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Old 11-28-2015, 02:03 PM   #1
paratrooper99
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Bet Sizing for Dummies.

Throughout my journey as a poker player, I have experimented with different raise sizes and after 10 years I am still experimenting. I look at poker as an ever changing dynamic of information and I try to assess as much info as possible and make the best decision, but many times I fail.

I have been studying the sticky's and PAHWM's a ton lately and it seems a lot of issues come up with limping/raising med pp/Value SC and Suited broadways in mid/late position over limpers. Everyone has a different opinion on sizing as well.

So here is my question for you guys.

1/2 Live Table is limp/call happy up to $15 preflop. Over that, you can thin the field to maybe 3 Villains.

4 Limpers Hero has 99, OTB should you

1. Limp
2. Raise to $7
3. Raise to $15
4. Raise to $25

Please assume all the information given is fact and give your reasoning.

Thanks for helping.
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Old 11-28-2015, 02:31 PM   #2
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Re: Bet Sizing for Dummies.

Raise to 15>Raise to 7>limp>Raise to 25 IMO.

If their limp calling range is the same as their limping range at essentially top 50% of hands and you stove it and see how 99 does against that range. Then add players. Calculate pot size relative to players. You'll find that while you're less likely to win the absolute pot value with more players, the value of the pot increases enough with each additional player to more than offset this. In fact, it's actually more profitable (assuming you play perfectly) to play AA 9-ways to the flop than it is HU. This is exactly the same situation. You want people to call you. You love it. You simply say 'thanks for adding to the dead money' (WARNING: do not actually say this out loud). The difference between this and AA is that people will limp/call with hands better than 99 at 1/2 nl (I've seen it done with AA plenty). So where this now deviates from AA (before there were no stronger hands, now there can be) we don't want to bloat the pot and valueown ourselves. Still. We likely have the best hand.

So in effect you want to raise to an amount that will increase the value of the pot as much as possible whilst not folding out any limpers and not exposing yourself to any reraises from better hands, then set mine the **** out of it. The trick to this plan is you have to have the discipline to see that 15$ go 8 out of 9 times when you miss. Once you hit some absolute value (I agree it's usually anything more than 15$ at 1/2) people start to fold their trash, why let them make this correction? All raising 25$ does is allow you to pick up the limps a lot (8$+3$ = 11$) and allow you to be reraised or called by better hands.
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Old 11-28-2015, 02:35 PM   #3
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Re: Bet Sizing for Dummies.

Best way to solve pre-flop is to play better post-flop.
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Old 11-28-2015, 02:36 PM   #4
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Re: Bet Sizing for Dummies.

Completely unanswerable without effective stack sizes, and villain tendencies post flop.
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Old 11-28-2015, 02:37 PM   #5
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Re: Bet Sizing for Dummies.

$25.

1. we're not getting exploited by doing this (how would we be exploited? by l/rr'ing a balanced range. generally l/rr in EP is kk+ and we can comfortably fold. if players are too unbalanced the other way [wouldn't assume, but maybe you make a big raise from the button often enough and someone gets fed up] you can 4b shove 99.)
2. winning $11 outright is a desirable outcome
3. we have plenty of equity against a calling range + position (we expect to make money when called)

$15 and $7 should still be profitable too -- you have position and likely the best hand. Just not as profitable.

Not an option but I'd rather $20.
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Old 11-28-2015, 02:44 PM   #6
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Re: Bet Sizing for Dummies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DK Barrel View Post
$15 and $7 should still be profitable too -- you have position and likely the best hand. Just not as profitable.

Not an option but I'd rather $20.
Your justification doesn't make sense. First you say 25$ is best with 15 and 7 being less profitable (given all those reasons) then you say make it *less* than 25 at 20$. With your justifications why don't we just jam our stack for 200$? More profit right? 11$ is good profit right?
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Old 11-28-2015, 02:50 PM   #7
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Re: Bet Sizing for Dummies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garick View Post
Completely unanswerable without effective stack sizes, and villain tendencies post flop.
100BB effective.

