How wide do you call a four way all-in to win three bounties?

We do a deep dive into the maths of calling a four way all-in with Dara and David from The Chip Race.

Last week our friends at Dara and David from The Chip Race reviewed some big PKO hands played by our editor Barry Carter in the Unibet PKO Series. Today we break down one of the big hands in more detail.

OK so this is the second hand of a €10 event. For context we are midway through the series and I am doing well in the leaderboard, which is purely for bounties. There is a limp, an over limp, I raise, then it goes shove-shove-shove-shove. I am facing a 70.63 big blind call to win what will be a 355 big blind pot, I cover three of the four players so can win three bounties and a boost to my leaderboard ranking. 

I know pocket nines is a fold here, but I also know it is closer than some may think, does my leaderboard position make this almost justifiable?

David Lappin: This was a fast tournament and it was one of the cheapest of the series, so this was a very cheap way to add to your tally in the bounties. Plus with 355 bigs you will be covering everyone at the table for the foreseeable future. 

Dara O’Kearney: You have to weigh up your chances of winning the hand and those three bounties, then what would those three bounties typically be worth at the end of the leaderboard? You also have to work out your equity against the guy who covers you and against the other three. 

David Lappin: In fact if Sylvester10 wins the hand, but you beat Girafcloner8 and Ogi3, you’ll still win their bounties. Obviously you only have about 20 seconds so you won’t be doing much on the fly maths. 

I was literally just taking a screenshot at the time so I could tweet it afterwards. 

So it costs me 70 big blinds to win a 355 big blind pot, which a quick calculation tells me I need just under 20% equity in pure ChipEV situation. However, as we discuss in our book PKO Poker Strategy we have what we call a ‘Bounty Factor’ of just under 1 which in layman’s terms means we can take about 3% off that calculation, so maybe 17% equity before you factor in the leaderboard. I did a quick simulation of what our hand looks like against a likely range. 


I didn’t quite get the equity I needed. As you can see I made the first shove quite wide, then the next two very strong, then the final hand we were up against very wide sensing they could win a big multiway bounty pot.

Dara O’Kearney: That seems like a reasonable assumption. Just as an aside, I have been doing these multiway simulations since the launch of Flip & Go and it’s amazing how well overpairs hold up. There is a sense that somebody will dog you in the hand but look at KK+ here, it has 38% equity. 

I knew 99 wasn’t amazing, but I swapped 99 for a better hand in this spot, 45s. It isn’t blocked by any of the big hands and we get more than the required equity.


Dara O’Kearney: Very well done this is a good point. The thing about 99 is there more people in the pot it gets worse. Against one strong range it does very well but by the time you get down to five you are in very bad shape. 45s is a versatile hand it doesn’t matter how many people are in the pot it’s always going to retain equity well. 

David Lappin: That’s the big takeaway from this hand, if you see a lot of YOLOing going on in these PKO tournaments you are better off with a hand like 45s or 67s that has a part of the board locked up, than these middling pairs. 

Dara O’Kearney: Different hands have different properties. Big pairs always do well in most spots, medium pairs do well heads-up. Ax suited hates being multiway because it’s always dominated, but KQs or KJs tends to do better multiway than heads-up. 

So this is what actually happened…..


And just for fun I looked at my actual equity with known hands…..


Dara O’Kearney: That’s interesting, JJ is not in much better shape than you because it is also covered. 

Yeah my hand had to hit a set AND avoid somebody else hitting a bigger set. 

Dara O’Kearney: That’s why JJ is slightly better than 99 and why KK is slightly better than QQ. It’s also hard for anybody to hit a straight with all those hands missing. However, 99 is almost as strong as JJ because it can hit the most straights at the low end. 

David Lappin: Also flushes. The AA has spades and hearts covered, KK has the diamonds covered, QQ has the clubs covered. Once you get to JJ or 99 they don’t have a suit either. 

If you want to watch the whole session you can watch it right here:

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Thanks to our friends at the Unibet sponsored Chip Race, who not only put out videos like the one above but also a weekly podcast.

This week’s episode has got everyone talking, as they host two sides of the very contentious Dan Bilzerian debate after GGPoker partnered with Fantastic Ladies in Poker.

Streamer Vanessa Kade and pokerfuse’s Samantha Bevington were both guests to discuss the hot topic. The guys were also joined by poker wunderkind Landon Tice ahead of his heads-up challenge with Bill Perkins:

How wide do you call in this spot? Let us know in the comments:

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