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Pushing with more than 10bb?

    • TinovderLaan
      Joined: 25.10.2010 Posts: 70
      So they say you should be pushing or folding when you have 13 big blinds or less. Personally I feel that, when you have over 10 big blinds, you still have a reasonable enough stack to be making a standard raise, so as to avoid trouble spots, so that you can fold to a re-raise and still have somewhat of a stack with about 8-10 big blinds.

      Are my thoughts reasonable here, or am I really completely wrong in thinking this?
  • 5 replies
    • bradomurder
      Joined: 17.10.2008 Posts: 1,331
      You're definitely not completely wrong, I think it's opponent and situation dependant, if you think your opponent is capable of 3bet bluffing you should shove hands according to ICM but you can raise your premium hands as a sneaky sneaky trap. Of course if they're good you have to balance. If you think they wont 3bet bluff then 2.5bb raise is usually good.

      I'd say your standard game should be push/fold up to 13bb cos it's unexploitable. It's good to know the ranges inside out too so you can fall back on it if you find yourself at a tough table or tilting or something
    • TinovderLaan
      Joined: 25.10.2010 Posts: 70
      I have experimented with this play a bit already, and so far I have found that opponents will often think you have a very strong hand, so you pick up the pot without risking your entire stack in case your opponent would call with a better hand. And if he does call your 3x raise with a better hand, you may improve on the flop and have him beat and still double up, or you can still get away and now have to play according to ICM.

      Another thing is that players often expect you to have a wide pushing range with so few big blinds, so they think you're just being a fish here by not pushing, and therefore put you all-in by re-raising, and then you turn over your kings versus their KQ or something, and of course get paid off.

      And especially against bad players, I have found this play to be very useful, since they often seem to think as if I want to stay in it very desparately, and therefore play only the absolute premium hands when I'm short stacked. So I can easily pick up their blinds making this raise, but still don't risk everything if they do have a better hand. Sometimes they'll 3bet me, but that's usually with a worse hand, so I generally go all-in if they do.

      So far it has worked quite profitably for me, and has probably allowed me to get at least ITM rather than busting out 4th or 5th.

      And indeed, I have seen people 3bet me often, and then I would just stick to ICM pushing.

      I try to mix it up a bit, though. Like, push 20% (according to ICM) and raise 2.5-3bb 80%, of course to keep my opponents guessing a bit.

      Since I started experimenting with this I do feel like I had to pay more attention to the players around me, though. But that's good, because it'll probably only help me improve my game :)

      Of course, these are just the results I've seen so far, and I definitely haven't played thousands of hand with this strategy yet, but so far I'm seeing positive results.
    • pzhon
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      You say "standard raise," but be careful that you should be making a smaller raise than you would if the effective stack depth were 40 bb. Even a minimum raise can be ok, and you generally should not raise more than about 2.5 bb from outside the blinds when the effective depth is under 20 bb if you are going to make a small raise.

      You should consider all alternatives. When you play push/fold with deeper stacks, this sometimes means you have to play a tighter raise than you could make a smaller raise, and your overall strategy may be less profitable than it would be with a lower effective stack depth. For example, if you played push/fold for 50 bb, you could still push a few hands, but you would have to fold many good hands because otherwise you would risk too much for the reward. You can attack the blinds much more profitably if you make smaller raises, and then sometimes fold if 3-bet, and sometimes continue if 3-bet.

      That the blinds might go up next hand does not mean you should play push/fold deeper. You are risking your stack for the current blinds, not for future blinds. I'm not sure why, but this is actually a mistake a well-known poker theorist made in a recent discussion with me, and it is a common logical error to overlook the low reward on this hand because of a 99% irrelevant fear of getting hit by larger blinds later.

      When you are near the bubble, smaller raises can be less appetizing for a few reasons. One is that it is an advantage to be the first to go all-in, and you don't want to grant that advantage to your opponents if they know to resteal rather than applying it yourself. Another is that when you are more risk-averse, you do not want to trap your opponents with many hands. You might not want to get all-in with AK against QJ on the bubble, particularly if the alternative is taking the blinds rather than folding. Another reason not to make a smaller raise is that your positional advantage means less when the stacks are shorter, so a small raise from late position is not as threatening as it is with deeper stacks.

      In addition, when you would be out of position postflop, it is less appetizing to make a smaller raise which lets your opponents see a flop in position. So, it is more natural to make larger raises from the blinds, either to open from the small blind, or to push after limpers. It can be ok to open-push for 15-20 bb from the small blind, or even more if there are several limpers.

      So, sometimes you can push for more than 10 bb, but when it is appropriate you should make small open raises to 2-2.5 bb when the effective stack depth is over 10 bb.

      There are some situations where I choose from 3 options. With part of my range, I push, with part I make a small raise, and with part I fold. How to choose which hands to make which action is not simple. If your opponent will always play push/fold against the small raise, then you polarize your small raising range into those hands which are traps and those which you will raise/fold, and push hands between these and perhaps some strong hands. You usually should not make a small raise, and then sigh and realize you are pot-committed, except if you are raising through multiple players. However, if you will sometimes get called, then you should be more inclined to make a small raise with playable hands, and to push hands which play badly postflop, if you are choosing between hands with the same equities against your opponent's ranges.
    • TinovderLaan
      Joined: 25.10.2010 Posts: 70
      I have read and re-read your post a couple of times, and applied it. It's definitely very useful to know all that, and has actually helped me during my games quite a few times already!

      Thanks a lot for that info! :)
    • Fush
      Joined: 18.06.2008 Posts: 212
      I like to push/bet 2bb-2,5bb depending on opponents and gameflow (how active have you been and are there players that knows you also). So, you can think in the sng same way like in the cashgames: if you have been very tight and blinds are capable of folding to your minbet it´s easy to get blinds cheaply and avoid getting called by better hands by minbetting. This also reduce the variance. If there is players whose handrange is about 10% you can many times get free chips and avoid getting called by better hands cause they most likely call/push allin with them. Many tight players in the lower limits play only for their handvalue and better option is to raise them smallish and call when you got a hand,

      The other case is when there is donkeys at the blinds. The hands which are above the donkeys range and can hit quite well I use to minbet in position sometimes. It´s just annoying to get called with AJ againts KT/KJ and get a flip when you could hit flop 1/3 and get rest of the money there with better odds. Donkeys or better said callingstations aren´t capable of folding for such a low bet almost anything and you can still control potsize and you also avoid getting 60-40 flips on the bubble vs callingstations. The key here is to be always in position and out of position you can sometimes squeeze 15-20bb stack againts limpers.

      Againts solid players who know how to play sng´s you want to be mathematical unexploitable. Pushing is better option normally but still minbet with 10bb-15bb stack polarize your game if you sometimes do this with suitedconnectors and sometimes with monsters. On the bubble just push againts them cause they know how to play on the bubble but if they don´t know ICM just hope to get blinds with smaller bet with hand you normally would push. Many times opponents put you in very strong range when you push like maniac normally and suddenly bet smallish so it´s a good tool sometimes.