Thursday, October 18, 2007

Shorty All-In... What Do People Overcall With?

Something that has been lurking in the trusty plan3t gong notepad came to mind yesterday while watching a Johnny Bax video over on pxf.

The situation was quite a common one for SNGs, MTTs and even at cash tables (this example was from a Double Shootout). Bax was dealt Aces and a small stack pushed for 300ish chips ahead with several players still to act... bb was around 50.

The choices are raise or flat call right?

Raising has the danger of pushing the rest of the field out, calling might encourage someone to squeeze with a good but not great holding and is often the better play here. Bax called and the rest of the players folded in this example.

What it got me thinking about was the meaning of these overcalls of short all-ins at different levels and in different games.

My personal experience is that inexperienced / bad players often get these moves the wrong way around! In the Titan 25k gtd (for example) you are likely to see people flat calling with horrible hands like Ace-Jack / 99 (or worse) and raising with those Aces.

Now we get to another level of thinking... if your opponents are aware that you would only flat call with aces / kings in such a situation and raise to isolate with weaker hands then does it make sense to actually do it the other way around?

What about a SNG? Your objective here is slightly different from an MTT - those 300 chips (+the blinds) would be welcome enough in the early to mid stages to make isolating a good play with QQ / KK / AA or even AK... sure encouraging overcallers increases your expectation - but at the same time in increases your swings - the value of the extra chips may be worth it or may not depending on your comfort level at the fast approaching bubble.

It seems to come down to the old favourite of 'what is the purpose of your bet?'. Watch those overcalls - the experience of the player making them often defines their hand quite nicely!

Something to think about!

Gl at the tables, Mark


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Littleacornman said...

In sngs I like to raise with my Aces/Kings in that situation.I may not win as big a pot but as you said it does reduce the swings.It also looks a bit like a move with AQ/AK and may still attract another caller who doesn't put me on AA/KK.

I noticed you mentioned pxf poker training.I've subbed to cardrunner and so far it's been great.( cash is my main game)

My Mum plays mostly sngs and I was looking to arrange a training sub for her.Would you recommend pxf?


Mark said...

Hey Acorn,

Had a think about whether to rec PXF for a few hours... my conclusion is yes.

Loads of SNG vids by Sheets and Innisint on there, my caution is that a lot of these are at the very high buy-ins. There are however some great ones explaining bubble strategy / ICM and more recently a lower level one literally pulled apart hand for hand over 6 or 7 vids.

was debating whether it is worth the price for this alone... but there are also some great MTT / Cash vids by the likes of Rizen / Belowabove and Pearljammer to add into the equation.

On balance I'd say go for it. An alternative you might want to look at is SNG Icons (only seen a couple of vids there but looked very good).

Cheers, Mark

Littleacornman said...

Thanks for that Mark.I'm still a wee bit unsure as I have trouble getting my Mum to comprehend pot odds let alone ICM!

I'll google sng icons too though!