Changing preflop strategy on the fly

LeChiffreLeChiffre NetherlandsRed Chipper Posts: 641 ✭✭✭
I was playing a €2/€2 game yesterday with a maximum buy-in of €150.

I started on a table where I made some iso-raises and picked up the blinds frequently. They were folding to them preflop or it was easy to navigate postflop to make it worthwhile.

I then moved to a table where I heard some loud drunkards play, and felt like checking it out. I was sat in position to a very bad player (vpip 80% and never bluffs but calls a lot), but directly OOP to two of the loudest drunk guys.

The game at this table also often went limp-limp-limp but then I realized that my strategy at the previous table of basically never limping (inspired by The Course video on the topic - they were folding a lot preflop and postflop to my isos, and there were some decent players who could recognize a biforcation of my range), was not really working. They were not folding, and instead the two guys on my left were calling virtually all my raises. They were also attacking other players' limps. Safe to say they were in a gambling mood and caused a cascade of callers once they called my raise. I should point out that they were not 3betting.

I would not really mind if they did this and we were playing deep, maybe 200bb. I would have some manoeuvrability postflop which I don't have at 75bb. The SPR is very small in these situations at 75bb typically ranging between 1 and 2.

I would like to discuss what to do in these spots. I feel like there are only two options:

1. The standard approach of tightening up my opening/iso range to only include hands that want to play low SPR pots. They simply were not folding and with the max buy-in being capped at 75bb this seems like a very reasonable thing to do, and follows the generally-taught advice of tightening up against loose and aggro opponents.

2. Limp entire range. In the moment I decided to follow this option, loosely inspired by reading this article by Soto, as well as various threads we have had here on the forums, most notably this one. The main utility of this strategy was for me to trap them as they raised over my limp with some bullshit hands. I would limp a hand like KQ, they would raise, 3 callers, and I shove. I also feel like I am not losing out on a ton of value if it is a limped pot on the flop, given stack depth.

While option 1 would in my estimation be the standard approach, I felt like missing out on some more ways to make money given the way these guys were playing.

One could also argue to do a bit of both: open the hands that want to see a small SPR pot, and limp the weaker side of my would-be opening range. The problem is that one of the two guys had commented on attacking my limps because I was normally raising (suggesting that indeed trapping him is a great idea).

What are your thoughts?

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Comments

  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Personally I would mix it up. Hard to add too much to the sources you linked. I would make 2 side comments.

    First is that SPR is true, is right, is and always be a correct number. The problem is that its application vis a vis a profitable strategy becomes much less useful in very multiway pots, than heads up.

    Second thing is that a phrase such as "changing strategy on the fly" sounds funny to me, because it's almost redundant - a strategy that doesn't take into account the changing environment isn't much of a strategy at all. A "static strategy" isn't of much use (unless we want to go to GTO extremes, which I claiming is unrealistic in this context.) A decent strategy is dynamic by definition.
  • CASEY MCASEY M Red Chipper Posts: 168 ✭✭
    These situations are so frustrating for me that I just stopped playing the 1/2 75bb capped games here in CA and started playing the 2/3 150bb cap games with good success over the past year. The first few sessions were tough due to the stress on my roll but that was soon mitigated by simply playing better postflop vs a lot of the field.

    I dont think Id be putting KQ in a limp/jam construction vs numerous opponents who dont like to fold pre and appear to be unconstructed. Id assume there will lots of pp, Ax and SC as well as random BS that will continue often enough to degrade the value of jamming KQ. Id probably rethink that if I accumulate 250bb+ for table image if most opponents were <100bb.

    Limp calling stronger BWs and jamming on flop when I pair up or get a draw is most likely what I would try.

    Id reserve limp/rip for ATs+, AJo+, 99/TT+ as well as some small SC for balance if balance seems necessary in a game like this.


  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    CASEY M wrote: »
    I dont think Id be putting KQ in a limp/jam construction vs numerous opponents who dont like to fold pre and appear to be unconstructed. Id assume there will lots of pp, Ax and SC as well as random BS that will continue often enough to degrade the value of jamming KQ

    Why not? KQ has about 30% or more equity in a 4 way hand against really wide ranges (-AA/KK), while only putting in 25% of the money.
  • CASEY MCASEY M Red Chipper Posts: 168 ✭✭
    edited January 25
    I hadn’t run the numbers and was just thinking off the top of my head. I’m still learning to evaluate equity on the fly. Thanks for showing me the numbers.
    I think a 5-8% edge in a low capped game is going to produce a fair amount of tilt for me.
    Is that versus a call?
    How does KQ fair against an assumed preflop calling range of 77+, AXs, 78s-QJs? Versus 2 callers? I’ll pull up flopzilla in a bit and run it.
  • CASEY MCASEY M Red Chipper Posts: 168 ✭✭
    KQ versus apprx 16% pf calling range QQ, KK, AA removed
    cwmcfiskpghz.png

    KQ vs 20% calling pf calling range
    y0ld1gtk6rbs.png

    vs 35% pf calling range
    akhhnv8bqph7.png

    vs 21% pf calling range
    n1smx77irzyc.png

    vs 2 callers pre
    f5owlw90wnxy.png

    KQ vs wide opening range does well, but if heros limp/jam gets called, we're in a tight spot. Some players do well with this sort of higher variance play in capped games. Its not my strong suit, so I tend to avoid these spots by looking for games that I can start with at least 100bb.



