A♣T♣ with a 15BB Stack, what do you do here?
DECISION POINT: In a Tournament, two players from Middle Position and the player on the Button all limp into the pot. The Small Blind completes. You are in the Big Blind with A♣T♣ and 15 big blinds in your stack. Action is on you, what do you do here?
PRO ANSWER: There are three limpers and the Small Blind completes before we act in the Big Blind with ATs. Our stack to start the hand was roughly 15 big blinds. With that particular stack size our primary moves to accumulate chips at the table are reshoving over preflop raisers with a wide opening hand range as well as shoving over the top of limpers.
In this particular spot there are 2400 chips in the pot and we have 5700 left in our stack after posting the big blind. Just picking up the dead money in the pot here represents over a 40% increase to our stack!
Typically if we are called in these spots, it’s by either the first caller or the last caller. The first because they have the narrowest starting range of all the limpers since when they entered the pot they were getting the worst odds.
The last because they close the action and don’t have to worry about other players and can just focus on if the price they’re getting on their call is greater than their likely equity against our range.
The first limper does give us some pause for concern, as at this stage in the tournament limping can be more uncommon given the amount of initial money in the pot related to the starting stacks, as well as the potential risk versus reward on steals with the antes in play. Often times with these size stacks players will limp to induce a shove from another player as a trap.
The final caller is the Small Blind who only put in 200 chips to complete. This opponent likely has a very wide hand range with the direct pot odds they were given preflop.
If we had some sort of read that the initial limper was the type of player who liked to call or trap in this spot, we could make an exploitative check here and see the flop with our hand. However, we do not have any reads to indicate this tendency and ATs is just too far ahead of our opponents’ ranges in this spot. The amount of chips in the middle represents such a large increase to our stack when we pick this pot up uncontested that we must shove in this spot by default.
Moving all in is the best play.
How would you play it?
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