Some Questions

    • Summoner88
      Summoner88
      Basic
      Joined: 24.04.2013 Posts: 4
      ok i have many questions and i will post them all in one thread hopefully someone will answer them.

      Question 1: is it profitable to make a value raise with the intention to fold to a re-raise? for example I 3-bet AQ preflop for value but i plan to fold to a 4-bet , is this profitable or should i just cold-call the raise? Also the same question goes for the turn/river , shall i value bet my hand in hopes to get called but fold to a re-raise? is this play fine?

      Question 2: if there is a fish in the table and im in early position , is it profitable to limp with a hand like QTo just to play more pots with the fish? or the risk to get reraised and the fact that im oop makes this play -ev?

      Question 3: in harrington on holdem 2 the author says that you should widen your range in yellow zone (20 m or 40-30bb) to include even ATo from early position as a raise , i cannot understand at all what kind of plan will you have with a hand like ATo , almost every calling range crush you and you will never win more than a small pot which basically turn the hand into a bluff stealing hand , the only way to get a lighter call if you hit A on the flop is to get called preflop by a fish with a hand like A6o , 40-30bb is very crucial stacksize and all the money go in after the flop , what kind of plan do you have with a hand like ATo if you get called and hit A on the board? will you stackoff with it?

      Question 4: I see many players use different plays and i cant recognize the best , some players may not play push or fold until 10bb post-ante but others will start even at 25bb , also some players never loosen up as their stack drop but others will widen their hand range , is there a correct way to play of all these or is it just personal preference?

      Question 5: I kinda understand icm theory and gto push or fold , also i understand why such strategies are effective at sngs but i dont understand why people use them in mtts as well , even if you get some edge with such tools how will you ever achieve a long term with them , for example if i go in a cazino and bet all the money the cazino possess it doesnt matter if they have a tiny 1% edge against me because they will never be able to achieve a long term with me and the cazino will eventually bust due to high shortterm variance and thats why they limit the betsizing , All ins in mtts hardly achieve much compared to sngs , when you lose a flip you are out therefore you dont get the chance to reach a longterm with such edges which means it may be better to play an exploitive style with high chance of success instead of doing always +ev plays , is there something i am missing here?
  • 2 replies
    • TinoLaan
      TinoLaan
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.10.2011 Posts: 6,411
      First of all, welcome to the forum!

      I'm not quite an expert, but I'll try my best :)

      Question 1: is it profitable to make a value raise with the intention to fold to a re-raise? for example I 3-bet AQ preflop for value but i plan to fold to a 4-bet , is this profitable or should i just cold-call the raise? Also the same question goes for the turn/river , shall i value bet my hand in hopes to get called but fold to a re-raise? is this play fine?
      Yes, you definitely can. Sometimes you'll be 3betting against an aggressive opponent for value, but when he 4bets you can still fold some of those value hands, which then go down in value after his 4bet.

      If you expect your opponent to be able to call with worse, you can bet/raise for value. This applies to both pre flop and post flop play. However, if your opponent raises unexpectedly, you can definitely fold. For example, you can bet top pair top kicker on the river for value against a very passive opponent, but when he suddenly raises you, you should certainly think about folding, because a very passive opponent won't likely raise with hands worse than yours. However, he can certainly call with worse, so you should still bet for value. The same applies to when you re-raise rather than bet out yourself.

      Question 2: if there is a fish in the table and im in early position , is it profitable to limp with a hand like QTo just to play more pots with the fish? or the risk to get reraised and the fact that im oop makes this play -ev?
      I'd personally just fold such hands, even if there's fish on the table. Hands like QT jus have huge reverse implied odds even in limped pots. And especially if someone raises, you'll have to fold, because if you call you're likely out of position with a largely dominated hand. And you should rarely open limp with the intention of folding to a raise.

      So I'd prefer just folding. If there's a fish on the table, there's going to be much better opportunities to take his chips.