  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Well, you said "numerous opponents who don't like to fold pre", not me :)
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,654 -
    Reading the OP the main thought I had was: "Do we want to resolve hands preflop, or will these poor players make more costly mistakes if we force them to play postflop?"
    Moderation In Moderation
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 26
    It's a little shortstacked so there's a limit to your postflop profit. So I think it comes down to smaller equities for more money preflop, or higher equities for the same or less money postflop.

    Let's say for sake of argument you could get all in with 99+,ATs+,KQs,AJo+,KQo against 2 opponents playing a 25% range. You have a 44% edge preflop so with $150 stacks your EV is = $48.

    It's more complicated to figure your postflop edge. But if you could get all in like that once/hour.... well that's $48/hr in a $2/2 game, and that's not easy to beat.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,654 -
    Honestly my main response to loose players on my left is to suddenly notice a draft when a seat to their left opens up.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • LeChiffreLeChiffre NetherlandsRed Chipper Posts: 641 ✭✭✭
    jeffnc wrote: »
    First is that SPR is true, is right, is and always be a correct number. The problem is that its application vis a vis a profitable strategy becomes much less useful in very multiway pots, than heads up.

    Don't really understand what you mean here.
    jeffnc wrote: »
    It's a little shortstacked so there's a limit to your postflop profit. So I think it comes down to smaller equities for more money preflop, or higher equities for the same or less money postflop.

    Let's say for sake of argument you could get all in with 99+,ATs+,KQs,AJo+,KQo against 2 opponents playing a 25% range. You have a 44% edge preflop so with $150 stacks your EV is = $48.

    It's more complicated to figure your postflop edge. But if you could get all in like that once/hour.... well that's $48/hr in a $2/2 game, and that's not easy to beat.

    Yes that's what I was thinking as well. Added to this is the idea that I can see more flops with hands that don't want to see these 1 SPR flops by starting off with limps.
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    Honestly my main response to loose players on my left is to suddenly notice a draft when a seat to their left opens up.

    There was a seat open but I wanted to solve the discomfort I was feeling by adjusting appropriately :)

    Anyway, it didn't last long, they left soon after and I could go back to my standard strategy quickly thereafter but it certainly kept me thinking how to adjust properly.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    LeChiffre wrote: »
    jeffnc wrote: »
    First is that SPR is true, is right, is and always be a correct number. The problem is that its application vis a vis a profitable strategy becomes much less useful in very multiway pots, than heads up.

    Don't really understand what you mean here.

    Well I was just trying to short circuit the misunderstanding that has been repeated that SPR "doesn't work" or that someone "doesn't believe in" SPR. That's like saying you don't believe in pot odds. But SPR as originally conceived was a more useful number for heads up pots than 5 way pots. You can get low SPR pots in multiway, but you can't apply it the same way.

  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 2,354 ✭✭✭✭
    I don't really see the issue by seeing a SPR 1 flop with a humongous range advantage, all the contrary.
  • LeChiffreLeChiffre NetherlandsRed Chipper Posts: 641 ✭✭✭
    edited January 27
    Red wrote: »
    I don't really see the issue by seeing a SPR 1 flop with a humongous range advantage, all the contrary.

    Right.. but I wonder what the utility of range advantage is with a hand like A5s, 77, or JTs. How do we play these multi-way pots with one pot-sized bet left?

    Maybe that's a question that I should be addressing, but I've heard multiple times, also on RCP, to do some planning preflop incorporating what the stack depth will be on the flop. I then look at hands like A5s, 77 and JTs and I'm not happy to end up in these situations where I'm on the flop with 4 other players and there's one bet to go in. Then again, maybe I should be (please tell me) in which case I really need to study such hands and not tighten up or limp preflop.
  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 2,354 ✭✭✭✭
    LeChiffre wrote: »
    Red wrote: »
    I don't really see the issue by seeing a SPR 1 flop with a humongous range advantage, all the contrary.

    Right.. but I wonder what the utility of range advantage is with a hand like A5s, 77, or JTs. How do we play these multi-way pots with one pot-sized bet left?
    That's because they are marginal drawing hands (nut FD, set mining, straight draw/mid FD) which are not fit for this purpose / situation... Which should not be in your range !
    Aiming for a low SPR and a flop shove, you should play a (strong) linear range, not a polarized range.
  • LeChiffreLeChiffre NetherlandsRed Chipper Posts: 641 ✭✭✭
    So you would then advocate tightening up my range if I understand you correctly.
  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 2,354 ✭✭✭✭
    what I want you to see that "tightening up" isn't the key; it's but the structure of your range. Do you see the difference between these two ~10% ranges?
    • AA-66,AKo-ATo,KQo,AKs-ATs,KQs-KJs
    • AA-99,AKo-AQo,KJo,J4o,AKs-AJs,A5s-A2s,KQs,JTs-J9s,87s,54s
    In your situation, you should play a linear range.

