At the Final Table with T♠T♥, what do you do here?

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At a 6-handed Tournament final table where blinds are 6,000/12,000 the Middle Position player limps and the Cutoff raises. It folds to you in the Small Blind with T♠T♥. Action is on you, what do you do here?

PRO ANSWER: At the final table of a daily local casino tournament the blinds are 6,000/12,000 with a 12,000 big blind ante we are dealt pocket tens in the Small Blind. The MP2 player limps and it folds to the Cutoff who raises to 35,000. The Button folds and action is on us.

Play has been a little tight and players have still been limping with some regularity. The first thing we need to do here is put our opponents on estimated hand ranges. Normally the open limper would be a bit concerning as they have only around 8 big blinds to begin the hand and most players are aware that with a short stack they should be either pushing all-in or folding a vast majority of the time. Given that limping is going on with some regularity, we can assign a range of some premium hands and some hands our opponents want to “see a flop” with such as mid pocket pairs and connectors or broadway hands such as QJo.

The Cutoff player, if they are aware of players limping fairly wide ranges, should be raising quite wide here. With the Hijack only having 65,000 chips and it being the final table, pay jumps should be fairly significant at this point. This means MP2 should be very wary of busting prior to the Hijack without a decent hand so they move up the pay scale.

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Given both of those factors, our pocket tens are likely well ahead of both ranges. Another factor to consider is how important is it for US to not bust before the shorter stacks and move up the pay scale. Certainly if our hand were a bit more marginal like pocket sevens we would have to seriously consider folding here.

Pocket tens is a premium hand and even though we are unlikely to generate a huge amount of fold equity when we move all-in, our chip stack does potentially hurt Villain and take away many of their opportunities to abuse the shorter stacks in this way. This means we will generate some folds which will give us an additional 77,000 chips. In other instances we will be playing a pot with a significant equity edge over our opponent’s range of hands that if we win, will make us the chip leader and give us opportunities to abuse these same concepts against the rest of the table.

While this decision is closer than it may seem on the surface, our hand is still far too strong versus our opponent’s ranges in this situation to fold.

Moving all-in is the best play.

How would you play it?
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