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What Play do YOU make here?

View Poll Results: What do we do with 88 UTG?
1) Muck. We are out of position. 2 9.09%
2) Limp. We want to set mine. 3 13.64%
3) Raise smaller than standard (between 2BB and 3BB to go) 1 4.55%
4) Raise standard (between 3+BB and 4BB to go) 13 59.09%
5) Raise larger than standard (between 4+BB and 10BB to go) 1 4.55%
6) OVER RAISE (between 10+BB and All in to go) 1 4.55%
7) Blank 1 4.55%
Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll

What Play do YOU make here? - Sat Apr 13, 2013, 05:54 PM
JDean's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,145
Hi guys!

In this thread I have created a fictional table, at which you have reads on your opponents. What follows is the long list of those reads.

What we will be doing from this point onward is giving you a specific hand, and asking you to discuss what you might do in your situation, with the information given. All the reactions of your opponents will have been pre-determined, and will be based upon what you decide.

Just like in "real poker", sometimes there will be ways you can make more money, sometimes there will be ways you might turn a win into a loss, and sometimes there might be ways you can turn a loss into a win. Sometimes what you do really makes no difference at all to the out come...

The key point of this exercise is to discuss our various thought processes in the hand, and discuss how we USE the information we are given to our best advantage. Hopefully this discussion will give us all a lot to think about in our play decisions for a hand of poker!

Without further a-do, the info!

The Game:

It is approximately 7:45pm on a Friday evening. We drove 25 miles to get to our local casino, and are playing our preferred game; $2/$5 NLHE max capped BI of $500. It is a raked game, with a 10% rake to a max of $5, and a $1 bad beat jackpot drop if there is any called bet (side note: the bad beat stands at $38k and requires Aces full of Kings cracked, with an A in hand, and both cards playing in both hands. Half of prize pool goes to the beaten hand, 25% to the beater, and 25% is split among the table). We are well rolled for this game, and we have shown reasonably decent profitability (~2BB/HR) over the last year.

White chips and brown striped chips ($1 chips and $2 chips respectively) are in play.

We have been at this table for approximately 1 hour, and have seen approximately 25 to 30 hands dealt.

The joint is starting to heat up, as tables fill, and additional dealers come in. When we got here there were 2 $2/$5 tables running, and 4 $1/$2 (along with 2 $3/$6 games FLHE, and a $6/$12 FLHE, both FLHE games have a kill) in the 18 table room. We know a pretty fat $5/$10 8-game table will probably start around 8pm, and a pretty nice $1/$3 PLO table should be going around 9 or 10pm. By 9pm our $2/$5 will probably become a main game with feeder tables, but for now our empty seats are being filled off the (fast growing) list. All in all, this is shaping up to be a another pretty good weekend!

What we know of our current opponents:

Seat 1:

Is a Mid 20's kid wearing a polo shirt, and khaki pants. He has on thick eye glasses, and has very short hair. The instant mind image that jumped into your head was "Mormon Missionary, or Young Republican (if you are U.S.)".

Thus far he has been pretty conservative in his play, having entered only 2 pots in the last hour:

In the first one he raised from mp PF, got called in 3 places, and check/folded the A high flop.
In the second one he called a button raise from his SB, check/called all the way to the river, and showed QQ as a board over pair. His opponent (Seat 10) had raised up 89o and rivered trip 9s.

Seat 2:

Is a very ABC reg named "Al". You know his game, and he THINKS he knows your game, but you know all that Al knows is ABC play. Al tends to whine a lot after the game, so you try to avoid him in the bar or coffee shop outside the poker room, but he does not complain much at the table. The thing you note about Al is that when he has it he bets, and when he doesn't, he doesn't. Al has a tendency to stick with 8 or 9 out draws 1 street too many, tends to stick just 1 street too many on 2nd pair/top kicker type hands, and tends to not like mucking top pair/weak kicker at all (although he will if it gets too costly).

Thus far he has been pretty standard in his play PF, having entered 5 pots in the last hour:

2 of these were limped pots where Al limped along, then folded on the flop.

1 was a pot where Al raised PF with KK, and got called by Seat 10. Al C-bet around 1/3rd pot HU into a monotone board (w/o having the Kh), and got raised by Seat 10. Al called. The turn was a blank, so Al bet again, and got raised again; Al called. The river was a 4th h and Al checked. Seat 10 bet around 10% of the pot, and Al tanked. He finally called, and when he lost Al mumbled "I had odds".

