MTT shove or fold question. Please help.


Recently, I played a $150 buy-in NLH tournament that paid out the top seven players. I can't remember but I think it was something like $450 for 7th and $2600 for 1st. As we sat for the final table (9 handed), I found myself among the short stacks. I had just under 24,000. To my delight, another short stacked player bargains for 8th and 9th place to get their money back. Everyone obliges. So now everyone at the table is guaranteed their money back. Play begins with blinds at 1500/3000 and 300 ante. A few hands in: UTG+1 makes it 7500. He has about 3.5 x more chips than me. UTG+2 and +3 fold. I'm UTG+4 (HiJack) and I look down at pocket 88. There are two really big stacks, one short stack, and one medium stack to act behind. I decide to shove. Coast is clear of any ace or jack until the river comes an ace.

A little more info:
My read on UTG+1 was that he was solid. In hindsight, he couldn't have had pocket 22, 33, or 44. Even pocket 55 and 66 are a stretch. Most likely I'm looking at 77+, A9s+, KTs+ QTs+, JTs+, ATo+, KJo+.
I realized at the time that he would probably be calling.
The big stacks haven't seemed too interested in being ultra aggressive that I've seen.
I was pretty sure that it was going to work out very close to the way it did. Me vs him in a coin flip situation. Even though, I realize if he has a pocket pair I'm most likely crushed.
My M was 3.33

Was it a mistake to shove?


  1. Admittedly close, but I lean towards shoving. Getting blinded down to nothing is a real risk here. So, although I don't love the spot (knowing the raiser is likely priced in to call - and knowing an early position raise is especially strong (again, lowering our chances of just getting a fold/uncontested win). Our 8-8 is more than likely ahead, albeit barely, and we are getting a bit more than even money here with some juicy blinds thrown in. Also, not a great spot because when we are behind, we are way behind.... but I don't know that we can be picky and wait for something better. Also, already being in the money gives a little more liberty to gamble. We are currently looking at likely finishing in 8th or 9th, so I feel like there is less downside to gambling here and losing. Many tournament structure also have antes, which would further incentive taking a risk here (I assume they are not in play in this specific hand but add this given the comment so far by another poster about often finding oneself in similar hands). So, here I shove and hope to see two unpaired cards. If you get this, you are better than even money to win AND getting better than 1-to-1 on your money. If your stack were something like 50% bigger, you might consider folding (more at risk when you face a higher pair) or calling (set mining with better implied odds).

  2. Thanks so much for the feedback guys!

  3. My range for early position TT+, AQ+ in this situation...your fold equity is low since you are short, so I fold...I want to be first in with a short stack or have a hand that is in the top 1/2 to 1/3 of my opponents range

  4. @Goodshoe completely agree

  5. I do not think is was a mistake to shove. You were down to 8BB and in mid position. By shoving you eliminated 4 players from the hand. But you had to know you'd be dominated or at best a coin flip when UTG+1 raises. Like Allin said, its a close call. BTW...I like Horseshoe Hammond Poker Room.