PAHWM: Tournament Money Bubble (1 Viewer)

Legend5555

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Low stakes online tournament on Fox Poker.
8 players left.
Top 6 cash.

Going to be using bb notation instead of actual amounts. There is a 10% of the BB ante per player.

The villain is playing far too loose pre. And has a tendency to just hit the pot button when betting. The chip leader is playing fairly aggressively, almost recklessly so in some spots, but has been getting away with it. The middle stacks and small stacks are playing unbelievably tight. I'm pretty sure the short stacks are way overfolding.

SB: 4.9bb
BB: 28bb
UTG: 34.5bb (Hero)
UTG+1: 36.8bb (Villain)
UTG+2: 6.4bb
HJ: 14bb
CO: 24.7bb
BTN: 38.4bb

HERO :ad::kc: raises to 2bb
VILLAIN calls
Folds around
BB calls

Pot: 7.3bb
Flop: :ks::9d::5c:

BB checks

Hero?
 
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trever

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Were you hoping to induce a 3-bet from someone when you min-raised preflop, or do you always raise so small? I can see how this might setup a squeeze play with multiple short stacks and a loose villain behind you.

On the flop, bet 4bb.
 

Frogzilla

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Check for pot control is fine especially if you’ve been playing most flops that way (a big active stack to your left with intense ICM pressure is never fun). Also don’t mind a cbet with TPTK and if so I’d go small, 30% pot.

Based on your description of the Villains play style I’m happy to get stacks in on the flop and most turns if that’s what it comes to, ICM be damned
 

Legend5555

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Were you hoping to induce a 3-bet from someone when you min-raised preflop, or do you always raise so small? I can see how this might setup a squeeze play with multiple short stacks and a loose villain behind you.

On the flop, bet 4bb.
My standard raise is 2.5bb at ~60-100bb in tournaments. It goes down as stacks get shallower and/or if people are playing overly tight.
 

DrStrange

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I am not much of a tournament player. Take my opinions with that in mind.

I encourage Hero's to allow discussion at each decision point in the hand. For example, I expect almost no one is going to recommend a 1bb raise from UTG. Was it the right play? Who knows? But it is a fateful decision that colors the rest of the hand.

Let's note each player is paying 2.3 bb / per orbit. Two players have an "M" less than two and should be in panic mode. That doesn't mean they will treat the situation as dire. Who knows, maybe they can fold their way to a 6th place cash?

Preflop: The min-raise seems misguided. Maybe it is a fancy play? one bb into a 2.3bb pot from bad position seems too small. Is this a bubble related play?

Flop: Perhaps there is merit to a check/call line hoping to trap the hyper aggressive villain. Normally, flopping TP/TK Hero would c-bet. Whatever his standard c-bet is. The preflop action created a mid to low SPR - something like 4 to 5. This is normally a good place for Hero's sort of hand.
 

skylines

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i like the pf raise. dry board, i'd bet like 2.5bb. not trying to play a huge pot with some of the bigger stacks. Worse kings and 9s and some gutters can continue, and hopefully we can get it down to heads up.
 

upNdown

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I would have either raised bigger preflop or folded. Seems stupid to fold AK pre, but when you’re way the eff out of position and you’re one of 3 big stacks, and there are two stacks that are just about all done, and you’re two away from cashing, you don’t NEED to get involved.

As played, I’m leading out for a pot sized bet here. I’m either gonna take it down now or I’m gonna eff off. I’m not getting into 3 streets of betting with another big stack, when I’m on the bubble. But I’m ahead right now - no reason to give anybody an excuse to try to catch up.
 

Moxie Mike

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I encourage Hero's to allow discussion at each decision point in the hand. For example, I expect almost no one is going to recommend a 1bb raise from UTG. Was it the right play? Who knows? But it is a fateful decision that colors the rest of the hand.

Preflop: The min-raise seems misguided. Maybe it is a fancy play? one bb into a 2.3bb pot from bad position seems too small. Is this a bubble related play?

This (preflop min-raising) has been a trend in tournament poker when the tournament gets to where the average stack is around ~20BBs. No one wants to commit a lot of chips preflop since getting jammed on by a shorter stack more or less commits you. Holding AK or another ultra-premium hand and it's not that big of a deal... you're happy to get it in. But AJ, KQ, 88, etc... and all of a sudden you're in a very marginal spot for a big chunk or all of your stack. FWIW it's worth I'm not a fan of this and rarely min-raise preflop unless it's at the very end where there's <100 BBs on the table total.

