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Limit Texas Hold'em >> Small Stakes Shorthanded

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davidross
old hand


Reged: 09/03/02
Posts: 1021
Loc: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
The proper level of aggression ??
      #548714 - 02/26/04 04:01 PM

OK. My first stage of adjustments has gone very well. THanks to everyone who participated I have some nice looking stats for the last 2 1/2 weeks. I'm putting money in the pot voluntarily around 22% of the time, and raising pre-flop around 13%. This is well up from the 10% I was before, but still far below what most of you report. I do not limp first in at all now, and I haven't been the first to cold call either. So clearly if my raising numbers are lower than someone else, it is because of my wilingness to limp behind, or simply call from the blinds. I would like to list some situations that I have limped behind or cold called behind, and see what others would do.

As a side note, something that has surprised me in the last 3 weeeks is how my variance has shrunk. I expected increased aggression to make it bigger, but I have had no big losses, and very few big wins. Just many more steady wins. Anyone care to explain that?

So your on the button and there are 2 limpers alreay in. What do you do with

A4s
KTo
T9s
88

UTG raises and next guy cold calls. You're in the cutoff with

77
KQs

Your in the BB and the button raises and you have

JTo
A5o


these are all hands that I will just callwith. Where should I be more aggressive?


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Ulysses
Carpal \'Tunnel


Reged: 09/02/02
Posts: 5519
Re: The proper level of aggression ?? [Re: davidross]
      #548740 - 02/26/04 04:17 PM

So your on the button and there are 2 limpers alreay in.

A4s - usually call
KTo - usually fold, in certain games call
T9s - call
88 - call

UTG raises and next guy cold calls. You're in the cutoff with

77 - fold
KQs - call, fold, or raise, depending on the game

Your in the BB and the button raises and you have

JTo - depends what the button raises with, default is prob call, but fold a lot as well
A5o - fold

Quote:

these are all hands that I will just callwith. Where should I be more aggressive?




No, I think you should fold more.


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ZeeJustin
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Reged: 07/21/03
Posts: 1213
Loc: Northern VA (near DC)
Re: The proper level of aggression ?? [Re: davidross]
      #548752 - 02/26/04 04:21 PM

Quote:

As a side note, something that has surprised me in the last 3 weeeks is how my variance has shrunk. I expected increased aggression to make it bigger, but I have had no big losses, and very few big wins. Just many more steady wins. Anyone care to explain that?




Variance is directly proportional to winrate. I think about it like this. A player that wins 10BB / hour / table (fictional, obviously) will hardly ever lose, simply because he's so good. Even one loss will make that average far harder to achieve, so obviously that player doesn't lose very often.

If a player wins .001 BB / hr / table, then his variance will be through the roof. It is almost completely random whether he wins or loses, so he could be down after his first million hands, and be a winner after his second million.

(For some reason I'm beginning to think I have a flaw in my logic, but at the moment it makes sense.)

Quote:

So your on the button and there are 2 limpers alreay in. What do you do with

A4s
KTo
T9s
88




Generally people that limp or loose (obviously not always true), so I am assuming the limpers are at least slightly on the loose side.

A4s call because of implied odds.
KTo raise for control and because you will win more than your share.
T9s call because of implied odds.
88 raise. You want implied odds, but 88 is good on awful flops even without an 8 and you can get people to fold if you raise preflop. Also, you will often see the turn for free and have an extra chance at one of those 8's. You will also win more than your fair share hot and cold.

Quote:

UTG raises and next guy cold calls. You're in the cutoff with

77
KQs




Assuming the raise is a normal 10-15% PFR person and the cold caller is at least slightly loose passive:
77 - call if i can expect the blinds to play or if I expect to get a lot of action from either of the 2 players when I hit a 7, otherwise I fold.
KQs - Reraise. If the raisor does not raise often, I may just cold call.

These are easy folds against the all-to-common raisors that just about only raise with AA, KK and AK.

Quote:

Your in the BB and the button raises and you have

JTo
A5o




Assuming the button is good, I call. Often times players will just be trying to steal and back off against any aggression. If this is the case, I will 3 bet and auto bet the flop.


