Tournament Hand - Early Stages (2 Viewers)

MrCatPants

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As with most of my strategy threads, I usually post hands that have a couple of key decision points I think would cause interesting discussion. This hand below has several, and for multiple players. It's also a hand I wasn't in, so I'm going to post it from the player's perspective that was most interesting. However, after the hand is completed, I'm going to add one more post about the hand to ask a few questions about key points for the other players as well - multiple items will merit discussion here and I think multiple mistakes were made in the real hand even though it likely wouldn't have changed the eventual outcome.

Context: 8 handed, single table tourney - first event of our league season so "points" are on the line in addition to the prize pool for the event. Two places paid. Early stages (level 4 - 75/150). Initial stacks are 15k, and everyone is still close to that number. Event is limited to one rebuy maximum - no rebuys yet.

SB - me, not relevant to the hand - 14k
BB - LAG, plays suited trash and low connectors sometimes with raising when he feels saucy; competent player - 16k
UTG - Maniac pre, but competent LAG post flop - 14k
UTG + 1 (Our Hero) - Tighter player who is newer to poker but studies, sometimes expects high stakes principles to apply at low stakes games (he's too sticky) - 14k
MP - Strong TAG, hates tournaments though so keeps suggesting everyone goes all in so we can play a cash game already - 16k
CO - a 40 year old OMC, barely know he's there - 15k
HJ - ABC player who bluffs in position a little too often - 15k
BTN - ABC player who exhibits a little bit too much stickiness - 16k

UTG limps for 150
Hero looks down at :jd::jc:

Action on Hero.
 
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Senzrock

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Simple initial spot: Raise on the larger side. With this kind of tournament and it being within the rebuy period, I would make it ~800 or so. Could even go a little larger with these dynamics but I would not want to go too much smaller.
 

ekricket

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You can’t win the tournament here, but you can sure lose it.
Home game I’d make it 6x the bb with an exit plan if there were 2+ callers and overs on the flop. I wouldn’t call any reraise here, I’d let it go for better opportunities later.
But I’d take the one stab at it.
 

THRA5H3R

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OK, I'm not a reader, so I'm just going with my gut. Just considering the position, I'd make it at least 5xBB raise.
 

LotsOfChips

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Three ways to play pocket Jacks, all of them are wrong…

Personally I limp (flat call), let the action figures behind take the lead, and hope to flop the nut boat.
 

MrCatPants

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Pretty straightforward opening spot as many of you have said. Continuing below.

Context: 8 handed, single table tourney - first event of our league season so "points" are on the line in addition to the prize pool for the event. Two places paid. Early stages (level 4 - 75/150). Initial stacks are 15k, and everyone is still close to that number. Event is limited to one rebuy maximum - no rebuys yet.

SB - me, not relevant to the hand - 14k
BB - LAG, plays suited trash and low connectors sometimes with raising when he feels saucy; competent player - 16k
UTG - Maniac pre, but competent LAG post flop - 14k
UTG + 1 (Our Hero) - Tighter player who is newer to poker but studies, sometimes expects high stakes principles to apply at low stakes games (he's too sticky) - 14k
MP - Strong TAG, hates tournaments though so keeps suggesting everyone goes all in so we can play a cash game already - 16k
CO - a 40 year old OMC, barely know he's there - 15k
HJ - ABC player who bluffs in position a little too often - 15k
BTN - ABC player who exhibits a little bit too much stickiness - 16k

UTG limps for 150
Hero looks down at :jd::jc: and raises to 600
MP CALLS
CO folds
HJ folds
BTN CALLS
SB folds
BB folds
UTG CALLS

Pot is 2475, and 4 players go to a flop of:
:js::8s::3s:

UTG leads for 1100.
Action on hero.
 

Legend5555

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Player firing into 3 others...

I probably just call and see what players behind do before I'm winning to commit. We are either way ahead or way behind the bettor, but we have no idea about players behind yet.
 

