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Old 02-18-2019, 07:11 PM   #1
DalTXColtsFan
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Low-stakes FLO8 pre-flop spots

Assume we are at a 9-handed table for all of these:

1. AAT3r UTG. Are we EVER not raising this regardless of table conditions? Really, if I'm a low-stakes game where UTG raises aren't getting at least 2 cold-calls plus at least one of the blinds I rack up. But that notwithstanding, I just don't like open-limping - not even with A2xx. It makes each subsequent limper's limp less and less of a mistake. By the way, if my math is correct there's only a 22% chance anyone else has A2 when I have AA.

2. AAT3r in the CO after UTG+2 and MP limps. Again, are we EVER not raising here? I don't want to limp along with a hand this strong - a raise either buys us a coldcaller or buys the button in a probable 5-way pot. I like both of those options better than keeping the pot small. The limpers would have to have the limping ranges of total rocks for me to even consider limping along.

3. AAT3r in MP after UTG and UTG+2 limps. I still don't think I can find a limpalong here, and honestly I wouldn't even LOOK for one unless both limpers were rocks who would only limp monsters. The value of buying the button in a probable 5-way pot outweighs the deception value and potential limpalongs from the HJ, CO and BTN.

4. AAT3r in the CO after UTG and UTG+2 limps and an MP raise. They would all have to be rocks for me to do anything but reraise - the probability that any of them have A2 is pretty low which means I'm probably ahead in both directions, and that's a lot of potential dead money.

That's enough for now. Thoughts?
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Old 02-19-2019, 02:52 PM   #2
Tintinpoker
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Re: Low-stakes FLO8 pre-flop spots

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Originally Posted by DalTXColtsFan View Post
Assume we are at a 9-handed table for all of these:

1. AAT3r UTG. Are we EVER not raising this regardless of table conditions? Really, if I'm a low-stakes game where UTG raises aren't getting at least 2 cold-calls plus at least one of the blinds I rack up. But that notwithstanding, I just don't like open-limping - not even with A2xx. It makes each subsequent limper's limp less and less of a mistake. By the way, if my math is correct there's only a 22% chance anyone else has A2 when I have AA.

2. AAT3r in the CO after UTG+2 and MP limps. Again, are we EVER not raising here? I don't want to limp along with a hand this strong - a raise either buys us a coldcaller or buys the button in a probable 5-way pot. I like both of those options better than keeping the pot small. The limpers would have to have the limping ranges of total rocks for me to even consider limping along.

3. AAT3r in MP after UTG and UTG+2 limps. I still don't think I can find a limpalong here, and honestly I wouldn't even LOOK for one unless both limpers were rocks who would only limp monsters. The value of buying the button in a probable 5-way pot outweighs the deception value and potential limpalongs from the HJ, CO and BTN.

4. AAT3r in the CO after UTG and UTG+2 limps and an MP raise. They would all have to be rocks for me to do anything but reraise - the probability that any of them have A2 is pretty low which means I'm probably ahead in both directions, and that's a lot of potential dead money.

That's enough for now. Thoughts?
I am very curious to hear the answer from the community.
The obvious issue with this hand is that it doesn't connect well. You basically play AA for the high, A3 for the low. The T can be thrown in the trash most of the time.
That makes me think that against a few or single player (if I am late position and we already got lots of folds), I would open and drive this hand. But against several calls or even a raise, I would simply call and see what type of flop we get.
It may be a mistake though - I am new to this game!
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Old 02-19-2019, 06:42 PM   #3
Johnnycher
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Re: Low-stakes FLO8 pre-flop spots

I had a longer response typed out, but the site crashed and I lost that, so I'll be more brief:

Scenarios 1-3, I pretty much raise 100% of the time. The only reasons I would limp would be to 1) balance my range, but at these low limits, nobody is really paying attention, and 2) under-rep/conceal the strength of my hand to hopefully win bigger pots... Like I said, I do that so infrequently because IMO in the long run, raising will be more profitable.