HERO :ad::kc: raises to 2bb
VILLAIN calls
Folds around
BB calls

Pot: 7.3bb
Flop: :ks::9d::5c:

BB checks

Hero?

Interesting spot. Top/Top on a dry board against two opponents... one can bust you the other can cripple you. And since the BB was going to check ANY flop, you're essentially OOP against both opponents.

Normally I'd advocate a bet here... but based SPECIFICALLY on your read of the player on your left, I'm checking here to 1) trap with what is almost certainly the best hand; 2) exercise pot control; and 3) see how your opponents react.

I anticipate a bet from the Villain. If he is lazily mashing the 'Bet Pot' button, depending on what the BB does I might consider a C/R jam. If he makes a more reasonable bet, perhaps calling down would be a better line. If the BB comes along for the ride, that creates a whole different scenario though. The BB was laid a very nice price to take a flop and close the action... hence the problem with min-raising preflop. The BB's calling range in this spot should be pretty wide, and could have connected with this flop in an unconventional way.
 

Legend5555

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Do people want my Hero reasoning step by step after each decision point, or as a long post at the hand conclusion? Or none at all?
 

Legend5555

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About to leave work so let's continue.

As I started earlier, I am a proponent of small raises sizes in tournaments. And as @Moxie Mike said, you can get into some annoying spots by raising too large. If you are going to raise small with some opens, then you need to do it with the really good ones too. I don't generally do straight min raise, but the difference between it and my standard of 2.2-2.3 is basically irrelevant in the eyes of low buy in tourney players. And I'd been getting steals through on the min raise during final table bubble. So I just stuck with it. But in general I think raising more than 2.5x on stacks sub 100bb in tournaments is a mistake unless you know the players REALLY well.

I play both cash and tourney, and it's always interesting to see how people that are used to live cash games react to tournament bet sizing. In tournaments, I think protecting your stack is more important than extracting max value (within reason). The majority of the edge comes post flop, so keeping SPR high is valuable. It does mean we will see way more defends from the BB, but it also means as the raiser that we win more small pots as the defending ranges are so wide.

Anyway, onward...

Start of hand stacks:
BB: 28bb
UTG: 34.5bb (Hero)
UTG+1: 36.8bb (Villain)

HERO :ad::kc: raises to 2bb
VILLAIN calls
Folds around
BB calls

Pot: 7.3bb
Flop: :ks::9d::5c:

BB checks
HERO bets 2.5bb
VILLAIN calls
BB folds

Pot: 12.3bb
Eff stack: 30bb
Turn: :ks: :9d::5c::3h:

HERO?

Edit: folding pre is NOT an option. It may be the bubble, but you can't just pass on strong hands out of fear. If the big stacks 3 bet you, then you can play defense. But they don't really have incentive to because they don't want to be crippled either. And sometimes, you certainly can play big pots as 1 and 2 in chips if the player tendencies are right.
 
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Eriks

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I like pre and flop actions.

Villain should have a fairly small range when flatting pre off of these effective stacks and with several potential shoving stacks behind. Mid pocket pairs, some broadways. We’re basically only scared of 99 so I would bet small again to get calls from 77-88, possibly TT, KQ, maybe KJ/KT. Bet around 4bbs imo
 

upNdown

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I’m playing a sad weak protect my stack game for the rest of this hand. I’m checking and probably folding to anything but the tiniest bet. This board is dry AF and I’m almost certainly ahead. But he could have literally any two cards, and he could felt me. That’s an ICM disaster that I’m not interested in.
CHECK
 

Moxie Mike

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Pot: 12.3bb
Eff stack: 30bb
Turn: :ks: :9d::5c::3h:

HERO?

So the real question is HERO willing to go broke here? Villain's range is pretty wide as described... maybe he came in with K-rag suited and hit the flop but hopefully not two-pair? Does he get married to top-pair-type hands? Could he stack off with KQ or KJ here? Obviously he could have a set as well and would probably play it as he has.

If HERO is unwilling to go broke and wants to stay in the game as long as possible, then a line that gets HERO to showdown as cheaply as possible should be the goal. If HERO thinks a pot size bet is coming if you check, then HERO is probably going to be facing an all-in bet on the river anyhow.

