Sports exceptions?
January 19, 2009 12:02 AM   Subscribe

Examples of sports situations where a player should do something he would normally never do?

I can think of two:

1) In baseball a fielder may drop (or not attempt to catch) a deep foul ball that if caught would lead to a runner tagging up and scoring.

2) At the end of a basketball game players might not guard a shot worth one less than the different in the score (if guarding could result in a foul and a possible tie of the game).
posted by null terminated to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (47 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
In the 1994 Caribbean Cup Preliminary Round, Barbados deliberately scored on their own goal in a successful attempt to advance to the Final Stage by forcing overtime against Grenada. Needing a two goal victory to advance, Barbados found themselves up 2-1 with 3 minutes left in regulation time. An unusual tournament rule awarded a two goal victory to a team that won in overtime. After Grenada realized what had happened, they in turn tried to score against their own goal, while Barbados defended their opponents goal, and vice-versa, for the final three minutes of the match.
posted by Mike1024 at 12:18 AM on January 19, 2009 [15 favorites]


Mike1024: That's exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for. Thanks!
posted by null terminated at 12:21 AM on January 19, 2009


At the end of a basketball game players will sometimes intentionally miss a free throw (one point) so that they can have a chance at the rebound and get a new possession.

Very occasionally, an American football team will take a safety (two points) rather than punt on its own 1-yard line, if they don't want to risk a blocked punt which could lead to an easy touchdown. This happens usually when a team is up by 4-6 points with very little time left.
posted by bluejayk at 12:40 AM on January 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


The 1981 underarm bowling incident might qualify.
posted by zamboni at 12:44 AM on January 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, another specific instance is the Holy Roller/Immaculate Deception play at the end of the Oakland Raiders game. To avoid being tackled on 4th down with time running out, the quarterback intentionally fumbled the ball forward into the end zone. The ball was recovered by a different Raider and Oakland scored the game-winning touchdown. The NFL made it illegal to advance a fumble during the last 2-minutes of a game the next season.
posted by bluejayk at 12:52 AM on January 19, 2009 [2 favorites]



As you know, getting your pieces captured in chess is a big no-no, but here's an extraordinary set of sacrifices in a game many people consider one of the greatest masterpieces of all time. Watch a replay here:

Efim Bogoljubov vs Alexander Alekhine (1922): The Triple Queen Sacrifice

In a nutshell, Alekhine sacrifices his whole back rank with check, then launches a fierce attack with his all-powerful pawn become queen, which Bogoljubov can only defend by sacrificing material back for a lost pawn ending. Bravo!
posted by aquafortis at 1:23 AM on January 19, 2009 [8 favorites]


This is fairly routine, but in hockey, if you're on the power play (where a player on the opposing team is serving a penalty, and you're skating 5 on 4), and your opponent commits another penalty while you have the puck, play isn't stopped until they touch it. Normally, you want to maintain possession as long as you can in order to try for a goal anyway, because even if you don't, you still get a power play coming.

But if the other team is already down a player, committing another penalty will result in a 5-on-3 situation for you, and the odds of scoring a goal go up significantly. In that case, you'll want the other team to touch it as soon as possible.

There's a few scenarios in baseball that answer your question, such as intentional walks, and playing the outfield shallow in the bottom of the 9th if the winning run is on third, and any ball hit over your head will bring him in easily anyway. Also, letting a guy steal second without a fight if you're up a couple runs late in the game.

And if Texas hold-em poker counts as a sport for this question (and I would admit that normally it shouldn't) there's a case where if a player is all-in pre-flop later in a tournament, and other players decide to call, they may keep checking down to the river so everyone has to show their hands at the end. This increases the chances that the all-in player is eliminated, and avoids having someone who would've had the winning hand from being forced out early.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 1:46 AM on January 19, 2009


In Australian Rules Football, there have been cases (Richmond vs Essendon last year, and the Hawthorn vs Geelong Grand Final spring to mind) where very late in the game a defensive player who has the possession of the ball will rush the ball through their own goal and concede one point. This typically happens when the margin is perhaps only 6-7 points, and there is very little time left in the game. Taking the ball across your own goal line is called a "rushed behind". The reason for the tactic is that a goal is worth six points and can happen very quickly in Australian Rules Football, so if there is only a minute on the clock conceding a couple of rushed behinds is a very good way to eat up time and avoid losing possession of the ball (the defender keeps possession and restarts the game by kicking out from the goal square).

