We have some solid players in the league, but there are some late-game moves people make that leave me scratching my head every time. Here's the biggest mistake I see:
-Calling a raise with 10 big blinds or less.
When you are short-stacked, your moves should be limited to shoving, folding, or calling a shove when you're strong. Calling a raise just to see the flop is weak and not very profitable long term. With a shove, you have a chance at fold equity depending on the raiser's stack.
Basically if your hand is good enough for a call when short-stacked, then it should be good enough to shove.
A good player to my left made the play in question at a recent final table. I made a min-raise + half a blind pre-flop from the SB, then a standard c-bet on the flop with nothing, total bluff, out of position, sweating bullets...
He just called pre-flop, then folded to my c-bet and gave me a fist-bump. Why was he in the hand?? What kind of hand was good enough to call pre-flop with such a short stack, but not shove knowing that I was raising pretty wide (K8s) and might fold?
I would have folded pre-flop or post-flop if he shoved at either stage, btw. That's what a 2.5 bb raise should've told him (otherwise I would have shoved pre).
Just parroting advice from the pros here, and reducing the chance of weak play creeping into my game. You never know when a moment of indecisiveness will severely shorten your tournament life:
I think I want to play this hand, but I'm not really sure, so I'll just call and re-evaluate on the flop.
Pffffffff! Entering a poker hand short-stacked is like aerial combat. You are either committed to fight, or you're burning toward an exit window. If you're fighting, then it's absolute life-ending aggression from the start. Nothing less.