Hand Analysis: Call or Fold With Pocket Tens Versus a Preflop Shove?
This week I have a hand to share that involves a tough preflop decision — to call or not to call a big preflop shove with pocket tens.
The hand occurred during the $3,500 buy-in World Poker Tour Borgata Main Event. The blinds were 2,000/4,000 (with a 4,000 big blind ante) and things started with a tight-aggressive player raising to 9,000 from under the gun. I was next to act with .
As I explain in the video below, I don't three-bet that often in this situation, mainly because the UTG player's range ought to be very strong. So I just called, then it folded to the hijack who reraised all in for his last 110,000. It folded back around, the UTG raiser folded, too, and the action was on me.
The shove was for almost 28 big blinds, and I had about 100 BBs to start the hand. We were late on Day 2 and nearing the bubble.
What do you think? Do you find the call for a pile of chips or do you wait for a better spot?
In my discussion below I work out the pot odds and how often I need to win here to make calling profitable (about 42% of the time, it turns out). Then I try to work out my opponent's range as a reasonable-seeming player making this shove, and figure out whether or not my equity is enough compared to those pot odds to justify calling.
Those calculations all point to calling unless the opponent is very, very tight. Take a look at the discussion below and how I consider the decision versus different kinds of opponents.
It is worthwhile studying spots like this away from the table in order to be ready for them when they arise.
Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $7,000,000 in live tournament earnings. He writes a weekly educational blog and hosts a podcast at JonathanLittlePoker.com. Sign up to learn poker from Jonathan for free at PokerCoaching.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.