Checking is probably the best line, since it could induce bets from inferior hands and possibly keeps HERO in the tournament if the hand goes to showdown and HERO loses. A bet for value isn't a bad play either... but HERO will find himself in a tough spot if he faces a raise.
 

Eriks

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I think it would interesting to know what ”far too loose pre” means. Does he call a bunch of raises, raise too much, limp? Unless he’s bad he should not have a wide calling range from utg+2 here
 

johnnyesper

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This (preflop min-raising) has been a trend in tournament poker when the tournament gets to where the average stack is around ~20BBs. No one wants to commit a lot of chips preflop since getting jammed on by a shorter stack more or less commits you. Holding AK or another ultra-premium hand and it's not that big of a

I have noticed this trend as well. The explanation from the pros that advocate this move is to keep the SPR high enough to maneuver later streets. In this case its about 4 with TPTK. If you have confidence in your post flop game, then its encouraged to min raise more. Im curious to see what others think of this.
 

Legend5555

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I think it would interesting to know what ”far too loose pre” means. Does he call a bunch of raises, raise too much, limp? Unless he’s bad he should not have a wide calling range from utg+2 here
Calls too often. But has not shown up with total garbage that would be weird 2 pairs here that hero has seen.
 

Legend5555

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Going to save analysis for end of the turn action...

Onward...

Start of hand stacks:
BB: 28bb
UTG: 34.5bb (Hero)
UTG+1: 36.8bb (Villain)

HERO :ad::kc: raises to 2bb
VILLAIN calls
Folds around
BB calls

Pot: 7.3bb
Flop: :ks::9d::5c:

BB checks
HERO bets 2.5bb
VILLAIN calls
BB folds

Pot: 12.3bb
Eff stack: 30bb
Turn: :ks: :9d::5c::3h:

HERO checks
VILLAIN snap pots for 12.3bb

HERO?
 

upNdown

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I think you’re probably still ahead.
FOLD
You can jam on him if you don’t want to get pushed around. But you certainly can’t call.
 

JustinInMN

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So I am good with the hand so far. I probably prefer 2.5x-3x pre, but the 2x sizing is fine so long as it's consistent.

I like the bet on the flop. I actually think this flop is generally good for hero's range. I think Aq and maybe AJ are the only misses here. I am fine continuing in comfort with AA, KK, QQ, and JJ here usually.

Snap donking pot on the turn? This feels bluffy to me or a medium strength hand he's suddenly decided to try and win now. I think calling makes sense here. You could ship it if you think villian is glued to Kq or KJ here. Villian can have all sorts of kx here, imo. Otherwise he could have a flopped set, other than that, nothing makes a ton of sense that hero trails.

I am between a call or a shove here.
 

Frogzilla

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Kind of forced to call this high up in our range, but beating so little of villains bet/call range. Anything else is pretty terrible

The tougher decision was to lead or check turn...I don’t hate the check but I’d rather go 50% pot with such a brick
 

skylines

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I think I would have liked a 4bb blocker bet on turn. Realistic value hands for V from his POV are 99, 55, mayyybe 33, KQ/KJ/K10 maybe suited K9 but just one combo of that. A lot of bluffs/semi bluffs in his range. QJ/J10/Q10. Maybe trying to turn a pair of 9s into a bluff. Maybe 67 suited peeled and picked up another straight out.

probably nitty to fold, but maybe not the worst plan since you’re probably getting it all in if you continue. I’d think the best play is to call and check back any river to let him continue with bluffs or overvalued Kings. If another broadway card comes off maybe you can fold and try to catch a double up later. Otherwise call it off.

If I had any player dependent reads I’d try to find a fold I think but absent that I’m likely calling down.
 

Moxie Mike

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I kind of figured this is the line you'd take and quite frankly you have too much hand to fold.

I'm C/R jamming here based on the read. If Villain held a set or two pair would he really bet the whole pot? From the villain's perspective, there's just not a lot of scary river cards if you think you're ahead on the turn. Seems unlikely you're behind in this spot with Top/Top... you checked to induce a bluff and got it. Punish him accordingly.

In my experience, flatting will get you to showdown cheaply only if you're ahead at the moment. He'll likely check back weaker top-pair hands, etc. and jam with sets and other hands you're losing to. So you might as well get it in now and hope you're not drawing dead.

