Holdem is a Post-Flop Game
> This is all good advice and I welcome it, but how tight possibly can one get?
> I play poker for fun, and if I'm folding cards like AJo from early
> I'm going to be a spectator for 98% of the night.
Why are you paying attention to what Jim did in a completely unrelated type of game? What he does with that hand in the game he plays
means virtually nothing to you in your game. Those silly
starting hand charts directly lead to this
sort of thinking. AJo in a typical Paradise $1/2 is a fine hand under the gun. There are no static values for poker hands.
> Also, in the crazy loose games on ultra low limit paradise, surely seeing
> the flop with hands like K10s in early position is a good play no??
Of course it is.
Windows - Mac
> do hands like AJo have to be a raise/fold play?
This another one of the silliest things people like to say. There are significant exceptions, but in the big majority of poker
situations calling is financially more similar a choice to both
folding and raising than raising is to folding.
> While I'm learning more and more the value of aggression and position with
> every game I play, does everything have to be so clear cut? Can post flop
> playing ability (by this I mean my opinion on whether I can outplay any
> particular opponents at the table) be taken into account when deciding to
> call, fold or raise these kinds of hands from early or middle position?
Holdem is a post-flop game. Your post-flop ability (in whatever position) should be a primary define-r of what hands you play
pre-flop, and how you play them.
Bill Bradley wrote...
> No, playing K10s under the gun is NOT a good play.
In a $1/2 game online??? Mucking this hand would be a pitiful play.
> Most of your profit in Holdem comes from flopping top pair and
> driving everyone out, or being paid off by a smaller kicker. Boring but true.
Definitely not normally true. In a game like the Paradise $1/2 you get the significant money by making complete hands that you can bet
strongly. The conspiracyites play pair poker in complete hand games.
Terrence Chan wrote...
> Pitiful? Even in the hands of a very strong player for the limit
> one would only be giving up pennies, I think. And Paradise 1/2 Holdem
> is *not* no-foldem Holdem where people are going to come in frequently
> with K4 or T7. In a California 1/2 game with a time charge it would be
> a play, but I wouldn't blame anyone for mucking it there either.
The Paradise game is a mostly mix of awful players playing junk (a minority) and timid,
weak-tight players (the majority). It's a
pretty ideal line-up to either limp in first to invite others in, or to raise to get action from the weak players. The post flop play
seems particularly gruesome, with players of all types desperately clutching to those dead
pocket pairs. The money is after the flop.
Play hands that make after-the-flop betting hands.
The wonderful Paradise mix of players is often a bunch of extremely weak-tight players and two or three pure loonies. The weak-tight
players play extraordinarily bad poker by not going after these loosey-gooseys. This creates poker heaven for conscious, sensibly
aggressive players. The loosey-gooseys are out there playing 54o each hand, and the tighties are mucking KJo on the button. In a 40%
game you can have three players playing around 85% of the hands and the rest playing 18%. Poker doesn't get much better than this.
Big Blind Play
Ted Simon wrote...
> I'm looking for some guidelines on calling raises in multiway pots
> out of the big blind. This is an area where I believe not much has
> been written, and it is difficult to figure out which hands are profitable
> in these situations.
That's why not much has been written about it.... Also, it's extremely subjective. Despite what many people seem to think, Holdem is a
post-flop game. What and how you play after the flop is far more important than the fine lines of starting hand selection. If you
don't know what to do with 76 on a 974 flop, don't play it. If on the other hand you play very good post flop poker, you can and
should play more hands out of the blind than a person who sucks after the flop. And, your poker thinking should be geared towards
expanding this envelope of marginal hands that you can play profitably.
Posting Behind the Button
Jeff Wilder wrote...
> That was Greg's point, yes, and the main reason people give for
> preferring to post over taking the BB. It's got some validity, yes,
> but a LARGE portion of the value of late position is deciding whether
> to be involved in the pot AT ALL. Posting eliminates that value, and
> the remaining value -- the privilege of deciding whether to call, raise,
> or surrender -- isn't worth giving up three hands (albeit two of them
> in horrible position), one of them the button, a REAL cutoff opportunity,
> and $1.40 in time value.
Any time I don't have to be dealt in when in the two blind positions I make money. Except in very extraordinary situations, even the
best players will lose money in the blinds. Any time I get a chance to "give up" having to put in money in those two positions, god
Suppose you had these two choices: you
could play nine hands a round, every round and put out $30 per round in the blinds (the normal way); or, you could play six hands a
round, only pay $20 in one single blind, at the same time as two other players also put out blind money (totaling $30), and be in
second best position each time you do it. This isn't close (assuming a full game). If you could do this every round and your opponents
couldn't, it would incredibly hard to lose.
Compare a normal round in a 20/40 game where you get nine hands in all the positions, and pay $30 in blinds when out of position
... being able to come in behind the button without paying ANY blind.