Al also won a small pot versus Seat 6 when he flopped top/top holding AK, and...

Al raised PF in LP then folded to a donk lead of around half pot by Seat 5, on an A K T, diamond draw flop.

Seat 3:

Is a mid 20's kid dressed in a dirty hoodie, with greasey hair and cheap sun glasses. To say the very least, his play has been "active" throughout the entire last hour, and he seems very emotionally agitated. Your best guess is that the kid has been here for a looooooong session, and that he is probably stuck a good bit. You are not really sure how much the kid is stuck though, because he started the hour with about $450, and has been bleeding the whole way.

You know that for the last hour the kid has only folded PF when there has been a raise in EP, or a raise and 3bet PF.
Even though the kid has seen numerous flops, he has only shown down 3 hands:

1 hand he held 2nd pair/top kicker (AQ on a K hi flop) and lost a moderately sized pot to AK. AK bet flop, bet turn, then checked river and Kid checked behind.
1 hand he turned a straight and lost to a rivered flush. The pot was around $75 OTT after Seat 10 called a pot bet by the Kid, and the Kid check/called a $50 river bet when a 3rd diamond fell.
1 hand he flopped a set in LP and was bet into. He flatted. He was bet into again OTT, and Seat 8 mucked to a large pot overbet by the Kid. Kid tabled his flopped set with frutration and said, "You call everyone else, you donkey, why not me?"

Seat 4:


You have been cultivating a TAG image, and have only entered 2 pots in the past hour.

In 1 you held JJ and flatted a raise from Seat 1 (along with 2 others). When it checked to your JJ over pair to the board you bet. You took the pot uncontested.
In 1 you flatted a UTG+1 raise by Seat 6 holding 99. You flopped a set and called the bet OTF and C/R'ed OTT. You won a pot around $150 when she mucked.

You simply have not had an opportunity to open raise any pots, therefore you have not exhibited any "standard" raise sizing FTA.

Seat 5:

Is a guy in his late 20's or early thirties wearing a University sweat shirt and jeans. He has on a tasteful watch, not too pricey nor too cheap, decent middle of the road athletic shoes, and hasn't been noticably talkative nor overly quiet. When you arrived at the table Seat 5 was on a meal break, and he only returned about 20 to 30 minutes ago.

You have seen him win one pot (versus ABC Al) without showdown.
You have seen him limp/call a PF raise (versus Seat 7), then fold OTF once as well.

These are the only pots he has entered in your time at the table.

Seat 6:

Is an older lady in her mid 60's. She is dressed in casual clothes, with her hair neatly coiffed, but nothing especially noticable about her appearence. She has been losing pretty steadily in the past hour, and has gradually increased her level of vocal vehemence versus her opponents.

- She either limped in or flatted a single raise 2 times, only to fold OTF and made no comment.
- She called Seat 1's raise PF, and folded OTF to our bet with JJ, and whispered "sure..."
- She folded to ABC Al on a King high board (after calling a PF raise), and said to him, "You didn't hit that board."
- She raised to 5BB to go from EP with AJo and got called by Seat 10. She bet full pot OTF on a J 7 4 rainbow flop, and got flat called. She bet pot again OTT, leaving herself about $250 or so, and got C/R'ed all in. She called, lost to a set of 7's and said, "you are such a luck sack it is unbelievable! How do you stay with a pair of 7's pre flop?" in a very loud and agitated voice.
- She reloaded to $500, and barged into a pot for 5BB again, getting called by Seat 9. Flop came A high, and she bet pot; Seat 9 folded. She said, "At least SOMEONE knows how to fold!"
- She raised UTG +1 and we flatted 5BB with 99 from SB. We flopped a set, and check/called her half pot C Bet. She bet half pot again OTT when we checked, and we raised to $150 to go. She mucked and called us "You donkey chaser!"

Seat 7:

This is a mid 30's man dresed in normal casual clothes. He only sat down about 30 minutes ago, and has played only 1 hand.

He raised , making it 3BB to go over an open limp by Seat 5 from MP, and got called by Seat 8 and Seat 5. Seat 5 checked, and Seat 7 C bet the flop; both opponents folded.

