Friday, September 02, 2011

Unclear on the concept

Yesterday I was on Bodog playing a few double-or-nothing SNGs. In case you haven't ever tried this format, it's simple: You pay, say, $10 to enter, along with nine other people. You play until five have been eliminated. The remaining five all get $20. There is no extra bonus for having the most chips when the game ends. It's double or nothing, literally.


We were on the bubble. Four players had been taken out. The shortest stack went all in for less than the amount of the big blind. The biggest stack left then raised. Two other comfortable stacks called this min-raise. When the flop came, the big stack bet. This forced the other two to fold. But he had nothing, and the short stack survived.

Soon another short stack was all in for less than two big blinds. A couple of people called, and then our doofus big stack raised again. Again he got a couple of calls. Again the moron bet the flop, folding out the field, and again the short stack survived.

You can see how idiotic this is, can't you? It isn't always the case that a short stack being all-in means that everybody else should come in cheaply and keep the pot small in an effort to maximize the chance of somebody catching a strong hand to eliminate the all-in player. But in this specific situation, that's exactly what should happen.

If it's not on the cash bubble--that is, if it's the first elimination or two in question, then sure, you have an incentive to try to win as big a pot as you can, even if that means increasing the risk that the all-in player will survive. And if you're the second shortest stack when the shortest stack is all in on the bubble, you won't want to join in the gang bang without a strong hand, because if the shorty survives, he'll likely get doubled or tripled or quadrupled, and you'll now be the most vulnerable one. Finally, if the player going all-in on the bubble isn't the short stack, you obviously will be much more reluctant to call, because you either risk elimination or risk being made desperately short yourself.

But none of these alternative scenarios was in play yesterday. It was the bubble, the all-in player in both instances was the shortest stack left, it was for a very small number of chips, and those joining in to try to oust him had comfortable stacks remaining. Everybody (except shorty) had the same incentive: bust this last guy, and all share equally in the money. There was no advantage to pushing others out of the pot--especially for the biggest, safest stack, and especially when he was doing it light.

Was he drunk? Was he not paying attention to the stage of the tournament? Did he think it was a standard SNG where continued chip accumulation was advantageous? Was he just a jerk who got his jollies by messing up everybody else, even though it worked to his own detriment, too? I don't know. I still can't figure it out. I've never seen anything like it before.

10 comments:

bastinptc said...

Maybe all four. Testosterone can be a bitch.

Alex said...

Did the big stack get hit by the karma bus and go out on the bubble himself?

Anonymous said...

did u bubble

Richard said...

Is it possible he was colluding with the short stack?

Rakewell said...

Good question. I doubt it, though, because he did it with two different short stacks in a row.

Anonymous said...

Don't try to find a reason for this; some people are just stupid.

Eddie said...

You should know this concept: He was just playing the game the way he wants, everything else be damned!

Andy said...

I used to see this all the time in the Stars DON's. The big stack felt they had to bully everyone at the table, even though they could just turn off their computer and still cash.

I just assumed they were morons.

astrobel said...

You should report the incident anyway. It looks too colludy to me. Having said that the moronic plays we see sometimes ...

Mark T said...

I've heard horrible things about collusion teams playing those double-up SNG's specifically, where the entire team looks out for one another. One guy helps his teammates in one, he gets helped in the next, etc. Apparently, it's quite lucrative to cheat in this fashion.

Not saying that was necessarily the case here, but it sounds very suspicious to me.