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Old 02-29-2008, 02:21 AM   #1
The Bryce
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 4,245
Let's Have a Discussion about Open-Raise Sizes

So there are three topics I'd like to talk about here, but let's start with the easy one. I've been splashing some chips playing HU NL and one thing that I noticed was that nobody increases their raise size from the BTN as stacks get deeper.

This seems... odd. There are a few things that happen when you increase your open raise size.

1) You lose more chips when your opponent re-raises and you fold.
2) If you increase your raise size to a point where you will get to make fewer meaningful decisions in position, you decrease your positional advantage.
3) Assuming that you will not be going all-in frequently with either raise size the larger open-raise size allows you to net a significantly larger dollar amount on all further post-flop decisions where you have the best of it.

To use an extreme example, an open raise to $40 with $1 and $100 stacks (ignoring other issues) completely negates your positional advantage, as your opponent will either just shove or fold, and you don't get to make any meaningful decisions. With an open raise to $40 with $1 blinds and $10,000 stacks this is not the case. You will still get to make as many meaningful decisions as possible with your positional advantage. You are, however, creating a pot that is much larger on average than if you had made a much smaller opening raise. If you believed you had the best of it when playing in position, and if your opponent would not alter his strategy regardless of whether you made an open raise of $5 or $40 the open raise to $40 would be the superior strategy.

To look at it form a much less exaggerated and contrived angle, though, let's talk about a common poker situation. You are playing against an opponent whom you believe you are a favorite against. If your strategy with stacks of 100bb is to open-raise for 3x then why wouldn't open-raising to 4x be a superior strategy with stacks of 200bb, or 300bb?
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