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Min-raising makes Baby Jesus cry” – A.J. Martino (@pokernations)

There is a lot of debate on how much you should open your raise amounts for in various positions, but there reaches a certain point in a tournament where the stack sizes make it acceptable to open a pot with a minimum raise.

Last night I won the TPT Points event, and I remember another player opening late in the event to 3 times the Big Blind.  With 8 players left in the event, the blinds were at 400-800 with a 100 ante, and the player opened under the gun to 2,400.   It’s not that far outside the realm of  normalcy to open 3x from any position, but the stack sizes made me question the raise.  I had a 6-5 suited, and I immediately dumped it because I didn’t want to call off 10% of my stack to a strong player who wasn’t playing a lot of hands.  It was pretty clear that he had a good hand, and so UTG +1, I mucked.  The action was repeated by every other player, and when the Original Raiser won the pot, he showed two Aces.

The one thing that I took from that was the fact that it wasn’t necessary to lay out a large bet to win the blinds and antes in this spot.  In this example, the average chip stack was just 14,375, or rather  just under 18 big blinds.  And with just 8 players remaining, that doesn’t leave any wiggle room for outplaying your opponent after the flop.  You’re either committing the rest of your chips, or you’re folding.

With a hand like Aces, you want someone else to come along or move in over the top, so a minimum raise or a shove seems to be the most optimal play in this spot.  And because I want to play 7-2os the same way that I place Aces (so as to not let on to my opponents what I have), I’m going to go with a standard min-raise in that spot with my stack.

What do you think about open min-raising in a tournament?  Do you do it?  Is it effective?