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MPCRD Sat: Freeroll to $11 +R Turbo R1 Qualifier

Tue Jun 28, 2011, 06:28 AM
PlsDntBlffMe's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 42
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Tue Jun 28, 2011, 08:28 AM
JDean's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,145
Originally Posted by PlsDntBlffMe View Post
Hand #1: Should I have folded pre-flop? Is it too loose to raise into 3 players A7o short handed with the blinds so short stacked? Was it better to shove? When he shoved I just figured 2-1, I have an Ace... it might be good enough already and basically insta-called.
(When does this hand take place? Your post seems to indicate that it is at the final table, but hand 2 shows a completely different amount of chips in play. I am going to assume hand 1 is at the FT, and go from there. If it is NOT the final table, what was your position chip-wise in the tourney overall, and how many total were left?)

A bit more patience?

You are sitting on a mega chip lead in a winner take all event.

The #2 stack is only only 5k with the blinds at 200/400 50 ante. All others are even shorter than this. This means EVERYONE is pretty short, except you.

Why not let them tangle a bit, let the chips stacks consolidate some, instead of "getting skippy" from EP with a hand like A7o?

When you have a huge portion of the chips in play, but the rest are pretty evenly distributed, ESPECIALLY in a winner take all event, there is going to a lot of reason for the shorter stacks to try out-waiting each other. When you act as "table bully" this far form your pay-day, you are opening yourself up for them to sit back waiting for the "right" had to re-pop you; and that re-pop is going to be an all-in for ANY of these stacks.

When you consider that calling any shove is going to put you at risk for roughly 1/8th+ of your stack, you gotta start questioning WHY you are raising A7o here.

I think you would have been better served waiting until you were 3 or 4 handed before opening your pressure game this wide to be honest...

You gotta remember, in this structure you have to win ALL the chips, you jsut do not have to win 'em right NOW.

Originally Posted by PlsDntBlffMe View Post
Hand #2: Should I have checked behind and was it a bad turn shove? There were a few draws out there and any bet would've committed me to the pot. I don't think I would've been able to fold the river anyway unless an Ace, 4 or a 6 came. I admit I didn't even consider that he could've had an over pair before I bet on the turn, wouldn't he just jam the flop if he did?
At this table the chip stacks are much more even. You have a little bit over 20BB, but no one at this table is mega deep. Based on this, I'd say this was far too aggressive with a weak hand like Q7s, even though you DID flop top pair.

My guess is the Villain's play in the hand was dictated by your previously aggressive nature. The way you tend to "exploit" loose and aggressive players is not necessarily by RAISING them, but rather by calling more. So...

You button raise, and if the Villain feels you are on a wide range here, but that your range may include overs to his 99, I can definately see why he flatted you.

The flop comes without many "threats" to his 99, so he checks into you.

True to your aggressive nature (I'm assuming hat from looking at some of the hands and plays you;ve posted in this forum), you lead strongly. He flats you again.

When he flats the 2nd time, you really MUST start questioning the strength of a top pair 7.
Is the Villain really going to be calling you on just over cards?

Is he really likely to have called your pre-flop raise, and put a decent amount of chips at risk from oop with a hand containing just a single 7?

Is he really loose enough to have called you pre holding 64/86 (the only potential draws on this flop)?

If the answers to these questions are "no, not very likely", then what are you ahead of that he MIGHT hold? Not a lot...

While I have no issue with button raising to potentially steal, you have to be wary of going too far with a marginal flop hit of a pretty marginal hand.

Barrelling as many chips as you did into the pot after it is pretty clear the Villain has no intention of folding is pretty spewy. It seems you lost sight of the fact your hand was only worth its steal value pre-flop, and you also failed to recognize that the LOWER a top pair you flop, the greater the likelihood top pair is no good.

Careful next time!

Originally Posted by PlsDntBlffMe View Post
Hand #3: How bad is this shove? I was so short already by then and didn't feel like blinding off with a random hand (54 can make a bunch of straights, right?). Or is this a poor reason to shove 54o?
In this hand you are mega-short now, and elect to jam utg with 54o. Next time stop a second and ask yourself; Why?

