So i had 25BB late on in a tournament when I find myself in the BB with 88 and the SB who has 5BB limps to 1BB, this time around I elected to just shove it and make him fold, but afterwards I wasn't sure if I had done the right thing.

Is it better to push your opponent in and try knock him out, or just shove him and take the fold? - Do I risk doubling him up or just chip away at the lower stacks by bullying them with a big stack?

This tournament was a 180 person SNG with 5-min blinds. I was in the money already.

  • 3
    the SB cannot "raise to 1BB". Did you mean that he limped (half a BB seen that he's the SB) into your BB? Jun 27, 2014 at 1:02

2 Answers 2


This is really easy (no brainer) shove, there is no way this can not be profitable, maybe only in some rare bubble situation.

He has only 5BB, if you raise even just to 2BB, the pot on flop will be 4BB and his stack will be 3BB. This means he is really pot commited and needs to push rest of his stack into the pot anyway. Also, you have hand that is very strong preflop but is harder to play on flop, so your overall tendency should be to get more money into the pot preflop and not postflop. With hands like T9,J9s,KQ,KJ you usually want to see the flop and then decide, because you either connect well with the flop(top pair or strong draw) or miss completely.

Anyway, playing less the 8BB effective stacks is really SHOVE/FOLD game, there is really no gain in trying something more creative during this phase. Some people advise playing SHOVE/FOLD strategy even up to 12BB effective stacks.

This is really great table to give you overall idea what to push on what stacks:


Professional players usually modify their play during game and not exactly follow this table in order to exploit villain weaknesses.I STRONGLY advise you to follow it your entire game, as you question suggests that you are really new to this world. Playing using these tables up to 12BB stack is really easy way to get from bad and loosing strategy into strategy that beats like 95%-100% players on micro stakes and not loose much vs the top 2%(on microstakes 0%) of players that can play against it.

  • Strategy in my answer means "strategy when playing with effective stack less then 12BB". Of course you have to know how to play well with higher stacks to be profitable and beat majority of players. Jul 2, 2014 at 9:15

Now that you've edited to indicate the SB limped in and you were already in the money, and in consideration of stack sizes between hero and villain (and without consideration for the other unknown stack sizes -- though that could change things), I think your push is likely the right thing to have done.

I would generally expect the SB to fold rather than call your push - letting you steal a BB, and in the case that the SB calls the push, your middle pair leaves you in at risk of losing the pot but that's poker.

I think others might argue that there's no reason to shove when a small raise might give you the same outcome at lesser risk. Since the villain's stack size is so small though, I'm not sure I would buy into that. If you did choose to bet smaller though, you should probably do so with the intention of folding to resistance unless the flop is unlikely to have hit the SB's range. With such a small stack, you would expect him to have a tight range to have called.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.