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Value Shoving in MTTs

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What is a Value Shove?

A Value Shove (or over-shove) is when you overbet the pot for value – it tends to involve a committment of shoving your stack all-in.  The term value shoving is used because of the value that is created from players calling you.  It’s commonly used preflop, however  is can generally be used during any stage of a hand, and is most often utilised in  late tournament stage strategy.  For example, lets say I’m shortstacked with AQs on the SB and there are plenty of deep stack calling us down lightly.  By shoving our stack into the pot, we can maximum value from other opponents who are calling us with dominated hands like AJo and QKs.

When to Value Shove in a Tournament?

Value shoving is effective and popular in poker tournaments because it can be used successfully with a variety of different hands, against a range of opponents, and in a number of table positions. 

Value shoving can be profitable when you’re drawing for a flush/straight or when you hold the best hand and want to make it look like a bluff to get called.  Many players will openly value shove AA or KK in the early stages of an MTT because it “looks” like a  standard move holding a weaker hand like AK or AQ.  You may get called by lower pairs such as 66 or 88, so it provides a very simple yet effective way to double up. 

You can also value shove when you’re 3betting or up acting against a loose opponent who raises 3-5x Big blinds. In these circumstances you’re usually up against AK or AQ in a poker tournament.  You’re value shove or “all-in”  can force your opponent to fold if he’s tight or raising and stealing with marginal hands
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How to Value Shove Pre-flop in MTTs

The increasing aggression of online poker tournaments and MTTs has made value shoving a much more important and common in pre-flop, especially when the blinds and antes are massive and the average stack size is only 20BBs.  Generally speaking, the size of a 3bet in MTTs is around 3 times the opening bet.  At blinds of 100/200, the opening bet would be around 700, and the 3bet would be 2000+ (3x opening raise).  Because 3betting represents such a strong hand most players will fold to it. 

However if you have a monster hand like AA, KK or QQ preflop, a value shove will look much weaker and more like a bluff than a standard 3bet raise.  You will get called more often and entice bigger action from players holding marginal hands such as 77 or JJ by value shoving. 

Value Shoving on the Flop in MTTs

If there’s a large number of “scare” cards that could come down and kill your hand (flush or straight draws on the table) then it’s a perfectly ok time to value shove. You can take down the pot there, and if you get called you’ll be giving your opponents extremely poor odds to call – meaning in the long term you’ll make +EV.  For example, if you hold 3s-3h on a board of 10s-3h-9h and suspect your opponent(‘s) is holding a hand like JJ or 1010, he’s going to be very reluctant to get his chips into pot if a card like A or Q comes up.  However, by shoving your chips on the flop, you’re much more likely to get called because it looks like a bluff/draw or even mid-bottom pair.

 The Delayed Value Shove

Some players suggest delaying a value shove.  This involves allowing the opportunity for your opponent to catch something on the river or a card they want to bluff before you value shove.  This can be an extremely effective bluff in MTT strategy and is about manipulating and controlling your opponent. The advantages of a delayed value shove is that you can disguise a monster hand and make your shove look more natural/weaker. If you allow your opponent to hit something on the turn or the river, he’s more likely to call your value shove.  This is in contrast to making him fold too early, and not reaping the rewards of a well planned value shove.

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2 Responses to “Value Shoving in MTTs”

  1. “For example, if you hold 3s-3h on a board of 10s-3h-9h and suspect your opponent(‘s) is holding a hand like JJ or 1010, he’s going to be very reluctant to get his chips into pot if a card like A or Q comes up. However, by shoving your chips on the flop, you’re much more likely to get called because it looks like a bluff/draw or even mid-bottom pair.”

    If your opponent holds 1010 on a 1093 board, pretty sure he will not be scared by an A or a Q and your value shove just became a value punt.

  2. jamie says:

    looool , i think the guy who wrote this did a typo with that example , obv if Villian was holding 10s otf he’s never folding to the value shove.

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