Just a cooler? (1 Viewer)

TheOffalo

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I'm 7th or 8th out of 10 players remaining in a tournament that had 40+ entries on PokerStars. Pays 9 places, so game is proceeding hand-for-hand until the bubble pops. Blinds are 200/400, and I'm CO w/KK. Folds to me, and I raise to 1200, folds to SB, who reraises to ~3k. I shove for ~11k more and he snap calls w/AJo.

I think I'm ~70% favorite preflop? No Ace or straight draws on the flop, I'm further ahead now (can't remember %), but then he gets an Ace on the Turn. No King for me on the River, and I'm out on the bubble.

I can't fold KK to a re-raise just because I'm on the bubble, right? I more than tripled his 3-bet w/my shove, so it’s not like I was short stacked and he was automatically priced in to call. But he still #%$! called me with AJo. (Though he was big stack w/close to 50k in chips...)

Is there any case to be made for just calling his reraise, then when no Ace came on the flop I shove. Since he didn't catch anything on the flop, might he have folded? (Knowing this player slightly, probably not.)

So did I play this badly, or was this just a cooler?
 

TheOffalo

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No, well played.

As far as I can tell this is not a satelite and if we're not talking about lifechanging money for a min cash you play to win.
You're pretty low in chips and you want to be in a better position going to the final table. Bad beat, move on.
Thanks, yeah I was at ~30 BB before my raise preflop, and it's not life changing money. Just a bummer to have played for several hours and get as close to being in the money as possible and missing. Oh well.

Can't fold KK, well played.
Thanks for the confirmation! I was fairly confident I played it right (or at least didn't play it wrong). I try not to be results oriented, but this hand is sticking in my craw. Not sure why.
 

TheOffalo

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I was just thinking about this and if the cards were reversed, I would have raised 3x w/AJo but most likely would have folded to a 3-bet that would have put me all-in, and waited for another chance w/my remaining ~27 BB.

Was his play okay too? Maybe I'm upset that he made what I thought was a bad call and got rewarded for it, but maybe he also played it how he should have too.
 

ktran

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I was just thinking about this and if the cards were reversed, I would have raised 3x w/AJo but most likely would have folded to a 3-bet that would have put me all-in, and waited for another chance w/my remaining ~27 BB.

Was his play okay too? Maybe I'm upset that he made what I thought was a bad call and got rewarded for it, but maybe he also played it how he should have too.
Yeah I wouldn't have called AJo with 27.5 BB left. After you shoved, your hand range is pretty narrow. Loose call, but hey that's how some people play and it'll catch up to them in the long run. Not sure what he was thinking or not thinking. I don't consider AJo a snap call (at least a minute and said F it. Low pairs are ruled out in what I believe is optimal thinking. Only thing he was beating was 10's and under and A10 and those would be considered very loose.
 

ktran

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I'm 7th or 8th out of 10 players remaining in a tournament that had 40+ entries on PokerStars. Pays 9 places, so game is proceeding hand-for-hand until the bubble pops. Blinds are 200/400, and I'm CO w/KK. Folds to me, and I raise to 1200, folds to SB, who reraises to ~3k. I shove for ~11k more and he snap calls w/AJo.

I think I'm ~70% favorite preflop? No Ace or straight draws on the flop, I'm further ahead now (can't remember %), but then he gets an Ace on the Turn. No King for me on the River, and I'm out on the bubble.

I can't fold KK to a re-raise just because I'm on the bubble, right? I more than tripled his 3-bet w/my shove, so it’s not like I was short stacked and he was automatically priced in to call. But he still #%$! called me with AJo. (Though he was big stack w/close to 50k in chips...)

Is there any case to be made for just calling his reraise, then when no Ace came on the flop I shove. Since he didn't catch anything on the flop, might he have folded? (Knowing this player slightly, probably not.)

So did I play this badly, or was this just a cooler?
You were in Vegas playing PokerStars?
 

TheOffalo

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You were in Vegas playing PokerStars?
No, play-money on PokerStars but we exchange real-money privately. This was a $50 buy-in and 9th paid $50. So my thought was, like @OfficerLovejoy said, I needed to play to win (especially w/KK) not just wait for bubble to pop while I get blinded down to 9th or 10th stack and only min cash (or possibly still bust on the bubble even if I folded this hand).
 

ktran

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No, play-money on PokerStars but we exchange real-money privately. This was a $50 buy-in and 9th paid $50. So my thought was, like @OfficerLovejoy said, I needed to play to win (especially w/KK) not just wait for bubble to pop while I get blinded down to 9th or 10th stack and only min cash (or possibly still bust on the bubble even if I folded this hand).
Oh I've only had short experiences Home Games on PokerStars. Seems rigged for action in my short experience. And doesn't it take rake in the play money?

