Thursday, October 15, 2009

The cbet & the pre-flop raise

I picked up two interesting tidbits last night while I was watching the I received as part of my 5500 points that I earned last month. I was given a 1 month free access to online video training, which is awesome... So far, it's very good stuff. If you are not signed up for this service (and there is absolutely no cost for it), then you are doing yourself a disservice; you can receive increments of 1 week access for portions of 5500 points earned during that month. Disclaimer: I get no benefit or compensation for writing the above paragraph.

Anyway, in the one 45 minute video I watched (ghosting a guy ("Put me in coach Part 1" by schaffem111) who was replaying his 4 table session at a 6 max table), I was able to pick up on two items that have provided me instant profitability. Both have to do with bet sizes:
  • Betting high VPIPs who call/call
Every so often (at $50NL, almost every night), you will come across a player who has a VPIP above 40, and is limping many pre flops to see a flop and fold. Sometimes, these players will limp and call a raise. These types of players should become your best friends. They are milking machines, and you should be raising them every time you have good cards (in other words, you should never allow them to a limp a hand where you will be involved; play your game, but more aggressive with less limp, more raise). I get that - and I have known that fact for some time; I don't want to see a flop without juicing the pot with a guy that has two randoms. However, what I never really thought about was the bet sizing and the limp / caller. Here is a player that so desperately wants to see a flop, and he is willing to pay terrible odds, "just to see." What was suggested during the video was to raise to isolate, and raise a goodly amount.

For example, let's put you in MP and loose player in UTG position, at $50NL with full stacks (100 BBs). Generally, he limps and you raise a standard 3x + 1BB per limper. If you are doing that, you are not maximizing the value of the hand, pre flop. Instead of raising 3x, pop it to something like 4x + 1BB per limper. You know this guy is going to come along to see the flop, so why not get extra value, especially when you know you are CRUSHING his range? As with any pre-flop raised pot, you clearly need to re-evaluate the situation based on the flopped cards, but you have an extra bet in the middle that you ordinarily would not have.

Be careful with this idea though; this is for combating loose players who have a tendency to fold to cbets. If your donkey has a flop game, then I would suggest to adapt accordingly; you don't want to be constantly put to a decision and find yourself in awkward spots.

At any rate, I was definitely able to utilize this strategy last night to increase my profitability when I had position over a 74/18/1.6... We were both deep stacks at the table (I had ~$80 and he had ~$140) and I would continually raise his limps to $3 or more to isolate him, and then steal on the flop.
  • Betting out a high $$$ amount because they're either going to call or not
The other point I took away from the videos is betting for value on a dry board (an example is when you hold AK and the flop is A 5 9, etc.). When you know your opponent's range of cards, you should consider putting in a nice cbet, instead of 1/2 to 2/3 - the idea is that he is either calling or not. If he's a donkey who plays Ax, or someone who is only calling a raise with AJ+, he is not generally going to consider the size of the cbet in order to make a call; if he has AQ, AJ, AT, he is calling, PERIOD. He is not folding based on you betting pot vs. you betting half pot. I thought that was an interesting insight. I'm not sure if I'll be able to apply it; I need to watch for situations when I can use it... however it makes for playing for stacks much easier.

1 comment:

  1. glad you're enjoying TFPT! i'm with you -- can't understand why anyone wouldn't want to sign up!


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