Monday, March 8, 2010

Turbo Tourney - Calculating Your Race Pre Flop

The importance of keeping your stack in mind, the size of your opponents stacks, AND your pre flop odds for calling a race, should ALWAYS be the forefront in a Turbo Tourney. It is best to keep in Mind the 60/40 rule as listed in Turbo Tournaments - A Discussion vs. Normal Speed and Play. If you are closer to the 40% mark, then you will want a stack at LEAST 30+BB, while your opponent has a stack of about 12BB (then you can call the all in). On the Short Stack (15BB or less)? Try to be around 50% on up for the shove. Remember, racing shouldn't be a consideration until the Later stage (blinds at 250 or more with antes).

A tool to be used for both pre flop and post tourney analysis can be found at: Texas Hold'em Odds Calculator - As a pre-flop tool, you can plug in AK for your opponent if you are in early or middle position, or AJ for BB if in CO or BUTTON. Conversely, you can put other cards (such as possible pocket pairs), OR, if you have been keeping notes on your opponent, the possible range of cards he has been playing.

For demonstration purposes, as a Post Flop and analysis tool, I will run some observed hands, with 2 thrown in from my own play. All races should be run in Late Stage (antes), and In the Money Phase (unless Short Stack of less than 10BB, and are Nearing the Money Phase or at Final Table).

  • 22 vs AKo
    52% vs 48%, chip stacks equal, short stack, or 22 should have 30+ BB stack vs a 10+ BB Stack. For equal stack size, you should actually muck. If on the short stack, preferably 12BB or less.
  • 33 vs ATo
    Another 52% vs 48%, see above for profitability.
  • 22 mid vs ATs late
    49% vs. 51%, virtual tie. Really should only be played with 22 having 30+ BB stack vs a 10+ BB Stack.
  • QJoBB vs A9sUTG vs KK (button)
    Three way pot here: A9s comes in at 30%, KK is at 58%, while QJo is a measly 12% (and should get the heck out of dodge in a reraised pot). Of course, KK wins. Without QJo in there, A9s is only a 32% favorite vs. KK at 68%. Advice, drop A9s from your arsenal UTG. If playing from late position, and have 30+ BB, only call the raise if the opponent has 10+ BB or less. Otherwise, consider folding - especially if in multiway pot

  • JJ mid vs K6s late
    68% vs. 32%. This race should not be run. In late position, CO or BU, play the K6s for a raise and call only if - a. no one has entered pot before you, and b. you have 30+BB, and the others behind you have less than 15+ BB.
  • KJo mid vs JJ sb
    This hand knocked me out of a final table. Blinds were at 4k, my stack was around 32k, and Opponent was just above 100k.
    32% vs. My 68%. Of course, he should not have called. I believed that since this took about a third of his stack, he would not call. But at these limits, expect the unexpected.
  • A8o button vs. T9o BB
    56% vs. 44%. Should only make this play as steal. If in the Nearing the Money phase, put in a raise, and drop if don't hit the flop (and opponent makes some sort of move at the pot). Again, the profitable call is 30+BB vs. 12BB.
  • AJs sb, vs AQo, UTG
    Here, AJs ended up winning. AJs was the short stack. Pre-flop, AJs is 28% vs. AQo 67% (not 72%, because UTG). However, opponent was well stacked, and made the right call. For the most part, AQo UTG should not be called in multiway pots, and only when you have 40+BB vs 15BB or lower.
  • 99 mid vs AQs, sb
    52% vs. 48%, See above for close race situations.
  • JTo vs J8s
    Here, we had a shorter stack going all in with J8s. Odds for J8s are 27.5% vs. JTo 62.5%. Not a good race (considering your opponents possible range of hand). If you can make at least 6 hands, and are on the short stack, wait for some better cards to race. "But it was suited" doesn't work here.

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