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Old 04-14-2018, 09:57 PM   #1
YoungManCoffee
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2/5NL live - table with lots of 3bets preflop

Sorry if this question is really basic or otherwise not specific enough but I'd be really interested in getting some feedback from the 2+2 crowd.


INTRO:

I've been playing NLHE for about 13 years, never higher than 1/3. Finally got my roll, results, and study to the point that I wanted to take a shot at 2/5 (still not truly rolled for it, just wanted to finally try it). So, this week I played 2/5 at the Bellagio for my first time ever playing those stakes.

Finished essentially breakeven (+10BB) after a 5 hour session, and came away fascinated with how differently this table played than any other I'd ever sat at.

--

QUESTION:

The amount of 3-betting preflop at this table was so astronomically higher than any other game I've ever played, it really threw me for a loop. And I'm not talking about seeming LAGs or maniacs - these were mostly solid players who were obviously comfortable playing postflop. In my usual 1/2 game, 3bet pre is reasonably rare and almost always a straightforward value raise.

My question is, what is the thinking behind a high 3-bet frequency pre in this game? Is it to take the lead in the hand post-flop? Certainly it wasn't always for value, that much I'm sure of.

I was only 3-betting pre with JJ+ and AK/AQ, and the reason in my mind was strictly for value. So, other than the obvious fold equity that comes with taking the hand down right then and there, why do we want to be 3-betting often pre in this game? I notice certain solid poker vloggers doing this a lot too, but I'd be curious to get more of the reasoning behind it and how I can mix this into my game the next time I play 2/5.

Thanks in advance for any insight!

Last edited by YoungManCoffee; 04-14-2018 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 04-14-2018, 10:22 PM   #2
momo_uk
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2/5NL live - table with lots of 3bets preflop

Very good question. It’s mainly to be balanced, difficult to play against and steal in good spots but interested to hear answers too.
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:39 AM   #3
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Re: 2/5NL live - table with lots of 3bets preflop

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Originally Posted by momo_uk View Post
Very good question. It’s mainly to be balanced, difficult to play against and steal in good spots but interested to hear answers too.
Agree with these reasons. I'll also say that while 2/5 is only 1 level above 1-2/1-3, in some places you'll find that there's a pretty stark skill difference between the two stakes, though I think that somewhat depends on whether anything larger than 2/5 runs with any consistency at your particular location.

Because of this, you're going to find a lot more players who are comfortable playing more bloated pots with a wider range of hands, and they feel that the larger the pots are the more mistakes they can force their opponent to make, and those mistakes will be much more costly as well. Plus as limping is less frequent and always coming in for a raise is commonplace at the game, the initial opens themselves aren't as indicative of a strong hand as it often is in a 1/2 game, and thus 3-bet bluffing becomes much more profitable.
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:54 AM   #4
Mr Spyutastic
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Re: 2/5NL live - table with lots of 3bets preflop

Not sure why there was more at your table specifically.
But generally I'd say the avg game has evolved where more aggressive pf play has become standard as players have gotten better overall.

Reasons I 3 bet other than for value are to take the initiative, isolate a poor player, balance range if I'm in a tougher game so I don't only have overpairs and AK.
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Old 04-15-2018, 04:25 AM   #5
YoungManCoffee
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Re: 2/5NL live - table with lots of 3bets preflop

These answers are really helpful so far, thanks guys.

I'm from LA, so my 1/2 games are ridiculously soft and I'm used to being able to exploit 5-6 other players at whatever table I'm at. But, this usually takes the form of just value-towning them, which doesn't require much 3-betting pre (in fact it tends to scare off all but the top of their range unless they are totally unaware of their surroundings).

In this 2/5 game, I remarked to my buddy that it felt a lot more like 9 people genuinely sitting around a table playing a game, versus my usual session which I am now beginning to realize is more bum-hunty than I initially was aware of. Like another poster said, the skill difference between the two games is so stark I almost feel like I've been missing out on a totally different dynamic of play.

Last edited by YoungManCoffee; 04-15-2018 at 04:31 AM.
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Old 04-15-2018, 05:05 AM   #6
YoungManCoffee
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Re: 2/5NL live - table with lots of 3bets preflop

I'll give an example of a 3-bet hand from my 2/5 session that totally baffled me.

I'm in the lojack with JJ, one limper to me so far from EP, I raise to 15. Folds to button, who 3-bets to 55. Limper folds, I call - I was still adjusting to the table at this point and my (effective) stack swung down to about 300 before the start of the hand, now sitting around 245 as we go to the flop with $122 in the middle.