Seat 8:

Is a middle aged, somewhat chubby, balding guy named "Dave". Dave is a solid reg, and he is playing his normal TAG game. You cannot really put a lot of creendence in any reads of Dave, because when he shows down he almost invariably has the goods, and if he doesn't you can never be sure whether it is because he bluffed in a good spot, or had the goods. In short, Dave is a very good player, with the ability to change up his game enough to keep you guessing.

You have seen Dave lose a pot OTT to Seat 3 when Seat 3 launched a big over bet. Dave capped his stack back to $500 after the loss.
You have seen him win 2 smallish pots that did not reach showdown, and thereby add around $50 to his stack.

Seat 9:

Is a very pretty woman in her middle 30's. She is very well dressed, with impeccable make-up. She is very polite, but seems somewhat nervous and un-sure of herself. On 2 or 3 occasions, you thought she might enter a pot, but in each instance someone either raised to make her change her mind, or she hesitated just long enough to let her think twice.

She has been at the table since you arrived, and you have yet to see her enter any pots at all, nor take any flops at all (each of her BB's have been raised, causing her to muck).

Seat 10:

This is a guy in his mid 50's who has been playing pretty standard poker in the time you have been at the table, but has been getting hit in the neck with the deck.

- he raised up 89o in LP, and got called by Seat 1. He rivered trips to take down a decently fat pot.
- he flopped a FD + 2 overs versus ABC Al (Seat 2), and hit the nuts on the river.
- he rivered another flush versus Seat 3, after flopping top pair + a draw (with a board over).
- he won a big pot versus Seat 6 when he flopped a set after calling a raise PF with 77 in position.

So in the last hour he has won 4 pretty good size pots in spots you could easily justify staying in yourself, but he did get lucky to hit; if only YOU had such luck! If anything you think Seat 10 is perhaps a little bit too loose PF (although surely not wildly so), and just a little bit less aggressive than he should be to extract maximum value. His stack surely does not show it (approximately $500 up since you've sat), but you do have a feeling that given time you might make some nice in-roads into that pile.


Seat 10's name is Milton, and you know this because his wife has appeared about 5 minutes ago, and started to bug poor Milton to leave because she wants to eat. Milton has tried to buy her off with a $100 bill for slots, but "Sweetie Pie" isn't having any of it! It seems as if she has her eye on the things she might buy with Milton's stack, and she is determined to get him to leave now, before it is gone!

The only good thing is that Milton seems to be at least a little aware of how money is made in poker, and he has been trying to convince Sweetie Pie that to leave now is really going to cost him money. When that does not work, he sends Sweetie Pie to go look for some racks, and tells the table, "THIS is why I don't bring her to the casino!"

Milton does say that no matter what he is going to paly to his Big Blind, so, "You all best get 'em while you can!" and he smiles big.


(Situation coming in the next post on this thread!, stay tuned!)

I know when I am playing live I like to reflect often about what sorts of situations I hope to find to make money at my tables. It is pretty true that a lot of what we can do at a table is dictated by the particular dynamic of that table, and if we fail to set our "game plan" in our mind about what we can "get away with", we might easily find ourselves making plays with little real chance of profit.

I think it would give us all a really good inisght into each other's thoughts about this table, and how we might play here, if we try to put up some posts about how we might USE the info above before we know exactly what sort of spot is coming at us.

What do you all think?

Before starting a poll, I would like to pose a few preliminary questions for us to consider...

Identifying "threats":
1) Who is our most "dangerous" opponent? Our 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so on? Why?
2) What is our "best defense", or what should be our primary concerns when playing against "threat" opponent(s)?
3) Do we think we can use our information effectively to have an advantage here?

General tactical thoughts:
4) How would we characterize our table dynamic in terms of "looseness vs. tightness", and "aggression vs. passivity"?
5) How might we plan our future play thoughts to take best advantage of the table dynamic as we perceive it?

Please put up some thoughts on these questions so we can all get an idea of where we stand in our thinking before moving on to the actual hand in question.

To help, I give you a graphical representation of our table, with stack sizes...

We start the next hand UTG, and are dealt 8h 8s.

What do we do?

