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Old 07-17-2021, 11:49 PM   #1
threebanger
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77 or AJs

All things being equal, if you are in early position which would you rather open raise with? Both or either is an acceptable answer as well. Please explain.
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Old 07-19-2021, 09:56 AM   #2
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Re: 77 or AJs

77. Set it or forget it, easy to play. AJs can get you in trouble if you don't hit your flush.
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Old 07-19-2021, 06:00 PM   #3
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Re: 77 or AJs

The straightforward answer is 77. But to dig deeper, if it's early in a tournament I'd likely fold both. Middle stages assuming I'm not all-in or fold mode, then I'd open with 77. AJs if it's a tight table but plan to c/f turn and river if I miss flop completely and my c-bet gets called.

5/6 handed or less I'm opening with both.

If I'm <~10 bb I'm likely shoving both.
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Old 07-19-2021, 07:01 PM   #4
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Re: 77 or AJs

It highly depends on our stack size and if there's an ante.
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Old 07-19-2021, 07:01 PM   #5
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Re: 77 or AJs

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Originally Posted by valdy34 View Post
The straightforward answer is 77. But to dig deeper, if it's early in a tournament I'd likely fold both. Middle stages assuming I'm not all-in or fold mode, then I'd open with 77. AJs if it's a tight table but plan to c/f turn and river if I miss flop completely and my c-bet gets called.

5/6 handed or less I'm opening with both.

If I'm <~10 bb I'm likely shoving both.
You should open less hands on shorter handed tables due to their being less antes.
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Old 07-20-2021, 03:31 PM   #6
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Re: 77 or AJs

Its easier to realize your equity with AJs compared to 77. AJs makes gutshots and fds and strong top pairs that get to see turns and rivers.

With 77 a lot of boards force you to play more passively if you dont have a set so you give more free cards and get bluffed off the best hand more often.

On a 20-40bb stack I would rather have AJs.


When we get deeper I consider them to be basically equal. Maybe a slight edge to 77 because of set v set potential v smaller pairs.
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Old 07-20-2021, 03:43 PM   #7
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Re: 77 or AJs

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Originally Posted by ledn View Post
Its easier to realize your equity with AJs compared to 77. AJs makes gutshots and fds and strong top pairs that get to see turns and rivers.

With 77 a lot of boards force you to play more passively if you dont have a set so you give more free cards and get bluffed off the best hand more often.

On a 20-40bb stack I would rather have AJs.


When we get deeper I consider them to be basically equal. Maybe a slight edge to 77 because of set v set potential v smaller pairs.
Probably obvious, but I’d also say they’re about equal at shorter stacks. At 10BB or less you are probably just open shoving either one. Although you theoretically should be dominated more often with 77, depending on the shove calling range of the population. If it’s TT+ for pairs, that’s 30 combos vs. 24 available AK and AQ combos. A looser range of pairs would obviously cause 77 to be dominated more.

Last edited by stremba70; 07-20-2021 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 07-20-2021, 03:57 PM   #8
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Re: 77 or AJs

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Originally Posted by ledn View Post
Its easier to realize your equity with AJs compared to 77. AJs makes gutshots and fds and strong top pairs that get to see turns and rivers.

With 77 a lot of boards force you to play more passively if you dont have a set so you give more free cards and get bluffed off the best hand more often.
The risk of being out of position when opening from early position makes it much harder to realize your equity with AJs. Much harder to play draws from OOP.

77 also carries with it virtually no risk, except for those rare instances where you get a super low flop. AJs is higher risk.
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Old 07-21-2021, 09:15 AM   #9
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Re: 77 or AJs

Interesting thread.
You seem to all agree that it's ok to fold these hands early game.
Valdy does fold both.

I raise all the PPs without thinking down to 55 at least, and many many Axs.
At a 8-max table I'd open every PP UTG.

I mean when 100BB+ deep, we're looking for sets and flushes to win 200BB pots, right ?
EG is the moment when we face splashy villains who are ready to play a 200BB pot with TPTK...
I'd rather fold AQo than 77 (I'd raise both, but you get the idea).

Am I totally missing something ?
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Old 07-23-2021, 03:35 AM   #10
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Re: 77 or AJs

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Interesting thread.
You seem to all agree that it's ok to fold these hands early game.
Valdy does fold both.

I raise all the PPs without thinking down to 55 at least, and many many Axs.
At a 8-max table I'd open every PP UTG.

I mean when 100BB+ deep, we're looking for sets and flushes to win 200BB pots, right ?
EG is the moment when we face splashy villains who are ready to play a 200BB pot with TPTK...
I'd rather fold AQo than 77 (I'd raise both, but you get the idea).

Am I totally missing something ?
I'm in the same boat as you I'm opening these two hands 100% of the time when deep regardless of position.
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Old 07-29-2021, 12:47 PM   #11
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Re: 77 or AJs

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Originally Posted by killer_kill View Post
You should open less hands on shorter handed tables due to their being less antes.
I highly disagree. Open more hands short-handed, not less. Hands become more valuable as there are less hands out against them, plus the blinds are coming around faster.
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Old 07-29-2021, 03:55 PM   #12
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Re: 77 or AJs

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I highly disagree. Open more hands short-handed, not less. Hands become more valuable as there are less hands out against them, plus the blinds are coming around faster.
You end up opening more in the aggregate, but not by position. Your btn, co, hj, and lj opening ranges are the same. Its just 6max doesn't have the early positions where you can play tight from, and you more often you are in late position spots where ranges are naturally wider.

