Consider Fold Equity Before Shoving Small Pairs in Tournaments


Consider Fold Equity Before Shoving Small Pairs in Tournaments
Covering live poker tournaments for a living affords me the opportunity to see countless thousands of hands played out, many of which offer interesting and potentially valuable insights into how players — both amateurs and professionals — play the game. In this ongoing series, I’ll highlight hands I’ve seen at the tournaments I’ve covered and see if we can glean anything useful from them.

The Scene

The moment the whole poker world has spent months anticipating finally arrived, as the November Nine convened to determine who would take the mantle from Martin Jacobson as the world champion of poker. Like most everyone else, I watched the majority of the coverage.

On the third day of competition, appropriately, three players remained, but Neil Blumenfieldfound himself short as the night wound on. He had just 12,125,000 left during Level 39 (blinds 500,000/1,000,000, ante 150,000) when Hand #172 went down.

The Action

Josh Beckley (with just over 39 million to begin) opened for a min-raise on the button, then Joe McKeehen, who had a monstrous stack of more than 141 million, three-bet to 5.4 million from the small blind. Action moved to Blumenfield who quickly announced he was reraising all in. Beckley mucked right away, but McKeehen snap-called. Read More