It's actually been kind of fun poking around in the STT forum at 2+2. Not a ton of lightbulb moments but definitely some valuable stuff, as far as playing a big stack on the bubble, and correct bubble play in general. I've been playing like a donk in more than a few situations, especially as far as not constantly pushing with any two with a big stack on the bubble, when the other stacks are evenly distributed.
Last night was an odd one as far as the extremes, with opponents constantly rivering two outers to knock me out on the negative side, but then nearly every single coinflip with my pocket pairs holding up for me versus overcards, on the positive side of the spectrum. Including a fairly bizarre hand where it was still six handed and I was the shorty with 1400 or so, 200/400 blinds, and I shoved with 44 from UTG. The button shoving over the top of me dashed any hopes that I might pick up the blinds, then the SB pushing over the top of him, and the BB shoving as well pretty much torpedoed any excitement I had in my wee pocket pair.
Until the button, SB, and BB all turned over AKo, and despair turned to joy. The two-outer gods still tried to screw me with the case K on the river, but I flopped a set so I still quadrupled up.
That hand does (sort of) illustrate one of the concepts I still wrestle with when holding hands like that, but usually when I'm not quite so short. Lacking the vocabulary here, but I still flail around when there's 5-6 players left, stacks are reasonably evenly distributed, and no one is painfully short. Let's pretend the following SnG scenario:
I'm UTG with 7h7d, blinds are 100/200, and remaining players have the following stacks:
I'm pretty much reduced to folding/shoving, as I have to fold if someone pushes over any raise I make. I guess I could try to limp, but that's just encouraging someone to shove behind me, which they can do profitably with any two as I'm folding nearly everything but a huge hand.
There's a lot to be said for shoving. Picking up the blinds adds a non-trivial boost to my stack and I don't necessarily hate getting called by hands like AK, AQ, etc., as I have to win some coin flips somewhere to pick up serious chips. On the flip side, since the stacks are relatively distributed, more often than not I'm only getting called by a bigger pair and in bad shape. Since I'm only picking up 300 chips a majority of the time, my gut rebels against pushing hands like these, as the utility of those chips seems diminished since picking up the blinds doesn't really clarify the roles each player is playing.
Ugh, that's a clunky way of describing what I'm trying to get at. With all the stacks fairly evenly distributed, should I tend to avoid shoving in situations like the above, when I can afford to donate my blinds and still have a workable stack with position when I get the button? Or does the fact that stacks are evenly distributed add value to pushing, due to the tendency for everyone else to fold? I feel like I have a decent grasp on playing these situations when everyone's role is clearly defined by their stack size and position, but am a bit lost when that's not so clear and everyone is still in wait-and-see mode, largely waiting for a clear chip leader and short stack to emerge.
Fuck me, this is like three posts in a row with real actual poker content. Here's a picture of the coolest rat in the world to counteract that:
All your peanuts are belong to me