Advice on raising

accessdeniedx2accessdeniedx2 Red Chipper Posts: 61 ✭✭
I play in a weak passive game (1/2$) with the same players each week. They will limp anything from A2o to 57o to QJs. Raises are about 15$ to 20$ with middle pp, AJ+, K 10+ and sometimes just junk but most raised are legit hands.

In the beginning, (4 years ago)I played nitty. I started opening my ranges wider and wider and even created a range chart for my hands in each position.

I've worked on my 3betting range using a polarized strategy by betting 10s+, AJs, AQo, and A3, A4, and A5 suited along with 89s to J10s, which I feel has worked well.

One of my biggest leaks I feel is playing low suited hands like 35s and 47s, etc. in position to raises. I'm working on that at the moment. I'm not sure that I should completely remove them, but I recognize that it should be very situation dependent with folding them most of the time.

My ranges that I constructed obviously loosen up closer to the button, but I always want to raise my opening range in LP even with multiple limpers in front because for me.... its easier to range them on hands like broadway type holdings whereas they could be limping Q7o and it disguises my own hands as I will raise 89s in that position. Lately, I've been questioning that because with suited aces and suited connectors, you need to make about 20:1 and when playing 1/2$, its hard to do when average raise sizes are $16ish.

So my dilemma is this... I'm not giving myself great odds when I make these LP raises with hands such as these, but I feel more comfortable post flop when I raise as opposed to overlimping because I can range my opponents better. So is it better to just overlimp in position with hands such as 67s, 8 10s, etc because of the pot odds I'm getting?

Also, I've been wondering about raising lower around 8$ as I can still eliminate some of their hands, while being able to call 3bets if needed and force them to play a wider range against my tighter range.

Thank you to anyone who responds. You dont know how grateful I am for these forums. Everyone here has been so friendly and insightful.


  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Las VegasPosts: 4,945 -
    I think before anyone really addresses this we need a bit more info, or at least clearer info, on exactly the profiles you're describing. Given you play with them regularly you should be able to nail them down pretty well.

    For example, you describe the game as weak-passive, which in itself puzzles me because the two terms are typically synonyms. Moreover, the raises actually sound quite aggressive, insofar as anyone coming in with a big raise with a hand like KTo from anything other than the button is playing somewhat LAG, at least preflop.

    If those raises are to $20, a lot of how you respond is going to depend on effective stacks. How deep does this game play?

    From what I can make out, small isolation raises will have no desirable effect. If people are limping trash, they'll limp-call a small raise with trash, and once the first limper comes along, everyone else is in for the ride.

    Concerning raising versus overlimping, it again is stack-depth sensitive. You mention the 20:1 number for suited connectors and aces, which is a decent guideline when calling, but if you make big isolation raises you have additional ways to win the pot than relying on massive implied odds. You can take it down pre, or use the perceived strength of your range and the betting lead (along with position, hopefully), to earn the pot postflop with aggression.

    If you do want to fork and feel people won't care, the suited aces tend to play better as isolations because of their blocker effect. So it's not the worst thing in the world to overlimp the suited connectors and gappers, although I wouldn't mess around with 74s too often.
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  • accessdeniedx2accessdeniedx2 Red Chipper Posts: 61 ✭✭
    Typically almost everyone except for me and a another guy buys in for 100. I'll buy in for 200. They will gladly continue to rebuy for another 100 or 200 though until they're in for 500 to 600. Now, there are about 3 others that will buy in for the table maximum later, which is the highest chip stack. I'd guess average nights there are about 8 players with around 5k to 6k on the table total.

    Yes, most players limp/call with trash for 17$ (which is probably the most common bet size). The raises sound aggressive, but these guys dont know that. They just know to raise big to clear the field of trash hands, which doesn't make sense to me. I think having a dominating range is better. Sure, you can find yourself against a weird 2 pair, but they lack reading ability I feel. They considered raising the stakes at one point to avoid ppl playing trash hands.

    A couple guys play fit or fold, so I raise big as bluffs against them with equity and flat their cbet with monsters. Both these guys, when raising, have monster hands and nothing else.

    To sum it up, yes, they limp call too often and KJ gets raised to "thin the field" because they dont realize how dominated the hand is.

    When IP, I do raise my suited aces and connectors even if stack depths are in the 200 range and I play them relatively aggressively with equity in order to make them think I'll play for stacks, which I will if the equity increases on the turn i.e. backdoors that turn better.

    I hope this info was what you were wanting.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Las VegasPosts: 4,945 -
    edited May 2020
    So at any given point in the night, are you typically still dealing with some people at the table who are only 50bb deep?

    Plus I still see inconsistencies in your description. If they'll limp-call with trash, how does raising help you range them post?

    My guess is this is a genuinely difficult table to negotiate if the distribution of stack depths is wide. If you can reliably anticipate short stacks contesting every pot, you simply need to trim back some of the fun small-card hands and rely more on domination and the big stuff.
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  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Las VegasPosts: 4,945 -
    I and others may be able to be provide more help if you post a couple of hand histories. Understanding the important details of weird game dynamics is notoriously difficult.
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  • accessdeniedx2accessdeniedx2 Red Chipper Posts: 61 ✭✭
    Lol, I guess narrowing their trash hands. Hands that would limp call with J10 off, 79 off and hands that are limp folded such as 7 3 off, J3 suited.