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Nate tha' Great
old hand


Reged: 09/07/03
Posts: 1120
Re: The proper level of aggression ?? [Re: ZeeJustin]
      #548808 - 02/26/04 04:49 PM

Quote:

Variance is directly proportional to winrate. I think about it like this. A player that wins 10BB / hour / table (fictional, obviously) will hardly ever lose, simply because he's so good. Even one loss will make that average far harder to achieve, so obviously that player doesn't lose very often.

If a player wins .001 BB / hr / table, then his variance will be through the roof. It is almost completely random whether he wins or loses, so he could be down after his first million hands, and be a winner after his second million.




Sorry JZ, but I think your logic *is* flawed. Variance is just - well, variance; it has nothing to do with winning or losing per se.

For example, a player who recorded the following sessions
+1 BB
+20 BB
+58 BB
+4 BB
+75 BB

Would have rather high variance, whereas a player with this record

+1 BB
-2 BB
+4 BB
-6 BB
+3 BB

Would have much lower variance, even though he's 'swinging' between winning and losing.

I think it's *possible* that more preflop aggression could lead to systematically lower variance at 5/10, since you're taking control of more hands, limiting the number of players to th eflop, and are therefore in some sense less subject to the whimsy of the board cards. A player who won 70% of his hands without a showdown would have less variance than a player who won 20% of his hands without a showdown, at least I think.

I seem to have relatively low variance at 5/10 with a very aggressive style, though the same approach seems to produce quite high variance at 10/20 since opponents are much more likely to play back at me.


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stripsqueez
old hand


Reged: 05/29/03
Posts: 1055
Loc: Adelaide , South Australia
Re: The proper level of aggression ?? [Re: davidross]
      #548975 - 02/26/04 06:23 PM

on the button - 2 limpers
A4s - limp
K10o - fold
109s - fold - limp in a school where i am gauranteed to make a fortune if it hits
88 - raise

UTG raises next guy cold calls
77 - fold
KQs - 3 bet

BB when the button raises - my default position
J10 - call
A5o - call

i think a pre flop raise % of 13 and 22% VP$IP is enough pre-flop aggression - those are about my numbers - i think you need to see a more aggressive pre-flop stategy as being complimentary to what you do post flop to get the best from it - i like a crash and bash style of aggressively betting the flop and turn - keep on betting until someone says they are in front - obviously that is a generalisation but in the bigger picture you dont see as many flops as nearly all your opponents and therefore you will often have a better hand - constantly betting means that you will hopefully get an aggro image and i think thats optimal in these games when you are in fact the tight pre-flop player in the school - its always good to be in good position but i think thats more important when your plan is to do lots of betting - dont rush to play hands from the blinds and push to get the button

when i started playing 6 max 3 months ago i went through a couple of biggish but not huge swings - still only 32,000 hands or so and lately i either destroy or dribble money in or out - i'm starting to worry that i'm due for a slide - i worry far too much

stripsqueez - chickenhawk


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stripsqueez
old hand


Reged: 05/29/03
Posts: 1055
Loc: Adelaide , South Australia
Re: The proper level of aggression ?? [Re: Ulysses]
      #548990 - 02/26/04 06:33 PM

Quote:

Your in the BB and the button raises and you have

JTo - depends what the button raises with, default is prob call, but fold a lot as well
A5o - fold




huh ? - assume a default response - could you explain using small words and preferably pictures why this is so ? - my simple brain says A5o is in front of J10o - it also says A5o will be in front of the button more often

stripsqueez - chickenhawk


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Ulysses
Carpal \'Tunnel


Reged: 09/02/02
Posts: 5519
Re: The proper level of aggression ?? [Re: ZeeJustin]
      #549004 - 02/26/04 06:43 PM

KTo raise for control and because you will win more than your share.

I hate the KTo raise after two limpers.

88 raise. You want implied odds, but 88 is good on awful flops even without an 8 and you can get people to fold if you raise preflop. Also, you will often see the turn for free and have an extra chance at one of those 8's.

I don't love this raise, but don't hate it. However, if I raise here (which I will do in some cases), I'm betting almost any flop that's checked to me. What kind of flops do you imagine checking behind the limpers here?

Assuming the button is good, I call.

What do you mean by good? Against a good player, I think the A5o is an easy muck - if you hit and get action vs. a good player, you'll be the one giving the action.

Often times players will just be trying to steal and back off against any aggression. If this is the case, I will 3 bet and auto bet the flop.

Most players who are aggressive enough to auto-steal on the button are not the type to back off to a potential re-steal and auto-bet. This might be OK at 5/10, but I think it's rarely going to be the best line in 10/20 and 15/30.


