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  #1  
Old 06-27-2005, 02:33 PM
MegumiAmano MegumiAmano is offline
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Default Straddling -- blind betting -- 2 questions

Couple of newbie questions here. I couldn't find the answers in the Micro Limit FAQ or via the search tool.

1. What is "straddling"?

2. When playing live, I noticed that if someone left the table when they were supposed to be one of the blinds, sometimes there were 2 big blinds or 2 small blinds. How is this determined?
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  #2  
Old 06-27-2005, 05:06 PM
SheridanCat SheridanCat is offline
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Default Re: Straddling -- blind betting -- 2 questions

Question 1:

Straddling is making a blind raise from one to the left of the Big Blind before the cards are dealt. So, you will be first to act, you put up a raise without seeing your cards. This usually allows you to act last preflop with the option to raise if someone has called. It's generally a bad thing to do since you're putting in money without knowing your cards. Straddling is a gambler's move, but it has been known to loosen up a table.

If you straddle, the guy next to you, on the left, can also straddle by putting out another blind raise and so on until it's capped.

Question 2:

If someone leaves the table and misses a blind (big, small or both) they receive a "missed blind" button. The button will indicate which blind(s) they missed. When they sit back down, they have to post the blinds to get a hand.

So if someone misses both blinds, and they return after the button has passed them, they post the big blind AND the small blind. In this case, the big blind is live, just like a normal big blind but the small blind is "dead" and is moved to the center of the table and is considered already in the pot.

If the person with the missed blind buttons wishes, she can wait until the big blind comes back around and post the big blind normally and not post the small blind. Think of the blinds as an entry fee you pay to play the next "free" hands.

There are other possiblities such as the person just missing the small blind, just the big blind, etc. The dealer will tell you what to do - I'm not sure on a couple of them since they rarely happen.

Regards,

T
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  #3  
Old 06-27-2005, 09:30 PM
TaoTe TaoTe is offline
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Default Re: Straddling -- blind betting -- 2 questions

Poker story, related to straddling.

Last thursday, my friend Derick and I were standing out on the balcony smoking cigarettes. "Derrick, you have a gambling problem," I said and we both started laughing. Twenty minutes ago Derick was 300 dollars richer.

Several times a week the rooms above Wakim's bar turns into a cardroom, all no limit Hold'em, cash games or tournaments. Derick had been tearing the felt up in his usual maniac, win or die style of play. He'd bought in for one hundred and from what I could tell he nearly had nearly three hundred in chips in front of him. Derick had probably bluffed me off of four or five good hands and I was just waiting for my chance to bust him and double up. I knew sooner or later he would make some outrageous bet and I'd take it down.

I wouldn't get any more of Derick's chips that night, though. A hand came up and Derick was under the gun. Something of a normal play for him, he started putting a raise in before the dealer had even finished shuffling the deck. He started counting chips. He put an even bigger raise in. He had a look in his eye akin to Jack Nicholson in the shining. He wasn't psychotic, but his eyes were red and glazed over. He shot a quick glance at me at the other end of the table then went back to counting out his chips. He finished counting and announced to the table, "Two-hundred and eighty to call," as he moved the rest of his chips in. A few of the players grumbled about the play but no one raised any complaints. The cards came out and people began to fold. I already had it in my mind that I was going to call with any ace and any pair. I woke up to find a nine and a deuce. My cards went into the muck.

It looked the play would work, Derick betting nearly three hundred dollars to win three, but the big blind, one of the weakest players in the game, quickly called and turned over two queens. Derick turned over one card at a time. The first one, the king of clubs, and he started laughing. He began to peel back the second card slowly. I was thinking of how great a story it would be if he found two kings.

He flipped the second card over and I made a quick guess that he would win the hand about 20% of the time. The second card was the deuce of clubs. Derick just shrugged his shoulders and said, "Deal." Two clubs fell on the flop and Derick started laughing. He would have gladly put the rest of his chips in after the flop with a flush draw. The third club didn't fall.

