Short-Stacked With King-Ten Suited: Shove or Fold?
DECISION POINT: In a no-limit hold'em tournament the blinds are 1,500/3,000 when an under-the-gun player raises to 9,000. It folds to you in middle position with and 7 big blinds. Action is on you...
PRO ANSWER: Since we only have 7 big blinds and UTG opened to 3 BBs, we have little-to-no fold equity on a shove. This means that if we move all in we are going to be called by UTG. Therefore, we need our hand to have sufficient equity against their estimated range to justify a shove.
If we move all in, we will be risking 21,000 chips to play a total pot of 49,500, so we need 21,000 / 49,500 or 42 percent equity to continue (we are ignoring the other opponents for now). Note that when we are at the table, we could round and estimate that we are risking about 20K to win a 50K pot, so we need more than about 40 percent equity.
Our equity depends on UTG's range. Against a 10 percent opening hand range, we have about 39 percent equity. Against a 20 percent opening hand range, we have about 44 percent equity. This is pretty close from a chip-EV standpoint if Villain is opening wide.
However, the presence of 5 opponents yet to act behind us hurts our overall EV in this spot. One of them will wake up with a premium hand around 25 percent of the time. This tips this spot to a fold, even though we believe that UTG's range is somewhat wide.
The combination of not having fold equity and our poor position overcomes being up against a potentially wider hand range.
Folding is the best play.
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