Thanks for the comments, well, at least from Gonz. I think his comment probably represents the conventional wisdom. As it turns out, I had pocket nines, felt like I was both ahead and had positive equity in the hand and wanted to stay as aggressive as possible. This is not a hand I would normally play in this spot with this stack, but I definitely would have felt I was ahead as I folded. So I decided to err on the side of aggression and move in this time. By the way, both blinds folded. If either woke up with a monster, I'm an idiot.
I rarely get really specific about what I think everyone has (or the range of what everyone has) in the moment, but rather prefer to trust what I feel recognizing that my feel takes into consideration a lot of factors that I will come to consciously as I reconstruct a hand. (By the way, that is not a reflection of my reading ability at all, but more a reflection of my inability to think very clearly in the heat of the moment.) In this instance, my initial thoughts were the original all-in was not that strong, the call from the cocky kid was not that strong, and the call all-in for less in seat 9 was almost irrelevant. Therefore, I felt like I had everyone beat, and I will gamble against the cocky kid for a chance to go really deep with a big stack and some fold equity (I actually thought it was about 50-50 he would call).
The cocky kid immediately said, “I know what that long look means” (meaning my ten second stare at my cards) and folded AQ face-up. All-in UTG had pocket sevens, and seat nine had A8o. When I turned over my nines, the cocky kid exclaimed, “wow, what a terrible play!” It was kind of awesome. A queen came on the flop, but I dodged an A, seven or two eights and added 15,000 to my stack. Cocky kid then said, “you’re getting a call from me the rest of the way, I can promise you that.”
In looking back, I think the key aspect of my decision to move in with the nines was the likelihood that cocky kid and probably one other of the players was holding an ace, thus cutting down their chances to win. I think cocky kid realized this, too, but probably assumed he was dominated by me anyways (with AA, KK or AK). It would have been interesting to see if he would have folded AK.
By the numbers, it ended up I was risking roughly 5,600 to win 15,000. Pre-flop, our winning chances were as follows:
99 58 %
77 17 %
A8 25 %
That was a little surprising to me as I would have guessed I was somewhere in the high 40s. Now, assuming AQ calls there, I would be risking 19,000 to win 28,000. Here are the winning chances:
99 45 %
77 17 %
A8 6.4 %
AQ 28.5 %
So, either way, it turns out my decision was pretty well support by the math, of course assuming I was right about the strength of my opponents hands.