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Old 03-06-2017, 02:26 PM   #1
Riverbender
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Question High hand half hour bonus. When should it effect my play

I regularly play 2/4 limit. The casino I play at does fairly regular high hand prices. You need at least boat to qualify for the high hand. Sometimes the prize is as little as $100 every hour. I am going to be playing soon where the prize is $200 every 15 min.

I understand a lot of people play extra loose and don't like to raise when there is a nice high hand prize.

What I am wondering is pre-flop how much should these prizes effect my gameplay when I have something like 2/2 or 5/5 in the hole? Loose play, in general, makes pocket pairs more valuable since hitting a third results in a large pot than it might otherwise. Also if I am going for a boat or four of a kind it is hard to get that prize without pockets pair.

So my question is: going into a night where there is $200 being given out every 15 min how should I play a pocket pair?

Thanks for your thoughts

Riverbender
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Old 03-06-2017, 03:32 PM   #2
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Re: High hand half hour bonus. When should it effect my play

Welcome to the micros.

So you're saying that there are a lot of 8 way limped pots, with people not raising premium hands due to the HH bonus? People are limping AJs, JJ, and stuff like that, so they don't rock the boat?

Start here. Download equilab. Put in what you think people are limping, so if you think it is 6 ways, show the hands that they have. To overlimp (or raise) on the button, you could put in your 5 limpers with that range. Then, try out some hands. If they'll still raise AA, take that out of their range. (whatever they raise, they don't have b/c they limped). We'll assume the BB gets <random>. Maybe the SB as well. If it goes off 7 ways, what equity is breakeven? Are there some hands you're limping that are wildly profitable?

Next, you could try the same sim as UTG. If the game is literally never raised without QQ+, EP limping could be correct. (There are good reasons to not think about this, but let's say you do.) Now we take the villain ranges from before and put the premiums back in. Do you know why? Against these slightly better ranges, do some hands become less profitable? I'd be willing to take barely enough equity playing with the BTN. UTG, I want more.
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So my question is: going into a night where there is $200 being given out every 15 min how should I play a pocket pair?
If the game is soft enough, playing every PP could be close to correct anyway. Not a good way to learn about poker, but either OK to play or a tiny bit bad. Let's say you play 77+ in every position, already. Does playing 22-66 increase your chances of hitting the $200 that much? I doubt it. You're getting a tiny bit of extra to play a hand that you used to fold in spots. Quads and straight flushes are hard to hit.

If you understand that your loose opponents are now going to play even worse and make extra profit on that? The game could be much more profitable. Especially if they play poor holdings preflop, flop, and maybe turn and then fold when they "missed the $200". If the table plays poorly in the proper manner, becoming a good LAG could be really profitable. As the pots get huge, the rake matters less.
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Old 03-07-2017, 03:11 AM   #3
Aaron W.
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Re: High hand half hour bonus. When should it effect my play

* About 6% hands, you're going to get a pocket pair.
* When you hold a pocket pair, you flop a set about 11% of the time and a boat/quads 1% of the time.
* When you flop a set, you have a boat/quads by the river about 33% of the time.

How often does this happen?

Flop boat/quads: 6% * 1% = 0.06% of hands
Flop set, get boat/quads by river: 6% * 11% * 33% = 0.22% of hands

In total, this happens 0.28% of the time.

If you play 15 hands/hour (maybe a little optimistic for loose passive games), then from the extremely optimistic point of view (we haven't even talked about whether your high hand is the best high hand), you expect to benefit from this 0.042 times per hour.

I just don't think it happens often enough to care. You're probably playing most of those pocket pairs anyway (given that the rest of the table is playing loose), and the frequency with which you might be making a preflop mistake by playing an extra pocket pair here and there is just too small. So, sure. Go for it. It basically doesn't matter.

