Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wall Street Poker presents: You Make The Call

I love that old thing on TV during sports programs where the announcer comes on before a commercial segment to present "You Make The Call". They would typically show you footage of a controversial sports play and then freeze-frame just before the official made their decision. During the commercial break, you were encouraged to ignore the commercial and think about what the official called on the play (kinda funny to be encouraging viewers to ignore the sponsors) and then when the show came back you were treated to the rest of the segment.

In the same vein, I present: "You Make The Call"

You're in the BB in the money phase of a SnG which is now three handed. Jesse is on the button, UTG and Thomas Gillespie is in the SB. You have QTo. Blinds are at 400/800. You have 13,100 in your stack. Jesse has 3,900 and Thomas has 3,000. Jesse, first to act PF, moves all in for 3,400. Thomas moves all in on the SB. What do you do?

Somethings to consider:
If you win outright, you win the tourney.
If you beat at least one of the people in the 3-way race, you will gain at least one spot in the ranking.
If you lose to either player, that person will have much closer to half the chips in play (20,000 total) than if you had folded.

I thought about the pot odds to me. It was 2,100 for me to call which would leave me with still over half the chips in play. There was now 7,200 in the pot, so I was getting more than 3-1 to call. But was my QTo getting 30% to win? I just didn't know. Maybe I was dominated on both ends? Maybe one of them had a pair higher than a Ten? Or maybe, just maybe, both my cards were live.

You Make The Call!

Ok, got it in your head?

Here's what I did. I folded. I reasoned that no matter what happened, the person who lost would leave the tourney in 3rd place, giving me one spot up on the rankings. And in order to capture first, the additional 2,100 in chips would be a significant advantage in the heads up match, representing just a shade over 10% of the chips in play. Rather than give up that advantage for the quick kill, I decided to keep my chips. Jesse turned over AJo and Thomas turned over 99. The board paired a Ten and no one else hit, so I would have won! But it's a slightly risky play to give up the advantage like that. If Jesse had won with AT, for instance, the extra chips he got from me could have made a big difference. So Thomas took down the pot and Jesse was all in blind on the next hand with 400 left in the BB. My 88 in the SB did him in and Thomas and I chopped up the money so we wouldn't have to play an extended heads up match.
Another question for the group. What do you think the right thing to do, mathematically, would be. If this were a cash game, for instance, would the correct move be to call?

1 comment:

KajaPoker said...

You have to fold but it's very marginal. Check out the ICM calculator results.

If it was QTs it would be a call. But because the Button shoved and the SB called, it's mathematically a fold. If it was just against one of them it would be a call. Tough one.