the best play for low-med pocket pairs OOthe Blinds

    • xredsparrowx
      Joined: 17.07.2008 Posts: 17

      I`ve been playing NL50 for like half a month already, everythings been ok so far, my winrate is around 3-4bb for 60 k hands, though I`m trying to mix up my game and try to find the most comfortable for myself.

      My question is how to play pocket pairs starting with 22 to 88 out of the blinds versus CO un Button stealers? Like I said I try to mix up my game , when I started off NL50 I tend to call CO and Button raises much more often and it seemed really profitable. OK, you could say my implied odds aren`t that good, because of the stealers looser hand range, but what I found is players at these stakes use to overplay their hands a lot..I remember a lot of cases when steal raisers paid me off their whole stacks with just top pair even with medium kicker, like on the J 8 3 flop with something like JT or QJ.

      But watching some coaching videos and stuff , good players rather 3bet pocket pairs like that , at least 66-88 from the blinds, so I started to play a little more agressive, started to 3bet a lot more against stealers, but cheching my pokertracker stats, it seems I`m missing the real value, most of time I take the pot preflop, sometimes with conti-bet on the flop and of course sometimes get in trouble, but still it seems just calling for set value is more profitable..

      What`s your opinion about this?

      Thanks a lot!
  • 5 replies
    • rowzee
      Joined: 24.08.2008 Posts: 151
      I don't see how can you miss "the real value" by taking the pot preflop or on flop by c-betting, I think that is the ideal scenario when holding PP against stealers. You cannot call profitably for set value vhen you're heads up because you won't make your set often enough. Moreover, when you're holding a hand like 88, the probability of an overcard coming on flop is more than 85% (even more with lower pairs), so I really can't see where lies "the real value" of calling a steal with mid-pockets.
    • Dragar
      Joined: 09.09.2008 Posts: 2,214
      Yeah taking those pots pre-flop is best.

      If your playing with pocket 66 and 3-betting button raise... you will most of the time not hit the flop and got over cards against you + your out of position. This is a pretty bad spot to be in.

      I think there are two good ways to play it:

      If button is a tight player, fold pre-flop
      If button is a aggressive player, 3-bet pre-flop (although be aware that your going against a coin-toss), bet/fold flop (unless you got top pair with your pockets then bet/call since he might be raising with higher pockets), bet/fold turn
    • Kruppe
      Joined: 20.02.2008 Posts: 2,145
      i've translated an article that will probably soon be released and covers blind defense with pocket pairs. should answer some of your questions.
    • TwiceT
      Joined: 15.07.2007 Posts: 4,796
      at the micro and low limits it may be most profitabel to just call pockets for set value since you will get paid off a lot. furthermore, its definitely easier to play for u and u cant make really big mistakes if u just play them for set value. once u 3bet them oob and u have to play them oop vs good opponents it causes trouble for you

      however, nl200+ i would 3bet or fold them in blinds vs co/bu
    • xredsparrowx
      Joined: 17.07.2008 Posts: 17
      here`s a post from other forums that seemed interesting to me

      jeanpaulvalley wrote :
      I'm probably playing bad, but I take the initial aproach you describe and flat call most of the time, unless I'm facing attempts to steal a stupidly high percentage of the time. A huge, huge portion of my winnings at 25NL and 50NL come from set mining, so I don't think it's too weak to flat out of the blinds with 22-99. I'll probably flat TT if it's multi-way and the raiser was in EP. Of course this is villain and read dependent, and with an unknown raiser from the button I'm probably popping him back with 88+ a decent portion of the time, but you get the idea Also, when you have 55-99 and you flat, often calling one c-bet on a rag flop is enough to show it down without putting in any more money. It's not optimal to play this way with a PP unimproved, but when combined with the value of occasionally hitting your set when your villain has a hand, even heads up, I think it's a winning way to play. So many villains at these levels can't get away from TPTP/twopair that it's easy to get paid off with a set when the villain has something.

      i want to add that :

      "and here`s I really want to agree jeanpaulvalley, maybe thats true we are not such a good players to realize importance of 3betting in these spots, but it seems really profitable playing stakes up to NL50, I have played NL100 and all I can say, people are a lot more better there, and 3 betting IMO have more value there..."