have. I thought he was 100% calling or shoving any bet I made. I didn’t expect him to have a combo draw, so took the risk and let him see a card. And yes, I was folding to any J, Q, or K. Was this a mistake, meh, maybe.

No lambasting from here. Its nice to see people fighting for pots instead of passively hoping to make the best hand at showdown.

Put pressure on people who are trying to protect their tournament life and/or get leaderboard points. This is the biggest unexploited edge I saw consistently here. Those leaderboards provide a different incentive structure for people chasing points than for those playing the tournaments purely for the payouts of that 1 event. The opportunities for exploits are even bigger in the SnG’s where you had a greater % of the field looking for points.

FYI - there was no need to bet the turn with a marginal hand. Once you had that pair, you should be looking to pot control and get to showdown. If villain bet/shoved river on a particularly horrible card I could find a reluctant fold (people don’t bluff enough rivers). When he shoved the 4, its an easy call IMO. The only hands he’d bet for value that took this line are A4s that wanted to trap and maybe some slow played AA. You’d think TT would rejam preflop or open jam. Maybe the odd AT that didn’t 3! the flop? So, there are very few combinations of value hands he should bet and he’d need to bluff all Q-high or less unpaired hands.

ADDED: I would have liked a slightly larger raise preflop to put villains stack in an inflection point. I’d want his decision to be fold or shove with this part of my raising range. I’d want the hand to end one way or another without a flop.

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Well OK, if not a lambasting, I was at least expecting a good drubbing.

As far as preflop sizing, I dunno. I tend to use the smallest amount that will get the job done, and I thought that was the right amount. He raised 300, I re-raised 900, which is usually enough.

There’s also a “big picture” aspect to this particular hand. We started with 109 players, and 53 had been eliminated so far, so I was about to change from my early game strategy to my mid game strategy, and wanted to plant the seed that I was playing/raising literally any 2 cards. This was almost the ideal situation to do that, so I did want to show the 72o one way or the other.

Switching from loose to tight creates a transition where people think you are still playing loose when you are actually playing tight. These transitions are the most profitable spots, and I like my range changes to be “sharp” and well defined.

I was also about to switch from high aggro/high variance to a more passive/preservation approach. I like these transitions to be more “fuzzy,” so I was backing off the aggro a little. The idea is to show myself playing marginal hands in a low aggro way so I can play strong hands the same way from then on.

I also modify all this by my relative stack. When ahead of the average stack, I dial it back a little, which mitigates variance, and when below the average stack, I crank it up and accept more variance in order to stay competitive.

Anyway, the point is that I decided to play that hand, and play it that way, in the context of an overall strategy. When he called the flop, I wasn’t sure where I was, my head was saying one thing and my gut was saying something else. In the end, I felt I was ahead and went with it. Win or lose, I would have accomplished my “big picture” goals.