Limping From The SB

Aaron_ColernAaron_Colern Red Chipper Posts: 7 ✭✭
Playing in my local casino 1/3....7 handed game and I'm in the small blind($290). The BB($100) is the type that will never raise preflop, I've seen them limp call AA UTG in a 4 way pot hit a set and just called the PFR 3 streets with the nuts and not get it all in on the river.

So back to the hand/situation in question. UTG($200), HJ($250) and BU($100) limp. I have :9s:Th . I decide to limp because I know BB would never raise there, so in essence it was like I was closing the action. I posted this hand on Share My Pair, and this self described coach, with a website, says that my hand is never a call there. He says "Even if BB is all in for $3 T9off is never a call". He then challenges me to ask "any pro" and they'll tell you BB preflop having the option has nothing to do with my decision, so can any pro weigh in here? @TheGameKat @SplitSuit @w34z3l
Should I be folding here? ( If this were a hyper aggressive player in the BB, this is a fold in my opinion)
If so what hand range should be considered as a call here?
Other thought I had was maybe I should be looking for all the opponents to have 100 BB for these situations?

I would raise 99+, AQo+, AJs,A5s-A2s, KQs here. I would limp many suited hands that can make a straight, this T9 off is my worst non suited holding I would limp with here.
My intention is to try and make a nutted hand for as cheap as possible, I feel I'm pretty good at staying out of trouble in these spots, especially since there were none of the room's tough regs in this game. As the hand played out I called a -EV turn(I thought I could get paid off when hitting) with a draw to the nuts, I hit but the implied odds didn't get paid out. Although I didn't get the results, I've seen enough goofy stuff in this particular casino that I think it justifies playing to the nuts and then escalating the action.

Any feedback here would be appreciated, thanks.

Comments

  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Las VegasPosts: 4,745 -
    I posted this hand on Share My Pair, and this self described coach, with a website, says that my hand is never a call there. He says "Even if BB is all in for $3 T9off is never a call". He then challenges me to ask "any pro" and they'll tell you BB preflop having the option has nothing to do with my decision, so can any pro weigh in here? @TheGameKat @SplitSuit @w34z3l
    Should I be folding here? ( If this were a hyper aggressive player in the BB, this is a fold in my opinion)
    If so what hand range should be considered as a call here?
    Other thought I had was maybe I should be looking for all the opponents to have 100 BB for these situations?

    This "pro" sounds like a peach. With three guesses I might even figure out who it is.

    Let's just be crystal clear on what they're claiming. They are saying the characteristics of the BB are unimportant because even if they had no money behind, this is always a fold in the SB.

    And in a $1/$3 game I would tend to agree. You're going to be OOP to four players, and this is a hand that will be difficult to play in such a spot. Note that position not only means it's harder to realize your equity, it's also harder to get value when you actually connect.

    So I prefer a fold here, but I'm a fairly tight, unimaginative player. Concerning this individual's claim that you can ask "any pro" and get the same answer, that's probably hyperbole. If you wanted to look for one, I'd start with Jason Somerville completing here, simply because of his confidence in his postflop edge.

    As to what you can complete with. I have (or had, I rarely play cash these days) a rough default for $1/$2 which I drift from based on number of limpers and the nature of the player in the BB. For $1/$3 and the number of limpers in your exact case, it'd be something like:

    88-22,ATs-A2s,KJs-K9s,Q9s+,J9s+,T8s+,97s+,86s+,76s,65s,54s,ATo,KJo-KTo,QTo,JTo

    and honestly I'm not sure I want the weaker offsuit broadways in there if the game is so limpy that I'm frequently dominated. Similarly baby flush draws OOP are no picnic.

    Playing from the SB just sucks.
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  • WassenaarWassenaar Red Chipper Posts: 48 ✭✭
    Hol' up @TheGameKat ... When reading the post I thought everything seemed fairly straightforward given dynamic, soft game and "effectively" closing action. But you're opting for the fold? That surprises me!

    Just out of curiosity, would your suggestion alter if stakes were $1/$2 for example for a better price. Or if we were last to act in BB facing UTG minraise, HJ call and BTN call?

