I was in 6, $10+$1 qualifier tournaments just this week at party poker determined to play in The Sunday Million for the 3rd week in a row. They have 60 players in each qualifier, and 1st and 2nd get entries while 3rd, 4th, and 5th get some cash. My poker calculator of choice for MTT’s is Hold’em Pirate, but most will give you at least the basic odds for making the right decisions, at least mathematically.
As it were, I placed in 4 of them, earning 2 entries (multiples are refunded in cash), and getting some extra cash in the other two. One tournament I did not place was the result of an ugly draw out by an inexperienced player. The other was a situation where I should have folded, but greed overcame me. Herein lies the beauty of using a poker calculator – it will give you the power to fold, when you are so inclined to take advice. That one tournament, I wasn’t. But here is a situation that arose in the other tournament qualifiers where I seized the art of folding.
Sitting to the left of a loose/aggressive in the early stages, Hold’em Pirate VPIP rating had the maniac clocked at playing a full 80% of the pots! I picked up AQs at the cutoff where there had been an early position, 3XBB raise from a somewhat tight player. The player after him cool-called and then the maniac put in a minimum raise bringing it to 4X the blind. Then came my turn. I was surprised to see my poker calculator giving a decisive FOLD recommendation for AQs. As I pondered playing, that minimum re-raise concerned me as it gave the other 2 players the chance to come over the top of the maniac, while the maniac seemed to be inviting such a thing. I correctly discerned that there was going to be an all-in situation with at least two players.
Had my poker calculator said call, I may have done so. AQs however, is a hand at this stage in the tourney where you do not want all your chips in the middle against 2 players. You are bound to be outdrawn even if you are ahead – which you are probably not. There are so many online players that would have been right in the middle of this hand with AQs – and OUT.
The early position tight player had KK, while maniac called his all-in with A9suited, and hit a silly flop that ended up turning a 6-7-8-9-10 straight for him. When you got a guy like this at the table, best to be way ahead, otherwise let the others get frustrated and and you will see a lot of high card vs low pair show downs, all the while depleting the field. In the meantime, you can cuddle up with your poker calculator and practice the art of folding.