PokerPlayer quiz: final tables

Getting to an MTT final table is great but if you don’t win it’s a wasted opportunity. Test your end game skills with our latest quiz…


Q1. Ready to start

Players 9 Blinds 5,000/10,000 Your stack 200,000 Your hand A-T

It’s the first hand of a $22 final table online. The payouts are very geared towards the top three spots and you are in sixth place. It’s folded to the monster chip leader in the cut-off who raises to 25,000. You have A-T in the small blind. What do you do?

a) Fold
b) Call
c) Three-bet to 75,000
d) Move all-in

Q2. On all fours

Players 7 Blinds 6,000/12,000 Your stack 216,000 Your hand 4-4

It’s the same tournament and two players have been eliminated. You pick up 4-4 under-the-gun with an 18BB stack. The blinds both have a lot of chips, while the button is very short. What do you do?

a) Fold
b) Limp in
c) Raise to 25,000
d) Move all-in

Q3. leading the way

Players 5 Blinds 10,000/20,000 Your stack 740,000 Your hand J-9

You are progressing well in the same $22 MTT. You now have the chip lead with 740,000 when the player in second – with a 500,000 stack – min-raises on the button. You have J-9 in the small blind. The big blind has a 360,000 stack. What do you do?

a) Fold
b) Call
c) Three-bet to 110,000
d) Move all-in

Q4. Mano-a-mano

Players 2 Blinds 25,000/50,000 Your stack 1.5m Your hand J-T

You’ve made it to heads-up but your opponent is a top player who is winning a lot of small pots. He has a slight chip lead but it’s close. He raises to 120,000 on the button and you call with J-T. The flop is 8-9-3. You check and he bets 160,000. What do you do?

a) Call the 160,000
b) Check-raise to 400,000 and call a shove
c) Check-raise to 400,000 and fold to a shove
d) Check-raise all-in

Q5. Gone till November

Players 10 Blinds 100,000/200,000 Your stack 8.6m Your hand A-K

You are on the November Nine bubble of the 2013 WSOP Main Event. The short stack moves all-in under the gun for 3 million. Another player moves all-in behind for 9 million, covering you. You have A-K in the big blind. What do you do?

a) Call
b) Fold


1 d) Move all-in.
Too many players freeze up in the early stages of a final table, afraid to get knocked out for a small score. When the payouts are top-heavy though you really must play for the win. With a 20BB stack that means re-shoving over an opening raise when your hand is ahead of the opponent’s range. A-T is definitely ahead of the range that a loose big stack will open from the cutoff.

2 a) Fold.
The problem with a raise is that if you are called there will be very few flops that you like. If you move all-in instead then you will always be crushed or racing when called. Your stack is also too large to move all-in as our hand will look exactly what it is, a small pair that doesn’t want action.

3 d) Move all-in.
When you are the big stack you must put pressure on the other players as much as possible. It’s not in the interests of the player in second spot to tangle with you as you are the only player that can knock him out. Look for every spot to abuse this. Jamming here is a perfect example.

4 b) Check-raise to 400,000 and call a shove.
When an opponent is beating on you headsup it makes sense to gamble it up more to try and get a lucky win. After flopping a big draw our number one goal must be to get all the money in on the flop. We have eight definite straight outs and any Ten or Jack may also give us the best hand too.

5 b) Fold.
Sometimes in tournaments there are exterior factors that do, and should, influence our decisions at the table. Being on the WSOP November Nine final table bubble is one of the most dramatic situations in poker – there are so many added benefits to making the final, that you must do everything you can to get there. Sometimes this will mean passing up marginal +EV spots that you might have played differently another time.

Your score

0-2 World’s end
You may make the final tables but what a waste

3 Deep end
Your end game skills are improving but you’re still miles away from the top

4-5 Happy ending
You’re an MTT titan. Congrats, superstardom surely awaits

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