I've had success on it, but I adjust to playing just a bit tighter. It seems like there will be big hands against each other kind of more frequently. I've seen monster hands against each other and I'd know when to fold since it seemed to be happening more than usual. Yeah I get it's faster online, but even then it seemed a bit more than it should.
 

TheOffalo

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Oh I've only had short experiences Home Games on PokerStars. Seems rigged for action in my short experience. And doesn't it take rake in the play money?

I've had success on it, but I adjust to playing just a bit tighter. It seems like there will be big hands against each other kind of more frequently. I've seen monster hands against each other and I'd know when to fold.
No real rake for tournaments, but have to pay entry fees with play-money, so have to click that Free Chips button (or win some chips) to fund the entries in PokerStars.

But we set our own real-money buy-ins, bounties, etc. separately outside of PS, no rake either, and rotating hosts handle the collecting and paying out.
 

chkyrslf

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No, well played.

As far as I can tell this is not a satelite and if we're not talking about lifechanging money for a min cash you play to win.
You're pretty low in chips and you want to be in a better position going to the final table. Bad beat, move on.

Yep, unless you're the big big stack and taking ICM into consideration on the bubble when there's BIG $$$ on the line (WSOP), getting it all-in with KK is worthwhile. Then when he doesn't have AA even better.

The thing about 70%/30% equities, is that 30% isn't zero ;)
 

CrazyEddie

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Was his play okay too? Maybe I'm upset that he made what I thought was a bad call and got rewarded for it, but maybe he also played it how he should have too.
Worth noting that there's plenty of situations where the right move for both players is to stay in the hand - and would be even if the cards were face-up. It's all about the odds and the dead money.
 

grebe

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I was just thinking about this and if the cards were reversed, I would have raised 3x w/AJo but most likely would have folded to a 3-bet that would have put me all-in, and waited for another chance w/my remaining ~27 BB.

Was his play okay too? Maybe I'm upset that he made what I thought was a bad call and got rewarded for it, but maybe he also played it how he should have too.
A couple notes:
-raising 3X when you only have 30 BB's or less is generally too big. It's definitely a spot where regular tournament players can exploit less experienced players. It can lead to problems like sizing tells, being forced to play too tight, getting the money in when you are in bad shape, not getting enough action on your good hands. Of course, if you are not worried about sizing tells...like the game is just full of monkeys that are going to call you anyways, bomb's away.

-His play on the surface seems pretty bad, TBH. He might have had a reason for it we are not privy to based on limited knowledge. Was he the huge chip leader? Was it one table of 10, or two tables of 5? AJo in full ring is not good at all, but is damn near a monster in 5 handed. Had you been playing aggressively lately? Maybe he had your range wider than it actually was. More info on what he was doing might be helpful.

-If you were playing short handed, I don't hate his play.
 

Senzrock

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Standard play, not even a cooler, just bad play by villain once you jam. I like his 3bet but once you come over the top he needs to let his hand go.

The only time to slow play/fold KK in this spot is if it is on the bubble of a satellite. So for example, if 9th place is a seat into the Main Event, but 10th place is $0, you can actually raise/fold KK in this spot profitably. In a $50 tourney with friends, always go for the win and get it in with KK. Good to really internalize this though because a mindset change can really help your game if you are still wondering about folding KK ever.
 

upNdown

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I don’t think you did anything wrong here, but I’ll go against the grain a bit and say I’m also fine with flatting the KK to his 3-bet here. It’s not quite that we’re on the bubble as much as it’s because we’re playing two five-handed tables. I want to survive to make that final table, just because personally, I know I can ladder up at a full final table. In my experience, people just make a lot of mistakes at final tables and when you’ve got a full final table, there’s plenty of time to sit back and wait for those mistakes.
If you’re one of those guys who’s only interested in “playing for the win” feel free to disregard this, because of course it’s impossible to win at a final table with only 20 big blinds. \s
But if I do flat the 3-bet, I’m jamming any non-ace flop, and I feel like this big-stack dipshit might be calling anyway, so the result could be the same.
 

Senzrock

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just because personally, I know I can ladder up at a full final table
What does this mean? Honest question. You "know" you can ladder up? How? You don't know if you will get lucky/unlucky just like everyone else right?
 

upNdown

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What does this mean? Honest question. You "know" you can ladder up? How? You don't know if you will get lucky/unlucky just like everyone else right?
It's just been my experience. Of course anything can happen. And I did say "personally" - this advice isn't for everybody.