1) Muck. We are out of position.
2) Limp. We want to set mine.
3) Raise smaller than standard (between 2BB and 3BB to go)
4) Raise standard (between 3+BB and 4BB to go)
5) Raise larger than standard (between 4+BB and 10BB to go)
6) OVER RAISE (between 10+BB and All in to go)
7) Blank

At the end of 2 days, the option with the most votes will determine what we "do" in this hand, and the results of our actions will be posted on a new thread.

(Please do not choose blank, as that is so I can track voting without voting myself. Thanks.)

I look forward to your responses!


P.S. for more info on the idea behind this post, you can check out the OP in this thread: http://www.pokerschoolonline.com/for...d=1#post408381

To follow the current hand, see these links:

The Flop thread (for review): http://www.pokerschoolonline.com/for...the-flop-pt.-1
The Turn Thread (for review): http://www.pokerschoolonline.com/for...-The-turn-pt-1
The Turn thread pt. 2 is here: The Turn pt 2 is here: http://www.pokerschoolonline.com/for...856#post409856

See ya!

Last edited by JDean; Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 01:33 PM..
Sat Apr 13, 2013, 09:20 PM
Grade b's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 3,604
Raise standard,

After all to raise else is a tell..

The one to watch is that dave fellow he seems tricky..

Grade b

I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught. ~Winston Churchill

13 Time Bracelet Winner

Sun Apr 14, 2013, 03:10 AM
Roland GTX's Avatar
Since: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,905
I opted to make a standard raise.

This is our first spot to be opening. We are a TAG player. Let the others know it. We can save getting fancy for later in the game and a better situation. Moreover, V10 wants to play some hands before being forced to leave the table. Raising builds the pot now, and hopefully sets up a situation where you are playing one or two opponents at most post flop.

Obviously Dave is a threat. Note, since we know Dave as a Reg. I assume he has some notes on us as well. V7 is an unknown, but has shown skill thus far. I'll be keeping an eye on him as well.

Roland GTX
Sun Apr 14, 2013, 03:27 AM
Low Rated's Avatar
Since: Mar 2012
Posts: 114
I say raise standard. If we had a monster I would raise more feeling confident that we would get at least one caller. We are UTG so we don't want to put too many chips in with a medium pocket pair OOP, I would prefer easy decisions on the flop.

For the most part I'm only really concerned about this Dave guy in seat 8, he's a good player and he has position on us most of the time, not good. Next in line would be seat 7, he seems to know how to isolate with a raise (even though he did it poorly) and we don't know about him. And 3rd would be seat 10 but we have position on him most of the time which is good (keep LAGs to your left).

Table dynamics... Does loose passive fish tank count as a viable descriptive term? For the most part we have lots of limpers who fold to C-Bets often and some calling stations. Personally I would try to get good chunks of their money in pre flop in position and take it down on the flop (vs ABC players) or take them to value town when we hit (vs calling stations).
Sun Apr 14, 2013, 07:24 AM
ArtySmokesPS's Avatar
Since: Oct 2011
Posts: 7,346
I fold, because this is a 10-handed game and I'm a nit.
Most of the players may be less skilled, but playing a medium pair out of position is neither fun or profitable. I don't want to have to barrel two streets with a likely underpair when I could make more money by opening a weaker hand in later position, so I'm waiting for a better spot.

Bracelet Winner
Sun Apr 14, 2013, 11:06 AM
Bill Curran's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,506
First off your reads don't matter for your decision to play or not.

You are first to act pre-flop, so unless you know what cards your opponents are holding, you must base your decision on the cards you are holding and your position.

You have cultivated a TAG image at this table and have played only two hands in the last hour, both of them pocket pairs and effectively limped with both.

Under the gun, a call of the BB is sufficient.

With a middle pair, we need to see the flop as cheaply as possible and keep as many as possible in the pot with us, 88 is just too good to muck, first to act, but not strong enough to raise and possibly be just heads up. In that case our opponent is likely to have us crushed and we have thrown money away for nought.

You know that seats 3, 6 and possibly 10 will stay in the pot for a limp or a small raise, so we are almost certain of three callers, but with pocket 8's we need as many players as there are, to be in the pot, this way we grow the pot with minimal investment.

Only Dave and perhaps Al will read your limp as a pocket pair, but if they are holding anything half decent they are likely to stay in just to see a cheap flop, to hopefully outflop you.

