Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Random Raises???

Did I ever mention that I am really slow at reading books. Well, I got a good start on Harrington on Hold'em Part I; but as usual, I have slowed down. I am determined to finish it up. One thing that he repeats over and over are about Raising; but as usual, I will get to that in a minute.

I, first, wanted to give you a line on my weekend. Weekend??? It's only Wednesday? OH, but it is Friday for me as I am taking off Thursday and Friday. So, what does the weekend look like?

Of course, Wed nights are made for the MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOKKKKKK . After a pretty good run in the blogger tournaments, I have found myself really impatient in these. In fact, Poker in general has taken a little hit. I have only played poker twice in the past 6 days which is extremely rare; but I am ready to get back into it.

Thursday is June 21st. Summer Solstice.. Longest day of the year.. etc, etc. This has always been a day that me and my brother go and play golf all day. There is a course that you can play all day for something like $30 (including cart). Now, it is not a championship course; but it is really nice and parts are pretty challenging and the scenery is very nice since it outside of St Louis (about 30 miles North of St Peters). We used to play as many holes as we could. In fact, one year we actually played 76 holes in one day. Yep, over 4 rounds of golf. We started pretty much straight up at 6AM and played until about 8:30PM. We could have gotten a few more holes in; but that would have put us pretty far away from clubhouse. Needless, to say we have never even gotten close to that record again. Usually, 54 is about the tops these days. Neither one of us get to play as much as we used to; but it is fun to get out there every once in a while.

Thursday night will be a home tourney. $30 buyin with about 25 - 30 people.

Friday.. Off to Harrah's for some Gambooling.. If any St Louis types are interested in the 1PM Harrahs tournament, let me know and we can meet up. I believe it is a $55 buyin (which already includes dealer toke). I'll be the guy with the khaki Texas Longhorn cap. I usually have my sunglasses on top so I should be pretty easy to spot.

Saturday.. Another Home tournament. Mostly low dollar SNGs; but will still be fun.

Sunday.. Weekly double header softball league.

Dream Weekend!!! I'm sure that it will be too short.

Now back to HOH.

One thing that he continually reiterates in the first half of the book is about randomizing your opening preflop bets. First, let's set some conditions. We are talking about Multi Table tournaments in its early to middle stages where you stack has plenty of play left in it.

Let's say that you get Pocket Queens in an early level of a tournament where most of the stacks are mostly even around avg stack. By the way, I'm not going to take any direct examples from the book. If you want that.... Go buy it . Anyway, he talks about open raising a certain percent of the time and calling the other percent. He has some pretty good ideas on how to figure that out that would be pretty "random".

I've always had a problem with this. In my mind, if you preflop raises are always the same regardless of what you are holding, nobody can ever put you on a hand. In an earlier post , I called it unpredictably predictable. In other words, if you hold AA or 87s, raise it up the same and nobody can ever know what you have; but I continue to think calling with QQ+AK+ is a huge mistake. I guess there are pretty many circumstances that would cause you to limp in with big hands such as an overly aggressive player or table where you can reasonably expect that there is going to be some raising. Maybe there are some short stacks that you can reasonably expect to push with a wide range.. Stuff like that; but I don't think that I could ever be convinced that NOT open raising with premium hands is the right play.

Another thing that he mentions is perhaps making your raises different amounts. For example, UTG you get KK and sometimes raise 4x the BB, sometimes 3x, sometimes 2x and sometimes limping. Yes, you may confuse others by doing this; but my contention is that if you raise whatever amount the same every time, then there is no way that they know what you have. I'm guess I'm just trying to see the point of why you would make your raises random.

Now, conversely, I think Random Calling/Re-raising makes a lot of sense. Again, based on your image, the image of others and perhaps stack sizes (depending on stage of tournament where stack sizes could be different) makes perfect sense to randomize / disguise your action after the pot has been opened.

Let me know what you think..

Have a good weekend!!!!


Alan aka RecessRampage said...

I used to think the same way about the raises... but I'm going to soon experiment with different bet sizing. I recently started reading the FullTilt tournament guide and that has some good stuff in it too. And one of the things was to change things up. Of course, keeping it the same is ok but if you keep switching it up, at the later stage of the tournament where essentially a pot sized raise pretty much commits you because you're pot committed, you can make smaller raises without sending off a particular tell because they've seen you do that with not so good cards as well as monsters and take down the blinds without committing a big chunk of your stack.

Just like anything else, it has a lot to do with switching gears and keep your game changing. Which is also why there are times where you can limp with big pairs. I sometimes limp with a very high pocket pair (anywhere from JJ-AA). But, in those situations where I don't get a preflop raise because I expected it but instead is like 4-5 handed going into the flop, I tell myself to a) keep the pot small and b) be ready to muck even aces and chalk it up to bad play. But again, variation is never wrong, IMO. But I think I speak that as a cash player more than a tournament player (in a tournament, you're only dealt AA or any big pairs very few times so I agree that you have to make the most of it which would be to raise). Cash is more of a long marathon... it's a story that morphs through the weeks, the months, and even years... So variation is very key.

jamyhawk said...

I don't care much for random pre-flop play in the early stages of a MTT. Granted, I am still learning and experimenting, but I agree with you that you can disguise more by always raising the same amount (3xBB). . .
That being said, I will vary it up in the later stages of the tournament, especially if the players have seen me playing. For example: If I lose a hand and then get a premium hand dealt, I may raise 5 or 6xBB to look like I am on tilt. I find that I can get 2 or 3 callers if I have timed it shortly after a "bad beat". And if the flop gives you a monster, you can cash in big.
I guess I would say that I like to project an image for a while and then change it. And when everyone is calling you down, change it back to 3x BB pre-flop raises every time.
And I never agree with limping with a premium hand. You gain ZERO information on what your opponent has. How many times have you re-raised only to have someone go all in for 10x the pot or more. This is information you will never get limping in.
By the way, I ordered HOH1 and it should be in today or tomorrow. I hope it is as good as everyone promises.
Good luck Friday at Harrah's. I won't be able to make it.

Who links to my website?