Edit: Anyway, I think it's important to explore another option. This guy came here looking for honest advice, and if everybody tells him there was no other way to play the hand, I'm not sure that's much of a conversation.
 

JMC9389

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Sucka dealer.

I wouldn't have played it any differently. That's a snap 4 bet all in to a three bet. In the absence of any ICM implications or other considerations, exactly how you played it is standard and you got sucked out on. It happens and I've been on both sides of it.
 

ekricket

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What does this mean? Honest question. You "know" you can ladder up? How? You don't know if you will get lucky/unlucky just like everyone else right?
Typically - in a home game setup or online even, there are a few players who just squeaked in to the final table and they are short stacked. The majority take a “fuck it, I’m in the money” and will call with any hand total above 10 and sometimes even shove blind. Those are mistakes you can capitalize on.
Big stacks will start seeing more flops - because they can - and this is another opportunity. They will often try to overpower weak flops even if they only have over cards. This is a mistake you can capitalize on
There’s a few more - tournament related.
 

upNdown

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Sucka dealer.

I wouldn't have played it any differently. That's a snap 4 bet all in to a three bet. In the absence of any ICM implications or other considerations, exactly how you played it is standard and you got sucked out on. It happens and I've been on both sides of it.
Yes, 100%
Except there isn't an absence of any ICM implications or other considerations.
1) They're on the money bubble.
2) You're at a 5-handed table until somebody else gets knocked out
3) I haven't heard the stack sizes of everybody who's still alive.

I'm not sure how much these implications and considerations should affect the decision, but as I've said above, I think it's worth discussing.
 

Senzrock

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Typically - in a home game setup or online even, there are a few players who just squeaked in to the final table and they are short stacked. The majority take a “fuck it, I’m in the money” and will call with any hand total above 10 and sometimes even shove blind. Those are mistakes you can capitalize on.
Big stacks will start seeing more flops - because they can - and this is another opportunity. They will often try to overpower weak flops even if they only have over cards. This is a mistake you can capitalize on
There’s a few more - tournament related.
I understand the "logic" of course but I just wanted to note that this thinking is very unscientific (for lack of a better word) and I would urge us to not think in these terms. If there are several short stacks about the bust and a min cash is meaningful to us, then let's just say that. Better to articulate something precise so that we can examine our thought process vs relying on more vague concepts like "I know I can ladder up" - because these statements don't actually mean anything. "I know I can ladder up" but I get dealt AA on the first hand of the FT and lose to 22 when he flops a 2. I'm just pointing out that we should have a more focused strategy.
 

Senzrock

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I hear what you're saying, and I promise I'm not just arguing for the sake of argument, but really, is this any more scientific than what I said?
I think this thread raises some interesting questions that a lot of newer players struggle with to be honest, that's why I think it is useful to engage. Never just something for the sake of argument. So yes, as you said, there is actually ICM involved, but not all ICM is the same right? We have to always ask ourselves, is a min cash in this specific tournament important to us? If so why/why not? Is it the money threshold, it is getting points in some year-long format, what is it about this ICM spot that is important to us. If a player is not impacted by a $50 tournament financially, and they truly do not care about the money, then it makes our overall strategy much clearer right? We can't fold the 2nd best hand in all of poker or AND we shouldn't (imo) be doing anything less than trying to get *as many* chips as possible into the pot pre-flop as we can. It sounds like you actually have a different assessment though, which is totally valid, but still needs to be examined. That's all I'm saying. By examining our underlying motives (deeper held beliefs that our mind reaches for as a default), we can understand how we develop our individual in game strategy (and hopefully we can also use that understanding to get better over time!).
 

grebe

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I hear what you're saying, and I promise I'm not just arguing for the sake of argument, but really, is this any more scientific than what I said?

The question is this: how much do you need to win to make how you play work out for you? Are you looking to maximize your equity? If so, you need to win some tournaments to offset when you go broke. Is it a situation where you play that ONE big tournament in a year? If so, doubling your money would be a huge win. Is it a small buyin for a massive payday? Like a $5 tournament with 1K at the top, but min cash is $6.

