Pocket Jacks Early In A Poker Tournament

This is a hand reviewed from a $5k tourney on Bovada sent in by  A.C.Pennington. In this hand A. C wins with pocket Jacks but we discover  some SPR and Range discrepancies that could effect his long game.

Okay, it’s still early on in the tournament, blinds are 20/40, Hero raises with jacks, gets called, gets another call, and they go three-way to it and Under the Gun +3 is an unknown and the Small Blind is shaping up to be in kind of more of the agrofish side of the spectrum.

Go here, there’s a lead, Hero decides to call and A.C. says that because he thinks the Small Blind is a little big more agrofishy, that this range is going to be more bluff heavy and thus he decides to call to induce further bluffs, rather than raise and blow out whatever nonsense garbage that the Small Blind won’t continue with.

Now, I kind of disagree with that. I think that there are plenty of hands in Small Blind range that you can and will continue with, everything from gut shots to 10/9 to single pairs that he doesn’t know what the heck to do with, to open-ended straight draws and stuff like that. I think there are plenty enough second-best hands for you to warrant a raise up to something like 600, 650, something like that, rather than just calling. I like calling if I can under-rep my range, induce a raise Under the Gun +3, but we don’t have that information, there’s no reason to think that’s going to happen as a default, so I much prefer to just see this be raised and go forward from there. I definitely think the Small Blind will continue with second best.

Quiz Preflop

In this exact situation though, there is a raise from Under the Gun +3 to 1294, Small Blind goes away and here we are.

At this point, A.C. says, “As expected, the Small Blind snap folds and the actions to us. Given the SPR, we either have to shove or fold.”

Now, I want to stop there for a quick moment. You’re doing something that a lot of players do with SPR that I don’t want you to ever do in the future. SPR is something that we calculate at the start of the flop, it’s not something that we recalculate after action has happened, it’s not something that we recalculate on a turn in the river. It’s solely what the pot is starting on the flop.

Starting on the flop, we had a very deep SPR, roughly 10 and change, whereas it’s not like we recalculated here and think that we only have like 2 and change SPR, that’s not the case. So just a quick clarification if you’re making that mistake.

In a situation like this, I think we actually have a lot of different options available. One thing I always start with is thinking, okay, how many nuttish-combos can Under the Gun +3 have? Well, there are 9 possible set combos, there are 2 combinations of 7/6 suited, so 11 combos of that. Then I also think, okay, are there any hands he would overvalue? Maybe 8, 9, 10s, in which case there are 18 combos of that.

So if I ever think that he would raise those kind of hands and get very, very stick with them, I’m feeling super confident getting this in and that’s before we even look at things like open to the straight draws or possible gut shots with like a 10/9. This is just the kind of situation where I am so happy and so golden, it’s just, “How can I get the money in?”

Typically that’s going to be by just drilling it right here and going forward. I mean, a really sophisticated player would probably figure out that there’s not a tremendous amount of error in my range and then they’d just be able to make a pretty decent decision, but early on in a tournament against an unknown, eh, not really assuming he’s going to be thinking of that level, so I’m totally fine drilling and going forward from there. In this situation, we end up running into tens, end up holding, which is always good.

A.C., I really, really appreciate you sending me a hand that you won. So many people send hands that they lose thinking that they must have made a mistake and I’m really glad that you took a hand that you won, you said, “Okay, I’m still not 100% sure that I played it right,” and you asked for suggestions and advice. I really, really appreciate that.

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