    I'm not saying I'm comfortable and certain to call here, but at first sight it looked so standard to me! Yes OOP sucks and I would have to rely on great skill advantage in turning this play profitably, but its just... I'm viewed as one of the regs in my game who plays few hands, with both stealing from SB and defending BB less than I should. But it seems every time I'm reviewing spots of those plays and I tend to agree with the play, the pros will anticipate it as a loose play.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Las VegasPosts: 4,745 -
    Wassenaar wrote: »
    Just out of curiosity, would your suggestion alter if stakes were $1/$2 for example for a better price. Or if we were last to act in BB facing UTG minraise, HJ call and BTN call?

    Your two scenarios here are useful for developing the concepts.

    If it's $1/$2, three players have limped, and the BB for some reason has abandoned the hand and left the table, I can see myself making the call with T9o in real time. And I am pretty sure this is -EV. I'd probably tell myself it was meta-game EV neutral, on the grounds I didn't want to appear to be the tightest $1/$2 player on the Strip since I'd never get any action. Pffft. The general issue, however, is that the BB will usually have their option if you complete, and the fact they can raise is a large reason why playing tight in the SB is correct.

    As to the min-raise question, I've only thought about this in tournament situations (it just never happens in live cash) and IMO there's a conceptual error shared by many people. The usual argument is that, with a UTG min-raise and a couple of callers, it's the additional callers that incentivize the BB to call because they improve our direct odds. My feeling is that the improved odds we get are nullified with the difficulty of playing marginal hands OOP and multiway. So with certain hands and stack depths I'm actually more likely to defend against a min-raise in the BB heads-up than with intervening callers. (There's also a minimum defense frequency argument for this approach, in that once others have called the min-raise, my responsibilities of defending against it are basically removed.)

    I seem to recall @Doug Hull has a mission in one of his books, where the idea is to play tight (and thus appropriately) in the SB, and rather than flicking in the extra white chip in a $1/$2 game, setting it aside in a "money saved" stack. It grows impressively rapidly.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,007 ✭✭✭✭✭
    He says "Even if BB is all in for $3 T9off is never a call".

    Well that's actually worse because you now have no implied odds for your weak hand :)
    He then challenges me to ask "any pro" and they'll tell you BB preflop having the option has nothing to do with my decision

    Well obviously it has something to do with it. As do other factors, which you can easily construct to defend a call. For example, if the opponents are so weak tight that they fold almost all the time to a bet on the flop, then you can call with any 2 cocktail napkins.

    So of course obviously this can be a call depending. Standard situation, in a 1/3 game I normally fold, in a soft 1/2 game I might call. In a live game you can sometimes get a live read if the BB is going to raise.
  • karbynkarbyn Red Chipper Posts: 122 ✭✭
    If you never complete the small blind again, you’d never be wrong
    The main idea of playing anything from the small blind is to lose less than 0.5bb. So you should be playing to take it down preflop with aggro actions, playing hands that flop nuttish hands, or folding. This is a pretty thin range. Otherwise fold.

    In your example, flop comes T62r. You’re calling a bet for sure and just digging a deeper hole for your lifetime SB EV.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,007 ✭✭✭✭✭
    karbyn wrote: »
    If you never complete the small blind again, you’d never be wrong

    ??
    Maybe you're thinking something along the lines of "if you never completed the small blind again, you'd only be making a small mistake." Then again, completing the small blind with bad cards is also a small mistake by definition - it's only a dollar or two and that assumes you have zero equity, which you don't. The problem is it's a small mistake that multiplies many times in low stakes games.

    The ability to play some of the speculative hands depends in part on your ability to steal some pots, as it does with hands in other positions. It can be harder to steal from out of position, but on the other hand you do have the check-raise option, which can be strong and is not available in position.

  • karbynkarbyn Red Chipper Posts: 122 ✭✭
    jeffnc wrote: »
    karbyn wrote: »
    If you never complete the small blind again, you’d never be wrong

    ??
    Maybe you're thinking something along the lines of "if you never completed the small blind again, you'd only be making a small mistake." Then again, completing the small blind with bad cards is also a small mistake by definition - it's only a dollar or two and that assumes you have zero equity, which you don't. The problem is it's a small mistake that multiplies many times in low stakes games.

    The ability to play some of the speculative hands depends in part on your ability to steal some pots, as it does with hands in other positions. It can be harder to steal from out of position, but on the other hand you do have the check-raise option, which can be strong and is not available in position.