      Question 3: in harrington on holdem 2 the author says that you should widen your range in yellow zone (20 m or 40-30bb) to include even ATo from early position as a raise , i cannot understand at all what kind of plan will you have with a hand like ATo , almost every calling range crush you and you will never win more than a small pot which basically turn the hand into a bluff stealing hand , the only way to get a lighter call if you hit A on the flop is to get called preflop by a fish with a hand like A6o , 40-30bb is very crucial stacksize and all the money go in after the flop , what kind of plan do you have with a hand like ATo if you get called and hit A on the board? will you stackoff with it?
      Yeah, I kind of agree. The problem with ATo is that you will generally win small pots, but lose big pots (reversed implied odds). I haven't read the book, so I'm not familiar with the reasoning.

      I suppose if you're on a tight table, it's fine to open ATo from early position, but only to try and steal the pot pre flop. If you're going to play ATo from early position, you should definitely be pretty confident you can get away from it post flop, even on an Axx board. Because if a lot of money goes in, you're likely behind, and it's pretty tough folding top pair with 30-40bb.

      I guess the safe play is to just fold it pre flop.

      But again, I'm not familiar with the reasoning described in the book, so perhaps someone else would be able to answer this one better.

      Question 4: I see many players use different plays and i cant recognize the best , some players may not play push or fold until 10bb post-ante but others will start even at 25bb , also some players never loosen up as their stack drop but others will widen their hand range , is there a correct way to play of all these or is it just personal preference?
      It's both personal preference and a matter of what is best. If you keep playing ridiculously tight even with 10bb or less, you're going to fail, simply put, because you'll just end up blinding down all the time. So when you get so short, you definitely need to be widening your ranges, there's no arguing about that.

      However, when it comes to what stack size you should be shoving, that does come down to some personal preference. Some people like to open raise when they get to 13bb, some prefer to still min raise with 13bb and start shoving at 10 or 11bb or something.

      There is definitely an optimal way to play every hand, but it's dependent on so many different factors it's pretty much impossible to give a clear cut guide to how to play each and every hand.

      Let me just tell you though, open shoving for 25bb is definitely not the way to go. If there's been a raise and a call before you though, 25bb is an excellent stack size to 3bet shove with.

      Question 5: I kinda understand icm theory and gto push or fold , also i understand why such strategies are effective at sngs but i dont understand why people use them in mtts as well , even if you get some edge with such tools how will you ever achieve a long term with them , for example if i go in a cazino and bet all the money the cazino possess it doesnt matter if they have a tiny 1% edge against me because they will never be able to achieve a long term with me and the cazino will eventually bust due to high shortterm variance and thats why they limit the betsizing , All ins in mtts hardly achieve much compared to sngs , when you lose a flip you are out therefore you dont get the chance to reach a longterm with such edges which means it may be better to play an exploitive style with high chance of success instead of doing always +ev plays , is there something i am missing here?
      What you say is true to an extent, but you're also missing a few things. This is definitely one that others should give some input on as well though, because I'm probably going to miss a few things.

      First of all, you should definitely be making +cEV (chip EV) plays. Whenever you play a tournament, you should generally play to win it. In order to win it, you will most likely want to build yourself a nice stack of chips. If you don't take enough risks, that's just not going to happen very often. So if you only "play it safe" and wait for just opportunities where you can get it in as a big favorite, you're usually not going to do to well.

      Basically, you want to make plays with which you expect to make chips in the long run. Sure, you're going to be out of the tournament if you lose all your chips, but that's beside the point. You should certainly take that into account, but you should still be looking to make +cEV plays, because you're looking to build a stack.

      For example, say you have 20bb in the big blind, an aggressive player on the button opens and the small blind folds. If you have JTs here (or something similar), you should be 3bet shoving this almost every time. Sure, if you get called you will likely be in pretty bad shape. However, you're also going to get the button to fold a ton of the time, meaning you will pick up the pot a lot of the time. And if you get called, you will still likely have 35-40% equity against his calling range. You can definitely expect the button to fold around 70% of the time or so. So in the long run, you will expect to win chips by making this play.