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sxb
stranger


Reged: 01/09/04
Posts: 7
Re: The proper level of aggression ?? [Re: stripsqueez]
      #549006 - 02/26/04 06:44 PM

stripsqueez, what's your pokertracker stats for those 32000 hands?

Here are mine for 44,000+ hands at partypoker 5/10 and 10/20 6max games:

Vol. Put $ In The Pot: 36.56
Won $ WSF %: 36.81
BB/100 Hands: 2.68
Went To SD %: 35.30
Won $ At SD %: 51.60
PF Raise %: 17.76%


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ZeeJustin
veteran


Reged: 07/21/03
Posts: 1213
Loc: Northern VA (near DC)
The variance issue [Re: Nate tha' Great]
      #549021 - 02/26/04 06:51 PM

To be honost, the termonology confuses me a bit, but I'm under the impression you are talking about standard deviation rather than variance. If someone could explain to me which of the following information is wrong, or where my logic is wrong, I would appreciate it.

According to statistics, variance is simply the square of the standard deviation. Is the definition the same when used for poker?

Here is a quote from Zooey (1/13/04):
Quote:

A standard measure is the coefficient of Variance: SD/EV.
The lower the CV, the better the game is)




What exactly is the coeffecient of variance then? If it is SD / EV, it is unitless. The term coeffecient of variance seems to imply you multiply the variance times the coefficient (CV*V). What would this new number indicate?

If CV = SD / EV, and SD = V^(.5), then CV = V^(.5) / EV.
Perhaps rather than a statistics definition of variance, this is a poker related definition?

If someone could explain to me where my logic is wrong I would appreciate it.


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Ulysses
Carpal \'Tunnel


Reged: 09/02/02
Posts: 5519
Re: The proper level of aggression ?? [Re: stripsqueez]
      #549025 - 02/26/04 06:51 PM

Quote:


huh ? - assume a default response - could you explain using small words and preferably pictures why this is so ? - my simple brain says A5o is in front of J10o - it also says A5o will be in front of the button more often





Against a guy who only raises premium hands even on the button, I don't like either of these hands that much. That's easy enough.

But against a normal player's range of raising hands here, I'll be in good shape w/ JT if I hit a pair and will often get paid off all the way if he has something like a decent Ace or he has/makes a small/medium pair.

On the other hand, w/ A5, if I hit an Ace and get action, I'm often going to be behind. And I don't love a pair of fives or Ace-high all that much.

So, yes, I'll more often than not be in better shape pre-flop w/ A5, but I'm pretty sure JT will win more money.

That's all based on this being a 5 or 6-person table. The fewer the players, the more I like the A5 because I'm going to be doing things like showing down unimproved a lot more often - and will be playing much more aggressively start-to-finish.


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MensaIQ178
member


Reged: 02/18/04
Posts: 114
Loc: san diego
Re: The proper level of aggression ?? [Re: davidross]
      #549026 - 02/26/04 06:51 PM

there are about 5 unkowns you failed to list which made this question nearly impossible to answer with any form of structure/guideline for u.

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Schneids
old hand


Reged: 09/08/03
Posts: 1084
Loc: Eagan, MN
Re: The variance issue [Re: ZeeJustin]
      #549030 - 02/26/04 06:56 PM

Quote:


If someone could explain to me where my logic is wrong I would appreciate it.




I think Mensa should tackle this issue since he's so SMRT


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ZeeJustin
veteran


Reged: 07/21/03
Posts: 1213
Loc: Northern VA (near DC)
A couple posts from the General Theory Forum [Re: Nate tha' Great]
      #549034 - 02/26/04 06:57 PM

I brought this issue up earlier. Here was my post:
Quote:

It is certainly true, that after 1 orbit, your standard deviation will be much higher shorthanded when compared to a full table.

Let's create a hypothetical player and call him Bob. Bob has great game selection, and only sits at a table if he's the best player. In a 3 handed game, Bob is more likely to be up after let's say 50 hands, than he would be likely to be up after the same 50 hands in a 10 handed game. My gut tells me this holds true no matter what the number of hands is (from 1 to any finite number).

Wouldn't this imply that there's less variance shorthanded?

I'm guessing I'm just a little fuzzy on my definition of variance.





