Shark In The Water

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hO77BUZKqVE&w=560&h=315]

We all start with the same chip stack in a Multi-Table No-Limit Texas Hold’em Tournament (MTT); all small fish in a big pond. But as the tournament progresses, big stacks will eat up the little stacks and move into the money rounds. In today’s hand, we’ll show you when it’s time to go for the kill.

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I’m holding As-5d from The Small Blind (TSB) with $60,000 in my stack and blinds at $3,000/$6,000. I have 10 big blinds, a short stack according to The Poker Model. Remember that less than 20 big blinds is a short stack, 21-50 big blinds is a medium stack, and more than 50 big blinds is a large stack. I’ll play my hand (A-5) differently based on these criteria (stack size and positioning). See examples:

  • When I have a short stack
    • With a raise in front, I’ll fold.
    • With no raises in front, I’ll move all in.
  • When I have a medium/large stack
    • With a raise in front, I’ll fold.
    • With no raises in front, I’ll raise.

Before thinking too deeply about potential action, I’ll wait to see what happens and hone in on my decision after receiving the information.

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Under The Gun (UTG) raises all-in for $30,000 and the table folds around to me. Let me be clear that a raise (some chips) has a much different meaning than an raise all-in (all chips). When facing an all-in, my criteria will change again because a different opportunity presents itself. If an all-in is small enough (less than 6 big blinds), my hand might be ahead. Before deciding what to do, I must first calculate my opponent’s big blind amount. Because one big blind is $6,000, 5 big blinds is $30,000 chips. My opponent’s all-in amount is 5 big blinds. Now that I have this information, I’ll use The Poker Model to determine his range of hands.

With 5 big blinds, sitting Under The Gun (UTG), my opponent could have almost any two cards. A-5 should be winning against any two cards. For this reason, I isolate the action and move all-in.

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My opponent flips over Ks-5h, a hand that I am dominating. There is no need to run out the action at this point. Win or lose, I made the correct poker play and was in a dominating position to eat up my opponent’s stack.

Brett

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