Flop: Q84cc. I check, button bets $90.

I fully realize that he's c-betting most of his range here against me as the table definitely notices I'm on the tight-passive side for my first-ever adventure with 2/5. Folding seems weak here, but my other options don't feel great either. Calling leaves me with a whopping $150 behind and basically guarantees I'll need to get it in by the river anyway. A jam feels way out of line against his range which includes AA/KK, AQ/QK/QJ, and probably even Q10 against my exploitable ass.

I ended up folding.

So I guess that's an example where he was able to deny me equity on a later street because he 3-bet me (presumably) light preflop on account of my short stack and unbalanced range.
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:02 AM   #7
Petrucci
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Re: 2/5NL live - table with lots of 3bets preflop

Youre playing around $300 so pretty shortstacked? If so, the JJ hand is a pretty clear 4 bet jam at an active aggro 2/5 table. Youre way too short to flat the 55 3 bet OOP.

Also, 15 is too small of an open with 1 limper already in the pot-button could very well interpret this weak sizing as hand weakness and 3 betting you with a wide range on the button.

The more i think about it: slam dunk jam pre for 300.
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:26 AM   #8
johnnyBuz
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Re: 2/5NL live - table with lots of 3bets preflop

Your JJ hand is a perfect example why people 3! light. In a single raised pot, you would be x/f the best hand for a smaller amount of money, and now you are x/f the best hand for a larger amount of money.
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Old 04-15-2018, 08:40 AM   #9
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Re: 2/5NL live - table with lots of 3bets preflop

Why wouldn't it be value?

In a 1/2 game, lots of people won't even raise hands like JJ, or even AQ+. So if they raise, they already have a narrow range. In better games, people are raising relative value. They will be raising maybe the top 7% of hands in the UTG and in LP with no action may be raising 25% or more. Those are good raises because it is unlikely the remaining players to act will have a much better hand. So a 3bet with a 10% hand of a LP raise is a value raise.
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Old 04-15-2018, 09:20 AM   #10
Avaritia
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Re: 2/5NL live - table with lots of 3bets preflop

Firstly, when considering a stake jump, vegas has got to be the nut low to do so. Most 2/5 games are not as you describe. They are the same loose passive make-a-hand poker that you see at lower stakes.

To answer your very broad question of why people 3 bet, I'm going to give a very broad answer. It is because having initiative over-realizes equity and not having initiative under realizes equity. In your JJ example, you aren't fully realizing your equity (seeing turn/river and showing down) and villain is over realizing his (when he has AKo for example)

There are a lot of other feeder reasons (like the fact people open/call way too wide live, making 3betting hands like QJs very enticing), but having initiative is main reason.

Warning:

This idea is mostly moot in live poker, where 3bet pots can still go 3-5 ways. Here having initiative doesnt benefit you (you cant cbet bluff), and go back to make-a-hand poker. This however is the most profitable type of poker for those who dont try to force things.
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:22 AM   #11
MikeStarr
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Re: 2/5NL live - table with lots of 3bets preflop

If I find a table where 3 bets go 3-5 to the flop Im never leaving.
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:10 AM   #12
snowman
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Re: 2/5NL live - table with lots of 3bets preflop

Quote:
Originally Posted by YoungManCoffee View Post
I'll give an example of a 3-bet hand from my 2/5 session that totally baffled me.

I'm in the lojack with JJ, one limper to me so far from EP, I raise to 15. Folds to button, who 3-bets to 55. Limper folds, I call - I was still adjusting to the table at this point and my (effective) stack swung down to about 300 before the start of the hand, now sitting around 245 as we go to the flop with $122 in the middle.

Flop: Q84cc. I check, button bets $90.

I fully realize that he's c-betting most of his range here against me as the table definitely notices I'm on the tight-passive side for my first-ever adventure with 2/5. Folding seems weak here, but my other options don't feel great either. Calling leaves me with a whopping $150 behind and basically guarantees I'll need to get it in by the river anyway. A jam feels way out of line against his range which includes AA/KK, AQ/QK/QJ, and probably even Q10 against my exploitable ass.

I ended up folding.