Typical 1/2 Casino table. Maybe 1 good reg. 2 Bad regs (loose passive)
All rest tourist. loose passive/spew artists.
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Old 11-28-2015, 02:53 PM   #8
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Re: Bet Sizing for Dummies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sneaky Pete View Post
Best way to solve pre-flop is to play better post-flop.
At live low stakes, pre-flop is a huge leak. The games are not very deep. Post-flop abilities help but it is not the end all be all.
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Old 11-28-2015, 03:01 PM   #9
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Re: Bet Sizing for Dummies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stupidbanana View Post
Your justification doesn't make sense. First you say 25$ is best with 15 and 7 being less profitable (given all those reasons) then you say make it *less* than 25 at 20$. With your justifications why don't we just jam our stack for 200$? More profit right? 11$ is good profit right?
Winning $11 outright is one good outcome but the best outcome is to be in a position where we can make more money postflop (either getting value from worse or getting opponents to fold equity after putting in a preflop call.)

I think with 99 we do want to "thin the field" for that reason.

Shoving 100bb preflop will actually be +EV too. But obviously it's not the best choice.
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Old 11-28-2015, 03:02 PM   #10
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Re: Bet Sizing for Dummies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stupidbanana View Post
Raise to 15>Raise to 7>limp>Raise to 25 IMO.

If their limp calling range is the same as their limping range at essentially top 50% of hands and you stove it and see how 99 does against that range. Then add players. Calculate pot size relative to players. You'll find that while you're less likely to win the absolute pot value with more players, the value of the pot increases enough with each additional player to more than offset this. In fact, it's actually more profitable (assuming you play perfectly) to play AA 9-ways to the flop than it is HU. This is exactly the same situation. You want people to call you. You love it. You simply say 'thanks for adding to the dead money' (WARNING: do not actually say this out loud). The difference between this and AA is that people will limp/call with hands better than 99 at 1/2 nl (I've seen it done with AA plenty). So where this now deviates from AA (before there were no stronger hands, now there can be) we don't want to bloat the pot and valueown ourselves. Still. We likely have the best hand.

So in effect you want to raise to an amount that will increase the value of the pot as much as possible whilst not folding out any limpers and not exposing yourself to any reraises from better hands, then set mine the **** out of it. The trick to this plan is you have to have the discipline to see that 15$ go 8 out of 9 times when you miss. Once you hit some absolute value (I agree it's usually anything more than 15$ at 1/2) people start to fold their trash, why let them make this correction? All raising 25$ does is allow you to pick up the limps a lot (8$+3$ = 11$) and allow you to be reraised or called by better hands.
I like your reasoning and thanks for putting the thought into your response.
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Old 11-28-2015, 03:02 PM   #11
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Re: Bet Sizing for Dummies.

Lets move this along a bit.
3 different situations

$25 and SB/BB fold 2 limpers call. Pot size is $78/ 3 players

$15 and SB/BB/4 limpers call. Pot size is $105/ 7 players

$7 and SB/BB/4 limpers call. Pot size is $49/ 7 players

With $200 starting stack, which would you prefer OTB?
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Old 11-28-2015, 03:16 PM   #12
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Re: Bet Sizing for Dummies.

When it goes 7 ways we are purely setmining. Which is not actually that profitable.

Suppose when we flop a set we are guaranteed to stack off against an opponent who has 8% equity on average (sometimes we will be crushing 1p, sometimes we will just be doing really well against a draw. Sometimes we will be drawing to a boat lol. Figure may be off, I admit I pulled it out of my ass, I think it's low if anything.) Suppose we check-fold all other times.

One in 8.3 times our EV is .92*(2 * stack + pot) - stack - preflop.
The rest of the time our EV is -preflop.

For the $15 example that's .92*475-200 = +237 when we hit and -15 when we don't. That gives us an EV of +12 per hand. (Remember, taking it down preflop would have been +11.)

