The fishtank part 7

Two-time WSOP winner Scott Fischman has joined the team and is here to answer your questions

Bubble boy

What’s the correct strategy for playing a big hand towards the bubble of a sit-and-go? I was playing in a 10-man online sitand- go, and was in third place out of four, relatively shortstacked. (The approximate chip counts were: 1st: 7000; 2nd: 5000; Me: 2000; 4th: 1000). The blinds were pretty steep – 300- 600 – and I was on the button. I was dealt A-Q suited and the big stack raised to 2000 before me, effectively pushing me all-in. So I called and he knocked me out with his pocket Fours when my hand didn’t improve.

I felt a bit stupid afterwards because if I’d sat in there and folded I probably would’ve made the money, but I wouldn’t have had much of a chance to challenge for the first place. I thought my best chance was to try and double up there and then. Did I do the correct thing or should I have tried to hang on for third place?

Harvey W

First, you need to decide if your goal in these sit-and-gos is to just make it into the money or to win the tournament outright. If you’re aiming to make the money and don’t care about trying to win, then you can just sit and fold and hope someone busts before you’re blinded away. If you’re in it to win it, you need to give yourself the best possible chance.

Basically, the end stage, or all-in stage, is not determined by the number of players, but by the size of your stack. You should never be in all-in mode unless you have about seven big blinds or less. However, you had less than seven big blinds and should have been going all-in before you reached this point to steal the blinds and keep yourself alive, and hopefully double up. When your stack gets below that level, it isn’t much more for the big stacks to call in order to try to knock you out and you lose all fold equity.

You have no chance of stealing the blinds and increasing your stack at this point. Cards are irrelevant in this situation. You’re looking for the spot not the hand! You may bust on the bubble, but you’ll also take lots of first places.

Don’t tell him

I play a regular home game with friends and I’ve picked up a stone cold tell on one of my mates. I haven’t told him about it, or any of my other friends, but if I’m in a hand with him I know when he’s got a weak hand. I was pretty pleased to start with as previously I’d never picked up any live tells on people, but now it’s been a couple of weeks and I’m starting to feel guilty about taking his hard earned money.

I’m pretty sure he hasn’t noticed that I’m doing it, so here’s my question: Should I tell him or should I keep fleecing him? After all, it’s been said that you should never go soft on anyone at the poker table.

Tom Sillow

Basically, if you’re not looking to use the game as a learning tool, but to make money, then you shouldn’t tell him. When I first started playing with my friends, our sole purpose was to improve our game, so while we were playing for real money, we would still tell each other everything because we had committed to helping each other.

However, if that’s not the case, I would recommend trying to have the game a few times a week and make sure your buddy always has a cold beer and hot pizza, maybe even a lap dance! It’ll definitely be worth your while.

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