Some people hate this tactic - personally I don't have a problem with it as there are 80 minutes in the game to score all the goals you need. If you leave it to the last minute to win, well, you deserve what you get.
posted by awfurby at 2:12 AM on January 19, 2009


Oh yeah, and as long as we're on the subject of poker tournament strategy, how could anyone forget the classic "If you're dealt AA on the first hand of the WSOP, do you fold?" debate. heh.
posted by aquafortis at 2:17 AM on January 19, 2009


I would say the most famous example of this would be the Rope-a-dope. This being entirely subjective however, I leave it to your judgment.
posted by skewedoracle at 2:19 AM on January 19, 2009


Again with Hockey, the goalie when he or she gains possession of the puck should either smother it and stop play for a faceoff, pass it to a teammate in the clear, or in rare cases, fire it down the boards to clear the zone and relieve pressure from the other team's attack inside the blue line. They should never try to score a goal themselves. But in the incredibly rare instances when they do, it is awesome!

Far more commonly, hooking a player who is on a breakaway will absolutely result in a penalty for the hooking player, and most likely a penalty shot as well. In some cases it's still the right thing to do though, since by definition a breakaway happens when nobody was really expecting it to happen and your goalie will only have a few seconds at most to prepare for the charge. With the penalty shot after the play is stopped, the goalie has time to prepare physically and mentally for the incoming challenge.
posted by barc0001 at 3:28 AM on January 19, 2009


after an interception with time running out in a game it's better for the player to kill the play rather than try to advance the ball if his team is leading by less than a FG or TD, to avoid turning over the ball.
posted by troy at 3:40 AM on January 19, 2009


on the poker front, aquafortis's example isn't great, but there are situations on the bubble (the period where there are still a few players to be eliminated before the prize-earning places) of sattelite-type tournaments (where all the payouts are equal) where, for instance, if you hold the second most chips, and are dealt AA, it would be correct to fold if the player who covers (has more chips) goes all-in, since the few times you lose and are eliminated are not made up for in kind by the advantage of doubling your chip-stack.


Something I've thought about a great deal in soccer, as both a goalkeeper and a referee, is the following sort of situation: if the goalie, as the last player on the field, commits an accidental foul on an opposing player which prevents a goal-scoring opportunity, it may be the best play (at least early in the game) to kick or otherwise propel the ball into the net; the other team will be awarded a goal, but as the foul has no longer "denied an obvious goal-scoring opportunity", the goalkeeper will not be shown a red-card and sent off. Since this would usually result in a penalty-shot that would be scored quite often, scoring on your own net would have a similar ultimate result on the score, but would let you keep playing.


This is a really improbable situation, however, since it requires the goalie to score on his own net before the referee has stopped play. A more likely scenario would involve the keeper intentionally allowing a ball that was moving towards the goal-line to go in, or to move out of the way of an opposing striker moving to a loose ball after the foul, since in these situations it is more likely that an intelligent, aware referee would have the sense to allow play to continue.


There was also a recent example in american football where one team was winning by (I think) a point, and a player with the football near the end of the game had the opportunity to run in for a touchdown after having gotten a first-down, but instead went to ground, which meant that his team could run out the clock instead of having to give the opposition one more possession with which they could theoretically tie the game.
posted by cmyr at 4:38 AM on January 19, 2009


In American football, a penalty that prevents a score doesn't give the score back, but only gives the ball on the 1-yard line. So it is usually worth it to commit the penalty because the opposing team will not always score the touchdown. For instance if you can stop a touchdown by grabbing someone's facemask and pulling them down by it, you should do it even though it's normally a 15-yard boneheaded penalty and dangerous to boot.
posted by smackfu at 5:38 AM on January 19, 2009


In professional cycling, a rider will often gift a stage win to a member of an opposing team in order to gain that team's help in the following days.