Here was Zooey's full response:
Quote:

gotta make sure you're comparing variances relative to the earn. So for your example, if bob wants to make $30/hour, maybe his choices are to play at a full 15-30 table (SD ~$300/hr) or a short 5/10 table (SD $200/hour)

The SD short handed is greater in BB per hour but less in overall $.

A standard measure is the coefficient of Variance: SD/EV.
The lower the CV, the better the game is)

My results: (Game / CV)
NL SnGs 9
Lim SnGs 12
NL Ring 15
Lim Ring 18

So for me, _relative to earn_ limit games have the MOST variance.

Best,

Zooey





The line in particular that is ambiguous is:
Quote:

gotta make sure you're comparing variances relative to the earn.




Does this mean that the poker definition of variance is in fact relative to the earn (proportional to EV)?


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ZeeJustin
veteran


Reged: 07/21/03
Posts: 1213
Loc: Northern VA (near DC)
Re: The proper level of aggression ?? [Re: Ulysses]
      #549037 - 02/26/04 07:02 PM

Quote:

88 raise. You want implied odds, but 88 is good on awful flops even without an 8 and you can get people to fold if you raise preflop. Also, you will often see the turn for free and have an extra chance at one of those 8's.

I don't love this raise, but don't hate it. However, if I raise here (which I will do in some cases), I'm betting almost any flop that's checked to me. What kind of flops do you imagine checking behind the limpers here?




If the flop has 2 or more overcards, I am not going to bet into 3 opponents (assuming 1 of the 2 blinds call). 8 is in the middle of the road, so if you exclude paired boards and boards with an 8, there will be 2 or more overcards exactly 50% of the time.

If the flop comes AK5 rainbow, clearly you are not ahead against 3 opponents. What if it's JT5 instead? Do you really bet this planning to be ahead against 3 opponents? Since we are playing low limits on party, you're obviously not going to get a jack or a ten to fold.


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Nate tha' Great
old hand


Reged: 09/07/03
Posts: 1120
Re: A couple posts from the General Theory Forum [Re: ZeeJustin]
      #549047 - 02/26/04 07:08 PM

It's my impression that the textbook definition of variance is the same in poker as it is in other statistical applications:

http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~lane/hyperstat/A16252.html

The reason why I "know" this to be the case is that I went on a bit of a run that coincided with my purchase of pokertracker, and for a week or so, had mostly (i) small winning sessions and (ii) big winning sessions. When the week was over, pokertracker was reporting a very high variance figure for me, as well as a bloated win rate.

Quote:

The line in particular that is ambiguous is:

Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

gotta make sure you're comparing variances relative to the earn.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Does this mean that the poker definition of variance is in fact relative to the earn (proportional to EV)?




I think he's just saying that you want to consider both variance and earn when making game selections, not that variance and win rate are correlated statistically.


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Ulysses
Carpal \'Tunnel


Reged: 09/02/02
Posts: 5519
Re: The proper level of aggression ?? [Re: ZeeJustin]
      #549065 - 02/26/04 07:14 PM

Your response is more or less why I'm usually just limping w/ 88 there hoping to flop a set or overpair, otherwise dump.

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ZeeJustin
veteran


Reged: 07/21/03
Posts: 1213
Loc: Northern VA (near DC)
Re: The proper level of aggression ?? [Re: Ulysses]
      #549078 - 02/26/04 07:22 PM

By raising preflop, I guess you raise your EV when you flow unders, and lower your EV when you play the set game. I guess I was just saying this is somewhat made up for by the free card which I will take when overs flop.

My rule is this: if it's a close decision between calling and raising, raise because the raise will help you on future hands.


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stripsqueez
old hand


Reged: 05/29/03
Posts: 1055
Loc: Adelaide , South Australia
Re: The proper level of aggression ?? [Re: ZeeJustin]
      #549126 - 02/26/04 07:53 PM

Quote:

If the flop comes AK5 rainbow, clearly you are not ahead against 3 opponents




i raise 88 pre-flop and i bet this flop not unhappily - we started with 2 limpers but you now say i have 3 opponents with this hand - i still think you assume too much - i would guess that perhaps 10% of the time no-one has an A or a K - i reckon there is enough $ in the pot and enough equity in terms of the chance i can improve and the payoff when i do improve to make bet right - i think Ulysses was right when he said that having raised its virtually an auto bet when the flop is checked to you

mostly i like raise because you are much better positioned when you do hit a flop you like - not just because there is more $ in the pot - its not aggression as much as it is always protecting your upside

stripsqueez - chickenhawk


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stripsqueez
old hand


Reged: 05/29/03
Posts: 1055
Loc: Adelaide , South Australia
Re: The proper level of aggression ?? [Re: sxb]
      #549138 - 02/26/04 08:02 PM