For the $7 example it's .92*435-200 = +200 when we hit and -7 when we don't. Which works out to +15 per hand.

I didn't account for the times a third player puts money in dead or even stacks off, so that's going to boost the EV a little bit, but not much -- remember you're not winning the pot outright you just have a boatload of equity, and you have to divide it by 8.3 since you only hit a set that often and you're check-folding when you don't.
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Old 11-28-2015, 03:27 PM   #13
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Re: Bet Sizing for Dummies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DK Barrel View Post
I think with 99 we do want to "thin the field" for that reason.
Nope. We don't want to 'thin the field', we want to keep all that J6s, A8o, 23s in there. We make more money postflop by taking A8o to valuetown, by letting J6s chase his FD, 23s her GSSD, not by folding out those hands. Then, a small part of the time, when J6s makes his FD, we convince him it's not the NFD and get lay downs from bigger hands. This is how to dominate weak tight players that limp call too wide.

As you increase the bet size your likelihood of picking up only 11$ increases dramatically (past 15 or 20$ IMO) while your likelihood of being dominated to the flop also increases. At the extreme you're only winning pots you take down pre or flop a set.

So the formula is something like z = 11x + $$(0.11y) - $$(0.89y); and x+y = 1

You pick up 11 x% of the time, you see a flop y%, and you flop a set 11% of y. Your profit is z. It's not a linear relation, ie. there is a maximum and therefore optimal bet size.
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Old 11-28-2015, 03:29 PM   #14
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Re: Bet Sizing for Dummies.

I think expecting to get called by gutshots and third pair and also fold out flushes is way too optimistic.
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Old 11-28-2015, 03:33 PM   #15
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Re: Bet Sizing for Dummies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DK Barrel View Post
When it goes 7 ways we are purely setmining. Which is not actually that profitable.

Suppose when we flop a set we are guaranteed to stack off against an opponent who has 8% equity on average (sometimes we will be crushing 1p, sometimes we will just be doing really well against a draw. Sometimes we will be drawing to a boat lol. Figure may be off, I admit I pulled it out of my ass, I think it's low if anything.) Suppose we check-fold all other times.

One in 8.3 times our EV is .92*(2 * stack + pot) - stack - preflop.
The rest of the time our EV is -preflop.

For the $15 example that's .92*475-200 = +237 when we hit and -15 when we don't. That gives us an EV of +12 per hand. (Remember, taking it down preflop would have been +11.)

For the $7 example it's .92*435-200 = +200 when we hit and -7 when we don't. Which works out to +15 per hand.

I didn't account for the times a third player puts money in dead or even stacks off, so that's going to boost the EV a little bit, but not much -- remember you're not winning the pot outright you just have a boatload of equity, and you have to divide it by 8.3 since you only hit a set that often and you're check-folding when you don't.
I think what you're getting at (not sure of your numbers) is that it's FAR EASIER to play a hand HU than it is MW - because we'll be winning more often. And so yes to some extent I agree - in a human world where people don't play perfectly this may in fact be better than taking it MW but then you have to quantify how much error is associated in your play in a MW pot. But based purely on the math, you'll win more money by getting more money in when you're ahead, and you're ahead 98% of the time with 99 preflop and coin tossing with the suited overcards.
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Old 11-28-2015, 03:39 PM   #16
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Re: Bet Sizing for Dummies.

The clearly incorrect answers are raise to 7 and raise to 15.

There are other factors needed to decide between limp and raise to 25.
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Old 11-28-2015, 03:53 PM   #17
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Re: Bet Sizing for Dummies.

@DK Barrel
I am trying to understand your math, but this dummy just doesn't get it.

Where am I going wrong here?:

I understand you're saying we get V's $200 stack when we flop a set & that the pot [prior to the flop] is $75

If it goes 7 ways for $15 wouldn't that be $15 * 6 = $90? If we're not counting our money.