After this, your decisions are dependent on the betting after you, pre-flop, and/or what the flop brings.
Sun Apr 14, 2013, 01:20 PM
JDean's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,145
Nice responses so far!

A couple of questions that occur to me, for the posters thus far:

@Grade B:

You note that <paraphrase> "to raise otherwise (than standard) is a tell". I agree with your sentiments totally, insofar as raising amounts based on hand strength can result in throwing of noticeable patterns for sure!

Upon what specific reasons might you base your decision to raise, rather than limp or fold, in this spot?

@Roland GTX:

You note - "raising builds the pot now". Based upon our info, what do you think is the likely SPR going to the flop? Does that SPR favor middle pp?

@Low Rated:

You say; "If we had a monster I would raise more feeling confident that we would get at least one caller".

By this do you mean that given that we are contemplating our FIRST raise to enter, you might make our later 'standard" a larger amount, based upon the strength of our hand now? (ie if we had QQ/KK we'd go to 5BB to open, and keep that as a standard the whole way, but since we have 88 we will make a raise to 3BB and keep THAT as a standard)


Do you mean that oop you prefer to raise Mid PP one way, and High PP another?


As the lone poster in favor of a muck, I have a couple questions for you in particular! :-)
(Please note, I totally "get" mucking here, and a muck CAN be a solid move in this spot)

1) If we were to LIMP here, what do you think the chances are we'd be raised? And who would be the likeliest to raise us?

2) If we were to RAISE a standard amount, what would you rate the chances we'd be 3bet, and who would be the likeliest?

3) If we were to continue and flop a set, who might be the likeliest to pay us off "big", and what do you think our table dynamic might say about our chances to get "paid" on a set overall?

I really think a self-avowed "nit" viewpoint on these questions might engender some good discussion my those of us a bit less conservative.

@Bill Curran:

I'd like to dis-agree with your first statement Bill:

'First off your reads don't matter for your decision to play or not.

You are first to act pre-flop, so unless you know what cards your opponents are holding, you must base your decision on the cards you are holding and your position."

Your reads of opponents' past tendencies should, at least in my opinion, weigh into your personal pre flop start hand range, as well as the decisions you make with regards to HOW you play the hands which might be in your read adjusted start range.

I mean if this table is highly aggro, I may well LIMP my 88 here, figuring I can call if it comes back to me w/o a 3bet, or fold cheaply if it does. If the table is highly PASSIVE I may not need to raise pre flop, because I can get a large pot because of multiple limpers coming along. If it is only semi loose PF, but rather tight OTF, I might raise standard, in expectation of getting 1 or 2 callers and having a good chance to win on continuation, and so on...

I can really see your further point (in regards to open limping), and the reasons you give strike me as very good too. what I'd ask you specifically is:

What do you think the reactions of your opponents MIGHT be on certain hand rages if we do limp?

1) who is the likeliest to 3bet us light? How light?
2) who is the likeliest to flat along light? How light?
3) how MANY do you think might flat along?

I really like that you put up a good rationale for limping Bill, Thanks!

...and thank you to EVERYONE for responding thus far. This is really turning out to be pretty cool!

I will leave the discussion going for around another 24 to 36 hours, and then we will see how the voting turns out!

Sun Apr 14, 2013, 01:36 PM
Croyd93's Avatar
Since: Jul 2011
Posts: 639
The Morman missionary in seat 1 is evidently a tight passive player. Our strategy against this player should be to take him to value town with strong hands, if we get raised we shouldn't continue without a very good relative hand strength. We are often going to be able to take the pot away if this player checks to us, however we shouldn't be firing mutiple barrels unless it's for value.

I don't think ABC Al poses a major threat to us as it should be fairly easy to range him. Also we have position on him. We can exploit him in a number of ways by being aggressive as he likely plays fit or fold post flop. Although we don't have a read, players who play ABC are normally exploitable through 3 betting their late position opens from the blinds with quite a wide range; if we see he calls too much we will have to adjust accordingly. Also exploiting his tendancy to stay a bit too long with weak hands will be valuable with any of our strong hands, TPTK+.

Seat 3 looks to be loose passive and easily exploitable, we have position on him so lets hope he doesn't get too tilted and leave.

The University grad in seat 5 could pose a threat as his meal break suggests he is here for the long haul, which in tern suggests he is looking to make money over a period of time rather than luckboxing a stack and leaving. Also he has won a decent amount so far. This said, his limp/call is a good indication of weakness but I will reserve judgement until we have more reads.

