Monday, September 24, 2007

Sit n Go Strategy - Raising With Any 2 Cards?

Mid-Game Sit N Go Strategy Thoughts Today... seen this come up regularly on forums and wanted to start an in-depth look at.... raising when you intend to fold to a re-raise.

Here is the (common) situation - you have a medium strength hand (well, ok, a little below), say K-J suited... stacks are deep enough that a push is probably not good - say 15 to 18 BBs with BB=100. It is folded to you in the cut-off or the button...

The conventional play here is to raise, hoping to take down the blinds, your plan is to fold if you get re-raised... here then is the question!

If you are raising with the intention of folding to a re-raise why do your cards matter??

If those raising cards are never going to make it to a showdown they might as well be 7/2 off suit right??

Several answers, always several answers... there is just something about the game of poker which makes the answer 'it depends' so often.

Lets look at them one at a time... will continue with maths / detail later in the week.

1) You might get flat-called (nasty - but happens all the time, will have a look at the hands that might flat you and see where we stand against them with a variety of stealing hands)
2) You can not steal the blinds every time - so why not use the 'medium-ness' of the cards as a randomizing factor (why not indeed, but would chosing the first card as a 5,7 or 9 be just as good??).
3) You need to sometimes raise 'light' in order to disguise the times when you raise with a strong holding (could be getting somewhere now...)

There are sub-questions here too - how much to raise? What are the chances of being called / raised (statistically speaking) for different opponents when button or cut-off raising.

Ok, set the scene, will continue these thoughts this week.

Cheers, Mark


Anonymous said...

i've given a lot of thought to this one and i'm very interesting in seeing how you resolve this discussion.

i don't think you ever want to show it down when you raise "light," and i think that has almost no value in disguising the times you raise with a good hand. once the blinds go up just a little more i'm going to start raising much more frequently with much more diverse holdings, so this is NOT THE STAGE IN THE GAME WHERE I WANT TO GENERATE MORE ACTION.

i will only raise KJ or A5 etc in a situation where ATC will do (because i'm so unlikely to get action, and i don't want action besides).

and of course that begs the question, why not ATC then?

obviously you've hit on this question and some possible answers. i think if we hit with one of these hands and end up having to show it down, it's going to destroy our image if we show down 72, whereas the vast majority of players will understand that we would raise, say, KJ on the button.

that's the key for me, is that not only does KJ have better value in a showdown--even though we show it down EXTREMELY rarely--than 85. and once we show down 85, we've really ruined all of the increased FE generated by our "tight" image that we so carefully cultivated for the first several levels of the sng.

i love your blog, sir.

-parsifals (Cardplayer, 67s)

Littleacornman said...

I would be more likely to raise here with a KJ type hand if I'd been tight, and I knew the sb and bb were winners, and would have a tighter calling range.I'd probably still go 4-5bb and would only expect action if they wake up with a monster.

I agree with parsifals comment re protecting your image.ATC is for later when required.

Another great post Mark.

Poker-Speak said...

The strength of your hand does matter, but not because of the usual reasons.

You have to look at who is in the blinds, and how often they defend. If they are defenders, iwould probably not raise the KJs there because the blinds aren't worth enough yet, and your 18 BB's can easily turn into 9 BB's if you get check-raised or bet into when you flop nothing.

Non-habitual defenders in the blinds, I will raise hands that if I do get called, actually have a chance of hitting like med suited connectors, big suited cards; and I would be less likely to raise a hand like a K9 or an A7, because if they don't defend a lot, you could be easily dominated when called if you are raising with those.