For example, two riders are ahead of the rest of the field in a breakaway. Rider A is quite high on the overall rankings but has a weak team. Rider B is way out of contention on the overall rankings but has a strong team.

Sometimes it would be beneficial for Rider A to sprint for the stage victory and take whatever bonus seconds are available for 1st place. But on other occasions, the two riders will often come to an agreement before the stage ends. Rider B can take the win, the prize money and the publicity, while Rider A will have the added benefit of relying on two teams helping him out later in the race.
posted by afx237vi at 5:43 AM on January 19, 2009


The 1981 underarm bowling incident might qualify. - zamboni

I was going to post that.

For those not in the know, one of the Chappel brothers, under the captaincy of one of the other Chappel brothers, bowled an underarm ball on the last ball of a cricket test between Australia and New Zealand to stop the Enzeders scoring and potentially winning the game. Unsportsmanlike and ugly. It was cricket, but not as we know it.

I don't think it has been done before or since.
posted by Kerasia at 5:50 AM on January 19, 2009


Baseball - intentionally walking a batter. There are a number of times when this makes sense. Usually, it's when the batter is a strong hitter and there is a runner on second and one out. If the strong batter (ie, .300 average or above) faces the pitcher, there's a good change he will cause the runner to score. By walking him and putting him on first, the pitcher faces a potentially weaker batter and opens up the possibility of a double play.

When I played youth soccer, in tournaments, they changed the scoring such that a goal was worth two points and a corner kick was worth 1/2 point. In such a situation, my team quickly found that we could take the ball easily to the far goal line and ricochet it off defenders and rack up points. It killed the momentum of the game, but then again we won game 18.5 to 2 which in normal scoring would've been more like 4-1.

In basketball, if you're trying to save a ball from going out of bounds, instead of throwing it to your team, it can be advantageous to throw it very hard at players on the other team, either causing them to kick the ball or bounce it off them out of bounds. In either case, you get possession.

Smackfu - under such a penalty, doesn't the team with possession usually decline the penalty?
posted by plinth at 5:52 AM on January 19, 2009


Oh yeah, and as long as we're on the subject of poker tournament strategy, how could anyone forget the classic "If you're dealt AA on the first hand of the WSOP, do you fold?" debate. heh.

sorry, what? instafistpumpshove (if you find someone willing to shove it in as well)
now AKs or (maybe maybe maybe KK, if you figure you'll only get called by AA) I can see a debate there. And in satellites I can see an argument for folding some premium hands if you can fold your way to a seat. /2+2 discussion

In real sports, I was thinking about the legendary Chang-Lenld Rolland Garros final where Chang tried (and succeeded) to confuse Lendl by serving underhand. I remember seeing that match as a kid and being as confused as Lendl. Looking back, it was an awesome, brilliant and bold move.
posted by NekulturnY at 5:58 AM on January 19, 2009


Looks like it wasn't the final but the 4th round. Chang did go on to win the 1989 edition of Rolland Garros though.
posted by NekulturnY at 6:09 AM on January 19, 2009


More on bluejayk's example: The Patriots allowed a safety on purpose while trailing at Denver in a Monday Night game in 2003, and wound up winning. Denver's returner, now-Patriot Deltha O'Neal, wildly misplayed the ensuing free kick, which cost the Broncos the great field position they should have had.

More on cmyr's example-- Last season, Brian Westbrook burst through the line, had nothing but empty field ahead of him... and intentionally went down at the one yard line, which meant that the Eagles could run out the clock. Had he scored a TD, Dallas would have gotten the ball back, and could have scored, gotten an onside kick, and scored again. It was a very heady play by Westbrook, which, I now see from that article, was planned before the down by offensive lineman Jon Runyan.

