Is there ever a time when you should call an all-in with cards that are, shall we say, sub-optimal? Check out this hand from a tournament I played on New Year’s Day.
PokerStars Game #3500257935: Tournament #17369027, Hold'em No Limit Level IV (50/100) - 2006/01/01 - 15:21:40 (ET) Table '17369027 1' Seat #8 is the button Seat 1: chico012 (1300 in chips) Seat 3: Viking31 (835 in chips) Seat 4: HWING2 (3380 in chips) Seat 6: omamahaha (690 in chips) Seat 7: chexAndRaise (680 in chips) Seat 8: Gunther16 (1315 in chips) Seat 9: JoseRijo27 (2435 in chips) JoseRijo27: posts small blind 50 chico012: posts big blind 100 *** HOLE CARDS *** Dealt to JoseRijo27 [4♠ 3♠] Viking31: raises 735 to 835 and is all-in HWING2: folds omamahaha: calls 690 and is all-in chexAndRaise: calls 680 and is all-in Gunther16: folds JoseRijo27: folds chico012: folds
I’m in the small blind with 43s. All three short stacks go all-in, and I only need to risk one-third of my stack to call.
I thought long and hard about calling. I figured they all had high cards, and it was possible that the flop would miss all three. But I simply didn’t have a good enough feel for the math to take the plunge.
*** FLOP *** [9♠ 3♥ 5♥] *** TURN *** [9♠ 3♥ 5♥] [4♦] *** RIVER *** [9♠ 3♥ 5♥ 4♦] [5♠] *** SHOW DOWN *** Viking31: shows [Q♦ A♣] (a pair of Fives) omamahaha: shows [T♥ A♥] (a pair of Fives - lower kicker) Viking31 collected 20 from side pot chexAndRaise: shows [A♠ Q♥] (a pair of Fives) Viking31 collected 1095 from main pot chexAndRaise collected 1095 from main pot *** SUMMARY *** Total pot 2210 Main pot 2190. Side pot 20. | Rake 0
Sure enough, they all had roughly the same hand (at least from my perspective). And even though my two-pair got counterfeited, it was still the best hand!
Obviously, my feeling that I could win against multiple big hands was justified. But was this a fluke? I was shocked when I put the hand through the Poker Odds Calculator at twodimes.net.
http://twodimes.net/h/?z=1484526 pokenum -h 4s 3s - qd ac - th ah - as qh Holdem Hi: 1086008 enumerated boards cards win %win lose %lose tie %tie EV 4s 3s 399856 36.82 681958 62.79 4194 0.39 0.369 Ac Qd 32807 3.02 684700 63.05 368501 33.93 0.193 Ah Th 277933 25.59 764684 70.41 43391 4.00 0.269 As Qh 6911 0.64 710596 65.43 368501 33.93 0.169
I was actually the favorite to win the hand! Against one AQo, I’d be a 3-2 underdog. The added callers only reduced my winning percentage by three points, but it tripled the amount I could win!
http://twodimes.net/h/?z=1484652 pokenum -h 4s 3s - qd ac Holdem Hi: 1712304 enumerated boards cards win %win lose %lose tie %tie EV 4s 3s 683628 39.92 1020091 59.57 8585 0.50 0.402 Ac Qd 1020091 59.57 683628 39.92 8585 0.50 0.598
Small suited connectors do great against multiple opponents, especially when everyone else has big cards. Don’t be afraid to go for the big score if missing it won’t cripple your stack.
Last Updated: Tue, 24 Jan 2006