Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gus Hansen Card Player Hand

The following hand is from the final table of the WPT championship as described by Gus Hansen in the June issue of Card Player.

6-Handed 80k/160k blinds, 20k ante.

Gus Hansen picks up T9s UTG and opens to 415k
Fold, Fold, Cory Carrol Calls from button
Jeff King pushes All-In for 1,855k from the small blind
BB Folds

Gus Hansen Calls the 1,440k more
Corry Carrol Folds
Jeff King has AQs

Gus rivers a Ten for the win, and Jeff is eliminated.

In the article, Gus defends the call by putting Jeff on a range of any pair, ATs+, AJ+, and claiming he read Carrol as not "particularly strong". Based on the range, Gus is getting 35% equity and will need to contribute 32.7%, a "must call" in his opinion. Lastly, Gus mentions that if you are getting 2-1 pot odds against an all-in shorty you must call unless convinced you are seriously dominated.

Overall the hand is interesting in that when you are trying to win an MTT and you have a safe amount of chips, you simply can't pass up any +EV situations no matter how small your actual chances are to win the hand. If you are going to call a bunch while semi-dominated late in MTTs because you are priced in, you better know the math in advance like Gus does. Anyway, I did not want to look at the hand from Gus's perspective. You can argue back and forth about that all-in call and never really get anywhere. It was borderline, and Gus leans a bunch towards the aggressor in borderline situations. He also did not reveal the chip stack sizes of everyone which is important, though I believe he was the leader at the time.

I want to look at it from the shorty pushing all-in's perspective. If you think Gus was "priced in" look at how priced in shorty with AQs is here. He is jamming 1,855k and looks to win 2,430k while being a 62% favorite to win the pot. I don't play MTTs like Gus, so I am normally on the short stack side of a hand like this. Its nice to know how easy you can win some nice pots late just by picking up a decent hand, and having someone think they are priced in. So does AQs want the call here? Surprisingly not. If Gus (and Cory) fold, AQs Chip Expectation Value for the hand is +T1090k. If Gus Calls AQs wins T2430 62% of the time and loses T1855k 38% of the time for a total EV of +T802. So AQs does not want the call for two reasons. First, he is giving up some expectation value by getting called. Second, he can get eliminated if called, and an elimination is the worst possible result from a Cash Prize Expectation Value perspective. So when you jam AQs in a situation like this you don't want to be called by T9s even though you are better than 60/40 against it. Since you don't want the call, it is obviously correct for the caller to call, as they are picking up the expectation value you give up by getting called. From this angle you can see how right Gus was, and how important calling shorty pushes down from way behind can be late in MTTs.

Another thing to consider is Gus's table image. If he is aggressively attacking the blinds as the chip leader, he may be a bit generous with his range for Jeff. Jeff has an M of about 5, and could easily be jamming with a wider range. But, if Jeff knows that Gus uses a 2-1 rule for calling a shorties push, and those are the odds he is laying, you need to start planning on a call, and making sure you have the right type of hand to jam with (i.e. Gus's range for Jeff). Also, Gus may want to consider what showing down T9s in a borderline situation will do for his image. I tend to think it will actually help as people will be afraid to Jam over his preflop aggression, because he will call down slim. It also may indicate how AA or KK should be played against Gus. Just price him in and wait for the double up!

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At 2:22 AM, Blogger $mokkee said...

without all the math, whenever you jam with AQ, you pretty much never want a never

thats probably why Gus called

At 10:07 PM, Blogger savyo said...

I agree with you bloger. Since you don't want the call, it is obviously correct for the caller to call, as they are picking up the expectation value you give up by getting called.
Guss card player hands obviously look correct if we look at it with this point of view.


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