    I'm at work but I'll try to post a couple histories when I get home.

    I also seen a link to one of Reds posts which has alot of ideas in it.
  • accessdeniedx2accessdeniedx2 Red Chipper Posts: 61 ✭✭
    And if some dont win, theyll typically have less than 100BB. The others will rebuy for more and/or win and have 200 to 250 BB, but unless that happens average stacks are 100 BB with a couple other players being 2 to 3 hundred BB. I know that probably sounds vague, but it can really depend on the night. About 4 players buy in 50BB all night and the other half will rebuy at 150 to 250 BB after losing their first buyin
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Las VegasPosts: 4,945 -
    So when you say they buy-in for 100, you mean 100bb? I was interpreting it as $100 in a $1/$2 game, thus 50bb.
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  • accessdeniedx2accessdeniedx2 Red Chipper Posts: 61 ✭✭
    No, 50BB at first. Then about half continue to rebuy at 50 BB and the other half will be 150 to 250 BB.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Las VegasPosts: 4,945 -
    Yeah that's a tricky dynamic that would favor the half-stackers if they were competent.
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  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 2,492 ✭✭✭✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    Yeah that's a tricky dynamic that would favor the half-stackers if they were competent.

    But they are not
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,382 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi access,

    So there is a lot to work out from this post so I will try to separate it into manageable ideas.

    1. Let's knock out the easy one, and use it to lead into the others. You are likely calling way too much with hands like weak suited gappers. These are showing a demonstrable loss in all likelihood for reasons you can imagine. Even against a 4x raise they wouldn't be calls, now just imagine your loss rate against an 8x raise.
    2. Now let's try to move from them to your raising ranges, whether a 2b iso or a 3b. You can't necessarily just put them into your 3b range unless this game is so absurdly soft that they are calling then folding hands like pairs or gutters on the flop.
    3. At this point you need to release from your mind clumsy rules like 20:1 for this or that hand. If your pool is overfolding you'll never get 20:1 or 15:1 or whatever it is for whatever subset of hands. If they are not ever folding, now speculative hands go up in value, as even the pairs you make with 89 skyrocket in value, nevermind the nut hands, but you need to resolve which it is - are they overfolding or overcontinuing? It can't be both.
    4. So let's instead resolve your problem with actual poker theory. An 8x open reduces the stacks to unplayable for almost all your hands, especially if it is properly constructed at 8x, which is going to look like a 3b range. However, that is unlikely and is probably in reality too wide. This means you should be raising more, as you have learned. But too many raises weaken your range and put in aggressive dead money, meaning, it will usually end up folding to 4b or postflop at too high a frequency. So the answer is to raise a smaller, tighter range and rarely if ever flat. The frequency at which you can expand past this tight range will be dictated by the width of the opener but is always capped at some point because he still has the nut preflop hands in his range. So there is a horizon point on all aggression, and the wider you get the more your profit margin declines. Folding, the zero EV play, will always be the majority response vs 8x.
    5. Now back to the meat of your post, your isolating range. First, let's clarify that these are not opens - the pot is opened when the first vpip goes in, which in this case will be a limp, often in your game followed by more limps. So the questions are, 1) what hands have an incentive to lay a heavy price on these limps, 2) can you clarify when you are 3b (vs a raise) and when you 2b vs a limp, aka an isolation, as the post is confusing on this score. Ideally this would be a separate thread, as there is so much to think about in your post, really you are asking, hey, what is an entire preflop strategy in this game?
    6. So to complete things, what is this 3b range or iso range? Vs stacks that are so short they have a raise fold decision right now, the answer is indeed polarity, as you'll fold the bottom and call off with all of the value hands in your range. However, as the deeper stacks wonder into the pot, you'll see more calls. So the bottom of the polar range now needs to diminish every time they vpip. Now this ties up nicely with everything above, as
    7. because of the raise sizes, the middle hands like 89,109 have lost tremendously. They are dominated by the calls of the deeper stacks and are folds vs the shoves of the short stacks. So we have identified where some of the aggressive dead money is in this range. More of it exists in your abundant aggression with Axs. Too many of these hands will show little to no EV in this spot as they are going to be neutral vs the shoves and when called by the deep stacks are neutral again. So reducing these will be key, and shifting some of them back to your calls and limps solves the problem. Now they overflush the suited crap that got vpip'd passively, which is why again, those weak suited hands were never cold calls in the field to begin with.
  • accessdeniedx2accessdeniedx2 Red Chipper Posts: 61 ✭✭
    There is so much to digest here. I will read this some more tonight at work and give this some real thought.

    As a quick answer to point 3, it is so player dependent. For example one guy will limp with junk and is pretty sticky pre and post flop. And another guy limps strong hands like jacks, so I almost always fold to any raise made by him unless there are multiple callers and my odds go up, but he will play a fit or fold strategy post flop with outrageous bet sizing tells so hes easy to get to bet/fold with just a half pot sized bet if he checks flop.

    Thank you!

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