Okay, obviously coming in for free is better. Getting six free hands before posting the big blind is better than just posting the big
So then the question is: how much would you have to post behind the button to make it not preferable? $1? $2? Nope, those are still
clearly better. Where is the "cutoff" line?
A reasonable return in a 20/40 game is about $9 a round -- say 36 hands an hour, you make one big bet an hour, so (ignore different
returns from different positions) call it a buck a hand. This is a piddly amount of money compared to the blinds. The blinds are
everything in poker. Even if you don't count the positional advantage of posting behind the button as opposed to in front of it, and
the MAJOR advantage of posting when there is $30 of *other* blind money in the pot, ignoring that, the big blind is the same $20 cost
as posting in the cutoff. Does a player making $1 a hand want to pay $10 to get two hands (small blind and on the button)?
Jeff Wilder wrote...
> You've re-convinced me that it's closer to, as Gary said, a wash, but why
> aren't you considering all of the value of taking the BB (relative to posting)?
What value? Taking the big blind is a pure negative. You lose money, period. The only value in doing it is, you have to if you want to
start or continue to play poker.
I don't think it is anywhere close to a wash. Besides the value of position, you have to consider that in one case you are putting $20
into a pot that already has $10 (the small blind) in it. In the other case you are putting $20 into a pot that already has $30 in it.
And again, if you were to be allowed to play six hands a round, posting a single $20 blind when you are one behind the button, while
all your opponents played nine hands a round putting in the normal blinds, there is no way you wouldn't destroy the game.
Next ask yourself, suppose there was a button charge. If you think it is close, how much would the button charge have to be to make it
not close? Next, what about if it was a 15/30 game? Would you think it was close to put out that 2/3 small blind?
Jerrod Ankenman wrote...
> Let's take players A and B. They play in identical games. They both win 1BB/hr.
> Their tables get on average 36 hands per hour. Let's say it's a 20/40 game.
> They take the blinds 4 times per hour. Their win rates by seat in a full game are:
> button +8
> cutoff +7
> 2off +6
> 3off +4.5
> 3UTG +3.5
> 2UTG +2
> UTG +1
> BB -15
> SB -7
> In addition, when posting on the cutoff, they are about -12 instead of +7.
> So in this case, using these assumptions, posting behind actually LOSES
> a little bit per orbit. Of course, this amount is so small that any
> error in estimating the assumptions could swing it back and forth. But
> on the other hand, this is at least a start to indicating that the
> difference between these two isn't that big.
You postulate the cutoff is worth +7. 2, second Under-The-Gun is +2, UTG is +1, so absent the consideration of the big blind, the
position two from the button has to have less value than +1, so lets call it 0. So you value the cutoff as +7 better on one hand, but
only +3 better on the other (the difference between -15 and -12). How can those two exist in the same universe? Using your valuations,
minimally the posting position must be only -8. Additionally, the posted blind has $30 of other blind money in the pot with it,
instead of merely $10 when a person is in the big blind, so that must make the posting position some degree better than -8.
Where to Sit at the Table
Allen Miller wrote...
> Recently I posted a question asking preferred seating against
> a solid ( tight and aggressive) player. There were several replies
> and opinions concerning preferred seating against maniacs but
> hardly anything pertaining to my primary question---- what if any
> is the advantage to be seated to a solid players right or left???
> Like I wrote in my prior post--- a lot has been written on position
> concerning maniacs but I haven't seen anything on position
> against solid players!
You got the key answer. Money (fitfully) moves around a table clockwise. Anyone who has position on another player has an edge. If you
are behind the solid player, that gives you an edge -- *over the solid player*. Often this is squandering an edge. You should think
about the *other* players. Position on them would almost certainly be more valuable than position on the solid player.
Not to contradict any of the above, but if I logged onto an online game and saw a table of players who I did not recognize, plus one
person I recognized as an excellent player (who would know my play), plus one seat in front of the excellent player and one behind,
I'd sit behind the excellent player (except one or two who are uniquely dangerous out of position). I'm not going to give a very good
player who knows me an edge against me, if I can help it. Likewise, I'd rather a known tough player sat in front of me than behind me
in a case like this.
Where Should You Keep Your Poker Bankroll?
"Make a mule of your money." Leaving a bankroll in a drawer at home is bad poker. Your bankroll should be making you money even as it
sits around. You only need to have one or two days of cash on hand. If you lose that, go to the bank and get another chunk. For a
small-ish bankroll a bank probably makes the most sense. For a bigger one, the stock market and short term higher-interest accounts
make sense. But in any case, putting money in your mattress turns down even the small income you can receive by having your money in
the bank. $4000 may make as little $40 a year in interest, but getting that income is what separates good players from less good ones.
Good players always look for, and find, small edges that help their profit margin.