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Approaching The Money Bubble In Tournament


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I was playing a $5 buy-in 90 person tournament on full tilt. 25 people left, blinds 250/500 & ante of 50. Top 18 spots make the money. I have about 9500 in middle position with AQ. Under the gun raises to 1000 & I call. Guy to my left pushes all-in for 10500. Under the gun folds. From playing with this guy previosly I really think I have the best hand & call. Opponent turns over KJ, any gets J on the river to knock me out. What do you think of my play? Would it have been better for me to shove all-in myself to isolate after the initial raise? Or better to call the 1000 and fold to the all-in & leave me with a smaller stack? Or was it a correct play since I felt my hand was best? I appreciate your thoughts.

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Personally, I always try to apply pressure at points like a money bubble or big pay jump, etc. So, I would've have probably made a reraise dependent upon the stack size of the original raiser, his mood, etc. I got no problem with you calling the raise if you felt he was make a squeeze play on you with a weaker hand because you were on the money bubble. In tournaments, you can't live unless you're willing to die. I hardly ever play tournaments though, so my advice probably isn't the best. Some of these kids, all they do is play the small buy-ins all day long. They'll know better.

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I was playing a $5 buy-in 90 person tournament on full tilt. 25 people left, blinds 250/500 & ante of 50. Top 18 spots make the money. I have about 9500 in middle position with AQ. Under the gun raises to 1000 & I call. Guy to my left pushes all-in for 10500. Under the gun folds. From playing with this guy previosly I really think I have the best hand & call. Opponent turns over KJ, any gets J on the river to knock me out. What do you think of my play? Would it have been better for me to shove all-in myself to isolate after the initial raise? Or better to call the 1000 and fold to the all-in & leave me with a smaller stack? Or was it a correct play since I felt my hand was best? I appreciate your thoughts.
This is all you need to know about your decison. What did you think of the UTG's min raise pre though?
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You have less than 20BBs late in a tourney. Why did you just call a preflop minraise there?

This is all you need to know about your decison.
No. How he plays the hand is also a factor.
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What is UTG's stack? It's push or fold preflop, and I probably flip a coin to make my decision.
UTG had a little less than I did...can't remember exactly how much. Maybe around 7000-8000. Looking back I think I should have folded to the all-in bet because I think I could have played good enough to make the money. But my thought was that I thought I had the best hand and if I won that pot, that would have set me up in good position to possibly win the tournament. So part of me likes calling with the best hand, and part of me thinks I talked myself into gambling for my tournament life instead of just playing good poker. I think you can justify it either way. I think it was an interesting hand anyways.
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Im pretty sure if you shove the first time around you win the small pot. the slow-play is riskier as you are gonna have to actually play for all of your chips. if your hand holds up, you are probably going deep. if you take the blinds, you buy a little more time. you have to decide which is more important to you at the time....a few more chips to try and cash, or a homerun play to cash big.

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By calling the UTG minraise, you gave away vital info. It screams, "I have a decent hand, but I don't really want to risk it all on the bubble." If I'm to your left and have more chips than you...I'm definately putting you to the test. Shove it in pre and make others make a decision.

Looking back I think I should have folded to the all-in bet because I think I could have played good enough to make the money. But my thought was that I thought I had the best hand and if I won that pot, that would have set me up in good position to possibly win the tournament.
Don't let the results change your reads. You correctly read that you were ahead and made the call. You got your chips in as a favorite. Keep playing for 1st, not 18th.
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taxas driver, let's make it even simpler. You had AA and the shover had 44. You flat called the UTG raise and shover pushed all in with 44. Would you fold because you thought you had the best hand, but thought you coulda played well enough to make the money?? You're trying to win the tournament not make the money. You backdoor into making the money, but you play to win the whole thing.

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