EPT11 Barcelona: What’s your calling range against a late-arriving maniac?

August 23, 2014

There were a lot of unusual things that happened during yesterday’s record-breaking day. The sheer numbers meant that odd things became normal, including a line of alternates that snaked out of the door.

It was also probably the first time that a player bought into the event during the period after the clock had stopped at the end of the day. They were playing the official last four hands — the way every day ends — when the EPT Live cameras picked out a new player carrying a fresh stack through the throngs. He would play at most three hands before he would have to bag those chips up again.

As we wandered the room during this period, trying to determine who had the biggest stacks for the purposes of the overnight report, we noticed that very same newcomer with all his chips across the line, apparently having open-shoved. He clearly had a plan for those three hands: he was intent on either doubling up or going broke.

This situation raised a few questions among spectators and players alike. Imagine you are at the table with him. What would your calling range be in this situation?

To repeat the specifics: you have played eight 75-minute levels and are approaching the end of Day 1 of a six-day European Poker Tour event. A player you do not recognise, and with whom you have no history, sits at the table with a new stack of 30,000, and open shoves. The blinds in Level 8 are 300-600, so this is a 50 big blind shove.

You have accumulated your stack throughout the day and can easily fold into tomorrow. But is this too good an opportunity to pass up. We asked three pros, with plenty of tournament experience, their opinion of what to do in this odd spot.

Kyle Julius (PCA8 runner up; $2.7m live tournament winnings)
Ended Day 1 with 32,000


“It all depends if it’s me with 120K or this…[Julius indicates his overnight stack of 32,000]. I had 120K with 20 minutes left. If he’s just open shoving, probably eights to…ace-king, ace-queen. If he did it three times in a row, the probability of him having ace-queen plus isn’t great. It all depends on the stack I have. If I have 120K-plus, I’m probably calling lighter than that. You see a lot of crazy things go on in these EPTs. You never know what they’re going to show up with.”

Jake Cody (Team PokerStars Pro, Triple Crown winner)
Ended Day 1 with 58,000


“On the first time he does it, I’m definitely not folding jacks or better. I don’t think so anyway. The second time he does it I’m calling wider and the third time even wider. The first time, you don’t know. He might have ace-king or is massively over-playing some huge hand. But I would find it hard to give him credit, especially when I had 60K. I would still have 30K left. Tens is probably close. Jacks or better, I’d get it in. I’d probably get ace-king in, but I wouldn’t be happy about it. I think he could have some random pair or something.”

Andre Akkari (Team PokerStars Pro, WSOP bracelet winner)
Ended Day 1 with 20,100


“Jack-jack plus.”
“Jacks?” Iliodoros Kamatakis, who was sitting next to Akkari this morning, interjected. “I would have said jacks too.”
“Ace king, yes. Ace queen, no.”

What about you? What’s your calling range here? Let us know at @PokerStarsBlog on Twitter.

Follow all the action from the tournament floor on the main EPT Barcelona page. There’s hand-by-hand coverage in the panel at the top, including chip counts, and feature pieces below. There’s also EPT Live, which is streaming action from Day 2 of the Main Event.


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