A "call" for help?

dcenterdcenter Red Chipper Posts: 52
Hello all,

I have been heavy into playing 1/2 live, and I have noticed a huge gap in my understanding. As I am getting better at the game, and I do believe that I am, then I am beginning to question why I am doing some things. The biggest question is "Why am I calling?". Next question is "What do I do now that I have called?".

The scenario:
I am on the button, or maybe the small blind. (big difference I know) I look down at a hand that I will definitely open raise with. My standard is about $15, and I am ready to fire. Lo and behold, some rude dude in MP opens before I get the chance, and takes away my initiative. My hand is not good enough to justifiably 3-bet with, but I may be way behind a strong ace and playing practically dead. If I don't hit the flop, I must decide whether to call a $20-$30 c-bet...with nothing but overs. Worst still, if I do hit the flop with a good top pair, I may be almost dead to an ace kicker or some other such holding by the antagonist. I just don't feel comfortable. Opening strong gives you such great opportunity to be aggressive that it seems hard to overcome. Folding and waiting until you are more likely to have the stronger holding begins to look better and better.

I know I did not put specific hands in this post. I am asking for a rationale, plan or even philosophy on why we call. I have watched the calling video, and intend to watch it again, but it was a little over my head. I think some of the newer players might benefit from this discussion.

Specifically common vernacular on:

Why we call?
What we expect to happen when we call?
What is the plan when they c-bet?
What happens when they don't c-bet?
What different types of hands to call with, and how to play each.
Should I only call if I think I am ahead?
Should I ever call OOP?

The more I play, the more I realize that I need this aspect of my game to be better. Hopefully it will help others who are struggling if they read these answers.

Thanks in advance,

Dave

Comments

  • SplitSuitSplitSuit RCP Coach Posts: 4,082 -
    A lot of those questions and thoughts are wrapped around your own hand. Why not flip the question upside down and focus more on your opponent's range and see where the exploration takes you?
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  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,007 ✭✭✭✭✭
    dcenter wrote: »
    The scenario:
    I am on the button, or maybe the small blind. (big difference I know) I look down at a hand that I will definitely open raise with. My standard is about $15, and I am ready to fire. Lo and behold, some rude dude in MP opens before I get the chance, and takes away my initiative....Opening strong gives you such great opportunity to be aggressive that it seems hard to overcome. Folding and waiting until you are more likely to have the stronger holding begins to look better and better.

    Right. It's common knowledge that being "in position" is "better". But it's not so simple. You've actually described a situation where it's sometimes better to be out of position. This is because sometimes whoever bets first can take it down. Another similar situation is when the flop is 3 or 4 handed, and it checks around (you're in late position) and you can see no one is interested in the pot. You decide that if it gets checked to you again, you're going to bet and take it down. Unfortunately EP player has the same idea, and bets out the turn and takes it down. You don't know if he has something, or simply recognized that no one else does, so now you fold.

    This doesn't specifically answer your questions, but there are many hands that you play that aren't really profitable on their own merit (pure card value). They are only profitable to play if you add in the extra value from bluffing and position. Let's say a nit raises from EP and you put him on AK/QQ+. If you call with 87s, you don't have the value to try and outflop him. You have to be willing to float him and bluff him to get the extra value. So there might be 2 times you call him "incorrectly" (preflop and flop float) in order to set up a profitable turn or river bet.

  • SS Poker JunkieSS Poker Junkie Red Chipper Posts: 3
    edited April 2016
    I think a lot depends on your opponent. Like Splitsuit said - what is your opponents range but also what are your opponents tendencies? Is this the type of player to c-bet almost 100% of the time? At 1/2 games I still find it pretty common for players to almost always c-bet and then (if they missed) shut down on the turn when they're called. This is a pretty good spot to be in if you're holding two overs with position. Even if you miss you can pick up the pot when the turn is checked to you.
  • JackofClubsJackofClubs Red Chipper Posts: 52
    Instead of calling IP or OOP -- what percent of the time are you willing to 3 bet and fold to a 4 bet PF? (the 3 bet will fold out smaller pairs and no pairs some percent of the time) -- and if you just call PF how often are you willing to 3 bet the flop and fold to a 4 bet?

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