This might not be quite what you're looking for, but sometimes when a baseball game is way out of hand, a team will insert a position player as pitcher, so as not to tire the pitching staff unnecessarily. Mark Grace did this for the Diamondbacks in 2002.
posted by ibmcginty at 6:09 AM on January 19, 2009


Thought of another one. In rugby union, a team is not allowed to throw or drop the ball in a forward direction. To do so results in possession of the ball being handed to the opposing team in the form of a scrum (possession of the ball is everything in rugby).

However, rugby union referees operate a system of "advantage". If Team A is in possession of the ball and Team B commits an infringement, the referee will allow the game to continue in order to see what happens. If Team A progresses further down the field and gets an advantage, the game continues and Team B's earlier infringement is ignored. If Team A doesn't get an advantage, then the referee blows his whistle for Team B's infringement, and Team A gets a kick at goal (3 points).

With me so far? Now, imagine the match is quite close and Team A is within kicking distance of the posts. Team B commits an infringement and the referee calls "advantage". In theory, Team A is supposed to keep playing, hoping they get further down the field and closer to the scoring area (think touchdown zone). Instead, what often happens is Team A will deliberately drop the ball or throw it forward, killing the play and forcing the referee to blow his whistle. Because Team A has had no advantage, the referee goes back to Team B's initial infringement and awards Team A a penalty kick at goal.

It's quite confusing, but the act of deliberately dropping the ball is usually something a rugby player would never do, except in this one situation.
posted by afx237vi at 6:20 AM on January 19, 2009


Smackfu - under such a penalty, doesn't the team with possession usually decline the penalty?

Sorry if I was unclear. Your penalty still needs stop the touchdown from happening. But in the facemask example, you would commit the penalty to stop the guy on the 5-yard line, and then they would get the ball on the 2.5-yard line (half the distance). You're right that a penalty that doesn't stop the touchdown, like just punching a guy, would just be declined. (Or maybe enforced on the kickoff? NFL is hard.)

Another good one is a defensive pass interference penalty to stop a long pass play. In college this is even better, because the max penalty is only 15 yards rather than spot-of-the-foul like the NFL. This is always tricky though, because it's obviously a bad foul if the other player would not have caught the ball.
posted by smackfu at 7:00 AM on January 19, 2009


In American football, a penalty that prevents a score doesn't give the score back, but only gives the ball on the 1-yard line. So it is usually worth it to commit the penalty because the opposing team will not always score the touchdown. For instance if you can stop a touchdown by grabbing someone's facemask and pulling them down by it, you should do it even though it's normally a 15-yard boneheaded penalty and dangerous to boot.

Not totally correct. If the player has an unabated path to the endzone and the opposing team does something illegal to stop them (comes off the sideline, throws something, etc - something really odd) the officials will award a touchdown.
posted by JPD at 7:06 AM on January 19, 2009


Apparently goaltending the cross bars is also a penalty resulting in a penalty field goal
posted by JPD at 7:22 AM on January 19, 2009


I think I've also seen teams in the NFL punt (or drop-kick?) on a down before fourth down in order to surprise the defense and down the punt very close to the end zone. Again, this is something that happens very late in the game. I remember Tom Brady doing this once, but that might have been fourth down.
posted by selfnoise at 7:30 AM on January 19, 2009


If the player has an unabated path to the endzone and the opposing team does something illegal to stop them (comes off the sideline, throws something, etc - something really odd)

Oops, forgot about that. My favorite part of that rule is that it is described as "any act which is palpably unfair", and like you said the refs can resolve it any way they want.
posted by smackfu at 7:37 AM on January 19, 2009


Walking a player in baseball, who is a better hitter than the next at bat, in order to pitch to the less competent batter.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:18 AM on January 19, 2009


The Patriots allowed a safety on purpose while trailing at Denver in a Monday Night game in 2003, and wound up winning.

I came here to bring up that example -- one of the more unique in NFL history, I think.