Quote:

Vol. Put $ In The Pot: 36.56
Won $ WSF %: 36.81
BB/100 Hands: 2.68
Went To SD %: 35.30
Won $ At SD %: 51.60
PF Raise %: 17.76%




those are impressive numbers - i hate being a rock - if these party chooks had more than half a clue i could probably increase my hands played by as much as 7-8% but as it is if i do that against these guys i am liable to start playing like them

my question is how many tables do you play ? - i dont have that much testosterone to splash around

i PM'ed you my approx stats because i'm supposed to be shy about my win rate

stripsqueez - chickenhawk


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sxb
stranger


Reged: 01/09/04
Posts: 7
Re: The proper level of aggression ?? [Re: stripsqueez]
      #549286 - 02/26/04 10:09 PM

3 tables

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naphand
addict


Reged: 06/16/03
Posts: 550
Loc: Bournemouth, UK
Re: The proper level of aggression ?? [Re: Nate tha' Great]
      #549687 - 02/27/04 06:18 AM

Without getting too technical (which is likely beyond my maths anyway), if you are winning more hands for less money your variation will be less than a player who wins less hands for more money. Given that both have the same win rate.

Just for arguments sake, winning 1 in 5 hands (4:1) compared to 1 in 2 (Evens), will show significantly different variation around the same mean. By winning/losing smaller hands but far more frequently, it is much more likely the mean over any given number of hands will be achieved by the Evens player than the 4:1 player.

The 4:1 player has to wait longer to win, and plays hands with a bigger impact on his bank, as they are played at a higher value (by definintion they must be). 3 successive losing hands by the 4:1 player will take many more time to recover than for the Evens player, just because the Evens player will, typically, wait less time for wins and the losses "should" be smaller per hand.

I'm not going to try and prove the maths for this, but from my days of sports betting, the long-odds players will certainly experience greater fluctuation in bank than consistent small winners. Am I assuming too much to apply this to poker? I know there are other factors to take into account but the same principles must apply?


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davidross
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Reged: 09/03/02
Posts: 1021
Loc: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Re: The proper level of aggression ?? [Re: Nate tha' Great]
      #550160 - 02/27/04 12:25 PM

Nate,

I am thinking that your theory has a ring of truth to it. I seem to be playing fewer multiway pots by being aggressive earlier, leading to a much lower probablility of losing 10 pots in a row, which seems to be the most likely way you can lose 150 BB's in a session.


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davidross
old hand


Reged: 09/03/02
Posts: 1021
Loc: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Re: The proper level of aggression ?? [Re: MensaIQ178]
      #550161 - 02/27/04 12:27 PM

Sorry, this was a bit of a follow up of a post from 2 weeks ago. I should have restated that its geared to the Party 5/10 6 max games.

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davidross
old hand


Reged: 09/03/02
Posts: 1021
Loc: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Re: The proper level of aggression ?? [Re: stripsqueez]
      #550181 - 02/27/04 12:32 PM

The two answers that stand out to me are the 88 and the 77 hand.

ON the button with limpers in front of you, how low will you go with pocket pairs and a raise? I mean will you still raise 55?

I guess I was most surprised at folding 77 after 2 are in, but maybe I shouldn't be. It's just that with 3 people still to act behind me, and in these games I find people over defend the blinds, so I would think 5 seeing the flop would be normal if you call. THat should be enough to chase a set.


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stripsqueez
old hand


Reged: 05/29/03
Posts: 1055
Loc: Adelaide , South Australia
Re: The proper level of aggression ?? [Re: davidross]
      #550193 - 02/27/04 12:38 PM

Quote:

ON the button with limpers in front of you, how low will you go with pocket pairs and a raise? I mean will you still raise 55?




i'm not certain that i play 55-22 all that well - i tend to throw them away - to answer the question - in practice 77 with the occasional 66

i have a freind who does marginally better with the small pairs than me by playing them aggressively before the blinds

stripsqueez - chickenhawk


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