THRA5H3R

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I only see 7 outs to improve our hand (going up to 10 if the turn doesn't hit), compared to at most 7 outs for any of them to improve assuming they're all chasing. I feel like raising here puts the right pressure on the chasers, while we see better chances over the next two cards? Somebody help me out; is it ~28% chance to hit on the turn, then ~20% on the river if the turn misses? (I'm not using any calculators over here...)
 

raynmanas

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This is probably going to be an unpopular opinion, but with a rebuy in play, I am willing to commit my stack here in this tournament format. I like a big raise, make it 4k, and willing to shove/call if they re-raise. You are still 33% to hit the boat and 67% to start with a fresh new stack - this is exactly the kind of hand rebuys were made for.
 
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JMC9389

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This is probably going to be an unpopular opinion, but with a rebuy in play, I am willing to commit my stack here in this tournament format. I like a big raise, make it 4k, and willing to shove/call if they re-raise. You are still 33% to hit the boat and 67% to start with a fresh new stack - this is exactly the kind of hand rebuys were made for.
Pretty much this.

The raise to 600 is fine. Anything from 600 to 750 or so is just fine preflop.

UTG is a relatively loose, aggressive player but flats and then cold calls a raise? Something doesn't smell right. If UTG is as loose as OP says, I'd figure that they'd raise any suited ace or pocket pair. I think hero is well ahead here.

The 1100 half pot bet feels very much like a feeler bet by a player out of position. I raise to 3500 and see what villain does with the turn.
 

Senzrock

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So we made a small raise pre and that is something we should try to avoid in games like these. Home games, with loose play, where rebuys are part of the structure. We might think that 600 vs 800 doesn't matter but I think bet sizing here is incredibly important. With one limp in front of us, even raising to 1000 is totally standard in most of these home games imo.

Now we get a good flop, overall well above average for us considering all the other possibilities with four players in the hand. I think if this aggressive player had the nuts, he often looks the check raise so we should be well ahead here a decent % of the time. Problem with calling is that we invite others to join us and then the turn is an incredibly tough spot for us (only hoping for the board to pair basically). I think a raise/get it in here. I probably go around 4700 since I'm not folding anyway. 3500 is a little too small for me - I would make it 3500 if we were deeper stacked and I could find a reason to fold to a shove.

If we go out with top set, there's nothing to be ashamed of. We tell ourselves to punish the loose players pre-flop next time and keep it moving!
 

chkyrslf

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This is probably going to be an unpopular opinion, but with a rebuy in play, I am willing to commit my stack here in this tournament format. I like a big raise, make it 4k, and willing to shove/call if they re-raise. You are still 33% to hit the boat and 67% to start with a fresh new stack - this is exactly the kind of hand rebuys were made for.

I'm down with this. It's a tournament, you need to take some strategic shots...you can't play every hand like a cash game.
 

JMC9389

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So we made a small raise pre and that is something we should try to avoid in games like these. Home games, with loose play, where rebuys are part of the structure. We might think that 600 vs 800 doesn't matter but I think bet sizing here is incredibly important. With one limp in front of us, even raising to 1000 is totally standard in most of these home games imo.

Now we get a good flop, overall well above average for us considering all the other possibilities with four players in the hand. I think if this aggressive player had the nuts, he often looks the check raise so we should be well ahead here a decent % of the time. Problem with calling is that we invite others to join us and then the turn is an incredibly tough spot for us (only hoping for the board to pair basically). I think a raise/get it in here. I probably go around 4700 since I'm not folding anyway. 3500 is a little too small for me - I would make it 3500 if we were deeper stacked and I could find a reason to fold to a shove.

If we go out with top set, there's nothing to be ashamed of. We tell ourselves to punish the loose players pre-flop next time and keep it moving!
I understand your logic and rationale, but what exactly would you consider to be deep if almost 100 BB'S isn't?

A 3x raise leaves a bit more fold equity to a three or even four bet, but given OP's description of hero, is a sticky player like that folding top set to a three or four bet?
 

MrCatPants

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Hero called. Continuing below.

Context: 8 handed, single table tourney - first event of our league season so "points" are on the line in addition to the prize pool for the event. Two places paid. Early stages (level 4 - 75/150). Initial stacks are 15k, and everyone is still close to that number. Event is limited to one rebuy maximum - no rebuys yet.