ESPN's Bill Simmons is constantly bringing up the interesting football situation of a tie game, with time running out, and one team with the ball on or near the other team's goal line, threatening to score. Logically, the defending team should ALLOW the offense to score immediately, giving up the points but conserving time to attempt their OWN score to tie the game once again. Every seasoned Madden player has done this once or twice, but no coach has had the guts to try it in a real game. It is no different from a basketball team intentionally fouling the team with the lead as time runs out - trading points for time.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:02 AM on January 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


In baseball, a hit-and-run play depends on the batter swinging at the next pitch, even if it's the sort of unhittable pitch he would normally never swing at. He's obliged to swing and attempt to make (even poor) contact anyway, to protect the runner.
posted by rokusan at 9:19 AM on January 19, 2009


afx237vi - That's the wrong play. They should go for a drop goal instead, as if they miss they will get the penalty anyway.
posted by djgh at 9:40 AM on January 19, 2009


In swimming, you're trained to never, ever, ever take little half strokes going into the wall on butterfly, except... well, you know.

In water polo, shots are typically aimed at the top corners of the goal. But if the goalie, for whatever reason, is using his hands to keep himself up instead of raising them into the air and relying on his legs to stay afloat, a player will throw the ball directly above his head. This shot, while extremely easy to block in normal situations, is here almost unstoppable, because neither of the goalie's hands is anywhere near the path of the ball.
posted by Gotham at 9:51 AM on January 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


In baseball, under the current baseball rules, it's sometimes in your best interest to hit a player with a pitch if you think the other team will retaliate. After the first Hit-by-pitch, the ump will warn both teams, and the next pitcher that hits a batter in the game will be ejected. So, if you go first you get off with a warning, while the other team would have to give up a pitcher if they retaliate (or if they do it by accident).
posted by drezdn at 10:30 AM on January 19, 2009


In baseball, intentional walks happen all the time. Far rarer is the bases-loaded intentional walk, where one team would give the other team a run than let a certain player (Barry Bonds, say) bat.
posted by Awkward Philip at 10:50 AM on January 19, 2009


I think this just happened yesterday or Saturday in The Premiership: a goalkeeper was sent off and they had no subs left so they had to use a midfielder or a back as the goalkeeper for the rest of the match.
posted by Zambrano at 11:26 AM on January 19, 2009


To elaborate on Rock Steady's example, sometimes an American football team will allow the opposing team to score if they are down by 1, the opposing team is near their end zone, and they would be getting the ball back with zero or little time remaining with a defensive stop. Similarily, an offensive may decline to score if they are winning and can run the clock out by doing so.

This happened in week 10 of the 2007 NFL season, when the Eagles played the Redskins. The Eagles, up 26-25, recovered a Redskins fumble inside the Redskins 10 with about 2:30 remaining. On the next play, the Redskins allowed the Eagles to score a touchdown (end of article), so they would have time to potentially score a touchdown and 2 point conversion. They failed to do so and the Eagles won 33-25.

5 weeks later, a similar situation arose when the Eagles played the Cowboys. This time, Westbrook broke a run but slid down at the 1 yard line (video analysis) to allow the clock to run out.
posted by christonabike at 11:53 AM on January 19, 2009


Rock Steady already mentioned it in passing, but its worth elaborating more fully: in collegiate and professional basketball, intentional fouls at the end of a half are extremely common. In some cases, before the opposing team is in the bonus, a team can stop a play by committing a (non-shooting) foul without risking a foul shot (commentators refer to this as teams "having a foul to give"). In other cases, players are instructed to commit blatant and otherwise idiotic fouls on players in order to stop the clock, force the other player to shoot free throws, and regain possession of the ball.
posted by googly at 12:22 PM on January 19, 2009


djgh - That's the wrong play. They should go for a drop goal instead, as if they miss they will get the penalty anyway.

