Thursday, June 2, 2011

Poker Quiz Question #3

Q#3: You're in a $25/$50 Full Ring cash game with a $5K stack. You're on the button with TT. A tight-aggressive player in MP raises to $200. You choose to call. A relatively short stack with $1500 in the big blind pushes all-in. You've only seen him do this with TT, AK, and AQ so far.  The MP player thinks and then folds. What should you do?
  1. Fold?
  2. Call?
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A#3:
Because you will close out the action, the answer to this resides simply in the math; specifically, determining whether the play is plus or minus EV. After the shove, there is $1975 in the pot. It's going to cost you $1300 more to make the call. You've seen the shover do this squeeze before with TT, AK, and AQ, so if we put TT+ and AQ+ into poker stove against our TT, we see that we're a 60% to 40% dog in this race. Our EV calc is therefore:

EV=(40% x $1975) - (60% x $1300) = +$10

Therefore, at first blush it's a marginal call. But as the late night infomercial ad men say, "Wait, there's more!" Because we were conservative in our estimate that he'd only do this with TT+ and AQ+, there's probably some additional EV that is on the table; i.e., if he's actually doing this with, say 88+ and KQs+, our EV is more like +$272. There's also some meta-game reasons to call this shove and show the rest of the table that you're willing to get it all-in PF with a pair of tens. Ergo, this is an easy call.

[Note: In a tournament, things are quite different, and, depending on the stage of the tourney, the payout structure, your stack sizes, etc., the answer could be different. But this is a cash game. Whenever you're plus EV to do something, you should do so... unless there is an even higher EV play that you can make.]

All-in for now...
-Bug

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