9♠9♦ Facing Two All-Ins, what do you do here?
DECISION POINT: In the middle stages of a Tournament with 30 players left and 13 getting paid you are dealt 9♠9♦ in Middle Position. The Under the Gun player moves all-in for 4,580 and you call. It folds around to the Small Blind who moves all-in for 17,912 and the Big Blind folds. Action is on you, what do you do here?
PRO ANSWER: We are playing in the middle stages of a tournament with blinds at 350/700 with a 70 chip ante. There are 30 players left out of 70 starting with 13 getting paid. We are dealt pocket 9s in Middle Position and the first player to act (UTG) moves all-in for 4,580 chips.
This is a really close spot. Our pocket 9s definitely figure to be well ahead of a UTG shoving range when they only have ~6.5 big blinds. However, with 6 players left to act behind us, if shove and isolate the original raiser we would often only get called by bigger pairs that have us dominated plus AK.
Calling here puts us in a precarious position because when we do get shoved on we will be getting tremendous odds to call. If we decide to flat call UTG's shove here we should have a plan for how to proceed if we get shoved on by any of the remaining players in the hand.
According to a solver, calling the initial shove is slightly preferred to reshoving in this spot. This assumes that the rest of the players all with 20-25 big blind stacks will not be moving all-in very light behind us. If our opponents were of the type to move all-in light or as a bluff here, then just moving all-in ourselves first would be a preferable play. We do call and it folds around to the Small Blind who moves all in for 17,912 chips.
We are getting around 3:1 to call here. The original shove came from UTG and we called next to act for nearly one third of our chips, so the SB should be moving in with an extremely narrow range. Folding to this shove would leave us with around 13 big blinds. The Small Blind’s range should be narrow enough that a fold is preferred despite the great odds we are getting. Pocket tens are a slightly +EV (expected value) call.
If we had opponent specific information that the Small Blind might move in with a wider range than expected in this spot we could make a compelling argument to continue and must call, otherwise we should just fold.
Folding is the best play.
How would you play it?
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