When you are mega short, the 2 biggest factors you must account for before decideing whether to stand on a weak hand are:
1) What price are you laying the BB, and is it greater than the "magic" 2 to 1?

There is 2400 in the pre-flop pot, and jamming your 4500 means the BB has to call only 3300 for a chance to win 6700.

2 to 1 pot odds is a "magic numer" because laying that price will greatly increase the chances of you getting called. The reason why this is true is simple: 2 live under cards vs. 2 un-paired overs has roughly a 33% chance of winning. 2 to 1 is EXACTLY the right price needed to make that call acceptable (in most cases). Obviously, getting an acceptable price will greatly increase the chances of being called. AND...

When you decide to stand on a weak hand when you have much GREATER chances of being called, you are simply courting a higher risk of busting, simply because even a rag hand like J2o is ahead of your weak hand, see?

2) How many people behind you must FOLD in order for you to take down the blinds and antes?

Again, the chances of you gettng called go WAY up the more people you msut run your shove through. With the entire table to act behind you, you cannot get any worse in those terms than you picked, and if one of those people DOES call, what are the chances your 45 is going to be best?

Yes, you were short enough to justify moving in on just about any cards as the first person to act. The thing is, you ALSO must be aware of the chances shoving that wek hand will result in a CALL. By waiting until you were UTG to do so, then choosing 45 as your stand hand, I think you were too un-aware of OTHER considerations when you made your choice.

When I find myself in similar situations (short stacked, looking for a spot to shove), my train of thought tends to run like this:

"I am now in middle position, and too bad I could not open shove on the button or cut off because others raised ahead of me. Now what?"

"Since I could not shove in the beneficial late spots when I had fewer people to force out, I now have to decide on my stand based upon increased chances I will be called. This means with 3 hands to my BB, I want to trying picking the BEST hands out of those 3 to shove. If I cannot find one I like, like any Ace, any pocket pair, or a suited K, then I'll just go with whatever I get dealt in my BB."

"Oooops! I'm UTG now, and FECK I got dealt 45o. High card value is almost nil with this, and since most of the time I am going to flop 1 pair if I flop anything, I hate this. I simply cannot limp in hopes of seeing a straight draw flop, because I am in sure push or fold mode. ANY card higher than a 5 will make for a better hand than this, and I am pretty sure I am going to get that in my BB next hand."

I Fold.


Push/fold decisions ae a lot trickier than they seem sometimes, especially in situions like this where you can still take a decent portion of any stack at your table. If you widen your thought processes BEYOND simple considerations of: "I am short stack, and my blind is next hand. I cannot wait any more, I SHOVE", you will probably see a little bit better results in these spots.

Hope it helps.

Originally Posted by PlsDntBlffMe View Post
During current Hold'em session you were dealt 78 hands and saw flop:
- 4 out of 9 times while in big blind (44%)
- 4 out of 11 times while in small blind (36%)
- 14 out of 58 times in other positions (24%)
- a total of 22 out of 78 (28%)
Pots won at showdown - 7 of 11 (63%)
Pots won without showdown - 12
BTW, as a P.S....

While not "maniacally" loose, completeing 36% from the SB is pretty loose. this means over 1/3rd the time you are seeing a hand you feel has enough potential to flop a solid 8 or 9 out draw, OR one that will tend to flop top pair/solid kicker. seeing as you will flop a straight draw only about 1 time in 9.5 with connectors, a flush draw about 1 in 8 times with suited cards, and will hold a group 1 or group 2 hand only aobut 1 in 23 hands, 1/3rd of the time finding a "worthy" hand in the SB is pretty loose...

24% is also characteristic of the near top end of a LAG style as well. Winning 63% of your showdowns is not "terrible" (a LAG player will tend to win slightly fewer showdowns than a TAG), you would really like to see that a bit higher.

I'm not commenting on this to run your play down, my own stats tend to be pretty similar to these when I cash low, or just miss the cash, but rather I am doing so to point out that there ARE "effects" which come from a LAG style. A lot of those effects are an increased amount of calls against you (good!), but they also will be getting "out-played" sometimes like you were in hand #2.
Tue Jun 28, 2011, 10:05 AM
PlsDntBlffMe's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 42
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Last edited by PlsDntBlffMe; Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 01:36 PM..
Tue Jun 28, 2011, 11:40 AM
JDean's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,145
Originally Posted by PlsDntBlffMe View Post
We were down to two tables and I was the chip leader but only slightly more than the player behind me. I'm afraid patience really isn't my strongest attribute.
With this clarification in place, let me amend my above statements a little bit...