Scenario 4 is a little different in how it's proposed (I guess). Just because I have AA doesn't mean I don't potentially put someone else on A2, and during the hand, I'll be cognizant of that. That being said, I lean towards 3 betting most of the time here. I suppose the best possible result will be to get HU with the original raiser and scoop a pot off of him.
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Old 02-19-2019, 06:43 PM   #4
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Re: Low-stakes FLO8 pre-flop spots

Limping 1 is probably ok (in context of a strategy where you limp some number of hands utg). The rest seem like no-brainer raises.
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Old 02-20-2019, 03:59 AM   #5
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Re: Low-stakes FLO8 pre-flop spots

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Originally Posted by DalTXColtsFan View Post
By the way, if my math is correct there's only a 22% chance anyone else has A2 when I have AA.
I'm not sure how you arrived at this result, but here's a thread from a couple of years ago that addressed this exact question:
https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/4...stics-1656572/

ngFTW ran simulations and came up with ~32.6% as the chances that another player has A2 when I have AA3 in a 10-handed game. That matches my experience too: it happens more often than you'd expect.
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Old 02-21-2019, 05:06 PM   #6
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Re: Low-stakes FLO8 pre-flop spots

I lean towards raising this hand if there is a good chance it will be heads-up or three-handed and otherwise just calling. Admittedly, I tend to play in games where people don't raise with A2xx.

I'd rather keep the pot smaller and give them worse odds to chase since I am unlikely to flop a strong draw that I want to jam with.
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Old 02-21-2019, 05:11 PM   #7
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Re: Low-stakes FLO8 pre-flop spots

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Originally Posted by agamblerthen View Post
ngFTW ran simulations and came up with ~32.6% as the chances that another player has A2 when I have AA3 in a 10-handed game. That matches my experience too: it happens more often than you'd expect.
It might be higher than that when you have people ahead of you who have VPIP since those players don't have random hands. Or lower if those players always raise with A2xx and they just limped.
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Old 02-23-2019, 03:33 PM   #8
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Re: Low-stakes FLO8 pre-flop spots

I think I'm raising in all of these spot under any reasonably common table conditions. You just need to make sure you are also raising in each spot with enough hands that aren't AAxx.
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Old 02-24-2019, 02:45 PM   #9
PokerDex
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Re: Low-stakes FLO8 pre-flop spots

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Originally Posted by BDHarrison View Post
I lean towards raising this hand if there is a good chance it will be heads-up or three-handed and otherwise just calling. Admittedly, I tend to play in games where people don't raise with A2xx.

I'd rather keep the pot smaller and give them worse odds to chase since I am unlikely to flop a strong draw that I want to jam with.
Keeping the pot smaller by flatting to give worse odds to chase post flop is such an interesting concept. I am still trying to wrap my head around when to do it effectively. Might want to implement that in later positions where youd be less likely to isolate yourself from the initial limpers.
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:49 AM   #10
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Re: Low-stakes FLO8 pre-flop spots

Call me crazy but in situation 1 I fold, just don’t see it as a very profitable hand UTG in a loose game. Regarding your reasons for raising in situation 1. You also getting weak players to fold junk hands you want calls from.
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Old 03-05-2019, 08:38 PM   #11
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Re: Low-stakes FLO8 pre-flop spots

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Originally Posted by agamblerthen View Post
I'm not sure how you arrived at this result, but here's a thread from a couple of years ago that addressed this exact question:
https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/4...stics-1656572/

ngFTW ran simulations and came up with ~32.6% as the chances that another player has A2 when I have AA3 in a 10-handed game. That matches my experience too: it happens more often than you'd expect.
My apologies for taking so long to respond. I believe that the 32.6% answer is correct for a 10-handed table, with 29% being the answer for a 9-handed table.

My original math was flawed so I won't spend a lot of time on it. To arrive at the answers above I used PPTOO, entered AA!A2 for player 1, entered * for players 2 through 9/10 and asked the question "How many players match hand range A2".

By the way, change AA!A2 for a 9-handed table to A3!A2 and the percentage for the 9-handed table jumps up to almost 40%.
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Old 03-05-2019, 09:15 PM   #12
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Re: Low-stakes FLO8 pre-flop spots

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Originally Posted by PokerDex View Post
Keeping the pot smaller by flatting to give worse odds to chase post flop is such an interesting concept. I am still trying to wrap my head around when to do it effectively. Might want to implement that in later positions where youd be less likely to isolate yourself from the initial limpers.
I'm still doing the research in the context of FLO8, but I can tell you with certainly that passive play preflop is RARELY correct in LHE.

