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Shallow-Stacked With Pocket Sevens Versus a Raise and Call

Shallow-Stacked With Pocket Sevens vs. a Raise and Call

DECISION POINT: In a no-limit hold'em tournament, the player sitting under the gun raises 3x the big blind and it folds around to the cutoff who calls. You are on the button with {7-Spades}{7-Clubs} and a stack of 17 big blinds to start the hand. The action is on you...

PRO ANSWER: Our pocket sevens has plenty of equity against any reasonable opponent hand ranges, but does not perform very well postflop with shallow stacks. Too many overcards to a seven can come, which is especially problematic in this multi-way pot.

Small and medium pocket pairs do not realize their equity very well postflop in multi-way pots with a low stack-to-pot ratio (SPR).

In order to call and play this hand speculatively, we would need the effective stack to be much deeper so that the implied odds on flopping a set are significantly greater. Since this is not the case, we should either reraise or fold preflop.

Given that the table is seven-handed, the UTG raise is actually the first middle position seat, so we should assign them a default MP1 raising range (approximately 15 percent of all hands). Our hand does very well against this range, plus we can still create fold equity with our reshove.

We can potentially increase our stack size by nearly half when we take down the pot uncontested, so reshoving will be a very profitable line.

Also, when our all-in reraise is called, we still win the pot nearly half the time.

Moving all in is the best play.

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