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Stacked For Life - geoVARTA's Poker Blog

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Hello fellow PSO-ers,

Welcome to the second installment of Stackedforlife strategy guide. In my last post, “Don’t Steal, Plan a Heist”, I discussed the mathematics behind profitable steals. In this post we will look at situations where we face an open raise from steal positions and list a defense strategy.

When we face an open raise from a steal position (CO, BTN, or SB) we can take one of three actions: Fold, Call, or re-raise (3bet)

The decision we take depends on our opponents opening range and position, their continuation range vs a 3bet, and ofcourse our cards.

First let us calculate the breakeven point of a re-steal or 3bet.

We are in the BB with  and a regular open raises 3bbs from the BTN.

We think that calling will not yield a profit postflop being OOP against this TAG. So we can either fold and give up 1bbs or 3bet to re-steal.

We decide to make it 10bbs (3x + 1bb for being OOP); we already had paid 1bbs for the BB so we invest 9bbs more to win 4.5bbs. Hence, to show an immediate profit on our 3bet we need our opponent to fold:

9/13.5 or >67% of the time

Mathematically speaking, 3betting any two against an opponent with a Fold to 3bet higher than 67% will yield an immediate profit.  But we do not live in a perfect world, and we expect our opponents to defend against 3bets by 4betting or calling which means we have to be selective with the hands to 3bet as a resteal to provide ourselves with good options post-flop in case we are called.

So what hands make good resteals?

Basically hands that are too weak to call yet have postflop playability and have blockers.

Hands like: AT, A7s, KJ, JTs, T9, etc.

Here are some considerations:

. When an opponent is OOP, they would generally defend by folding or 4betting; rarely would you see an opponent flat calling a 3bet OOP. So whenever we are 3bet stealing IP (BTN v CO/BB v SB) we want to use hands with blockers: Axs, Kxs.

. When an opponent is IP, they can call a 3bet wider and they would generally do so with big Ace hands: AQ, AJs, ATs or big suited connectors: KQs, QJs or medium PPs: JJ-77. So whenever we are 3bet stealing OOP against a villain with a low 4bet frequency I would weigh blockers less and use connectors to 3bet steal.

Why? Well think about it.
When we do get called we are going to represent a big hand on a face card anyways regardless of our holding but when the board is low and we connect with it we can also cbet for value or semi-bluff.

Ex. BTN opens for 3bbs and we 3bet to 10bbs from the BB with after the SB folds. The BTN elects to call.

The flop comes:

We bet 2/3 pot and villain folds

Now let’s take the same scenario and change the flop:

The way I see it, we can play on two different board textures when we would bet a K high flop with Axs but x/f a J83ss


I hope you find this information helpful or atleast re-enforces what you already know!
Leave a comment about what you think and if there is something specific you’d like to read about in the next installment of strategy guide.

GL at the tables!


You can also read this blog and more content on:

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