A tournament amongst friends is probably somewhere in the middle of all this...bubble boy is going to get some ribbing, but you can still win a few hundred if you take it down. Bubbles hurt, no joke there. But I think going out when you get it in good is always going to be ok....except in the extreme example of like a WSOP event where the money REALLY matters. Then I think it's understandable to fold past the bubble with any two cards...including KK.
 

upNdown

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I think this thread raises some interesting questions that a lot of newer players struggle with to be honest, that's why I think it is useful to engage. Never just something for the sake of argument. So yes, as you said, there is actually ICM involved, but not all ICM is the same right? We have to always ask ourselves, is a min cash in this specific tournament important to us? If so why/why not? Is it the money threshold, it is getting points in some year-long format, what is it about this ICM spot that is important to us. If a player is not impacted by a $50 tournament financially, and they truly do not care about the money, then it makes our overall strategy much clearer right? We can't fold the 2nd best hand in all of poker or AND we shouldn't (imo) be doing anything less than trying to get *as many* chips as possible into the pot pre-flop as we can. It sounds like you actually have a different assessment though, which is totally valid, but still needs to be examined. That's all I'm saying. By examining our underlying motives (deeper held beliefs that our mind reaches for as a default), we can understand how we develop our individual in game strategy (and hopefully we can also use that understanding to get better over time!).
All correct.
And no, personally, I don’t think I would have done any differently - I think I would have 4-bet jammed too. I’m just saying I wouldn’t argue with flatting to see a flop, in this particular position.
 

TheOffalo

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Thank you all for the various comments/feedback. To answer some questions:

  • Yes, two 5-person tables, not one 10-person table.
  • 3X raise pre is pretty standard in this game, primarily because PokerStars has a default "3 BB" raise button. (Likewise 1/2 Pot bets post-flop are pretty popular because of that default bet button.)
  • Villain is fairly aggressive; opening and even 3-betting ranges seem pretty wide.
  • Villain was top stack with ~50k in chips. I was 8th with ~12k in chips. Don't remember the stacks above me, but below me, 9th was maybe ~10k and 10th was down to ~5k.
  • Min cash was $50, 1st Place was ~$500. This is not counting bounties, which was worth $10/KO.
So even though I could have tried to wait for 10th w/5k to bust out, he (at the other table, if it matters) could have easily doubled/tripled-up and then been ahead of me, so I decided to "play to win" and be aggressive.

I did stick with a 3 BB raise pre, per the first point above, and to avoid sizing tells. When Villain reraised, based on the 2nd point I decided to shove rather than flat because I wanted him to have to consider his decision to call if he had a small pocket pair, Ace-rag, or even ATo/AJo. Instead he made a snap call and snapped off my kings...

(Villain may have already had 5 KOs so he could have considered the tournament a free roll at that point…)

Popular opinion is that I played it right, which I appreciate. I do also appreciate @upNdown's take, which I had thought of too, that perhaps I should have considered that he might call wide to take down a bounty, or that he was "only" risking a quarter of his stack, and instead just flatted with the plan to shove on any non-Ace board (not quite a stop-and-go).
 
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grebe

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Thank you all for the various comments/feedback. To answer some questions:

  • Yes, two 5-person tables, not one 10-person table.
  • 3X raise pre is pretty standard in this game, primarily because PokerStars has a default "3 BB" raise button. (Likewise 1/2 Pot bets post-flop are pretty popular because of that default bet button.)
  • Villain is fairly aggressive; opening and even 3-betting ranges seem pretty wide.
  • Villain was top stack with ~50k in chips. I was 8th with ~12k in chips. Don't remember the stacks above me, but below me, 9th was maybe ~10k and 10th was down to ~5k.
  • Min cash was $50, 1st Place was ~$500. This is not counting bounties, which was worth $10/KO.
So even though I could have tried to wait for 10th w/5k to bust out, he (at the other table, if it matters) could have easily doubled/tripled-up and then been ahead of me, so I decided to "play to win" and be aggressive.

I did stick with a 3 BB raise pre, per the first point above, and to avoid sizing tells. When Villain reraised, based on the 2nd point I decided to shove rather than flat because I wanted him to have to consider his decision to call if he had a small pocket pair, Ace-rag, or even ATo/AJo. Instead he made a snap call and snapped off my kings...

(Villain may have already had 5 KOs so he could have considered the tournament a free roll at that point…)

Popular opinion is that I played it right, which I appreciate. I do also appreciate @upNdown's take, which I had thought of too, that perhaps I should have considered that he might call wide to take down a bounty, or that he was "only" risking a quarter of his stack, and instead just flatted with the plan to shove on any non-Ace board (not quite a stop-and-go).
All this being said, jamming with KK here is the right play and not even close.

Calling off with AJo is not nearly as bad as it would be in full ring, either.
 

chkyrslf

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Standard play, not even a cooler, just bad play by villain once you jam. I like his 3bet but once you come over the top he needs to let his hand go.

Agree with @Senzrock here. This isn't even a cooler by definition (a strong hand played correctly, beaten by an even stronger hand).

Villain did not have a stronger hand, made a -EV call, and hit his 30% equity that time.

Sucks it happened that time, but keep playing your 70% equities and you'll be just fine :)
 
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