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Different sizes of preflop openings
June 7, 2016
5:36 pm
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simonL
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Hi everyone!

 

I understand that regular 3bb preFlop opening at micros is a standard, by doing this your opponents never know what you have etc. But why not vary it?
I’m not saying that when you have JJ+ you will make a big raise and when you have 22+ you will play small. How about vary it, maybe sometimes you will open with 99, 5b
and next time you will open just 3bb with KK to induce a 3bet.

Is this tactic only apply at the high stakes?
I play on BCP and often I find myself playing against pretty decent players- playing tight aggressive style and everyone plays the same, is hard to win pots, so I was thinking maybe to change my game a little bit, make them more confuse, play a little bit more loose aggressive style. 

I’d like to hear from you guys. 

June 7, 2016
8:22 pm
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Alton - MicroGrinder Poker
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The reasoning for opening to 3bb and not 5bb or 6bb pre-flop is to build the pot, but to leave room for post-flop playability. You have to consider effective stack sizes in the pot. Bloating the pot pre-flop will make the post-flop bets much larger…so definitely take this into consideration.

Simple Example:

  • 3bb raise pre-flop with both blinds calling: 9bb pot going to flop –> 6bb flop c-bet with 1 caller –> 21bb pot on the turn: 15bb c-bet with 1 caller –> 51bb pot going to the river.
  • 5bb raise with both blinds calling: 15bb pot going to the flop –> 10bb flop c-bet with 1 caller –> 35bb pot on the turn: 23bb c-bet & opponent calls –> 81bb pot going to the river.

With that said, sizing your bets exploitatively against fish is something you should consider, but not against good regulars. Is there a benefit to randomly tweaking your sizing from 3bb to 5bb? Probably not. People will just fold marginal hands you want them to call you with whenever you bet 5bb and if you randomly bet 5bb without consideration of the strength of your hand, you’ll be bloating pots randomly with sometimes marginal hands.

Instead of looking to “confuse” your opponents with random pre-flop raise sizes, look for leaks in their games. I have noticed that lots of regs at the Winning Poker Network (ACR & BCP) are bad-aggressive – meaning they 3-bet too much, they don’t fold to 3-bets and they c-bet too often. People are just overly aggressive….so look for holes in their games and counteract their over-aggressiveness by being deceptive with strong hands to include bluffs, flatting their 3-bets with really strong hands, and 3-betting light (TT+, AQs).

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June 8, 2016
2:53 pm
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simonL
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Thanks Alton! 

You’re right I should look for different strategies to beat them than pre-flop openings. 

But how about high stakes? I’ve seen that they are raise wide range of hands and they change sizing as well

June 9, 2016
9:54 am
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Alton - MicroGrinder Poker
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Where are you seeing people do this in high stakes? TV poker? WSOP? Online training videos? And are you sure the people doing it are winning players?

Yes – at the higher stakes people will raising and defending wider ranges, especially in heads up matches since there is a HUGE meta game going on outside of our level of thinking at the micro stakes.

June 9, 2016
2:47 pm
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simonL
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 Tom Dwan doing it all the time, for example Poker after dark and he is winning player.

June 9, 2016
9:18 pm
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Alton - MicroGrinder Poker
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Television poker is entertainment poker with straddle betting, etc to make for marketable television. So I wouldn’t even watch shows such as Poker After Dark other than for pure entertainment. Also the series ran from 2007 – 2011, which is a long time ago. Poker has evolved a lot since them.

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