Short Stack All-In Range

a short stack
How do you feel about pushing with middle suited connectors when you’re short-stacked late in a tournament?

I ask this because I saw this a couple of times from one of my more respected players in a live tournament last night.

If it means anything this guy is moving to Las Vegas this weekend to play professionally.

Anyway, late in the tournament, 5 handed and pretty much everybody is short-stacked.

Twice I saw the cards when he did this and he won one and lost the other. Here are my thoughts so far.

Cons:
1. if you get called you’re almost guaranteed to be behind
2. get caught doing this once and you’re fold equity drops significantly

Pros:
1. flush and straight possibilities
2. probably live cards if called by Ax
3. fold equity that late in a tournament is high
4. blinds are higher so payoff is bigger if you can buy the blinds

4-2… I may have to add this to my arsenal. What do you think? I’m prepared to do this more often than I once did. In an unopened pot when I’m in need of chips I’ve no problem pushing allin with almost any holdings…that’s considering the fact that my stack has got low enough that I can only survive for a relatively short time due to blinds and antes.

Get in first and hope to steal the blinds. If you do get called then yes you may be behind – but possibly not far behind. You may also receive a call from a bigger stack when your in fact ahead … and in the scenario under consideration, your situation is favourable since you are possibly less likely to get called as the other players are also low stacked.

My hand selection in these cases would depend on exactly how low my stack is in relation to the blinds/antes and also in relation to other stacks but when chips are critical then I think most hands would qualify.

If you go in first with say an 9-8s and you do happen to get called you could be more or less a coin flip versus a low Ax – and 40:60 to a higher ace.

Really you are only in bad shape against a medium to high pair – however if you waited it out, pushed with a pocket pair and met a higher pair in a showdown, it is the same scenario.

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