Seat 6 bets when she has it and begrudgingly folds when she doesn't. We should try and keep pots small OOP vs this player and make call downs with TPTK on good boards. Allowing her to commit herself before putting the money in when we have a strong hand is the best route as she seems like she will get attached to weak hands such as TPGK easily.

Seat 7's tighter play so far could indicate he is a good player but with only one hand played and no showdown it is better to reserve judgement. His tight demeanor means I will respect his bets and raises for now and play fairly straight forward against him until I have built more reads.

Our most dangerous opponent is obviously seat 8. We don't really want to play OOP vs this player and I think we will pretty much have to cooler them to win a lot of money. One way we may be able to exploit this player is by turning made hands into bluffs on good runouts. This said we should only do so if we can concievably hold the hand we are repping. This player is obviously a good hand reader but I think without reads he wouldn't expect us to turn a made hand into a bluff, so we can show a positive expectation from this play by making our line look strong when they have a lot of medium strength hands in their range. We are going to have to play our A game against this player by mixing up our play and trying to be one step ahead.

Seat 9 is probably going to play way too tight. We should look to apply pressure pre flop and post flop but I wouldn't fire multiple barrels without a strong hand. If she raises us at any point we know we need a strong hand to continue, likely sets+.

Ideally we should try and get seat 10 to stay, if he's bringing his women to the casino he probably isn't a regular. He seems to be getting fairly lucky and while not a terrible player we could likely get a large chunk of charge from him if he were to stay. Perhaps we should jest that he stop letting his women decide what he do, after all he's made a reasonable amount of money so far so why not stay

The table dynamic is a good mix but in general the play seems to be on the tighter side, although not too tight that it is not worth our time playing in the game. There are definately players that we can exploit and I think we should continue to cultivate our TAG image, although when in late position attacking the blinds of seats 5, 6 and 7 is a good plan as they will likely fold too much and not adjust quickly.

So for the 88 hand...

I don't like folding preflop, we are UTG and raising from this position will garner some respect so I don't think we will be easily bluffed if we open and get 3b. Also I don't like limping as we may see a 10 way flop and have no possibility of taking it down postflop. I thus like raising and in the spirit of continuing to develop a TAG image I choose '4) Raise standard (between 3+BB and 4BB to go)'.

By raising we allow ourselves more than 1 way to win the pot, it thins the field and will often set up a profitable cbet spot. I'm not looking to fire on any board but a board like J62r will be good to cbet. Against certain players that have a 'fold button' I will barrel good turn cards; for example if an A hit the turn after cbetting the aforementioned board I would likely barrel as it brings a lot of fold equity. However I will not be cbetting a board such as QT8 2 tone as it will invariably get many calls. If we open and get 3 bet I will happily fold as the only plaerys likely to 3b are seat 8 and 10. I don't think either player will be 3betting our open light at this stage so I'm content folding.


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Last edited by Croyd93; Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 01:42 PM..
Sun Apr 14, 2013, 05:08 PM
Low Rated's Avatar
Since: Mar 2012
Posts: 114

I realise now that raising more based on hand strength would be a terrible misplay . We really should not be doing this in any case.

All I was thinking about were the Loose Passive players who may not be paying attention. Now that I remember Dave will definately be paying attention to us will take note that we raised more with a monster hand. Last thing we want to give him is info.

So I would like to raise standard UTG 4BB/4.5BB (or w/e is our standard). However I will say that if this table continues to play out the way I think it will based on our reads, I will be happy making our standard pre flop raises a little higher.

Last edited by Low Rated; Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 05:19 PM.. Reason: Typo~
Mon Apr 15, 2013, 12:22 AM
JWK24's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 24,809
The stacks are deep enough that I'm going to make a standard raise. Espeically with nobody being an aggro maniac. Having position on seat 3 is a plus too, if he gets too adventurous.

The seat I'm worried about is seat 8 and his 'No Player' card capper.... that thing's dangerous.

If seat 10 does leave, I want the floor to be sure to know that I would definitely like a seat change, as I'd much rather have seat 8 on my right than left. A number of players say they'd like him to stay... I want him to go because I want that seat!


