Reaching the final table, I’m mortified when my AJ runs into AA. The confrontation leaves me with 105,000 chips, way below the 555,000 average (as we are 9-handed) and I’m suddenly waging a personal war with my fingertips, which are now itching to press the all-in button in a fit of tilt-fuelled frustration.
Passing the likes of 23, 49, 27, 36 whilst forfeiting 1,000 chips a time in running-antes, I now find myself on the big-blind [40,000 chips] holding A2.
A player in an early position moves all-in and it is passed around to me. My decisions are again simple: Call for my remaining 60,000 chips with the chance of winning my opponents 100,000, a 20,000 small blind and 9,000 in antes, which totals 129,900 and gives me just over 2/1 about my remaining money.
Even simpler, the total pot would be 229,000 meaning my 100,000 chips will be running on a little over 5/4 shot.
Here, to most, the second option (of passing) would not be an decision as, quite simply, too many chips are committed and the bitter pill of a 20,000 small blind is going to land on you next hand.
Some would swallow in the hope that they may be able to last in a little longer and a player is eliminated before the blinds come back around after all the prize-structure at this stage means 8th is worth $3,000 more than 9th (which is in excess of $5,000 already) and 7th adds another $3,000 to the coffers after that.
Personally, I don’t play tournaments to simply make the money but I’m also fully aware you have to lose battles to win wars and you are never going to wars if you knock yourself out.
Once again I consider if the pot-odds [my remaining chips will be getting against the possible hands I am facing] make this call mandatory.
Opponents Probable Hands:
For certain I am facing a big hand, which can only fall into two categories A) a big pair or B) an Ace with a very high kicker.
Would pocket Ace’s be played so strongly? That’s doubtful, but AK certainly would and that hand (any Ace with a sizeable kicker in fact) would be the worst possible hole-cards for me to tackle.
The Approximate Odds OF A2 beating:
A) AA 7.4 12/1
Ai) KK, QQ 28.8 5/2
B) AK, AQ, AJ or similar 26.8 11/4
Wars and battles aside, there is no value gambling against odds of 5/2 when victory pays odds of 5/4 and so this hand was passed.
Still firm in the belief that he was playing a ‘big’ Ace, I may well have decided to call holding something like TJ suited as the probability of winning against the potential payoff would be far more comparable.
It may seem very bizarre calling an all-in with T8 on one occasion and passing an A2 on another but I hope the thoughts listed above gives you some insight into reasoning behind such plays and that it helps your game this coming year. Here’s wishing you a nice fat payday during 2005.
Former journalist and now commentator/poker professional Roy Brindley capped off 2004 as Europe’s winning-most tournament player.
Meanwhile, last week, Roy eliminated Phil Ivey from the Commerce Casino PPT event when calling Ivey’s all-in holding pocket 5’s. “It could only be a big Ace or a tiny pair in my book and pot-odds dictated it was an automatic call,” he said before making the call and he was right!