Go find other poker things to focus your time and intellectual energy on worrying about. You'll get a much better ROI on that effort compared to wondering about the high hand jackpot.
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Old 03-07-2017, 10:17 AM   #4
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Re: High hand half hour bonus. When should it effect my play

Hi Aaron,

I think your numbers are a bit misleading, though certainly correct in the way you're presenting them. Shouldn't we be concerned with how often we have three of a kind or a straight flushdraw on the flop or turn? These are the situations that lend us to thinking about the promotion and potentially changing our strategy; they occur more often than the times we actually form a straight flush or four of a kind.
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Old 03-07-2017, 10:18 AM   #5
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Re: High hand half hour bonus. When should it effect my play

Thanks for the thoughts. So it isn't really worth going for the high hands but since there is likely to be looser play than usually it may be worth playing pairs a little more anyway. Are there any common mistakes people make when playing for the high hand that I might be able to exploit?
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Old 03-07-2017, 10:25 AM   #6
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Re: High hand half hour bonus. When should it effect my play

Yes. Study standard preflop ranges. Note which hands that they play that they should fold. Do they raise them? Do they limp them? If they raise them, then you can 3 bet wider. If they limp them, you can raise them wider and exploitively fold when they actually do raise. This exercise of studying when to raise or reraise preflop will benefit your poker game not just for the promotion but forever.
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Old 03-07-2017, 10:30 AM   #7
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Re: High hand half hour bonus. When should it effect my play

How much is what you are saying apply to Limit? You mentioned 3 betting.
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Old 03-07-2017, 10:40 AM   #8
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Re: High hand half hour bonus. When should it effect my play

We still call it 3 betting.

For example:

I see you raise preflop with 97s from middle position. I'm gonna 3 bet wider than I would vs a standard tag that would fold that hand.

I see you limp first in preflop with 54s from middle position. I think this is absolutely terrible so I'm gonna raise you in future hands with many hands that I would not raise vs a tighter player. Also, when you actually pick up a good hand and raise preflop, I'm gonna fold some hands that I would consider standard 3 bets vs standard tag opponents.

I see you coldcall first in preflop after a raise. I think this is really bad limit holdem poker so I'm gonna 3 bet more than I would vs just the original raiser. Your mistake is benefiting the rest of the table. I'll even 3 bet some hands that are an underdog to the original raiser's range because of your mistake.
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Old 03-07-2017, 10:50 AM   #9
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Re: High hand half hour bonus. When should it effect my play

I am still a bit confused about the terminology here. Is there a reference you would recommend so I can better understand the term 3 bet in limit?
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Old 03-07-2017, 10:57 AM   #10
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Re: High hand half hour bonus. When should it effect my play

Reraising after someone has opened the pot for a raise = 3 betting just like in no limit holdem.
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Old 03-07-2017, 11:41 AM   #11
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Re: High hand half hour bonus. When should it effect my play

Now I get it sorry I thought you were referring to 3x bb.
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Old 03-07-2017, 12:09 PM   #12
Aaron W.
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Re: High hand half hour bonus. When should it effect my play

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Originally Posted by Bob148 View Post
Hi Aaron,

I think your numbers are a bit misleading, though certainly correct in the way you're presenting them. Shouldn't we be concerned with how often we have three of a kind or a straight flushdraw on the flop or turn?
Three of a kind? Given that I'm assuming you're starting with a pocket pair, I'm not sure what you mean by that.

And you don't flop that many straight flush draws. If you hold a hand like 77, you would need to have the flop come exactly 654, 865, 986, or T98 monotone in exactly one of two suits.

If you're looking at straight flush draws on the turn, you're right that there will be more of those. But I'm not sure how many you think there are, and how often you get past the flop to have a shot at those. But sure. Give yourself something like an extra half of a percent. It really doesn't change anything.

Quote:
These are the situations that lend us to thinking about the promotion and potentially changing our strategy; they occur more often than the times we actually form a straight flush or four of a kind.
I do not believe that such circumstances are frequent enough to lead one to make a significant change in the baseline strategy.
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Old 03-07-2017, 12:12 PM   #13
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Re: High hand half hour bonus. When should it effect my play

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Originally Posted by Riverbender View Post
Thanks for the thoughts. So it isn't really worth going for the high hands but since there is likely to be looser play than usually it may be worth playing pairs a little more anyway. Are there any common mistakes people make when playing for the high hand that I might be able to exploit?
Their mistake is probably don't play either preflop or postflop well. These are both exploitable.