      To give you some math to back that up, let's assume villain min raises, then folds to your shove 70% of the time, and you have 35% equity if you get called. These are all just hypothetical numbers, but they should illustrate the point.

      cEV = .7 * 3.5 + .3 * (.35 * 40.5 - 19) = 4.0025

      Explanation of the formula is in the spoiler.

      cEV = fold equity * pot pre + call equity * (hand equity * pot won - chips put in)

      cEV = chip expected value

      fold equity = how often villain fold
      call equity = how often villain calls (1 - fold equity)
      hand equity = how often your hand wins the pot when called

      pot pre = pot you pick up when villain folds (2bb raise + the 1.5bb from the blinds)
      pot won = pot you win if you win the hand (20bb from both you and villain + .5bb from the small blind)
      chips put in = the chips we risked, which is 19bb because we don't account for the 1bb we put in for the big blind we had to post


      So in the long run, you expect to make 4bb by making this play. That's huge. Even if villain calls 30% of the time and you have 20% equity when called you still show a small profit. And this is even without antes. When there's antes in play, the EV of this play goes through the roof.

      So what you're saying about all ins not achieving much is completely false. Putting your chips in the middle as the aggressor is a very powerful weapon in MTTs if you try to win them. Sure, when you're calling shoves you should generally not be calling down with stuff like JTs, but 3bet shoving over steals with hands like that is great, because you show an immediate profit.

      Sure, you're going to get eliminated from the tournament from time to time, but that's okay because you still made a play that you expect to make a profit with. You made a play that will put you in a better position to win the tournament in the long run. Besides, there's so many tournaments running that you can just fire up a new one if you do bust.

      In MTTs, especially larger field ones, you should not be afraid to stick your money in when you get a good opportunity to do so (i.e. when it's +EV to do so). That doesn't mean you should be willing to stack off with JJ 150bb deep pre flop, for example, but when you have 30bb and hit top pair top kicker on a dry board, you should generally not feel bad about stacking off.

      Those are all just examples of course. The point is, that if you are too cautious in MTTs, you are just going to end up blinding off. If you really want to win an MTT, which should always be your goal, you can't just sit around and wait for big hands to get the money in. You'll have to take some risks. If you don't, it's going to be very tough to do well.

      So long post, hopefully it was useful, and hopefully other people can add on to this or correct me if I made a wrong statement somewhere :f_biggrin:
    • Asaban
      Asaban
      Moderator
      Moderator
      Joined: 22.09.2006 Posts: 8,241
      Hi Summoner88,

      and welcome to the tournament strategy forum. I would love to see further posts from you in the future =)

      Since TinoLaan's answer is nearly perfect I will only add a few things here and there:

      1st question:
      In most cases you shouldn't 3bet for value if you are not willing to call a 4bet. You miss way too much value with hands like AQ this way. Most of the times it makes more sense to call pre. However, there are some situations that favor a 3bet/fold play for value.

      Postflop a raise/fold play is perfectly fine - even for value. Especially if many worse hands will call while only better hands will 3bet you. In these situations the raise is the best solution.


      2nd question:
      Already answered perfectly. Open limping is not part of my gameplan in general. I will only use it in very special circumstances.


      3rd question:
      You will play it for the FE in most cases. Since you have a blocker it's perfectly fine to try to steal the blinds or take the pot with a conti-bet. Of course, you should always be aware of your opponents' range and the possibility of better Ax. The reason why you loose up is simply the shorter amount of time until the blinds increase further, leaving you with 20BB or less, which makes open raises even harder. Therefore you try to accumulate further chips in this phase to outrun the blinds, or, if you have bad luck, get a resteal stack which has a bit more playability.


      4th question:
      Basically what TinoLaan already told you. In addition I would like to add, that it depends on your opponents and the table flow in many cases. If the table is tight it is perfectly fine to open raise with very few BB's left. If you have a very aggressive table you may prefer open pushing with 15 to 20BB.

      In most cases I start open pushing with a stack between 12 and 18BB.


      Last question:
      You won't achieve anything by getting in the money. Your goal should always be the final table (I would even say top 3). Otherwise you won't make money. Therefore you have to take risks. ICM already covers the "wouldn't I win more if I fold in this +EV situation" part. It won't let you push or call because of ChipEV, but only because of $EV. So every push or call you make according to ICM will win you money in the long run.

      In the early game it doesn't matter if you take these small edges and therefore you play for ChipEV. If you lose you can simply open a new tournament (improving your samplesize). If you win, the future game aspect is way more important, then any ICM factor could be. Because of the future game aspect it is even possible to make plays that are slightly -EV in some situations.


      I hope I was able to help.
      If you have any further questions feel free to ask!

      Regards,
      Asaban