Preflop play

    • JLeitmotiv
      Joined: 02.01.2009 Posts: 756
      So, my preflop play sucks, particularly open raising. I am extremely nit, but it doesn't bother me that much, since i can stop being a f'ing nit just opening up my ranges a little bit.

      But what bothers me the most is that I honestly have no idea on how to adapt to players yet to act. I know things like 3beting with ~46-48 equity, changing it a bit with playability of the hand and postflop aggression of the preflop raiser.

      However, with the players yet to ask, i'm completely confused. Sure, I can open up my default ranges, but that would be just transferring the problem to something else. My goal definitely is not "get my PFR higher" or something like that, extremely stat-based. I want to play good poker, and I realize that adaptability is a very important part of it. If I open my ranges, probably I'll end up playing better preflop, but not well.

      Do you know any idea on how could I start investigating on this topic? AFAIK every poker book that address preflop issues just give preflop tables and leave the hard part for the reader, like "hey, open up your range a bit if you are surrounded by fishes".

      Every help will be very much appreciated :)
  • 4 replies
    • InvertedRow
      Joined: 29.02.2012 Posts: 217
      Bump! Anyone? I've been thinking about same stuff lately, searching thru forums but couldn't find anything usefull.
    • taavi1337
      Joined: 29.05.2009 Posts: 2,920
      Don't open up your ranges "just to do it". There has to be a solid reason.

      For example,

      You're on MP, the CO is a tight tag who doesn't 3bet much, and BU is a tight TAG as well. Now, if the BB is a fish, you can open much looser here, just because it will be very profitable to be ip and heads-up vs the fish, and this will often happen in the given scenario.

      So let's say you would normally open QJo+, KJo+, QTs+, A5s+, 98s here (you're probably even tighter). Now you can open up and raise stuff like JTo, 96s, A2s+, 65s, whatever. How safe do you feel that you won't get punished by the tags?

      This especially applies if you're on the CO and the BU is too tight and the BB is fishy. Openraise like if you were on the BU! Always try to get the two conditions postflop:

      1) you're heads-up vs the fish(es)
      2) you're in position

      This also means that when you're on the BU and fishy CO limps in, and the SB doesn't 3bet you like hell, you can isoraise very very loose there! K2s+, K5o+, any ace obv, Q6s+, 96s, 76s, J9o, etc. Just watch out that the fish is loose enough to limp lots of trash /and or willing to fold at some point postflop if you isoraise him with non-sdvalue hands.

      Opening up when 3betting is quite profitable as well. If you have a way too loose guy on your right, you can profitably iso3bet A LOT. This is based on stats. You need like 48% equity vs his range to 3bet (use programs like Equilab at the beginning), prefer to be ip if you don't have much experience postflop.

      Sometimes you need to tighten up your ranges, for example if you have a marginal Ax on MP/CO and there are guys on BU/SB who like to 3bet a lot.

      Preflop play is a huge topic and is strongly related to seat selection. You want to have tight guys on your left and loose fishes on your right, to be able to loosen up and create more and more +EV situations for you.
    • Boomer2k10
      Joined: 22.09.2010 Posts: 2,551
      Great post taavi

      You'll actually find as you guys develop from micro-low stakes that as you become more aware of game conditions you'll suddenly just naturally loosen up.

      A few year ago my stats went from a 27/20 tag to a 32/23 lag-ish TAG through nthing but paying more attention to the table. I made no attempt to artificailly add cards to my range, it just happened by seeing things like:

      1) The BB is a weak player, maybe I should open up a tad
      2) The guy to my left is a colossal nit, maybe I can loosen up my ranges by 1 position
      3) Iso-time on Da Fish baby!!


      It'll happen, but through thinking about the core of the game rather than the stats
    • InvertedRow
      Joined: 29.02.2012 Posts: 217
      Originally posted by Boomer2k10
      You'll actually find as you guys develop from micro-low stakes that as you become more aware of game conditions you'll suddenly just naturally loosen up.
      Already noticed that :D I guess loosening up just comes with experience.