* Raise your good hands preflop, including multiway hands in multiway pots.
* Bet/raise your made good hands on the flop.
* Bet/raise your made good hands on the turn.
* Bet/raise your made good hands on the river.
* Raise flush draws for value on the flop if you have 3 or more opponents.
* Don't bluff into a large field.
* Be patient.
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Old 03-07-2017, 12:38 PM   #14
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Re: High hand half hour bonus. When should it effect my play

Yeah if you're looking exclusively at pocket pairs then I agree. I also agree that exploiting others that are chasing the promo with bad preflop play trumps changing anything in our own preflop play regarding the profitability of suited connectors due to the promo.

However, I do think that suited connectors deserve some attention in this thread because of the possibility of making a straight flush draw. For example, if I correctly get into a pot with 65s and end up with an open ended straight flush draw on the turn, yet the board already allows for a made flush, I need to consider the promo. So if the promo is 200 bucks and I'm facing two bets cold with one card to come, I can count my two outs and divide by 46 = ~23:1. The promo is laying 25:1, so I can call in a spot that might be a fold without a promo.
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Old 03-07-2017, 05:53 PM   #15
Aaron W.
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Re: High hand half hour bonus. When should it effect my play

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Originally Posted by Bob148 View Post
Yeah if you're looking exclusively at pocket pairs then I agree. I also agree that exploiting others that are chasing the promo with bad preflop play trumps changing anything in our own preflop play regarding the profitability of suited connectors due to the promo.

However, I do think that suited connectors deserve some attention in this thread because of the possibility of making a straight flush draw. For example, if I correctly get into a pot with 65s and end up with an open ended straight flush draw on the turn, yet the board already allows for a made flush, I need to consider the promo. So if the promo is 200 bucks and I'm facing two bets cold with one card to come, I can count my two outs and divide by 46 = ~23:1. The promo is laying 25:1, so I can call in a spot that might be a fold without a promo.
If a decision is close postflop *AND* you are drawing to a (probably winning) high hand, you are probably not making a mistake by allowing that to impact your decision. I would argue, however, that thinking about the value of a high hand jackpot during preflop play as a nudge to play more loosely than the table conditions would otherwise suggest is probably a significant error.
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Old 03-07-2017, 07:18 PM   #16
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Re: High hand half hour bonus. When should it effect my play

I agree with all of that.

I feel like posting some potential ranges for inspection; assume standard bad loose passive opponents that limp and standard overaggressive lags that raise preflop as well as tight blinds; yeah I know it's like the best seat ever:

a) cutoff limps and I raise this range on the button: 22+, Axs+, A2o+, K2s, K6o+, Q2s+, Q9o+, J7s, JTo+, T8s, T9o+, 97s, 86s, 76s. This is definitely too loose without tight players in the blind. Add loose passive blinds and I tighten up to this range: 44+, Axs+, A7o+, K2s+, K9o+, Q6s+, QTo+, J8s+, T8s+, 97s, 87s, but I widen my limping range with the hands I would otherwise raise.

b) cutoff raises, I 3 bet this range on the button: 44+, Axs+, A7o+, K8s+, K9o+, Q9s+, QJo, J9s+, T9s. This is definitely too loose without tight players in the blind. Add loose passive blinds and I tighten up to this range: 55+, A5s+, A8o+, K9s+, KJo+, QJs, JTs. I don't have a calling range in either case of (b).

This is not based on a database. It's just what I've arrived at after a couple years of poker.

Of course, if the opener is tight then I tighten up. If he's really really loose, then I 3 bet even more. These are just my baseline ranges from which I deviate based on reads. When I see someone raise preflop, I tentatively peg them as loose aggressive. When I see someone limp preflop, I tentatively peg them as loose passive. This is because with every action your opponents reveal what kind of player they are.

Reminds me of a story I heard on here once:

"I was gamestarting limit holdem online and someone sits with me. First hand he limps button with AA and scoops a big pot. Then he goes on to play like an expert the rest of the match. So I call my friend and say "are we playing heads up right now?" and he says "yeah.""

lmao.
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