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9-max or full ring tables are the most popular tournament tables. The majority of online and casino poker tournaments will have 9-player tables. Long before you get to the final table, depending on the structure of the tournament, you'll need to consult a push or fold chart. Between 1 and 20 big blinds, this chart will come in handy.
Some situations are easy. For example, you have 7 big blinds UTG and when you look at your cards, you see AKs. About 100% of poker players know that this is an all in, you don't have to be Phil Ivey to understand that. But what separates the winning players from the losing ones is not these easy-to-play hands, but rather the less obvious ones. For example, you have 14 big blinds in MP position, there's no ante yet and you have a pair of 5s, what do you do? The answer is less obvious and that's why we're happy to look at this tool to help guide us:
Push or fold ? The answer:
In the situation described above, we will be able to push a pair of 9s and better only! Therefore, our pair of 6s will have to be folded. Note also that a hand like KTs will be push while a hand like KJo will be fold. When pushing a hand, we need to think about the equity our hand will have against the range that calls us. For this reason, KTs will have better equity than KJo when called.
And now let's ask, if there were 20% antes, how would those antes change our push range? To find out the answer, we'll go back to the starting window to specify the 20% antes. So here is our new range:
The difference in range is considerable! So our pair of 6s becomes a profitable push when there are 20% antes. Remember that antes eat into your stack on all hands, so we'll want to take a much broader and more aggressive approach than we would when there are no antes
You'll notice that the table has 2 display modes, one in text format (22+ A7s + A5s+ etc.) and a grid format for the more visual. The 2 tables will give us the same information. All hands in gray will have to be folded (EV- in the long run) while all hands in green will have a favorable winning potential in the long run and can therefore be pushed. In very tight games, you can probably add a few hands to these ranges, but you'll need to be sure you have a good "read" (often influenced by written or mental notes) on the players. When you are surrounded by "maniacs" (extremely aggressive players with an unrefined poker style), you can play slightly more conservatively. For the rest, these charts will be very useful in all your tournaments and sit'n'gos. Don't forget to change your grids as your opponents get eliminated. For example, when you're at the final table of a tournament and you're down to 6 players, be sure to check out our 6-max grid to reflect the situation you're in.