BB is 6,000. 2 callers. I go all in (36,000) on the button with AKo. Also included in the bet are about 30,000 in bounty chips which can't be used till the final table. I'm fairly sure that was the right move on a short stack with a premium hand. Everyone folds except a big stack (>120,000) with 57o. I am a tight player so big stack knows I have him beat before the flop. AKo is ahead of 57o 63/37% before the flop according to poker stove. And he is a good player. Even with much less than AKo I still had a good lead before the flop. As I look at the numbers it seems his pot odds (counting the bounty chips, blinds, and other caller) might be better than 2:1. Is that the reason for the call or might there be other factors?

  • 1
    I think the most important factor is the fact that you're SEVERELY short stacked with just 6 BB. Shoving there was a good move. Commented Jul 5, 2013 at 15:37
  • 2
    who won?-) ....
    – H_7
    Commented Aug 21, 2013 at 22:19
  • Villain won on the river
    – jacknad
    Commented Aug 23, 2013 at 12:18
  • Personally, with AK and a tiny stack, I prefer to make an obviously-pot-committing raise like 3.5 - 4 BBs. I've already made the choice that I'll be all in on this hand, what's the rush? Maybe he calls, misses and folds to your last 2 - 2.5 BBs.
    – Dom
    Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 2:30

3 Answers 3


No, he should have folded. :-)

Longer explanation:
So there are 3,000 (SB) + 6,000 (BB) + 12,000 (2 callers) + 30,000 (bounty chips) + 36,000 (your stack) chips in the pot. That works out to 87,000 chips. It is 36,000 chips for him to call (unless he was one of the original callers) which is 2.41:1 (or 41% of the pot). This basically gives him a negative value of about 4%, or 1,440 (of the 36,000 chips that he is risking) that he will lose, on average, with this particular hand match up.

Since you have 6 big blinds, you should be going all in with more hands than just AK so the caller should put you on a range of hands that varies based on his experience and his view of the tournament/you. Since most of those hands will be pairs bigger than his cards or two overs (especially since you are a tight player), his odds won't really be any better than that ever, and sometimes much worse (your pairs).

If he knew that you had AKo, this is a marginal fold, which he could have gotten wrong "in the heat of battle" with all of the chips flying around, or maybe he just felt like gambling. However, because you could have also had pairs, this should have been a clear fold and was probably just a player who didn't make a very good decision, for whatever reason (he isn't very good, he needed to leave to meet his girlfriend and was just trying to finish the tournament, etc.).

  • 1
    I have to disagree with analysis. I cannot speak for the player who is playing but with only 6BB you really should have a pretty wide shoving range especially with chips in the pot. Now if you say that his range is top 30% then this is a marginal call and really it could be wider than top 30%. I think the problem with your thinking is that whilst this is hand is way behind to pairs there are a lot less of them in the players range than there are hands like JQ or something.
    – hmmmm
    Commented Jul 6, 2013 at 16:48
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    @hmmmm: Yes, but even JQ is an under-dog in this situation and the pot-odds don't quite make up for it. That was the point of this answer, that even in the "best case" you don't have the correct odds, and in the "worst case" (pairs) you are crushed.
    – lnafziger
    Commented Jul 6, 2013 at 16:53
  • @Inafziger Your calculation are wrong. The equity required is 29% and not 41%.
    – emanuele
    Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 17:24
  • @emanuele: I calculated pot odds and not ICM because he did not include information such as number of players and stack sizes. You are making assumptions and can not possibly calculate equity with the information that was provided.
    – lnafziger
    Commented Aug 17, 2013 at 22:08
  • 1
    @emanuele: You are correct. +1 :)
    – lnafziger
    Commented Aug 19, 2013 at 21:59

On the contrary of the answer above, the answer is yes, is the right move. Calling 36000 to win 87000 means that you have must have at least 29% if equity. The hands that has this equity against AK are

22+, A2s+, KTs+, Q2s+, J2s+, T2s+, 92s+, 82s+, 72s+, 62s+, 52s+, 42s+, 32s AKo, Q2o+, J2o+, T2o+, 92o+, 82o+, 72o+, 62o+, 52o+, 42o+

even taking in to account the bubble factor and the ICM, the call is correct.

From a most general point of view you are able to go all-in from the Button with 9 BB, with almost 36% of hands. In this general case an opponent would had call with almost any two cards.


It seems that your opponent's play is a "concession" that you are the better player, and that he is trying to win using his bigger stack.

You have 36,000, he has 120,000, and matches you all in when his chances compared to yours are 3 to 5. There is a 3/8 chance that you will lose on this round. If you win, you double up to 72,000, but he's got you covered with 120,000-36,000= 84,000, and will try to put you all-in again.

The chances of your "surviving" (winning both rounds) are only (5/8)*(5/8)= 25/64, or less than 50-50. If your opponent is an inferior player, he'd have to like those odds.

Another way of looking at it, he goes "all in" with you for 36,000, with a 3/8 chance of breaking you. If you survive, he plays "rationally," with 84,000 chips to your 72,000. Let's say for the sake of argument that the odds are now 50-50, with your superior skill outweighing his greater chips. Your chances to win overall are only 5/16th (one half of your 5/8th chance of survival). And if he had more than 120,000 chips, there is some number X greater than 120,000 for which this would be good play.

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