12% of the time we'll flop a set [or better] & stack off 1 player for the remainder of his $200 which is $185.00, so the total winnings is $275.00

$275 * .12 = $33.00

88% of the time we miss & fold: $15.00 * .88 = $13.20

Net profit = $19.80.
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Old 11-28-2015, 03:59 PM   #18
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Re: Bet Sizing for Dummies.

My standard sizing here after 4 limps would be raise to $18-20, but obviously depends a lot on what kinds of hands villains are limp/calling and how they play postflop. I could see arguments for limping behind at certain tables or raising much larger as well.
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Old 11-28-2015, 04:05 PM   #19
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Re: Bet Sizing for Dummies.

I'm the dummy that doesn't get it, I did make a mistake.

Quote:
One in 8.3 times our EV is .92*(2 * stack + pot) - stack - preflop.
The rest of the time our EV is -preflop.
.92*(2*185 + 105) - 185 - 15
.92*475 - 200
=$237 when we hit, -$15 when we don't

To figure out per hand we multiply -15 by 7.3, add 237 (times 1), and divide that total by 8.3. Which gives +15.36 per hand.

Redoing it for $7 preflop I get +17.94.

The point I was trying to get to was that even though we think of set mining as raking in a big sexy pot with ease, in the end it still comes down to only a few dollars per hand profit, and something as unsexy as raising pre, getting one caller some of the time, realizing your equity with position and getting a little bit of value can be more profitable even if you're just trading $80 pots.
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Old 11-28-2015, 04:52 PM   #20
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Re: Bet Sizing for Dummies.

What are you trying to achieve in this spot? It all depends on players at the table and how you can play against them post flop.

I'll start with the fact that if you are trying to thin the field you reckon 7 and 15 will not work and If you are only going to set mine you might as well just limp.
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Old 11-28-2015, 05:37 PM   #21
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Re: Bet Sizing for Dummies.

If we raise to $25, we eliminate just one villain and have to play a bloated pot with a SPR of 2 (100 BB stacks). There's no room the maneuver and any TP hand is justified to just shove it in. With 3 villains, someone will have a better hand than 99 on the flop over 70% of the time.

Given these facts, it is a limp AINEC.

If I could get it to HU, I like raising better.
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Old 11-28-2015, 05:51 PM   #22
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Re: Bet Sizing for Dummies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paratrooper99 View Post
At live low stakes, pre-flop is a huge leak. The games are not very deep. Post-flop abilities help but it is not the end all be all.
Actually it is.

If you're a decent post-flop player, you can probably limp an entire range pre and be profitable.
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Old 11-28-2015, 05:55 PM   #23
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Re: Bet Sizing for Dummies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by venice10 View Post
If we raise to $25, we eliminate just one villain and have to play a bloated pot with a SPR of 2 (100 BB stacks). There's no room the maneuver and any TP hand is justified to just shove it in. With 3 villains, someone will have a better hand than 99 on the flop over 70% of the time.

Given these facts, it is a limp AINEC.

If I could get it to HU, I like raising better.
Venice, Thanks for chiming in here. This is the advice that I have noticed by some really good live players. I know it sounds absurd and counter intuitive to our aggro nature, but it seems that limping can be the optimal play.

I think that in these exact situations, we can also make a solid profit from a small raise to $5 or $7.
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Old 11-28-2015, 05:57 PM   #24
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Re: Bet Sizing for Dummies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sneaky Pete View Post
Actually it is.

If you're a decent post-flop player, you can probably limp an entire range pre and be profitable.
Not looking to be profitable. Looking to max win rate. Pre-flop actions have an obvious correlation so simply dismissing it doesn't accomplish anything.
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Old 11-28-2015, 05:58 PM   #25
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Re: Bet Sizing for Dummies.

Lets change it up one last time and see where this goes.

Lets say your only options are

1. Limping
2. Raising to $7.

Which is better and why?
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