Playing For A Spot At The WSOP

published on 05/15/08 at 7:20 am

You are in a WSOP (World Series of Poker) satellite tournament. The top 25 players receive an all-expense paid trip and seat to the 2008 WSOP. This is in the neighborhood of $15,000.

Currently, you are sitting 24th out of 31 remaining players. The blinds are at $500/$1000. You have $7,000 in chips and are the small blind in this next hand.

You are dealt Ace-Ace. Everyone folds before you, except John Doe, who is in the top 6 chip-wise. He raises it 3 times the big blind, a bet of $4,000, which is more than half your stack! How do you play this?

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2 Responses to “Playing For A Spot At The WSOP”

  1. John The Greek

    May 15th, 2008

    In a recent WSOP $1,000 satellite at Foxwoods we had a field of about 280 players with 27 seats on the line. We were on the bubble for a period of about 35 minutes with 28 players left. The Blinds had escalated to a ridiculous point. The difference between a big stack and the short stack was virtually one hand. We were playing very slow at our table, even though the dealers are supposed to go hand by hand at this type of situation they, too often mess up and deal before the other table has finished the hand, so we managed to extend our life span a bit. On the Button I picked up AK suited. Having only about 4.5X the BB, I decide to push all in. The SB folded and the BB gave me the dirtiest look I could have gotten. He turned over AA and asked me “Now, what the hell do I do with this? If I call, and get cracked I wont have enough for two laps.” and he mucked the hand.

    The very next hand a close friend of mine at the table had just enough chips to cover the ante and was all in blind. While our hand is being dealt an idiot on the adjacent table pushes all in and gets called by two big stacks. He has 22, the two big stacks have AK and QQ. QQ takes the hand and the tournament is over. Had this player been paying attention he would have known that a player at the adjacent table was all in on the ante.

    In this satellite you have two excellent examples. First the player on the BB with an amazing lay down of Aces that understands that in that satellite 27th place pays the same as 1st. And second, the guy that busted out on the bubble that was not paying attention to what is going on around him at a critical juncture in a tournament.

  2. John The Greek

    May 15th, 2008

    The guy that went all in with AK is the correct play. With only two players to beat and running out of chips being the short stack at the table he needed to do something or would be blinded out in the next two rounds. Those rounds go pretty quick when everybody folds around on the bubble.

    The player that folded the AA to the All in raise from the player with AK was the right play, as, with his chip stack, he was basically guaranteed a seat at that point and did not need to risk chips to improve his position.

    In the example provided, with 7 players left to go, the right play would be to push with AA. It could take a long time to get to the bubble and he would, most likely, need additional chips.

    The point I was trying to make with the example provided from a live tournament was the idiot that bubbled the tournament was not paying attention to what was happening. He picked up a pair and pushed. If he simply mucked the hand, he would have won the seat, yet he let his ego get the best of him. If I had a dollar every time I witnessed a stupid play like that in a satellite when we are close to the bubble, I would have enough to freeroll in every tournament.

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