YES, you want to be applying the pressure on those shorter stacks at your table then. It is not the final table, so you do NOT want anyone accumulating chips at YOUR table (if you can help it). Allowing players who are in "lock-down mode" some breathing room to feel comfortable in waiting for their "big" hands is a recipe for LOSING poker in your situation in hand #1. With that said...

Everything stated in the review of hand #2 (when you over-played a hand worth only a button steal shot) holds true for hand #1. Pressure is good, but OVER-PRESSUREING is going to get you into trouble. Not only will YOU lose chips, but you will tend to create stacks which are more "threatening" come final table time by your losses.

When you attempt an open raise with A7, and a player who seems to be in lock-down mode jams, you REALLY have to think you are behind...afterall, if they haven;t been actively bluffing why would you suspect thety are doing so now, right?

Use the table dynamic you have seen (wait and see mode), and adjust your shove calling mode accordingly (any of the stacks at your table in hand 1 WILL shove if they enter). Weak Aces are probably NOT "racing" these shoves. They are more likely dominated by bigger aces, or dominated by pp higher than your kicker. Either case means you have roughly a 25% to 30% chance to win. Even with "correct" pot odds, 2 tables left in a flat pay event is NOT reason to risk losing a decent portion of your stack, PLUS "refreshing up" a short stack, better than 2 times in 3; you;d need far BETTER than the bare minimum correct price to make a call worthwhile.

So like Hand #2, this is a "right" idea taken just a little too far. Pressure, pressure, PRESSURE...but when they push back, be wary.
Tue Jun 28, 2011, 02:27 PM
JWK24's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 24,835
first hand: I'm mucking A7o in that position. With that many after me to play, I want some sort of straight draw or a flush draw too... or I'll muck an A.

second hand: instead of waiting for the turn, I'd have shoved on the flop.... IF I was in the hand to start with. I'd have liked to have some reads on the blinds before I raised from the button with only Q high. If they called with 55 or a higher pkt pair, there isn't much you can do in the hand anyway, and you want to make them pay for a draw. (I agree with JD that they thought you were playing pretty loose and used that to their advantage.... especially from the numbers you showed)

third hand: personally, I'd have mucked it and hoped for a better hand in the next two. At least when you went in, you did have connectors giving you more possibilities. I'm shocked that the SB did not make it a 3-way pot, which would considerably lower your chances to win it. If I was in the SB there, I'm calling to see the flop with basically ATC.

The numbers you showed were alot looser than normal. The SB number is a bit high, probably trying to defend a bit too much. But the 28% number for me is the telling one.... in the future, what you may want to consider is to toss some of the more marginal hands (A7o is an example) to get that number back down toward 20%.
It looks like you're trying to play too many pots (which you need to be extremely lucky to win at), as you'll leak chips away from being in so many. Try to be a little more patient and it'll work out for you better in the long run.
Tue Jun 28, 2011, 03:00 PM
oriholic's Avatar
Since: Oct 2010
Posts: 751
#1: How nitty are these players? Are you raising every hand and getting all folds? If so you might as well cover your cards and keep on raising every hand small. Bully the table. Calling with this hand is pretty gross though. You're getting almost 2 to 1 on a call, but this player's range dominates you. I'd prefer to fold here and raise 83 offsuit next hand rather than double up a nit. Nits don't catch on to this. I would probably minraise all my trash and monster hands and shove about the top 25-30% (includes all pairs, all suited aces and kings, most suited connectors and 1-gappers, and broadway cards).

#2: Your button steal is pretty standard and you actually have a hand with some value if called and no value if 3-bet, so not a bad choice of stealing hand. When you hit a 7 on that flop I think you should check behind. What better hand will fold? What worse hands will call? What was this guy's preflop range anyway? Definitely check the turn. This card is not scary at all and brings no draws in. Plus, you have too much showdown value to try to bluff. I'd just check behind and hope for a cheap showdown.

