Sunday, June 27, 2010

All in or fold

I decided to look through a couple of other online sites that I rarely use, checking to see if any of them had recently added HORSE or razz tournaments. I had not looked at Carbon Poker in several months. I was surprised to find that it did indeed have HORSE tourneys. However, there appear to be just four a day, two of them freerolls and two of them for $2.20, a little too low to interest me. There were no HORSE or razz SNGs.

But what really caught my eye in the list of tournaments was a format I had never heard of before: "All in or fold." Could it really be what the title implies?

Why, yes--it is. You have literally only two options on each hand: all in or fold. Period. I couldn't resist, for $3.30 of the $12 or so I had on account there. Above you can see the tournament lobby and a screen shot of when it was my turn. With the nut crub flush draw, naturally I shoved and picked up the blinds.

A couple of hands later, however, I was in the small blind with 3c-4c, and it was folded around to me. This is a rather interesting dilemma. Most of the time the big blind will have a better hand than this, but how often will he have a hand that he's willing to call all-in with? Actually, here, he didn't have to call all-in, because he had just doubled up on the previous hand, so that alters the dynamics. Partially because of that realization--that his calling range would now be broader than it otherwise would have been--I was going to just fold, because it seemed silly to risk 1530 chips to win 30. On the other hand, that's what most decisions in this game were going to be. Besides, it was only $3.30 invested. So I shoved. He instacalled with 10-10. By the turn, I had both a crub draw and an open-ended straight draw, but the river failed me. Crubs do not always get there, despite what certain other bloggers will try to tell you. I was out.

It's a perfectly ridiculous way to play poker, as it sends the luck:skill ratio off the charts. Still, I'm kind of intrigued by the different strategic thinking it requires. There's another one in about an hour, and I'm already registered. I'll be a little more cautious this time and see what happens.


gadzooks64 said...

My friend T used to host a weekly (Saturday night) $5.50 on FTP called All In or Fold. It was all on honor system since we couldn't get FTP to actually program the event for us. For all I know it might still be running - I think the Forums at Full Tilt took it over for a while.

It was always a lot of fun and really does teach hand values combined with position AND how to take a bad beat graciously or not as the case may be.

Pete said...

The 2010 Aria Classic has a $225 flipament scheduled for July 3. I believe that a flipament is this all-in or fold structure.