Theres the same number of hands against you (5) whether you are opening utg in a 6max game or from the LJ in a full ring game. Maybe you want to argue thats there more likely to be better cards behind in a full ring after 3 people folded their likely bad hands, but in ep most hands are bad and they are folding plenty of trash Ax and other face cards. That effect is pretty negligible and probably is balanced out by having less antes in the middle to play for.

Opening 55% of hands on the button in full ring, but 65% in 6max is a major leak, disregarding other factors like the stacks and tendencies of the blinds.

Last edited by ledn; 07-29-2021 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 07-29-2021, 07:39 PM   #13
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Re: 77 or AJs

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Originally Posted by ledn View Post
You end up opening more in the aggregate, but not by position. Your btn, co, hj, and lj opening ranges are the same. Its just 6max doesn't have the early positions where you can play tight from, and you more often you are in late position spots where ranges are naturally wider.

Theres the same number of hands against you (5) whether you are opening utg in a 6max game or from the LJ in a full ring game. Maybe you want to argue thats there more likely to be better cards behind in a full ring after 3 people folded their likely bad hands, but in ep most hands are bad and they are folding plenty of trash Ax and other face cards. That effect is pretty negligible and probably is balanced out by having less antes in the middle to play for.

Opening 55% of hands on the button in full ring, but 65% in 6max is a major leak, disregarding other factors like the stacks and tendencies of the blinds.
So take it to the extreme. 3 handed, do you only play the same hands as the button that you'd play on the button at a full table? I hope your answer is no. The less players that are at the table, the less time you have before the blinds hit you, so the more aggressive you need to be in hand selection. This doesn't have to be a major shift, but hands that were not good opens 9 handed in MP like KJo become perfectly acceptable opens 1st to act 6 handed.
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:28 PM   #14
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Re: 77 or AJs

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Originally Posted by Phantomshark View Post
I highly disagree. Open more hands short-handed, not less. Hands become more valuable as there are less hands out against them, plus the blinds are coming around faster.
This is from coaching sites, not from me postulating a theory. Think of it in the inverse rather. Let's say you're 9 or 6 handed and it folds to your button. The ante is 10% (or whatever %). So do you want to steal more on the 6 handed table or the 9 handed one on the button? Let's assume all factors are the same on both (hud stats/stacks etc).
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:39 PM   #15
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Re: 77 or AJs

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Originally Posted by killer_kill View Post
This is from coaching sites, not from me postulating a theory. Think of it in the inverse rather. Let's say you're 9 or 6 handed and it folds to your button. The ante is 10% (or whatever %). So do you want to steal more on the 6 handed table or the 9 handed one on the button? Let's assume all factors are the same on both (hud stats/stacks etc).
You basically need to win the blinds once an orbit to 'keep up' No matter how many antes there are. So at a 9-handed table, you need to win once every 9 hands, at a 6 handed table it's once every 6. Over-simplification I know, but you have 3 less hands to find a playable hand, so the requirements should be loosened a bit. Tonight I won a 6-max tournament where we were 3 handed for a long time. If I used normal table requirements to open, I promise I could not have won, especially in the 3-handed part.
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Old 07-30-2021, 08:53 AM   #16
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Re: 77 or AJs

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Originally Posted by Phantomshark View Post
So take it to the extreme. 3 handed, do you only play the same hands as the button that you'd play on the button at a full table? I hope your answer is no. The less players that are at the table, the less time you have before the blinds hit you, so the more aggressive you need to be in hand selection. This doesn't have to be a major shift, but hands that were not good opens 9 handed in MP like KJo become perfectly acceptable opens 1st to act 6 handed.
It doesn't matter that the blinds come faster. The blinds come the same rate for everyone. A profitable button open is a profitable button open, the only thing that matters is the stacks and tendencies of the blinds, size of the pot pf, and maybe ICM considerations. 3 handed, 6 handed, 9 handed doesnt matter.

Opening too much and getting exploited by the bb because "the blinds come faster" is a big leak.

As mentioned, if anything you need to be tighter 3 handed because there are less antes. A btn range with no ante is tighter than a btn range with full antes, and a btn range with half ante is going to be somewhere between the two.

BTW KJo is a standard open from the LJ in full ring as well.

Last edited by ledn; 07-30-2021 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 07-30-2021, 08:56 AM   #17
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Re: 77 or AJs

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Originally Posted by Phantomshark View Post
You basically need to win the blinds once an orbit to 'keep up' No matter how many antes there are. So at a 9-handed table, you need to win once every 9 hands, at a 6 handed table it's once every 6. Over-simplification I know, but you have 3 less hands to find a playable hand, so the requirements should be loosened a bit. Tonight I won a 6-max tournament where we were 3 handed for a long time. If I used normal table requirements to open, I promise I could not have won, especially in the 3-handed part.
Your opponents were probably playing too tight in the blinds so opening up was a good strategy for that situation. But it was nothing to do opening up because you were 3 handed.


