I have been playing a ton of $2-4 and $3-6 LHE short for the last 5 weeks.I play at Royal Vegas,Party, PokerStars wherever the games are good.I'm making almost 2.50-2.75 bb's an hour in all these games.I really did alot of work to refine my starting hand requirements and becoming much much more aggresive preflop.If i'm first in anywhere it's pop it or muck unless for some strange reaosn I'm making a play of some kind.
My question to you guys is this I seem to be little confused on when to overcall and when to raise when there has been action in front of me and I hold a good but not great hand.
Here are a few quick examples.
Assume these are all fairly straight forward players in moderately good games.All 6 MAX for simplicty sake
#1 I have K8s in the cu and one limper utg+1.Do I raise/ call.It is hand I want to play I dont want to muck it.I usually raise this hand?
#2 I have JTo on the button 2 limpers ahead.Same question.I love to raise almost 70%of the hands I voluntarily play pre-flop but this become obviously too predictable to observant opponents.I usually just call in this spot
#3 I have 77 in the cutoff 2 limpers utg.I usually like to raise in this spot but is this correct ? If it is or isnt these are all questions on the margin.
I guess I need to understand that most of these spots are troubling to me just beacuse of that very fact-that most of these hands are marginal.I would not be playimg these hands If they were not +ev situationally.I've done alot of work on this..Maybe I just need to slop around more in these spots but often some of these hands really dont play the way you think with action from real money live game play from early position hands versus say live sims or at least sims based on live play according to the number of players in the hand and your pre-flop holding.I guess I'll have to adapt and focus on these setups which are such a big part of the game..
Thanks I know these may seem like simplistic questions but overcalling or playing with action ahead of you is an area where I have a liitle reticence unlike the rest of my game which I'm fairly confident in.
I'm gonna be posting alot more of these.Thnx for any assistance.
Not a great hand, and one I am just tempted to muck. I need to have reads on everyone: are the blinds/button going to fold to a raise? do I want to see a raise or re-raise from them? What does UTG limp with - I could be in trouble if UTG is limping KJ/KT, Axs and low-med PP are still ahead of me here and my showdown value HU with K8 is poor. I would only raise here if I had a good handle on UTG's standards and post-flop play, and expected to get the Button and at least one of the blinds out.
Limping? Nope, I just hate it, esp. as I could get raised from any of 3 players. Who plays K7/Q8 or less? The sooootedness makes the hand tempting in some respects, but this hand has only about the same strength as QTo, J9s and 55. It probably does not beat the rake in terms of EV. 55 has better reasons to raise, J9s raising OTB first in no problem, and a limp could be justifiable, but I think QTo and K8s I prefer to play from the button as a raise first-in or over-limp against players I have a grip on.
I think I will limp this most of the the time from here, against 2 limpers. This hand plays better against 4 or less players and, though I prefer not to see both blinds in, if either of them has a J or T, I likely dominate. If I miss the flop it's an easy quick exit.
If I think a raise kicks out the blinds, and the limpers are not tough, then I will raise most of the time from here, as the dead money and position on my opponents means I can play this hand for maximum value when I do hit.
Very blind/button dependent again. Taking the Button with a raise would be good. Folding out the blinds is good. Getting this HU would be better, but that is not going to happen here. 2 limpers plus the blinds makes this almost playable for the set value alone.
If I can take the button and fold the blinds, then a raise is also easy, and scares the limpers. Against the BB and 2 limpers, even with the Button, makes this somewhat tricky, but probably still worth the raise depending on my reads. If button stays and a blind, even to a raise, or I am likely 3-bet, I think I rather limp here (and call a raise) and see what the flop brings.
nap:great thanks for the clear well thought out responses.
I like how you really think about each scenario separately ie concepts of domination and ability to push off weaker hands preflop.It seems to me many players are overly aggresive and assume too often that raising in postion is the best option when in fact it may be negative ev when one comes in contact w/decent oponents in these bad/marginal spots-these are very costly mistakes especially if you follow-up with haphazard aggression post-flop.
1. K8s -- I will fold this I'll estimate roughly 96% of the time from the CO after one limper. If I limp it's because the open limper is EXTREMELY loose aggressive post flop and I can expect to get decent action out of him. If the button and blinds are extremely tight I think you can make a case for raising, but if any of them are tight aggressive I say just muck it. There are other factors to consider such as how hot I've been running and the likelihood I can win the pot with a position bet on the flop if it's checked to me -- but basically, it's gotta be a damn fine scenario for me to play K8s.
2. JTo I don't bother with in this spot. And to clarify further, JTs I probably limp, and QJs I probably raise. Same thought principles apply for this hand regarding table dynamics. Basically, I'm pretty sure the only times I play JTo are from the button or CO as an open raiser, or on the button, raising when the blinds are reasonably tight and it's a weak passive, straight forward limper.
3. 77 -- I used to raise here, but I find myself limping more and more. Your raise makes the pot too big and you're going to face too many overcards and get in tough spots against people that call with any piece of the board. I think I prefer Ulysses' line with small (perhaps smaller pocket pairs than this though, I'm not sure since he's never gone into specifics about his play ) pairs PF and limping on the button in hopes of flopping a set, and then often checking it when it does get checked around to him (if a non draw-friendly board) in hopes of generating 3+BBs worth of action on the turn/river via ignorant callers that don't believe his turn raise (::que deja vu feeling::).
It's nice to see you'll hopefully be making some more posts around these neck of the woods -- I hope this trend continues with other quality Zooers.
schneids thnx I can see from your post and naps that I'm not showing enough descretion on these marginal hands.I really find this helpful seeing both of your thought processes.
I need to think more holistically as you do considering the holdings of players in front of me and the malleabilty of the blinds.These hands seem kinda guffy but these are just the type of hands were semi-solid players who perhaps havent thought about the game as well as you or nap really suffer-these hands leak big!I look forward to improving on this.I'll be posting some more soon.