SB - me, not relevant to the hand - 14k
BB - LAG, plays suited trash and low connectors sometimes with raising when he feels saucy; competent player - 16k
UTG - Maniac pre, but competent LAG post flop - 14k
UTG + 1 (Our Hero) - Tighter player who is newer to poker but studies, sometimes expects high stakes principles to apply at low stakes games (he's too sticky) - 14k
MP - Strong TAG, hates tournaments though so keeps suggesting everyone goes all in so we can play a cash game already - 16k
CO - a 40 year old OMC, barely know he's there - 15k
HJ - ABC player who bluffs in position a little too often - 15k
BTN - ABC player who exhibits a little bit too much stickiness - 16k

UTG limps for 150
Hero looks down at :jd::jc: and raises to 600
MP CALLS
CO folds
HJ folds
BTN CALLS
SB folds
BB folds
UTG CALLS

Pot is 2475, and 4 players go to a flop of:
:js::8s::3s:

UTG leads for 1100
Hero calls 1100
MP folds
BTN calls 1100

turn brings:
:js::8s::3s::5d:

UTG leads out for 3500
Action on hero
 

chkyrslf

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Yep, I still think I would've done it (or a huge raise) on the flop. Get rid of the chasers, if someone already has it, that's poker.

One of them has likely got a single high spade A,K,Q chasing that flush or you could hope a pocket pair of AA, KK, QQ (but poorly played). Concern would be for the pocket pair of spades of course

UTG as a manic pre and LAG post, to only limp pre and then bet half pot each street - could be AA trying to trap, high spade chasing, or already has it the dog.
 

Senzrock

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I understand your logic and rationale, but what exactly would you consider to be deep if almost 100 BB'S isn't?

A 3x raise leaves a bit more fold equity to a three or even four bet, but given OP's description of hero, is a sticky player like that folding top set to a three or four bet?
I guess I’m thinking about this hand more so in terms the type of tournament it is, not that it’s the optimal strategy on this specific flop at this stack depth. In these types of spots, top set is often the nuts, with players playing much more loose than other games. A weak lead here can have infinite combos that we beat (pairs,two pairs, single spades etc). I would rather try to get it in vs two pair/lower sets than call and have two other hands come into the pot with us. If this was the WSOP ME - I’m probably mixing in a bunch of calls along with smaller raise sizes like the one you mentioned (3500 ish)
 

Senzrock

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Hmmm… this is tough because I prefer to get more $ in on the flop with two cards to come. Now we are up against two opponents with a relatively undefined range and so we are kind of stuck in no man’s land. I actually prefer a call on the turn (as played) to keep all UTG bluffs in and to see what player does behind us. I hate these kinds of spots lol - raise bigger pre and raise that flop!
 

TheDogg

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Agree, I'm willing to lose my stack with this hand. I agree with raising on the flop, nothing wrong with building a pot, and definitely agree with raising all in the turn. I think we can find calls from overpairs and maybe Ace Jack, and any Ace of Spade + overcard. We could also be dominating lower sets. If we're against the flush we have 10 outs or around 23% equity which isn't terrible.
 

grebe

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UTG limps for 150
Hero looks down at :jd::jc:

Action on Hero.
I am a little late to the game, but jumping in anyways....preflop, this is standard raise spot. Based on us being EP, everybody has about 100 bigs, and we have a limper that we know likes to play lots of hands, I will raise a little bigger here to isolate. 500 to go...
 

grebe

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UTG limps for 150
Hero looks down at :jd::jc: and raises to 600
MP CALLS
CO folds
HJ folds
BTN CALLS
SB folds
BB folds
UTG CALLS

Pot is 2475, and 4 players go to a flop of:
:js::8s::3s:

UTG leads for 1100.
Action on hero.
Scary spot, but a donk bet is rarely strong. I am unwilling to give up my control of the pot, and definitely am not giving a good price to somebody drawing to a naked spade. We have a monster, and even if we are beat we have loads of outs....

Raise to 3K.
 

grebe

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turn brings:
:js::8s::3s::5d:

UTG leads out for 3500
Action on hero

My prediction: hero is going to call, because he is playing scared. Flop is a raise....it's a perfect spot to get action from a naked spade that wants to peel.

Turn action, hero needs to ship it. What is going to happen is maniac is either going to get there with his :as: and shove, or he will not get there and shut down and you will not get any more action from him. Button is just waiting to fold most times. If we raise here, we give the maniac a chance to call us with poor odds to draw to his flush. If we call, we are letting him set his price. IF everyone folds, we scoop a big pot and are happy. If we get a caller with anything other than 2 spades, we are happy.
 

