Why does this happen so frequently?

My Death Hand in tonight’s Grey Foals came when I shoved K6s from UTG, at the advice of my 5yo nephew, who one should not rely upon for sound poker advice. I would not normally have made this move, but it was his bedtime and he was too stuck on my game to move out of his seat, so I suicide shoved, and it worked. Lol. FML.


As per usual, I am called by a pocket pair sitting in the last-to-act seat, the BB in this case.

Something I’ve noticed for a while is that when I shove and lose, it is very frequently the last player to act in the hand who will call. I don’t understand why this should be, but time and again, I’ll watch the entire table fold, the last to act take a dramatically long time before they call, and then they destroy me with pocket whatever.

This is not a complaint post about my terrible luck!

Rather, I am curious about this phenomenon. Once in a while, it’s someone in the middle who will call, but (I don’t have accurate data, but it sure feels like 90%+ of the time) very frequently it’s the last person in the hand who ends up beating me.

This could be because last to act preflop is the BB, and the BB is already stuck with some skin in the game. Maybe that’s enough to explain it right there.

But sometimes it’s the limper to my right, someone after the BB.

But then I still have to wonder why it is that so many times I pick a time to shove, it’s when the BB is sitting on a monster.

They don’t always have to hold a monster, either. Sometimes they just get lucky. But they still call.

Obviously in this hand, it was an easy call with a pocket pair and the big stack, my chips weren’t good enough to make him fold, and it was very risky calling from early position anyway. I know all that – again, nephew suicide shove to induce filling a bedtime draw. So I’m not looking for advice, but I’d love to hear an explanation.

It’s always easier to call as the last person to act - you haven’t got to worry about others calling or raising over the top of you. If everybody else folded already then that also makes it easier to call because you know you’ll just be heads up instead of multiway.


Definitely easier to call an all in if you are last to act. You might be willing to risk that amount of chips on the hand, but if other people are in the hand and might continue betting, then you might not want to put your stack at risk on the hand you have. Plus multi-way pots make it easier to lose with a good starting hand. I know I call more all ins if I am last to act and nobody else is in the pot.


@puggywug ,
Yea no need to comment on that suicide shove…
As to people beating you in late posistion… That goes to an age old question on “posistion”…

Some people say its better to bet 1st, while others say better to bet last ( to bet ). It certainly seems “easier” to bet last than to bet 1st, for the simple fact , that player has the most information to base thier decision on.

I believe it was Doyle’s book, perhaps Im wrong, but that said : You need to have XXX hand or better to “open” in 1st posistion (UTG, 1st to act). If this is true , then the later in the betting order it gets, the weaker your hand can be to still “open”, I would agree with.

Its the same reason the SB can abuse the BB if everyone else folds, with almost any 2 cards… you’d never play UTG with those cards and “open”, but you just might if you’re the SB attacking the BB.


Better odds. Lets say you raise to 3BB, then there are now 4 1/2 BB in the pot, and the BB player only has to put in 2BB for a shot at the pot, which is now 6 1/2 BB, so he can double his money.

Of course, they often have the wrong odds, for example calling with 2 2, because the best you can expect is 4th pair on the flop with a 1 in 7 chance of making bottom set, you are a huge dog to any pocket pair, and a small favorite against any other hands that do not include a 2 (which is unlikely).

A long time ago I shoved from the SB against Puggywug with K 6 and he called and I was eliminated in 4th place in a 70 player Hijack tournament. K 6 is a better than average hand in terms of high-card strength in a 1 on 1 situation, but it is a lousy hand to shove from UTG on a 9-player table, because the hands that you beat are unlikely to call.

In this situation, you were going down on the chip count, but still had enough chips left to wait. On the next hand you would have had the BB and if you had limpers but no raisers, you might have shoved with any random hand and won the hand prefop, or post flop with the same stack size and double up potential.

You raise a good point about the five-year old nephew! I have a six-year-old daughter who is often waiting impatiently for me to finish a game so that she can get a drink, a snack, use my computer, etc, so when I get down to the last 2 players in a tournament, I tend to try to shove and get it over quickly. Goodness knows how often bizarre plays by opponents are related to whatever is going on in their homes, like the oven beeping to indicate food is ready, someone coming to the door a phone call, a needy child, the dog needing to go out for a pee, and so on.

One thing I saw in a tournament tonight that is really annoying, is that you are on the final table on the bubble with eight players, seven will get money. The small stack is on the BB, an early player raises, then two other players call the raise, and the BB shoves. This given the BB, who is dead in the water the chance to treble up and get back into the game. Duh! If you are in late position in that situation, you should shove Aces or Kings and fold everything else, not pay to see a flop.

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Well, yes, the thinking is that if you open the pot and get called by one opponent, you want to be the hand starting ahead, so, based on probabilities, the more hands there are to follow you, the greater the chance that someone else has a better starting hand.

Based on this, players in middle or late positions, or in the blinds, know that if a player opens from UTG, then they must have a very strong hand, usually with a hand selected from the top 20 hands.

This being the case, to call that raise you need a hand that you believe is high enough in the range of hands used by the opponent to open from UTG to have at least a 50/50 chance of starting ahead. Remember that no one would want to call a raise with QQ if they knew for a fact that an opponent had KK.

At least this is the ring game theory.

As far as I am concerned, this can all be thrown out of the window in MTTs, because several other factors that come into play including stack sizes, table images, blind size, imminent blind raises, the number of places that pay prize money, and the number of players left, and the stack rankings at the given table, and in some cases at other tables, that may be observed from the lobby. (For example on the bubble, you might want to know if the smallest stacks are on your table or another table, and how many BBs they have left before you raise 3 or 4 BBs with a bluff.)

A golden rule as far as I am concerned is “don’t play a hand if you don’t need to”, unless you are the largest stack at your table, in which case you may want to use a percentage of your stack as a weapon to grind down opponents and swat small stacks that are forced all-in. When small stacks are in the blinds, you can batter them, and then strategically withdraw if they fight back with enough chips to hurt you.

When you are not the large stack, but you need chips to stay competitive, you need to steal blinds. Obviously you would rather have AA every time you try to steal blinds, but realistically this is not possible.

In this hand, I stole the blinds after almost folding preflop. However I was glad I did not fold, as no one else felt like calling.


With this hand I had KJ diamonds, but on a later occasion I was called when raising with 8 6 offsuit, and took down a large pot when a beautiful flop came:


I could be fairly confident that BB did not have AQ or QQ as he would probably have reraised preflop and with any pair of Q on the flop would surely lead out to stop me from drawing to a better hand. It was unlikely that he had an unpaired 2 in his hand, or he would have folded preflop. It was less likely that he had a 6, since 2 of the sixes were already accounted for.

In stack percentage terms this was a fairly big win. If you raise to 3 BB and BB calls, you now have 7 1/2 BB in the pot, which is worth having. Of course, if you miss the flop and BB hits back, you may have to fold, but the profits are very tempting–and necessary for survival. But that gain of 4 1/2 BB can keep you going for another 3 rounds, or 2 rounds if the BB goes up.

You may think this is not good poker, and that you will lose if you do these things. Well, yes, you will, because these tournaments are set up so that within a certain period of time all the players bar one will lose, but the knack of winning prize chips is to try to make lots of other people lose before you do by tricking them into giving away all their chips. You can just sit there are wait for Aces, but mostly you will not get into the winner’s circle that way.

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