A Round at the Pub: Tournament vs. Ring Game All-Ins

[LL] Leroy the Lion was amazed to hear that Kieran the Keeper, who now played as loose as anyone in the room, had once been the tightest player in the pub. “Did you ever fold a pair of Aces preflop?”

[KK] “No, it’s such a small tournament here that it doesn’t make sense. But I certainly would have done it on the bubble of a bigger event”, Kieran surmised.

[AA] “I’ve done it”, Al the Almost chimed in. “It was a $50 buy-in event, so just moving up one more spot was worth around $100. I was almost the shortest stack, so I didn’t even think hard about it.”

[LL] “I’m impressed. What about in the side game? What’s the biggest hand you’ve ever laid down preflop here?”

[AA] “That’s a totally different animal because you can just reload any time. People are so loose here that I wouldn’t lay down any pair because you’re in a race way more than you’re dominated by a bigger pair. Mathematically, you’re in a coin flip most of the time, so it’s right to call given the pot odds.”

[KK] “Agreed. Maybe I could find a fold against somebody as tight as a duck’s derriere like you ;-).”

[LL] “I’ll take that as a compliment. What about unpaired hole cards?”

[AA] “That depends on who it is and how much it is. Ace-Queen is an automatic call. Less than that I’d have to think about.”

[KK] “I’d fold Queen-Jack offsuit. Maybe.”

[LL] “Oliver the Overanxious once flashed me his hole cards when he was seriously considering an overcall of an all-in. He had Seven-Two suited! I don’t know what he was smoking, but that’s insane. Actually, I do know what he was smoking; that’s why I try not to sit next to him.”

[LL] “Were you guys playing Hold ‘Em back when a preflop four-bet meant Kings and a five-bet meant Aces? Now, thanks partly to all the Internet crazies, the game has swung way too far the other way. Remember Joseph Cheong losing most of his chips at the 2010 W.S.O.P. Main Event final table? Three-handed, he six-bet(!) all-in with A♠7♥ only to run into Jonathan Duhamel’s Q♦Q♣.”1

[AA] “I’ve seen close to that here, but we’re way tighter than Cheong. We’d only do it suited!”


  1. You can watch the fateful Cheong-Duhamel hand on YouTube.

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