Paying attention to short stacks

Pay attention to short stacks that you think may move all-in preflop so that you can size your raises accordingly, allow...

Posted Dec 13, 2015


Bart Hanson

Bart Hanson

Owner and Lead Pro

Pay attention to short stacks that you think may move all-in preflop so that you can size your raises accordingly, allowing you to force other out of the hand.

In most card rooms, including where I play in Los Angeles, they use the 100% rule when determining whether or not the betting can be reopened. What this basically means is that if I raise in a $5-10 to $40 (a $30 raise) and a short stack moves all in for $70 or more when the action gets back to me I can then reraise versus anyone else in the hand. If he moves in for any less than $70 he has not completed the full raise of $30 (from $40 to $70) and the action is not reopened.

It is very important to pay attention to the stack sizes of the short stackers especially if you want to drive others out of the hand.

Last week, the following hand went down at the Commerce $5-$10 game. The short stack was in the big blind and started the hand with $350. The action was folded to me and I raised on the button to $30 with AQos. The small blind, who I was $1000 effective with, reraised me to $60 and the big blind called. The action got back around to me and I had a sense that if I again reraised and the small blind called the big blind would just put the rest of his money in. So I calculated how much to reraise the $60 to, so if the SB called and the big blind moved all-in I could then reraise and drive the SB out of the hand. This number was exactly $200 (a $140 reraise). Sure enough the small blind called and the big blind put in the rest of his money, which was $290 (a $150 raise). This then opened the action back up and I was able to move all-in putting maximum pressure on the small blind. He tanked for a long time and finally folded TT face up. The board ran out rags and I won the main pot with ace high vs the big blind's KJ. The small blind was not to pleased.

If I had not been hyperaware of the stack sizes and had raised it to $210 instead of $200 the action would have been shut down as the big blind's raise would not have been a full 100% of the previous raise and I would have lost the pot!!

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