    It's not a small mistake. Sure if it only cost you $1 to see the flop, and that can be seen in a vacuum as a small mistake. But if you flop something, like above T9o on T43r or K86r, it's going to cost you more. The discipline to actually fold there is rare, and by that point the odds often don't support it. Playing OOP is the #1 mistake players make IMO.

    To expand: If one gets out of the mindset of simply completing the SB (or even calling a raise from the SB/BB when it's already multi-way) with a marginal hand (or worse!) to try and flop a big hand, your EV from the blinds will improve significantly. There are many reasons for this, and there are lots of material already out there explaining why.

    There are, ofc, always exceptions that one could argue:
    - SB vs BB in tournies is the most common.
    - UTG raise, several callers, you hold 66, and the BB is a total nit and very rarely raises, so you have "odds to set mine". But realizing your equity in thee situations is often very tough. Not very often will you fully realize ~20x the raise for you to be +EV

    But regardless, my mantra still holds true. If you never complete the SB again, you'd never be wrong.

  • LeChiffreLeChiffre NetherlandsRed Chipper Posts: 657 ✭✭✭
    karbyn wrote: »
    If you never complete the SB again, you'd never be wrong.

    This seems silly. If there's a +EV SB completion spot and raising is not an option, it would be wrong to not complete.
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,367 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @karbyn hits upon the EV incentive pretty well.

    There's a little more to it, specifically the problems having a "raise only" strategy creates, that make this coach's statement not wrong, but dubious. Step away from the example hand, where there are limps ahead, but to an unopened pot. Now, we can theorize a reason to limp and realize equity without being three bet, and indeed, there are some solver solutions which find completions from the SB.

    Next, the second part of Karbyn's argument is that the SB is likely to make mistakes. Well, we will all make mistakes, but for the coach's point to be definitive, there has to be a scenario where a SB completion after an open limp can't be played to the same EV as another option. In other words, a limp from a field player is extraordinarily advantageous if it can predict a completion from the SB. This seems questionable.

    Leaving that aside, where this coach has a strong point is that if this is a low stakes game, the rake will be be extraordinarily high, and the incentive to complete the middle of the deck is now diminished significantly.

    But imagine if there is no rake, say in a time rake game - now the coach's point clearly only applies to the MW scenario, as 109o vs the all in player clearly has enough EV vs a random hand to complete in an unopened pot.

    So based on these points, one could infer that the SB completion even MW isn't definitively bad.
  • karbynkarbyn Red Chipper Posts: 122 ✭✭
    LeChiffre wrote: »
    karbyn wrote: »
    If you never complete the SB again, you'd never be wrong.

    This seems silly. If there's a +EV SB completion spot and raising is not an option, it would be wrong to not complete.

    I'm not trying to be obstinate... but if such a scenario exists, I expect that it is very theoretical (like when do you fold AA preflop? and such)... Can you define such a scenario where we in the SB:
    1) only need to complete (not call a raise)
    2) "raising is not an option"
    3) have a hand worth playing
    4) will be able to realize equity
  • karbynkarbyn Red Chipper Posts: 122 ✭✭
    persuadeo wrote: »
    There's a little more to it, specifically the problems having a "raise only" strategy creates, that make this coach's statement not wrong, but dubious. Step away from the example hand, where there are limps ahead, but to an unopened pot. Now, we can theorize a reason to limp and realize equity without being three bet, and indeed, there are some solver solutions which find completions from the SB.
    Specific situations exist for sure where a solver would recommend this play. For simplicity and in-game decisions (esp in cash, but also full ring tourneys), I still suggest that completing the SB is bad when measured against EV.
    persuadeo wrote: »
    Next, the second part of Karbyn's argument is that the SB is likely to make mistakes. Well, we will all make mistakes, but for the coach's point to be definitive, there has to be a scenario where a SB completion after an open limp can't be played to the same EV as another option. In other words, a limp from a field player is extraordinarily advantageous if it can predict a completion from the SB. This seems questionable.
    Starting off OOP with relatively undefined (and often uncapped) ranges seems like an easy mistake to fix. The best players in the world are -EV from the SB no matter what they do. You could blindly fold the SB every single hand and do better than most players. I'm not suggesting that ofc, it's just a reference point. I'm suggesting that one should create a raising range (that has some dynamic flexibility) and fold everything else. Ofc there are steals/squeezes as well where ATC work, but that is a tactic, not a strategy.
    persuadeo wrote: »
    Leaving that aside, where this coach has a strong point is that if this is a low stakes game, the rake will be be extraordinarily high, and the incentive to complete the middle of the deck is now diminished significantly.