#3: This one's close, but I'd fold and hope for a heads-up pot in the BB. This hand is horrendously small and you have no fold equity against the BB. If you had a couple suited cards like 85 suited I'd say go for it, but 54 offsuit is just awful.
Tue Jun 28, 2011, 04:32 PM
JDean's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,145
Originally Posted by JWK24 View Post
The numbers you showed were alot looser than normal. The SB number is a bit high, probably trying to defend a bit too much. But the 28% number for me is the telling one.... in the future, what you may want to consider is to toss some of the more marginal hands (A7o is an example) to get that number back down toward 20%.
It looks like you're trying to play too many pots (which you need to be extremely lucky to win at), as you'll leak chips away from being in so many. Try to be a little more patient and it'll work out for you better in the long run.
I like JWK's suggestion for aiming at 20% max. That is still pretty loose really, although if you ask a lot of players, especially middle level or beginner players, you will tend to hear them respond that 20% is "tight". Is it tight though REALLY? Consider...

A 20% VPiP means you are seeing the flop 2 times per ORBIT, every orbit, at a 10 handed table. Is that acting "tight"?

To put in into another perspective (a much LONGER ONE, but quite telling if you think hard about it!):

A 20.4% range consists of Any pp, any broadway, and Any A down to A8. To hit a 20% VPiP by playing JUST this hand range, you would have to play this range NO MATTER YOUR POSITION, and NO MATTER THE ACTION AHEAD OF YOU. Does A8o UTG+1 versus a nit 3x BB raiser sound like a good play? You'd have to play it if you are only playing the top 20% of hands, and you hit a 20% VPiP...


Obviously, you are going to adjust your start hand standards for position. This means the numbers above are not truly representative of the width of range it takes to hit a 20% VPiP...the above range is actually TIGHTER BY FAR than what you will play regardless of action ahead in LP!

Now Let's try to consider how WIDE the LP start range would be in order to hit a 20% VPiP...

The number you are trying to hit is 20% of hands dealt are played.
At a 9 handed table, You will receive 25.9% of your hands in each position (EP, MP, and LP), and an additonal 22.3% of your hands while in the blinds.

Let's say your EP open range is pretty "standard" at gr 1 and 2 hands only (I'd argue that inclusion of KQs, AJs, and even TT in some dynamics amongst your EP play range is pretty LOOSE, but let's not get "crazy tight" here!). Note: you will play this range NO MATTER THE ACTION AHEAD OF YOU. Those hands are: AA/KK/QQ/JJ/TT/AKs and o/AQs/AJs/KQs.

(Note: the reason why we must assume our range will be played regardless of action ahead of us is because In the long term, we will receive a top 5% hand exactly 5% of the time.

Since we are trying to determine a "static" play range which results in a 20% VPiP, we must assume that our assigned play range is played in all situations, unless we want to get REALLY complex and try to identify a dynamic play range.

In reality, poker IS a dynamic game, and the action ahead of you WILL effect your start range.

But since most often the start range you choose to play will TIGHTEN as a result of you folding some hands you'd have played if you could open the pot yourself or limp, and less often you will LOOSEN your open standards because you are "allowed" to limp in with hands you'd have otherwise folded, the effect on your LP start range will tend to actually WIDEN slightly in order to hit 20% VPiP. This is as a result of you "dynamically" folding more MP/EP hands, thus requiring looser LP standars to hit that target 20% VPiP...see?

All this means that you should place no "value judgement" on the fact someone will play range "x" regardless of action ahead. the point of this exercise is to determine what the LP range of a 20% VPiP looks like...understand?)

OK, back to the math stuff!

Gr 1 and Gr 2 hands represent 4.4% of all potential Hold 'em start hands.
That 4.4% means you can expect to receive one of those hands 4.4% of the time you are dealt 2 cards (duh).
.044 x .259 = 1.1%. So just 1.1% of the 20% of hands you will play will be played from EP (roughly 4.4% of ALL hands you are dealt, see?). Fine, so far so good.

Let's say you widen your range from MP to include all the EP hands, plus gr 3 and HALF of gr 4. Again, you will play these hands regardless of action ahead of you.