6 Time Bracelet Winner

Mon Apr 15, 2013, 02:54 AM
Roland GTX's Avatar
Since: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,905
Hi JDean! SPR (Stack to Pot Ratio)

I expect V10 and V3 calling to be the most likely outcome. Everyone folding the second most likely outcome. If I get 3-bet it's an easy fold. And if I get a table full of callers, then this will become a pure set mining situation.

Assuming V10 and V3 call: If I 4x raise, it puts $62 in the pot giving me an SPR of 11. If I 3x the pot will be $47 giving me an SPR of 14. V10 who I want to play against has me covered. V3 will only have an SPR of 3 or 4. If he continues postflop, this could end up being a big pot!

If I am just set mining, the 3x is probably the better bet size. However, raising from UTG will allow me to rep a much stronger hand than I actually have since 88 would be the very bottom of my expected UTG opening range. I think there are many missed flops that we can successfully C-bet. This may be an argument for a 4x raise.

Roland GTX

Great post JD! This is really getting me thinking
Mon Apr 15, 2013, 02:59 AM
Roland GTX's Avatar
Since: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,905
Let me know please if I didnt do the SPR correctly!
Mon Apr 15, 2013, 12:17 PM
TheLangolier's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 13,499
(Head Trainer)

Nice set up Dave! I'll admit my first thought was to either limp or open for a standard raise depending on the table dynamic, but after really looking at the situation closely I don't prefer either of those plays... it's great to think about it rather than just act by rote, a bad habit we all fall into sometimes.

So for the hand, I see no reason not to take the initiative here and open with a raise.

I actually prefer to take an exploitative line in this situation and raise larger than normal. My standard open in live 2-5 games is 20-25, but I would go at least 25 here and in this hand would opt for 30. I think this best exploits the table because:

1) There is a propensity for certain players to make some loose calls, but play somewhat fit or fold post flop. A raise to 30 should discourage loose calls but bad live players simply won't be discouraged unless you massively overbet (like opening for 10x). In particular:

-The BB in seat 3, sees tons of flops but rarely goes to showdown. This indicates he's not making moves, just spewing my seeing flops too loosely (wide preflop ranges flop a lot of weak hands and air).

-Older lady in seat 6.

-Milton in seat 10, who has just declared openly he's going to gamble.

So any of these 3 players will be prone to loose calls preflop even for 30, but simply fold to a c-bet when they don't connect. A bigger raise gets more money in the pot for us to win when they fold post.

2) The larger raise will in fact discourage the other players, and encourage them to play more straight forward and true to their hand strength. It will also discourage seat 8 from making a positional call on us with a wide range of hands, which is good.

My goal here is to exploit this table dynamic, with a mix of tight players and loose ones, a solid one, and not many hands going to showdown. I'm not playing my hand here, beyond the fact that 88 is a nice back up plan, as when we get action beyond the flop 1 time in 8 we will have a set that is somewhat disguised as most players won't expect us to be opening a mid pocket pair in this fashion from UTG.

A couple other thoughts... regarding threats, I see no one as a dangerous threat at this table. I guess seat 8 is the most likely to be put in this category, and certainly our edge over him seems smaller than anyone else, if at all. But I'm not too concerned with it... he is smart enough to know we're solid and he's not there to go out of his way mixing it up with the 1 other strong spot at the table when there's weak spots all around. Not saying he will avoid us, or we should avoid him per say, but just that there are much easier fish to fry, so to speak, and we both should know that.

Also, thinking about potential stack to pot ratios is a waste of time here imo. It usually is when we're UTG. We have a variety of stack sizes behind and no idea who will call or how many. Additionally, SPR is a tool for planning your hand around commitment. It's unlikely that this pot or most pots are going to showdown or being contested for stacks at this table.

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Mon Apr 15, 2013, 07:06 PM
joy7108's Avatar
Since: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,286
I voted for a standard raise, this is just the kind of hand I find really difficult to play OOP. Being a nit I would be set mining, but would consider a c-bet depending on first round action and the board.
Tue Apr 16, 2013, 12:55 AM
JDean's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,145
Great Responses everyone!

@Croyd93: I love the detailed thought. This is exactly the sort of running commentary in my head I aspire to when I play live. I find by doing that, reviewing a ton of info I might or might not "need" to arrive at intial thoughts about how I might play each opponent really helps! Thanks a lot!

