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STT Flat Calls, Pot Odds & Over-limping | Q&A Podcast #106


Sky Matsuhashi

on November 16, 2016

I answer 3 listener Q’s about making STT (single table tournament) flat calls, using pot-odds in-game, over-limping and finding poker friends.

Download and listen to this episode as you follow along below.


Question #1 from Rob: STT Flat Calls (1:15)

Hi Sky!
Thanks for the great poker tips, your blog and podcasts are just amazing!
I'm writing a blog on my own as a part of my (smart lol) poker study and I wonder what would be your flat call range in the early stages of STT’s? I mean, is there any situation where you would flat call other than setting a trap with maybe AA or KK? What would you call a raise from MP1 with being at the button for instance?
Thanks again!

I think making flat calls in STT's in the early stages is fine.  But, you've got to have a post-flop plan when you do so. Try to call IP vs a fit or fold villain so you can take it away when they check the flop.  I'd call with most hands that I'd open raise or open limp with. If I'm dealt a hand NOT in my opening range then I'd just fold to the raise. The reason for this is because the hand isn't worth playing for a raise with fold equity, so it's not worth playing for a call without fold equity.

I would 3bet my strongest hands and throw in a few bluffs with Ace blockers. Also, be aware that your call gives aggressive players a great opportunity to 3bet squeeze.  You've showed weakness by calling, so they can make pretty profitable bluff squeezes here.

Plus, your flat calls will elicit other players to over-call, making for a multi-way pot. If you're thinking about calling but don't want anyone else in the pot, you're better off just folding or 3bet isolating the open raiser so you're HU on the flop.

Question #2 from Cam: Pot Odds (4:50)

Hi Sky,
The one thing I know that I need to work on is understanding odds with unconscious competence. I generally understand the concept of pot odds, but I am not able to put it into practice during play.

Understanding pot odds comes with repetition.  Over and over every day, every session and every hand you review.

Every time you’re facing a bet or making a bet, run the math through your head.  “He bet 3bb’s into 4bb’s, means I need to call 3bb’s to win 10bb’s total, so, 3/10 means I need 30% equity.”

If you want to look at this in terms of an odds ratio: you’re being offered odds of 7:3 >>> you have to call 3 to win the current pot of 7.  This means you’re 3bb call will win a total pot of 10bb’s (after your call is added in) so once again, your 3bb call / 10bb total pot means you need to have 30% equity.

You can do this with any size pot and bet.  Let’s say the pot is $2 and your opponent bet $2.  Now the pot is $4 and you have to call $2, so you’re being offered odds of 4:2 (or 2:1).  This means your $2 call will win a total pot of $6, so you need 33% equity.  Another way to look at this is that calling the full psb means you need 33% equity.

Using this info you can make a chart that you can stick up on your computer monitor.  It should list the common bet sizes, pot odds and equity needed to make the call:

pot odds chart 4/2 Rule

In episode 93 I answered a question about the 4/2 rule.  The rule states that you can estimate your odds of hitting your draw on the flop by multiplying the # of outs by 4 to give you a rough percentage.  If you’re on the turn, you multiply by 2.  So, you can combine the pot odds offered to the chance you’ll hit your draw.

Let’s say you’re on a flush draw for 9 outs on the flop.  If your opponent bets a full pot sized bet, you need 33% equity to make the call.  Your 9 outs has a 36% (9*4) possibility of hitting, so you can make the call b/c your equity of 36% is more than the 33% needed to profitably call.  But, you call the flop and the turn comes a blank.  You’ve still got 9 outs, but being on the turn, you multiply by 2 and calculate you’ve got an 18% chance of hitting on the river.  If you’re opponent bets full pot again, you can’t profitably make the call with 18% equity.

Question #3 from David: Over-limping and Finding Poker Friends (10:55)

Question 1 is…..

If a “cold call” is calling a raise by a player in front of you, what is calling a BB when someone has already called the BB ahead of you? Do you use the same cold call ranges or a larger modified range? I assume you raise a BB caller with approximately 3xBB+1 for each caller if you have a raise worthy hand?

This is an over-limp.  So, someone limps into the pot for just the price of the BB and you limp in behind.

In this instance, I normally just over-limp with baby pp's or a weak suited Ace.  But, I seldomly do this.  I don't like limping except in certain circumstances.  Normally, with one or more limpers I'll raise my entire opening range from that position, and make it 3bb+1 per limper like you said.  Depending on how many people are still to act and how passive/stationy they are, I'll sometimes make it 4x+1 per limper.  It's table and player dependent.

Question 2 is…

I would like to develop some poker friends I can discuss hands with and share with. I would like to connect with just a few people who are at my level (not a big forum). I don’t think there are any players in my community that I have found yet (although with 20,000 people there must be some…just haven’t found them yet.) Anyways, if you have an idea for a group I could connect with that would be awesome.


I recommend you get in on the SPS Facebook Discussion Group and start posting and making friends there.  There have been a few Skype study groups that have developed there, so that's a good avenue for you.  As you post and people respond to your post, you can request friends and accept their requests, then hit them up to start a group.  Often times groups don't come to you but you've got to start them.

Up Next…

In podcast 107, I'll hold the 3rd class in the 3bet Yin Yang MED where we’ll get into upping your aggression with 3bet bluffs and semi-bluffs (and yes, there’s a difference there).

Until next time, study smart, play much and make your next session the best one yet.


Sky Matsuhashi

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