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Gap rule
Is it works on 2nl-5nl
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September 12, 2016
12:46 pm
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valedus
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In pre-flop calling ranges video you said about gap theory (you need stronger hand to answer your opponents raise then you should open with). It is logically true but what about majority players on nl2 that don’t even know about position concept and have the same oppening range from every position? For example when you think that player on  UTG doesn’t know position concept and he opens with SB/CO range should i call on CO because i will be in position while we have the same range?

While i was writing i came up with another question. How cautiosly will you play against a player who knows these concepts and uses gap rule and will you think his hand (range) is better than yours?

September 12, 2016
2:09 pm
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Alton - MicroGrinder Poker
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You use the gap rule based upon your opponent’s range. If you have a bad recreational player opening a 14%, 24% or 40% range in every single position, you apply the Gap Theory against that range when you’re considering a call. There are other factors to consider as well such as people left to act, squeezers, etc but that is how you would use the Gap Theory – just base it upon their opening range.

Not sure I understand what you’re saying with the second question because the initial raiser isn’t using the Gap Theory, only callers are. So the Gap Theory doesn’t apply to the initial raiser.

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valedus
September 16, 2016
10:30 am
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Peppermill
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It is very important to note that the Gap Concept is really only applicable to tournaments and not deep stacked (100bb) cash games. The Gap concept was first described by David Sklansky in his book Tournament Poker for Advanced Players. Since this book was written poker has developed a great deal. When this book was written a pre-flop re-raise meant AA or KK or when dealing with an absolute maniac QQ and AK as well. Even in tournaments the value of the Gap Theory has been questioned by people like Daniel Negreanu and Arnold Snyder.

 

Because poker tournaments quickly become short stacked affairs the value of strong pre-flop hands goes up while the value of speculative hands goes down. This means hands are mostly played pre-flop and on the flop with little money remaining to go in on the turn and river. In case of short stacked play the Gap Theory works out quite well. Let’s take an extreme example:

 

UTG is an extremely tight player and raises to 3bb from UTG, everybody folds to you on the Button. You have 22. Let’s make a few assumptions for this example.

 -Villain only raises UTG with AA

 -The blinds are very tight and will always fold.

 -No matter how the board runs out UTG will never fold his aces and will bet every street until all-in.

 -We are playing a tournament and the effective stack is 15bb  or we are playing a cash game and stacks are both 100bb deep.

 

According to the Gap Concept you can never call, either in a cash game or in a tournament. Now let’s see why that is clearly wrong.

 

In both cases re-raising is clearly a mistake, your opponent will never fold, we know we are up against aces and are thus only have 20% equity. We also know we have a 12% change of hitting a set on the flop. In the tournament we only stand to win 15 bb when we hit and lose 3bb when we fold to a flop bet when we miss (EV -1.2bb), not enough to call, so a clear fold.

 

In the cash game however we stand to win 100bb when we hit and lose 3bb when we miss (EV of 9.88bb). As you can see, playing speculative hands in position can be really profitable if you know what you are doing.

September 16, 2016
10:43 am
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Alton - MicroGrinder Poker
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Peppermill said
It is very important to note that the Gap Concept is really only applicable to tournaments and not deep stacked (100bb) cash games.

In the cash game however we stand to win 100bb when we hit and lose 3bb when we miss (EV of 9.88bb). As you can see, playing speculative hands in position can be really profitable if you know what you are doing.  

I think the biggest caveat with 100bb cash games and the Gap Rule is that as we improve our post-flop play, we can play speculative implied odds hands; that is really the biggest difference.

However, if we aren’t good at playing post flop, calling with speculative hands can be -EV and detrimental to our win rate. Regardless, the Gap Concept still applies to cash games, meaning “it takes a better hand to call a raise than it takes to open-raise yourself” because we don’t want to end up post-flop with reverse-implied odds kicker situations.

September 16, 2016
11:35 am
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Peppermill
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But a hand like 22 is the exact opposite of a reverse implied odds hand. Playing reverse implied odds hands like A8o and KQ against an early position raiser is always a bad idea. However, with 22 you know after the flop if your hand is good (you hit your set) or not (you miss) There is almost no risk in making a second best hand when you hit unless the board runs out very scary or it is set over set.

September 16, 2016
7:50 pm
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Alton - MicroGrinder Poker
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Yes, that is why I said that’s the caveat to the rule. We use the Gap Concept for calling hands such our Broadway hands to make sure they are doing well against our opponent’s range. Implied odds hands, such as set-mining hands follow a completely different category of rules / criteria.

With set-mining, we need to be careful calling unless we know we’ll make at least our break-even point in chips every time we make our set (on the average). Since the odds against flopping a set or better is 7.5:1, the one time we do flop a set in 8.5 times, we need to make up for the 7.5 times we don’t. So we need to make sure we have good implied odds as well. Assuming we call a 3bb raise, the break-even point (not including the affect or rake) is 24bb total winnings from villain.

So I don’t follow the Gap Rule for small pocket pairs. I instead evaluate my opponent’s playing style, position, effective stack sizes, implied odds, etc. Broadway hands such as KQ, KJ, KT, AJ, AT, QJ, etc are hands I apply the Gap Theory with.

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