@Low Rated: Thanks for the re-think! I'd hardly call it a "terrible" mistake though. Afterall, do you think EVERYONE at this table is really paying attention to what we do, or are capable of adjusting to what we do? To my way of thinking, when I might be in doubt I tend to stick to what is a "standard" play, as by definition a "non standard play" should have some non standard REASON to back it up. If I cannot find that reason immediately, I like to stick to as simple a play as possible. How about you?

@JWK24: I think your reasoning is solid. The stacks are deep enough to go with a standard raise, as that will NOT tend to be very committing if we do not flop a set, and if we do we will probably be ready to make the pot nice and fat. Thanks!

@Roland GTX: You'd actually say your SPR going to the flop was around 11 versus V10 (with you as effective stack), and a bit under 3 vs V3 (with V3 as effec tive stack) for a raise to 4BB to go, so your math looks spot on. I think is should be noted that our BB player is one against whom we might want to consider the implications of a potential committment decision if we raise PF. As you cite him as one of the primary opponents likely to continue versus a raise, and as that decision will likely see an SPR going to the flop vs V3 of under 5, how might that effect your willingness to C Bet behind his check, call a donk lead, or to raise a donk lead on various flop textures?

I asked this question mainly as a way to assess your impression upon who might be ready to at least call a raise from EP, and to get a feel for what that might do to the way you continue on the flop. As you point out in your post Roland, your path forward depends a lot upon whether you flop a set; if you do not you are not likely giving up too many chips, and if you do you will HOPE to get as much in as possible! Thanks for the thought points!

@TheLangolier: I love your rationale for raising more than standard. I know at the old Majestic Star 1/2 games, a "standard" open raise would be either $10 or $12. This always struck me as quite "sensible" for a TAG player when oop, who was quite likely to take down the pot on continuation based on his image. I really want those early take downs to be BIGGER if I can make 'em so, and money here is generally deep enough (except perhaps versus V3) to not sweat feeling committed. I would not ALWAYS over raise a "standard" just because I have a medium pp, but there is the added benefit of a mid pp not being the sort of hand that is going to make me feel very "stuck" (unless I am truly coolered). Thanks for the add, it helps "make" the discussion well rounded!

@Joy7108: I think your observation that a raise tends to make it more possible to win on continuation in some situations is a very good reason to open here for a raise! Thanks a ton for the addition!

A "standard" raise is by far the highest vote getter.

Now, time to see what happens...


We look down and see 8h 8s. We glance around the table and do not see anything really indicating what our opponents might be planning to do. We really do not want to put too much into the pot in case we see a bad flop, but we also do not want to limp and face a tricky decision oop versus a raiser. As such we elect to raise, making it $20 to go (4BB to go).

Seat 5 glances at his cards after we announce our raise, and quickly tosses them into the muck.

Seat 6 turns her head to look at us with a frown, and grunts while tossing 4 red $5 chips forcefully into the pot.

Seat 7 mucks, and pushes his chair back to answer a text message.

Seat 8 looks at us, looks to his left, and then checks his cards. He places his card protector on top of his hand (a button that says "No Player"), and looks at seats 9 and 10 again. This is Seat 8's normal pattern of action when deciding upon his action, and seems to be rehearsed and consistent.

You see Seat 10 leaning forward just a little bit, and carefully watching Seat 8. Seat 8 waits exactly 5 seconds, removes his card protector, and pushes his cards toward the dealer.

Seat 9 looks at her cards, and tosses them into the middle. She checks her watch immediately after she does this, then turns around to look at the front desk, behind which there is a digital clock.

Seat 10 immediately tosses out a green $25 chip, even though he has almost a full rack of red in front of him. As he does so he loudly says, "I call."

Seat 2 tosses his hand into the middle without comment, then yawns and stretches.

Seat 3 looks at you, then looks at his hand. He glances quickly at Seat 10, and licks his lips quickly. He looks at his chips, and pushes $20 in red $5 chips into the middle.

Pot = $62 (before rake)

I will put up the graphic to show you the action here, but I will be opening a new thread showing the flop. This way we can have a new poll on our next action...

Stay tuned!!!

Link to the flop thread: http://www.pokerschoolonline.com/for...the-flop-pt.-1

Last edited by JDean; Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 11:28 AM..

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