MrCatPants

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I am curious what ranges you have both other players on. Both naked spades? Lower sets? With top set locked up on the flop, curious what combos you think button would float here. And given that he got two callers, what range UTG would have to donk a second time and more sizably compared to the pot.

Let's continue. Hero called.

Context: 8 handed, single table tourney - first event of our league season so "points" are on the line in addition to the prize pool for the event. Two places paid. Early stages (level 4 - 75/150). Initial stacks are 15k, and everyone is still close to that number. Event is limited to one rebuy maximum - no rebuys yet.

SB - me, not relevant to the hand - 14k
BB - LAG, plays suited trash and low connectors sometimes with raising when he feels saucy; competent player - 16k
UTG - Maniac pre, but competent LAG post flop - 14k
UTG + 1 (Our Hero) - Tighter player who is newer to poker but studies, sometimes expects high stakes principles to apply at low stakes games (he's too sticky) - 14k
MP - Strong TAG, hates tournaments though so keeps suggesting everyone goes all in so we can play a cash game already - 16k
CO - a 40 year old OMC, barely know he's there - 15k
HJ - ABC player who bluffs in position a little too often - 15k
BTN - ABC player who exhibits a little bit too much stickiness - 16k

UTG limps for 150
Hero looks down at :jd::jc: and raises to 600
MP CALLS
CO folds
HJ folds
BTN CALLS
SB folds
BB folds
UTG CALLS

Pot is 2475, and 4 players go to a flop of:
:js::8s::3s:

UTG leads for 1100
Hero calls 1100
MP folds
BTN calls 1100

turn brings:
:js::8s::3s::5d:

UTG leads out for 3500
Hero CALLS for 3500
Button snap calls

Pot is approximately 16k.

River brings:
:js::8s::3s::5d::9c:

UTG thinks for a moment and the announces ALL IN for approximately 8500.
Action on hero.
 

colter ripton

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I think he's got it. Most people not 3 barreling for their tournament this early. With action as is I think he has the flush. Still not sure I could fold top set and would have likley just tried to raise big on the flop and get it in if reraised.
 

Senzrock

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Ranges: UTG can have anything from small spades to Ks8x type of hands. Given that you say he plays competent post flop - this three streets of betting are not putting us in great shape however. If this was a higher stakes game I seriously consider folding but in this environment, during a rebuy of a low stakes/friendly home game (sorry to harp on that here but it does add to the overall dynamic of the hand), I just can't fold top set. He could have led out with QsTx and gotten there finally on the river which is annoying. BTN will often have the As in this situation, but can also have a hand like bottom set. I am much less worried about BTN given his just call on the turn - I think we hear from him by then if he has a monster.

Having a hard time analyzing what to do after the flop because I would have played it very differently on the flop so struggling a bit with these undefined ranges where villains can literally have anything. At this point I think it's less than 50% that we have the best hand but given the money in the middle and the dynamics... I sigh call.
 

grebe

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I am curious what ranges you have both other players on. Both naked spades? Lower sets? With top set locked up on the flop, curious what combos you think button would float here. And given that he got two callers, what range UTG would have to donk a second time and more sizably compared to the pot.
Both players have very wide ranges, because we havent done anything that would help define them. By just calling, we are allowing the button amazing odds with anything and have not put any pressure on the LAG. The only good news to all of this is that with our specific hand, we are crushing both ranges. However, our entire range against both their ranges would not be doing so well.
 

upNdown

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So we made a small raise pre and that is something we should try to avoid in games like these. Home games, with loose play, where rebuys are part of the structure.
Yes, hell yes, praise Jesus!
In the early rounds of a short tournament with rebuys available, people flat everything pre. I actually hate when I get KK in this situation. You can raise 5x pre and get 5 callers. Then what?
I know it sounds stupid, but in almost every situation where I get playable cards early in this tournament, I’m flatting, and either playing post-flop poker, or hoping to get lucky, depending on who I’m up against.

As played, the chips have to all go in here. And get out your wallet because somebody flopped it, probably the button.
 
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