    But imagine if there is no rake, say in a time rake game - now the coach's point clearly only applies to the MW scenario, as 109o vs the all in player clearly has enough EV vs a random hand to complete in an unopened pot.
    I was clear that the situation involved completing vs calling a raise, esp vs an all-in where there is only 1 decision

    Even if you call a $7 raise and the pot is $14 (7+7+2 - rake - jackpot), limpers often have such garbage that they miss and you win by donking the turn. Awesome. Preflop you risked $6 to win $8. That doesn't mean the play is +EV, it just means you won the hand. And I agree that a time-charge game would alter this a little, but the initial mistake still compounds from being OOP.
    persuadeo wrote: »
    So based on these points, one could infer that the SB completion even MW isn't definitively bad.
    I'm not going to die on this hill, bc I do this occasionally too... like you say, we all will make mistakes and I didn't drive to the casino to fold for 4 hours :)
    ... hey there's a limping whale. I can complete with T9o knowing I can get value if I hit something or maybe even just outplay him. And ya sometimes it works, but mostly we're flushing money. But I'm working on it!

  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,367 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @karbyn yes I'm aware of the situation provided, I'm exploring other situations to help inform the original one.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,007 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2020
    karbyn wrote: »
    The best players in the world are -EV from the SB no matter what they do.

    Irrelevant. They're -EV because they put in a dollar blind (let's assume $1/2). If you make them 0 EV after they've surrendered the dollar, then we can assume they're +EV. In other words, the absolute value of their EV is lower than the cost of the small blind (their EV is greater than -1). (Otherwise, they can't be the best players in the world.)
    karbyn wrote: »
    You could blindly fold the SB every single hand and do better than most players.

    Also irrelevant.

    If you have a point in here somewhere, it's better not to confuse the issue by trying to convince us the SB is a bad place to be - we already agree on that.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,007 ✭✭✭✭✭
    karbyn wrote: »
    I'm not trying to be obstinate... but if such a scenario exists, I expect that it is very theoretical (like when do you fold AA preflop? and such)... Can you define such a scenario where we in the SB:
    1) only need to complete (not call a raise)
    2) "raising is not an option"
    3) have a hand worth playing
    4) will be able to realize equity

    OK well first of all, this "position" thing is not fully thought out by most players. Most - not all - of the discussion/literature/video revolves around heads up play. Once we start adding in players, it doesn't matter a whole lot what position you are - everyone except the "in position" player is OOP. So realistically you're not playing at a disadvantage to everyone at the table in a big multiway hand, because everyone has to worry about what's going to happen after them, not to mention the fact that the EP players often like to check/raise with this much action behind, so even the "in position" player has an issue. There's a certain amount of handcuffing going on that doesn't happen in heads up pots, because the pot is protected, so your positional disadvantage is mitigated.

    So let's take a limping range in one of these limp fests just for sake of argument, of 77-33,ATs-A2s,KJs-K2s,Q2s+,J4s+,T6s+,96s+,86s+,76s,65s,AQo-A2o,K5o+,Q7o+,J7o+,T7o+,98o.

    Well, T9o is more or less right smack dab in the middle of that equity-wise against 5 other players. Yes playability is an issue with all hands. But the point is, your equity is the same as everyone else's, most people in the hand have bad position, and you're only paying half of what they're paying to see a flop. We're talking about 11-1 preflop pot odds. So right out of the gate we have a pretty good deal. Now add in the fact that they're not very good players and you are, and it really shouldn't be hard to realize your equity in the hand.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Las VegasPosts: 4,745 -
    I once suggested at the table that playing from the SB was so difficult, what with being OOP to the table and everything, that we should introduce a tiny blind so that the SB wasn't at such a huge disadvantage,

    Anyway, fwiw, the highest % completion recommendation I've seen from our content providers from the SB with multiple limpers is 19%.
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