Any mistake in these short handed ranges is going to be amplified/repeated because you are always in these spots 3 handed but being 3 handed doesnt change the ranges.
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Old 07-31-2021, 12:20 PM   #18
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Re: 77 or AJs

Quote:
Originally Posted by ledn View Post
It doesn't matter that the blinds come faster. The blinds come the same rate for everyone. A profitable button open is a profitable button open, the only thing that matters is the stacks and tendencies of the blinds, size of the pot pf, and maybe ICM considerations. 3 handed, 6 handed, 9 handed doesnt matter.

Opening too much and getting exploited by the bb because "the blinds come faster" is a big leak.

As mentioned, if anything you need to be tighter 3 handed because there are less antes. A btn range with no ante is tighter than a btn range with full antes, and a btn range with half ante is going to be somewhere between the two.

BTW KJo is a standard open from the LJ in full ring as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by killer_kill View Post
This is from coaching sites, not from me postulating a theory. Think of it in the inverse rather. Let's say you're 9 or 6 handed and it folds to your button. The ante is 10% (or whatever %). So do you want to steal more on the 6 handed table or the 9 handed one on the button? Let's assume all factors are the same on both (hud stats/stacks etc).
I need to re-think my opening ranges in tournaments now that antes appear to be standard at all levels [on PS].
As mentioned in other threads, I've been out of poker for a number of years.
When last I played tourneys, most sng's and MTT's didn't have antes in the early levels; it was only in the very late stages that antes appeared.

Now [unless I've just accidently got my PS settings to select for games with antes] it seems ALL sng's and mtt's have antes right off the bat.


I do think he's right in one regard: open a wider range from "early position" at a short-handed table than at a FR table (LJ being as "early" as is possible at a 6-handed table, for example: much wider opening range than UTG 9-handed).

btw, I'll take any additional opinions about my 3-handed BTN open in that recent thread I made ["Micro 6-Max STT, river decision (also line-check)"].
I realize now it's technically the wrong forum, but if the moderators do not object, I may occasionally post something from a STT here (the STT Strategy forum is a ghost-town: I re-posted there like 5-6 days ago and haven't had a single response).
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Old 07-31-2021, 12:41 PM   #19
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Re: 77 or AJs

To answer OP....

If it's early in the tourney (so we're deep-stacked), and it's not a Turbo or Hyper-turbo type of tourney......I'd likely fold both of these UTG at a 9-handed table.

UTG+1 is where I might open them.


And whereas consensus so far seems to be slightly in favour of 77, I kinda like AJs better [and would be marginally more apt to open with it than with 77].

I guess I disagree that 77 is easier to play. While it's true playing draws oop gets harder, I still feel like we know where we're at better with AJs (i.e. did we hit a pair or a strong draw, or are we sitting on A-high?).

With 77, I feel like there are so many boards where you're not gonna know where you stand with 77. Examples.....

Q-T-4 rb
K-9-6 two-tone
J-9-2 rb
T-8-3 two-tone
Basically any A-high board can be dicey (or just dire if you don't get the immediate fold).....
e.g. A-T-4 rb (let's say HU oop, you cbet and get flatted......almost regardles of what the turn card is, this generally becomes a c/f on the turn, no? At least without a specific read)
And you almost CAN'T cbet any A-high flop multiway.....it's basically ONLY an option if HU [or occasionally 3way].
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Old Yesterday, 02:20 AM   #20
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Re: 77 or AJs

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Originally Posted by Trex8063 View Post
To answer OP....

If it's early in the tourney (so we're deep-stacked), and it's not a Turbo or Hyper-turbo type of tourney......I'd likely fold both of these UTG at a 9-handed table.

UTG+1 is where I might open them.


And whereas consensus so far seems to be slightly in favour of 77, I kinda like AJs better [and would be marginally more apt to open with it than with 77].

I guess I disagree that 77 is easier to play. While it's true playing draws oop gets harder, I still feel like we know where we're at better with AJs (i.e. did we hit a pair or a strong draw, or are we sitting on A-high?).

With 77, I feel like there are so many boards where you're not gonna know where you stand with 77. Examples.....

Q-T-4 rb
K-9-6 two-tone
J-9-2 rb
T-8-3 two-tone
Basically any A-high board can be dicey (or just dire if you don't get the immediate fold).....
e.g. A-T-4 rb (let's say HU oop, you cbet and get flatted......almost regardles of what the turn card is, this generally becomes a c/f on the turn, no? At least without a specific read)
And you almost CAN'T cbet any A-high flop multiway.....it's basically ONLY an option if HU [or occasionally 3way].
I haven't chimed in since the OP but I like this thinking. Been reviewing starting requirements lately and if it's early, I see a slightly better (if different) facility for AJs. Then again I will open with something like 87s occasionally so for me this is just a theoretical question.
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