Derick wasn't broke after that hand but he was a few later when he tried to bluff when a three straight fell on the board. Bad timing for him as the player actually had made the hand on the turn.

"You have a gambling problem," I told Derick.

"Yeah, probably," was his answer, "stake me a hundred."

"No," I screamed, "you'll lose it. You just risked three hundred to win three dollars." I flicked my cigarette out and looked at Derrick and thought a moment. "I'll give you twenty but you can't try and steal any of my blinds."
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Old 06-28-2005, 10:44 AM
AKQJ10 AKQJ10 is offline
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Default Re: Straddling -- blind betting -- 2 questions

Post from B&M forum on straddling

Note in particular the difference from a blind raise.

In general straddling is negative EV. Stay away from it unless you have a particular reason, e.g. to help loosen opponents up or convince them you're a weak player.
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Old 06-28-2005, 10:56 AM
Pov Pov is offline
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Default Re: Straddling -- blind betting -- 2 questions

Assuming neither queen was a club your friend was 31% to win pre-flop. After that favorable flop he was probably closer to 45%.

Of course the only stat that matters is the one from when he made the decision. His random hand against 9 other random hands wins about 10% but since so many people will fold it probably wins very frequently - but just a teeny tiny pot like you point out. For fun though, let's try to put numbers to it.

Let's say there are 9 other players and they will only call with AA, KK, QQ, JJ and AK. That's about 3% of hands. So (simplifying) we'll say he wins uncontested 73% of the time. If he does in fact get called he's going to win approximately 25% of the time against this range of hands. Just to simplify further we'll assume that everyone has him covered so he either doubles up or busts. That would give this play an EV of:

(.73 * $3) + (.27 * ((.25 * $283) + (.75 * -$280))) ~= -$35.41

If he's not actually covered by most of the players then it's not quite as bad, but obviously still very very -EV.

Math corrections are welcome.
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Old 06-28-2005, 11:32 AM
TaoTe TaoTe is offline
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Default Re: Straddling -- blind betting -- 2 questions

The math seems ok to me, but I'm not heavy into the math of poker, though I'm begining to study more about it. He knew the play was bad, but he loves to gamble like that. He's a maniac and true to his style of play, he has huge swings in his bankroll. He makes me laugh and forces the usually tight game to loosen up. I think his play is good for me because people catch the gamber spirit and starting calling with junk hands.

The funny thing about Derick and I is that our personalities are completely different than our playing styles. I'm usually conservative and patient during a game and he's reckless and all over the place. Outside of poker though, he a pretty quiet, laid back guy and I tend to be reckless and inpatient. An interesting aspect of poker and personality.
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  #7  
Old 06-28-2005, 11:55 AM
Pov Pov is offline
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Default Re: Straddling -- blind betting -- 2 questions

Well you bring up a good point. In my calculations above I only let people call with a very narrow range of hands. When a maniac is making silly plays frequently, people loosen up just like you said and they will start to make silly plays also. If this is the 3rd time he's made this move, you'll start to see a lot of hands call. He'll still be an underdog to them on average but his winning percentage (when called) will creep up as the other players loosen up their calling requirements. Assuming they're all calling with hands > 51% though, he's destined to lose since the blinds are only $3 compared to his $280 bet.

Notice that you can actually make his play correct if you increase the blinds sufficiently so the blind steal is bigger than what he loses on average when called. Of course to do so would also make it much more likely he'd get called and by multiple hands so it's really a moot point, but worthy of consideration nonetheless.

I'm really not *that* heavily into the math either believe it or not, but it's good to run some numbers on things from time to time so you can more fully understand some of the underlying principles of the game. Knowing a play is wrong is good, but knowing why it is wrong is better since you'll be more likely to recognize similar situations that aren't quite as clear cut. There are many situations in poker where it turns out plays that just seem really wrong are obviously correct once you understand them.


edit: clarity and last paragraph
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