10-12-05 [poker]An all-in decision near the end of a poker tournament is incredibly complicated. When you have some kind of mediocre hand and suddenly someone puts you allin, you have to run through a ton of things.
1. What are the pot odds?
2. What are the possible hands he can be playing; this requires going over the previous action and thinking about how he considers the situation - what's your stack, what's his stack, what are the blinds, are there other really short stacks - these things affect what hands he might have.
3. What are my odds of winning against the hands he could have? (weighted sum by probability) How does that compare to the pot odds?
4. If I fold, what will my chip stack be? If I call and lose, what will my stack be? How will my stack compare to others and the blinds if I fold? How well do I play a big stack or short stack? Are the other players better or worse than me?
5. What are the other stacks? Is anyone close to going out?
6. Are we in the money yet? How does the payout change for the next few places?
7. How will folding or calling affect others' view of me? (eg. if I call with a weak hand, will they lose respect? if I fold will they start attacking me every hand?).
8. What are the blinds? How do they compare to my stack if I fold or call and lose? Are the blinds going up soon? How close am I to having to pay the next big blind?
This is just the quick sampler, and that's assuming there's no one else in the hand.