Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Mysterious Stop 'n' Go

We had a lot of discussion at the house this summer about the stop 'n' go - when to use it, and if it was even worth using at all. I emerged from those discussions with basically nothing gained. It's really hard to find a spot where the stop 'n' go is the right course of action. This looks like one to me:

With seven players left in the Bellagio Cup $15k WPT (on the TV bubble):

Mike Watson has the button in seat 8, John Phan raises from early position to 200,000, Per Ummer moves all in from the small blind, and Phan calls with QdJh. Ummer shows 8d8s, and he needs it to hold up to stay alive.

The flop comes Ah9c5c, and Ummer retains the lead. The turn card is -- the Qh! John Phan takes the lead with a pair of queens, and Per Ummer needs to catch one of the two eights in the deck to stay alive.

The river card is the 6s, and Per Ummer is eliminated in seventh place, earning $116,350.

We don't know the exact amount Ummer shoved for, but we know it wasn't enough to get Phan off QJo. If it was so little that Phan would have to call any postflop bet no matter the board, then the stop 'n' go would be pointless as well. If Ummer had some amount like 500,000 in his stack (leaving him around 300,000 to fire on the flop) this would be an ideal time to stop 'n' go. And Phan probably couldn't call him with QJ on the A95 flop, so he might have lived to tell another tale instead of busting out on the tv bubble.


Blogger Napoleon Ta said...

I love the stop and go, but either through brain lapse or whatever reason, I keep forgetting to use it. Here's a perfect example when I was super short in the 2K NL event and this was one of the key hands in the tourney for me. With blinds at 100/200 with 25 ante, Robert Varkoni raised from the cutoff to 600, SB (LAG euro with 30k+) calls, and I look down at ATo with a 1,600 stack. I knew that one of them would call with a squirrelly hand if I shoved so I implemented the stop-n-go. The flop was a K72r and SB checks, I immediately shoved (most likely the best hand) and both of them folded. I was obviously happy at the outcome as I didn't have to sweat the turn and river.

1:47 AM  
Blogger Napoleon Ta said...

Actually, Varkoni could've easily had AJ or AQ because he only had about a $6k stack and the euro has been repopping people all day from the blinds so I don't think varkoni raised with garbage there. In this case, he would've easily called my all in and win the pot.

1:50 AM  
Blogger GnightMoon said...

Well played, Nappy.

3:13 AM  
Blogger Bag said...

The stop and go never seems to work in HU situations any more, but three handed (as in Nappy's example) it can still be pretty effective. Your credibility goes up a little and the original raiser (who likely had the better starting hand of your two opponents) has to worry about the flat caller. Perfect stack sizes for your example hand to implement that move Nap.

4:08 AM  
Anonymous ReMMy said...

I always implement it anytime you have zero fold equity preflop. Even if you think you have almost zero fold equity on the flop, you never know when that "almost" will show up.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Andrew Gilmore said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:33 AM  
Blogger TheJunkie said...

As in napoleon's example, I've found that it's a lot more effective when you act before the PF raiser, after the flop.

11:34 AM  

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