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25/50 is just awkward sometimes: Revisited

Originally posted on teammoshman.com ***** In a previous entry, we looked at an all-in decision one of my students faced during the 25/50 level of a DoN.   Here’s the hand in question:   PokerStars No-Limit Hold’em, 5.2 Tournament, 25/50 Blinds 5 Ante (9 handed) SB (t2595) BB (t1515) UTG (t1770) UTG+1 (t1435) MP1 (t1795) MP2 (t1450) MP3 (t1667) Hero (CO) (t1450) Button (t1323)   Hero’s M: 12.08   Preflop: Hero is CO with Xx Xx 5 folds, Hero bets t125, 2 folds, BB raises to t1510 (All-In),  Hero ??   He ended up folding his AQo to the shove (a correct decision given how tight the BB had been and his equity against the likely shove range) but ended up losing 125 chips in the process.   Often you’ll hear that it’s not worth going after the blinds early because there isn’t much there and it doesn’t add much to your bottom line.  But is that really the case?  So the question we need to ask ourselves is this, is it worth the risk to try and steal the blinds this early?   Let’s run some numbers.   If we fold this hand our equity in the tourney will be about 10.16% of the prize pool.   The pot currently stands at 120 chips (50 BB + 25 SB + 45 in antes).  If we successfully steal the blinds and antes our equity will be about 10.78% of the prize pool.   Adding the blinds and antes to our stack in this situation is worth about .62% of the prize pool.  That’s an increase thats nothing to sneeze at.   So let’s say we decide to bet out in an early level when there is no action in front of us.  We make a raise and then the action continues around the table.  Three things can happen at this point:   1)      Everyone folds and we take the blinds. 2)      Someone (or multiple someones) calls our raise and we see a flop 3)      Someone re-raises us   The first situation is clearly a good (+EV) situation for us.  Situations 2 and 3 may or may not be that good for us.  They are less clearly defined as to if they are +EV or not.  If we have good post-flop judgment, they may in fact be +EV.  If we don’t they could be –EV.   Our EV equation would look something like this: Equity from folds + Equity from getting called + Equity from getting re-raised.   So let’s imagine a scenario where if we get called or re-raised we always lose the chips used to attempt to steal.   If we lose the 125...

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I’d like to thank

I’d like to thank

              …every single math teacher I ever had.   Without you this Double or Nothing win would not have been possible.     To celebrate I’m going to Disneyland. Catch ya on the flip side.   *****   Originally posted at...

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25/50 is just awkward sometimes.

25/50 is just awkward sometimes.

              Originally posted at teammoshman.com ******   PokerStars No-Limit Hold’em, 5.2 Tournament, 25/50 Blinds 5 Ante (9 handed)   SB (t2595) BB (t1515) UTG (t1770) UTG+1 (t1435) MP1 (t1795) MP2 (t1450) MP3 (t1667) Hero (CO) (t1450) Button (t1323)   Hero’s M: 12.08   Preflop: Hero is CO with Xx Xx 5 folds, Hero bets t125, 2 folds, BB raises to t1510 (All-In),  Hero ??   This was a hand recently played by a student of mine.  In video #990 on StoxPoker I made mention of the fact that if you never played anything but AA and KK in the first 3 levels of a DoN you probably weren’t missing out on too much equity.  This is especially true if your post-flop skills leave something to be desired.  Often you can find yourself raising a solid hand, only to be put in a position where defending it post flop can get tricky.  And for most beginning DoN players, this is a situation you don’t want to find yourself in too often.   That being said, it’s not that there is NO value to be picked up early in a DoN.  Sometimes the difference between winning and losing can come down to picking up some extra value early.  If you have a good spot to try and steal the blinds (BB and SB are regs or otherwise tight players) go for it.   But what do you do when your early attempt to steal goes horribly wrong?   There’s actually a great piece of software out there that can help in spots like this.  It used to be we had to bust out the pencil and paper to figure out what to do in situations like the hand above, but now we can use a little program written by Douglas “Pzhon” Zare (a StoxPoker coach who is one of the funniest people I’ve had the pleasure of listening to.  It’s a very dry and nerdy humor, but I totally dig him) called ICM Explorer.   With ICM Explorer we can cut and past the HH into the program, push a couple of other buttons and quickly find out just how much equity we need in these spots to justify a call.     Given the above situation that my student found himself in, ICM Explorer can quickly tell us we need 59.8% equity against the opponents shoving range to justify a call.   From there we need to make a guess as to what range the BB is 3-betting and can then figure out with what hands we can call (using a program like Poker Stove or Pokerstrategy.com’s Equilator*).   So, let’s assume that...

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