They could go for a drop goal, but that's not always an option. Maybe the fly-half is at the bottom of the ruck or whatever.
posted by afx237vi at 1:19 PM on January 19, 2009


I think I've also seen teams in the NFL punt (or drop-kick?) on a down before fourth down in order to surprise the defense and down the punt very close to the end zone. Again, this is something that happens very late in the game. I remember Tom Brady doing this once, but that might have been fourth down.

Matt Cassel did this week 17 against the Bills this year on third down. It was third and long, so there wasn't too large a chance of converting it, but there was a huge amount of wind at the Patriots' backs. With the wind, the punt wouldn't stop rolling until someone stopped it (which the Patriots did on the 2), so the Bills had awful field position and were going into the wind. With the surprise of the punt on third down, the Bills were not in position to field the punt and the Patriots could reach it first.

In baseball, a game is not official until 5 innings are played (or 4 and a half if the home team is leading). If there's heavy rain and it looks like the game may get called, and one team has a large lead, they will often try to make outs as fast as they can to make the game official and count as a win, instead of trying to score like they usually would. If the game doesn't get through 5 innings, a rainout means the game doesn't count, but if they finish 5 innings, it is an official game and the team leading wins.
posted by hatsforbats at 1:31 PM on January 19, 2009


In baseball, a game is not official until 5 innings are played (or 4 and a half if the home team is leading). If there's heavy rain and it looks like the game may get called, and one team has a large lead, they will often try to make outs as fast as they can to make the game official and count as a win, instead of trying to score like they usually would. If the game doesn't get through 5 innings, a rainout means the game doesn't count, but if they finish 5 innings, it is an official game and the team leading wins.

Has that happened in recent memory? While it makes sense, I can't imagine a guy hitting a single into right field, and stopping so he can be thrown out on purpose. Is there an "unwritten" rule where it at least sort of has to look like you're trying?

Also, regarding position players pitching, an even more interesting case is where they want to keep a pitcher in the game, but want to replace him for only one hitter. Since normally any player that's removed from the game can't come back, there's the extreme scenario where the current pitcher will be placed in the field (most likely left field), a reliever comes in to face one batter, and after praying that the ball isn't hit to left, the first pitcher goes back to the mound to resume his normal duties. Not sure when's the last time that happened.

A more typical case of defensive shenanigans is where three infielders are placed to the left or right of second base, and a big gap is made on the other side. This is for dangerous hitters who usually pull the ball, and if they want to bloop a mere single in the opposite direction, they're more than welcome to, but seldom do.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 3:37 PM on January 19, 2009


sorry, what? instafistpumpshove (if you find someone willing to shove it in as well)
now AKs or (maybe maybe maybe KK, if you figure you'll only get called by AA) I can see a debate there. And in satellites I can see an argument for folding some premium hands if you can fold your way to a seat. /2+2 discussion


It depends on the situation. If pre-flop betting goes around the table once, and then three guys end up all-in in front of you, I'd fold aces.

Technically, you should call one all-in with no question, but I'd have to think that doubling up on the first hand of a week-long $10K-entry tournament wouldn't outweigh the risk of going out on the first hand. But hopefully my hand won't be shown on TV if I'm ever in that situation...


In real sports, I was thinking about the legendary Chang-Lenld Rolland Garros final where Chang tried (and succeeded) to confuse Lendl by serving underhand. I remember seeing that match as a kid and being as confused as Lendl. Looking back, it was an awesome, brilliant and bold move.

It looked cool and everything, but is that considered good tennis strategy, or bordering on bush league gimmickry?
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 4:14 PM on January 19, 2009


When I played youth soccer, in tournaments, they changed the scoring such that a goal was worth two points and a corner kick was worth 1/2 point. In such a situation, my team quickly found that we could take the ball easily to the far goal line and ricochet it off defenders and rack up points. It killed the momentum of the game, but then again we won game 18.5 to 2 which in normal scoring would've been more like 4-1.

