Here is one more interesting hand that I would like to dissect from the NLH Bounty Tournament that I played a week ago. This hand is very typical of what takes place in NLH tournaments where there is a bounty on the line. For many players you will find this to be quite a normal example, but if you haven’t played many knockout tournaments, this hand will give you and idea of what you can expect.
I had become fairly short stacked several hours into the tournament when I picked up pocket J’s in late position.
Most of the players around the table had anywhere from $15k-$20k to my $4200, and while the Blinds were not enormous yet, the antes were chipping away at my stack. An older Asian gentleman in early position had put in a basic 3x BB raise making it $1200 to go. I had played against this player in the past, as well as for a few hours at this table and I knew he was not a typical passive-tight type player. He could be raising with anything here and I felt my best option was to simply shove. I am not ever thrilled about J-J unless I have some nice fold equity but in this position, I figured there was a good chance of him folding and I didn’t want any more players in the pot than absolutely necessary. I wanted to isolate with this guy and not end up getting busted by some fool who called with A-4 in the BB and flopped an Ace. Even though I thought there was a decent chance my opponent held A-x.
Everyone else folded to my all-in and since there was a $100 bounty at stake, my opponent didn’t even think about it as he called and flipped over K-4 suited.
I wasn’t terribly surprised to see this hand, as I had watched him play for hours and he seemed more than capable of playing a hand in this range. He probably shouldn’t have called a player like me in this scenario, but he might have figured I was pushing to induce a fold. Actually, I don’t think he ‘figured’ at all. I think he saw my bounty chip go in the middle and got greedy and snap-called. You will find this a LOT in bounty tournaments. Players are willing to risk way too much with less than desirable hands simply to try and pick up that knockout. I believe he would have folded this hand 10 times out of 10 times in a non-knockout tournament, but here, his greed got him.
So, I go into the flop as a nearly 70% favorite to win and my hand ends up holding up to double up my chip stack.
This seems like a pretty rudimentary example, but sometimes if you are paying attention to the situation, you can make some pretty easy decisions. One of the first rules of all my poker teachings is: allow yourself to make easy decisions and you will be successful. This was a great example of that.
Contact Chris Wilcox for coaching at: firstname.lastname@example.org