So I guess that's an example where he was able to deny me equity on a later street because he 3-bet me (presumably) light preflop on account of my short stack and unbalanced range.
if you and others are raising to $15 with limpers already in you are inviting 3-bets with light holdings, your raise reeks of fear and the sharks are circling.
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:38 PM   #13
YoungManCoffee
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Re: 2/5NL live - table with lots of 3bets preflop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrucci View Post
Youre playing around $300 so pretty shortstacked? If so, the JJ hand is a pretty clear 4 bet jam at an active aggro 2/5 table. Youre way too short to flat the 55 3 bet OOP.
Damn, really? That feels super gamble-y to me even though I admit his range is wider than usual given his position, my short stack, and some probably obvious cues that I was playing higher than usual. We think that JJ is ahead of his range often enough to ship 300 pre? Bellagio 2/5 max buy-in is $500.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyBuz View Post
Your JJ hand is a perfect example why people 3! light. In a single raised pot, you would be x/f the best hand for a smaller amount of money, and now you are x/f the best hand for a larger amount of money.
Thanks, I hadn't thought about it in quite those terms before and it makes a lot of sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by venice10 View Post
Why wouldn't it be value?
For sure, I'm sure some of it was, I guess I just meant in the traditional 1/2 value sense - like you say, I guess it's more of a thin value thing. But to illustrate my point, these guys got in a 5-bet war preflop and ended up shipping ~$800 stacks into each other pre with TT vs. KJo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avaritia View Post
To answer your very broad question of why people 3 bet, I'm going to give a very broad answer. It is because having initiative over-realizes equity and not having initiative under realizes equity. In your JJ example, you aren't fully realizing your equity (seeing turn/river and showing down) and villain is over realizing his (when he has AKo for example)
Definitely helpful, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snowman View Post
if you and others are raising to $15 with limpers already in you are inviting 3-bets with light holdings, your raise reeks of fear and the sharks are circling.
Yeah my sizing was too small, I realize that now for sure. Thanks.
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:43 PM   #14
Petrucci
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Re: 2/5NL live - table with lots of 3bets preflop

Yeah sure, i am familiar with that Bellagio game and the buyin cap.


4 bet ship should be absolutely fine from the somewhat limited info you provided regarding how weak your open is with small sizing- and villain 3 betting on the button in an aggro lineup its a slamdunk to ship it in with your stack out of position.

I mean even against a pretty tight range of 1010+ and AQ/AK youre doing fine with JJ, and i would assume villain in this spot can be alot wider than that 3 betting a small open on the button.
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:49 PM   #15
YoungManCoffee
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Re: 2/5NL live - table with lots of 3bets preflop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrucci View Post
Yeah sure, i am familiar with that Bellagio game and the buyin cap.


4 bet ship should be absolutely fine from the somewhat limited info you provided regarding how weak your open is with small sizing- and villain 3 betting on the button in an aggro lineup its a slamdunk to ship it in with your stack out of position.

I mean even against a pretty tight range of 1010+ and AQ/AK youre doing fine with JJ, and i would assume villain in this spot can be alot wider than that 3 betting a small open on the button.
You're right, considering I was OOP and probably going to hate a decent amount of possible flops (plus the other factors you mentioned), I probably should have shipped. Thanks! Man I probably learned more from this one 2/5 session than my last 200 hours of 1/2.
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Old 04-15-2018, 04:01 PM   #16
Petrucci
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Re: 2/5NL live - table with lots of 3bets preflop

I know the feeling! Thats when you know you really can develope your game, when you play little bit bigger- or sit in a deep game with some other really good players. You get some new perspectives, new idead to adjustments++

Ive had many of those aha "eureka" moments since i started playing that i never forget.

One of them was during my first 2 years when i started live, ive sat in some incredibly deep homegames- and some nights 2 or 3 real whitesharks sat in the game (cashgame crushers with years and years of experience), so i was in for quite a ride at that time and learned so so much
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Old 04-15-2018, 05:29 PM   #17
adam levine
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Re: 2/5NL live - table with lots of 3bets preflop

A good start would be to deposit a couple hundred dollars online and play some .50-1 six max,the amount of three betting at these stakes will better prepare you a jump in stakes love.
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:02 AM   #18
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Re: 2/5NL live - table with lots of 3bets preflop

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeStarr View Post
If I find a table where 3 bets go 3-5 to the flop Im never leaving.
+1 - Yet I still hear players say they hate playing at tables like that because they can't put people on a hand.
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:08 AM   #19
Petrucci
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Re: 2/5NL live - table with lots of 3bets preflop

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Originally Posted by thin_slicing View Post
+1 - Yet I still hear players say they hate playing at tables like that because they can't put people on a hand.
Many nits/OMC/scared money/underrolled players dont like that kind of tables because of the skyhigh variance, and they are risk averse.
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