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In many free or low buy-in tournaments some people just goes all-in every time or bet too high for no reason. This is a bit annoying because it scares me a bit, but also it might be an opportunity I guess.

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Because there are a lot of jerks! – Soner Gönül May 24 '12 at 13:55
my tactic here is to auto-fold the first hand regardless, during a free to enter tourney as this always seems to happen in the first hand, perhaps they only know how to play with a chip lead and to be aggressive. – ChelseaStats Jun 18 '12 at 12:38
An example here is when i called an all in with AA vs 68o on the first hand of a multi table play tourney. I lost to the straight. I got tempted by the premium hand when my own rulebook says I should have folded regardless. – ChelseaStats Sep 25 '12 at 11:10
+1 for very cool question. – Soner Gönül Dec 18 '12 at 23:00
You could do the same :) – Vixen Dec 5 '14 at 15:44
up vote 21 down vote accepted

This is very much related to this question: How big an edge can you have on a tournament field ? ROI vs edge question

You have to balance the chance that your hand will win against a random hand with the actual advantage you gain from getting their stack. In general, I'd advise folding with less than a premium pocket pair preflop, and continuing on the flop with TPGK or better.

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What does TPGK mean ? – Radu Murzea Mar 8 '12 at 19:48
Top pair, good kicker. – Chris Marasti-Georg Mar 8 '12 at 19:57

Depends on how much often this all-in is presenting by for example using hud statistics software, you can measure this and push at least for example 20% of his range counting from top of course.

Then full range is 100%, his all-in range is 60% (i assuming this is top 60%) then you calling 12% (60% of 20%) top hands.

If you want measure this you can do this via Monte Carlo method using for example Equilator from PokerStrategy. You must set ranges to top 60% against your top 12% then you will have probability of winning against him using this tactic.

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It seems interesting but I didn't quite understand it, I'm rather novice. – Paolo Jan 15 '12 at 0:15
You meant to say 20% of 60%, not vice versa, right? – Armen Tsirunyan Feb 14 '13 at 13:50
20% of 60% is the same as 60% of 20%... – Chris Taylor Mar 10 '14 at 16:15

Generally I find that those people end up bluffing off all of their chips eventually. The people who challenge them tend to be poorer players as well. So while this tends to end with the result of someone at my table having a significant chip advantage I very rarely see that these people outlasted me.

In a tourney the opening rounds are about survival rather than accumulation. So I try to act conservatively and rake in a few small pots enough to keep me near average chip stack. Once the reckless are gone I tend to loosen up a bit.

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Interesting. I would have guessed it is the contrary (in early stage try to do as much as possible). – Paolo Jan 19 '12 at 21:24
@Paolo - Even bullets end up at best a coin flip against a large number of hands after the flop. I find going head to head with the reckless early on a good way to get knocked out of the tournament. – Chad Jan 19 '12 at 21:44

In these situations you have to push an equity edge vs their range, there's not a lot more your can do. Just construct a range that will beat theirs and get the chips in.

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In a cash game, definitely. In a tourney, probably not. – celwell Oct 27 '14 at 7:48

There are a lot of players who insta-shove a lot at the start of freerolls, I suspect on the grounds that they'll either double up and play from a strong position, or get knocked out and move on to the next one - either way avoiding having to spend a lot of time grinding away with an average or small stack, which presumably isn't their bag. That's what you have to put up with playing at a level where losing your buy-in in one hand doesn't hurt.

The biggest problem in calling someone like this even with AA is that there may well be another of them to your left (who's even more tempted by the chance to triple-up). Your aces may be a huge favourite against a random hand, but will suffer as each extra villain piles in. Before calling, think position, think what you know about the people still to act.

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...or someone to your left who reads you as a naive shover and calls you both with his premium pair... – Julia Hayward Nov 21 '14 at 10:28

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