Chip Leader with K♠T♦, what do you do here?

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You are in the money and the table chip leader in a multi-table Tournament where blinds are 5,000/10,000 with a 10,000 big blind ante. It folds to you on the Button with K♠T♦ and action is on you. What do you do here?

PRO ANSWER: We are playing a tournament where we just got in the money and we are the table chip leader with 1.6 million chips (160 big blinds) at 5,000/10,000 blinds with a 10,000 big blind ante. We are dealt KsTd on the Button and it folds around to us.

We are now in a very interesting tournament spot that can come up quite often, especially if we have a decent stack and there are a lot of players left in the tournament who have what is referred to as "reshove stacks". A Reshove stack is between 15-20 big blinds. The best move for players with this stack size is to look for spots where opponents have a wide opening hand range and then shove all-in over the top when the opponent raises first into the pot. This move is used to induce a fold and leverage their stack to pick up chips.

In this spot, we are on the Button with a hand that we would normally raise first-in with. The potential problem here is if we open, our opponents have great stacks to reshove with. If an opponent reshoves we will be in a very precarious spot because against aggressive players they will likely have hands like JTs and A4s here in their range of which we either dominate or have great equity against. However, we don’t really want to play a 30+ big blind pot with these hands.

Traditional poker logic often says that with and against reshove stacks we shouldn’t raise any hands we wouldn’t call a shove with, but that logic is flawed. If we only raise hands we will call with then we miss out on a lot of opportunities to utilize our big stack here to accumulate chips. We do have another option though.

Continued below...

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Against players who resteal aggressively with these stacks (which is often appropriate) we can also move all-in. At first glance it may seems like a large overbet.

However, sometimes when we hold certain hands that we may have to call versus a shove we actually reduce our overall variance by just shoving first. This way we make them fold some hands with which they may have shoved against a small open-raise.

Our opponents will still call with the hands that dominate us, but they would have shoved with those hands anyway, and we may have had to call those shoves.

Against more passive players who don’t reshove appropriately, making a minimum raise and folding here is definitely the superior play. When facing players who are capable of reshoving a very wide range in this spot, open-shoving into these two stacks is slightly higher EV and lower variance than both raise/folding and raise/calling.

Moving all-in is the best play.

How would you play it?
Share your answer in the comments below!

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