It's worth noting that In a low stakes game, I don't take ICM considerations very seriously... so I'm trying to make the play that gives me the best chance to win the tournament. If your philosophy differs, then ignore this post.
 

Legend5555

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The finale...

So while I do tend toward playing GTO, I very much started out as a feel player. Having seen the villain play for a bit, I decided that I was never going to fold this almost regardless of the action. I do consider ICM when making decisions, but I'd be lying if I said the size of the stakes made no difference. And this was small potatoes. But more importantly, I don't think you should pass up on good spots that might put you in a commanding lead, as that can be even more lucrative than laddering up.

All that said, I decided if the turn came a non straight card, I was going to check to induce. Often people at lower stakes interpret small bets as week and just can't help but pounce when given a chance. Plus many people at lower stakes play way splashier and aren't afraid to just get it in with just TP. This player gave me that vibe after playing with them for a bit. I figured they would think TP was good after small c-bet/check line.

Start of hand stacks:
BB: 28bb
UTG: 34.5bb (Hero)
UTG+1: 36.8bb (Villain)

HERO :ad::kc: raises to 2bb
VILLAIN calls
Folds around
BB calls

Pot: 7.3bb
Flop: :ks::9d::5c:

BB checks
HERO bets 2.5bb
VILLAIN calls
BB folds

Pot: 12.3bb
Eff stack: 30bb
Turn: :ks: :9d::5c::3h:

HERO checks
VILLAIN snap pots for 12.3bb
HERO jams
VILLAIN snap calls with :ah::9h:
River bricks

HERO doubles up to over 70bb.

There is merit to just calling and letting them barrel off. But given the remaining stack size, I actually didn't think the opponent would 100% jam river. If I call, they might just find a shutdown with all non-K, non-set hands. So I decided to just jam and hope to get looked up by worse Ks or straight draws that the opponent felt "priced in" with. I know that sounds ridiculous, but at low stakes many people just try to ride the luck wave.

I'll have another hand from this same final table later today.
 
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skylines

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The finale...

So while I do tend toward playing GTO, I very much started out as a feel player. Having seen the villain play for a bit, I decided that I was never going to fold this almost regardless of the action. I do consider ICM when making decisions, but I'd be lying if I said the size of the stakes made no difference. And this was small potatoes. But more importantly, I don't think you should pass up on good spots that might put you in a commanding lead, as that can be even more lucrative than laddering up.

All that said, I decided if the turn came a non straight card, I was going to check to induce. Often people at lower stakes interpret small bets as week and just can't help but pounce when given a chance. Plus many people at lower stakes play way splashier and aren't afraid to just get it in with just TP. This player gave me that vibe after playing with them for a bit. I figured they would think TP was good after small c-bet/check line.

Start of hand stacks:
BB: 28bb
UTG: 34.5bb (Hero)
UTG+1: 36.8bb (Villain)

HERO :ad::kc: raises to 2bb
VILLAIN calls
Folds around
BB calls

Pot: 7.3bb
Flop: :ks::9d::5c:

BB checks
HERO bets 2.5bb
VILLAIN calls
BB folds

Pot: 12.3bb
Eff stack: 30bb
Turn: :ks: :9d::5c::3h:

HERO checks
VILLAIN snap pots for 12.3bb
HERO jams
VILLAIN snap calls with :ah::9h:
River bricks

HERO doubles up to over 70bb.

There is merit to just calling and letting them barrel off. But given the remaining stack size, I actually didn't think the opponent would 100% jam river. If I call, they might just find a shutdown with all non-K, non-set hands. So I decided to just jam and hope to get looked up by worse Ks or straight draws that the opponent felt "priced in" with. I know that sounds ridiculous, but at low stakes many people just try to ride the luck wave.

I'll have another hand from this same final table later today.
I honestly would have expected him to fold A9 there, but def agree with a shove if you would expect the call there. I thought better chance of him turning it into a bluff on the river, but looks like he was happy to go to war with second pair. Nicely played hand imho
 

Legend5555

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I honestly would have expected him to fold A9 there, but def agree with a shove if you would expect the call there. I thought better chance of him turning it into a bluff on the river, but looks like he was happy to go to war with second pair. Nicely played hand imho
I've learned to never underestimate the low buy in spaz factor. Especially with the aggro players.
 
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