    Now how wide should your range be depends on how wild are your villains.
  • CASEY MCASEY M Red Chipper Posts: 168 ✭✭
    @Red the first range in the above post, AA-66,AKo-ATo,KQo,AKs-ATs,KQs-KJs, would this be your pf limp/jam range in a capped game like this?
  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 2,354 ✭✭✭✭
  • CASEY MCASEY M Red Chipper Posts: 168 ✭✭
    Red wrote: »
    I never limp.

    🤣😂🤣😂🤣

  • LeChiffreLeChiffre NetherlandsRed Chipper Posts: 641 ✭✭✭
    Red wrote: »
    what I want you to see that "tightening up" isn't the key; it's but the structure of your range. Do you see the difference between these two ~10% ranges?
    • AA-66,AKo-ATo,KQo,AKs-ATs,KQs-KJs
    • AA-99,AKo-AQo,KJo,J4o,AKs-AJs,A5s-A2s,KQs,JTs-J9s,87s,54s
    In your situation, you should play a linear range.

    Now how wide should your range be depends on how wild are your villains.

    Thanks!
  • NTD12NTD12 Red Chipper Posts: 107 ✭✭
    Red wrote: »
    what I want you to see that "tightening up" isn't the key; it's but the structure of your range. Do you see the difference between these two ~10% ranges?
    • AA-66,AKo-ATo,KQo,AKs-ATs,KQs-KJs
    • AA-99,AKo-AQo,KJo,J4o,AKs-AJs,A5s-A2s,KQs,JTs-J9s,87s,54s
    In your situation, you should play a linear range.

    Now how wide should your range be depends on how wild are your villains.

    Why is J4o in the second range here? Is it just a typo?

  • CASEY MCASEY M Red Chipper Posts: 168 ✭✭
    @NTD12 can you answer @Red question about seeing the difference between the two ranges?
  • NTD12NTD12 Red Chipper Posts: 107 ✭✭
    CASEY M wrote: »
    @NTD12 can you answer @Red question about seeing the difference between the two ranges?

    IMO the difference I see is that the second range will play much better post flop with a wide array of drawing hands. Those hands want to be played deeper, not with an SPR of 1. J4o doesn't seem to fit that.

  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It seems to me that J4o is some kind of mistake. Other than that, the difference is simply a skew toward high cards, i.e. hands that make a big pair quickly, as opposed to hand that can make stronger ranks such as 87s (straights and flushes). These hands usually take longer to develop but can also win bigger pots when stacks are deeper. 87s is not a good shortstacking hand. other examples AJo/ATo included in the first range but not second, 88 included in the first range but not the second. (I'm not sure I'd go as low as 66 but I could be wrong.) These hand makes sense for decent made hands (mid pairs) or good high hands (high pocket pairs) or big cards that can flop or board a big pair. Also by definition high cards also have some connectedness, so they don't make as many straights as lower tightly connected cards, but they do make some. 87 makes 4 straights, KJ makes 2, AK makes 1. The main draw is big pairs but some connectedness helps as well for their overall equity.
  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 2,354 ✭✭✭✭
    @CASEY M @jeffnc @NTD12 Actually, J4o isn't a mistake nor a typo :-)

    If you want a hint about the difference between both ranges, look for the keywords "polarized" and "linear".
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The difference between polarized and linear is clear. What J4 is doing in there is not clear.
  • NTD12NTD12 Red Chipper Posts: 107 ✭✭
    So J4o is just a straight up preflop bluff?

    The first range is linear(progressively better)
    The second is polarized(really strong or really weak)

    Surely there has to be some better hands to preflop bluff with?
  • CASEY MCASEY M Red Chipper Posts: 168 ✭✭
    edited January 28
    @Red i see the difference between a poled and linear opening range. It was apparent when you posted them.

    @jeffnc @NTD12
    Trash hands are important to balance a poled range. Especially when at a table with weak opponents that fold to pf aggression.

    @Red also mentioned that a linear range is probably better in the game that the OP is in.
  • CASEY MCASEY M Red Chipper Posts: 168 ✭✭
    I agree with @Red that poled range would not be appropriate in the OP game. Knowing why and when to implement a poled vs linear strategy is key to profit.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You don't need "trash" hands to balance a poled range, because any card you need to represent any flop you need can be better represented by a better hand. If you need a 4, you can have 44, A4, 54, 43. If you need a J you can have JJ, JT, and the list goes on. There is no flop for which you need J4o to represent a good hand. The only thing you're doing is showing a goofy hand so that people might think you can play any 2, but you don't need to do that to represent trips or 2 pair on any board. Even on a flop of J44 there are better hands than J4 that you can be raising with, and even A4 is very unlikely to be behind here. There are never any game conditions against 6 or more players where you need to raise more than 50% of your hands, and J4o is not even close to being in the top 50% of hands.

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