This blows my mind.
posted by awfurby at 5:42 PM on January 19, 2009


In baseball, if there's a runner on third, the batting team may try to put on a suicide squeeze bunt, where the runner takes off during the pitcher's windup as if he's stealing home, and the batter bunts, giving the runner time to get to the plate before the defense can get ahold of the ball. But here's the counter-intuitive part. If the pitcher sees the runner at third going while he's making his windup, he can't stop his windup, which is a balk. So, his only tactic is to throw the ball directly at the batter. This gives the batter two bad options. They can either get hit and walk to first, leaving the runner still at third, or try to bunt a bad pitch and possibly foul it off, giving away the squeeze without letting it succeed.
posted by Doctor Suarez at 6:21 PM on January 19, 2009


In the already mentioned 1989 French Open match between Chang and Lendl, Chang also stood well inside the baseline -- almost at the service line -- on match point to receive Lendl's second service. Lendl double faulted.

Another example of defensive (baseball) shenanigans is when the defense will bring in an outfielder to be the 5th infielder. I've only seen this when the game is tied in the 9th inning or later, the home team is batting, and there is a runner on third with less than 2 outs. Usually he will be standing in front of 2nd base and the entire infield will be playing in. The thinking is that pretty much anything hit to the outfield will win the game, so it is better to make sure nothing gets through the infield.

I don't know when the last time a pitcher was moved to the field for a batter then back to pitcher (as mentioned by TheSecretDecoderRing), but there is some talk about it on Baseball Reference. The game involving Les Lancaster is particularly strange.
posted by mathlete at 6:30 PM on January 19, 2009


I forgot to mention cricket's reversal of baseball's intentional walk - shepherding the strike. In cricket, after every six balls, the direction of play changes. Towards the end of the order, a competent batsman might be paired with a less competent one. To prevent the less talented batsman from having to face much bowling, the competent one might defend against or ignore otherwise playable balls in order to retain the strike.
posted by zamboni at 7:34 PM on January 19, 2009


It depends on the situation. If pre-flop betting goes around the table once, and then three guys end up all-in in front of you, I'd fold aces.

Technically, you should call one all-in with no question, but I'd have to think that doubling up on the first hand of a week-long $10K-entry tournament wouldn't outweigh the risk of going out on the first hand. But hopefully my hand won't be shown on TV if I'm ever in that situation...



again I hate to derail but this is, simply, wrong. Letting your emotional side (I don't want to go out on the first hand!) obscure the obvious positive-expectation of the situation, is a mistake. Assuming your goal is to do as well in the tournament as possible, there would be no possible excuse for folding aces here or practically anywhere else. This is just a math problem, and it has been solved.
posted by cmyr at 12:32 AM on January 20, 2009


Re the WSOP: even given tightish ranges for the other guys to push all in (and the range of the third guy should become fairly loose) AA is still a mandatory stack off, even (or especially) in the first hand of the WSOP. If you start the WSOP being results oriented, you might as well stay home.

equity win tie pots won pots tied
Hand 0: 08.816% 08.27% 00.54% 35759416 2347943.92 { TT+, AKs }
Hand 1: 16.489% 16.37% 00.12% 70767468 502655.25 { 88+, ATs+, KQs, AQo+ }
Hand 2: 15.700% 15.52% 00.18% 67070680 791065.92 { 99+, AQs+ }
Hand 3: 58.994% 58.51% 00.48% 252913763 2078191.92 { AA }

The math becomes even better if the other guys only push QQ+ and AKs because of card removal effect.

equity win tie pots won pots tied
Hand 0: 09.098% 08.49% 00.61% 67365463 4864078.75 { QQ+, AKs }
Hand 1: 13.882% 13.61% 00.27% 108038966 2169521.25 { QQ+, AKs }
Hand 2: 15.683% 15.53% 00.16% 123270520 1231712.75 { 99+, AQs+ }
Hand 3: 61.336% 60.89% 00.45% 483360803 3570783.25 { AA }
posted by NekulturnY at 1:20 AM on January 20, 2009


These answers are great. Thanks!
posted by null terminated at 6:31 PM on January 21, 2009


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