Take the example of when you have AKo on the button after 4 limpers. If you raise, the BB is certain to come along for the ride and possibly the SB too, and none of the limpers are going to fold, so we're looking at a probable 7-way pot. Give the limpers conservative ranges like, say, 50% of their hands and AKo has 19% equity in a 7-way pot. AKo has about 19% equity in that spot. I'd rather septuple $8 19% of the time than septuple $4 19% of the time. It's not even close.

Even when it *is* close, like if you have 87s in that same spot, you still have about 14% equity. By raising you don't sacrifice much equity at all, you give yourself the opportunity to take a four-card flop if you want it and the villains (even though they're probably not paying attention anyway) don't know if you have 87s or AKs.

As far as making mistakes, total trash that completely missed the board is going into the muck whether there are 7sb or 14sb in the pot. Hands that have any hope of picking up a hand or a draw on the turn are calling. Seriously, make up a flop and come up with a list of hands that can call on that flop correctly getting 15:1 that CAN'T call on it correctly getting 7:1. Now make a list of hands that are going straight to the muck. By raising before the flop you give everybody who limped with trash a chance to make a mistake by calling the raise. By waiting for the flop you give the people who completely whiffed a get-out-of-jail-free card. Don't wait. Charge everybody.

Now let's look at FLO8. Extreme example, let's say AA23ds with two suited aces. Against 6 50% hands you're going to win hi 18% of the time, win lo 27% of the time and scoop 5% of the time. So you're going to win at least half of a 7-way pot almost 45% of the time! I can't see how the deception value of limping outweights the potbuilding of raising.

Less extreme example, AT92r. You're going to win half the pot about 18.5% of the time and scoop it less than 1% of the time. We're certainly seeing the flop here but I don't see that we gain much by bloating it. Change it to double-suited to the A and T and we're winning half about 28% of the time and scooping it 3% of the time. That's still not huge. I can see why people would advocate just limping along.
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Old 03-07-2019, 05:06 AM   #13
agamblerthen
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Re: Low-stakes FLO8 pre-flop spots

As one who plays LHE as well as O8 (and one who has read Miller's SSHE several times), I agree with your thought process on the value of raising preflop when you have an equity advantage.

I've heard so many players say over the years, You shouldn't raise preflop in Omaha; it's idiotic. Then they'll call for "no low" on the flop and mock the raiser when he ends up not winning. But the goal of poker is not to win pots; it's to win money. And you do that by betting more when you're an equity favorite.

When I first started playing the game, I found Steve Badger's articles on Omaha very helpful. One of them is a list of myths he debunks, including "Don't Raise Before the Flop": http://www.stevebadger.com/poker/omaha/myths/.

Buzz, a deceased former moderator of this subforum, was a strong proponent of not raising preflop. At the risk of oversimplifying his argument: He paid a lot of attention to how his opponents reacted to his betting actions. He found that he often couldn't get them to fold with a prefop raise, but he could get them to fold with a bet or a raise on the flop if the pot was still relatively small.

In other words, he emphasized manipulating his opponents, whereas Miller and Badger emphasize manipulating the pot size.

My own experience validates Miller's and Badger's viewpoint: Math wins in the long run. I know that my own propensity to raise preflop—and my willingness to play big pots in general—is a big factor in my ongoing success at this game.

However, there is value in considering both perspectives. For years I made the mistake of reraising preflop with bad Aces in an attempt to isolate against the raiser. But this isn't NLHE, so that never really worked. I would simply end up playing bad Aces in a bloated pot multiway. Buzz's rationale for not raising preflop finally got me to stop doing that.

What specific hands do I like to raise with? Something like A24K double-suited that has counterfeit protection for low as well as some high-hand features. In other words, an A2 with at least two or three of the following attributes:
• Another Ace
• Another wheel card, the lower the better
• A Broadway card, the higher the better
• A suited Ace
• A second suited Ace or a suited Broadway card
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