Your range now includes: 99/88, AQo/AJo, ATs, KJs/KTs, QJs, JTs.
The hands from gr 4 we have left off our MP range are: QTs, J9s, T9s, and 98s.
I think we'd all agree, playing many of the hands we will play in this exercise from MP, regardless of the action ahead of us, would be WAY LOOSE. Still, we need to seperate what we will play, and from where, in order to see what we MUST play from LP to hit 20% VPiP...

Our total range now represents just 9.5% of all start hands.
.095 x .259 = an additional 2.5% of our 20% pre-flop pot entries.

We have just our range for the blinds and LP left to factor in, and we have accounted for only 3.6% out of the total of 20% of flops we will see.

Let's assume that every time we play poker, we are graced with a very passive table dynamic (great game selection I guess! ). The result is a plethora of min raises, which become pretty "cheap" to speculate against (there must be a min raise to make a BB entry voluntary).

This means the passive dynamic makes it possible to widen our Blind standards over even our MP range. So let's now include the rest of Gr. 4 hands in our blind play range.

That adds: QTs, J9s, T9s, and 98s, and takes our total range up to 10.7% of all start hands.

.107 x .223 = 2.4% more hands we will now play, bringing us to a total of just 6% of our target 20% VPiP.

And finally we have JUST the LP range left to determine...

Despite basing our standards to this point on some semi-loose assumptions, we have only accounted for 30% of the total hands we will voluntarily enter the pot while holding. That means 70% of all hands we VPiP will be from LP.

To make up the 14% of hands played which we have not yet accounted for, we must make this calculation:

.14 / .259 = .54 or...

Fully 54% of all hands dealt MUST be played from LP to hit a 20% VPiP!!!!!!!
This is despite NOT playing "uber-nit" poker in the blinds, EP, nor MP!

To be sure, let's back check the math in the same way we checked the other positions:

.54 x .259 = .14


Now the FUN part...do you realize how WIDE a 54% play range is?
I'll show you:

AA/KK/QQ/JJ/AKs (gr 1)
TT/AQs/AJs/KQs/AKo (gr 2)
99/JTs/QJs/KJs/ATs/AQo (gr 3)
T9s/KQo/88/QTs/98s/J9s/AJo/KTs (gr 4)....10.7% range at this point btw...

Beyond this point (where we left off in positions other than LP), 54% is SO WIDE that it leaves a lot of room for "variations" in which hands a person picks to get to the 54% range.

Just so we understand each other, I'll add hands in a step by step manner, and we will see the changes to the range band...

Adding ANY Ace, suited or not, brings us only to 21.3% range.
Adding to that any pp, plus any 2 broadway hand (down to JTo) brings us to only a 28.5% range.
Adding to that ANY suited cards still brings us to only a 45.7% range!

You would have to further include K9o, Q9o, J9o, plus all off suit connectors down to 54o to FINALLY hit a 53.8% playing range. Adding 43o to the mix raises your total start range to 54.8%, and we simply CANNOT go that wild, can we?

The long and the short of this ramble is simply this:

To hit a 20% VPiP you are going to have to be playing a LOT more hands, in a lot more un-favorable situations, than you really think.

In the "dynamic" decision making environment of Poker, folding more hands to raises ahead of you will serve only to widen even MORE the hands you "must" play from LP to make that 20% VPiP.

Playing MORE hands, because it is limped, in EP and MP WILL tend to narrow the necessary LP range to meet a 20% VPiP, but widening start standards much more than the ranges we've shown above for the Blinds/MP/EP entry, even against "just" limps, will quite often be a chip leak. Do you really want to be calling in very often from MP with a hand like Q8s JUST because it is limped? That's what you'd have to do pretty much to avoid playing a 54% range from LP.

If you have EXTREMELY strong post-flop and opponent reading skills you can find 20%+ entries to be profitable. But you also must recognize that the looser you play, the more complex your decisions will tend to become. Lacking the skill to weed through those more complex decisions means you are probably far better off in MTT play to stick to the simpler TAG style. Why?

Because 20% VPiP is probably WAY looser than you think it is!

Last edited by JDean; Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 04:44 PM..

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