Originally Posted by Matthew Southall
So I got into a discussion with some live poker friends and all of them believe that it's a good strategy to raise the flop with top pair "to see where you're at".
We came up with a hypothetical:
You're playing with 150bb stacks. Villain raises to 6bb (standard opening raise size for live poker) and you call on BTN with AJo.
Flop comes Js 9h 8h
Villain Cbets to 9bb.
Is it a good strategy to raise the flop to 27bb here "to see where you're at"? And then fold to a 3bet shove?
They argue that by raising, you retake the initiative and you gain a lot of important information about the strength of the villain's hand. Another argument they gave was that the villain could have a hand like KQo and you don't want to let them spike a K, Q or T on the turn.
What is your opinion on this?
Everything said here makes perfect sense for fixed limit
. In the above scenario, use the "cheap street" to see where you stand, retake the initiative, and protect your hand against an overcard that could beat you, or kill your action. If you run into a set, overpair, or the straight, it just costs you a few bets. Even at fixed limit, given the board texture, you might want to just call if your villain is such that he won't react to your raise in a predictable manner that clarifies where you stand.
It's a bad
idea at no-limit when stacks are deep and the SPR high. If you raise then fold to a big re-raise, all you're doing is donating. If you run into a better hand, it could cost you your stack. In high SPR pots, your A Number One priority is stack protection, not hand protection, and a hand like this needs to be played slowly; keep that pot small. If that means just calling a standard 1/2 pot c-bet that allows a bad card to roll off, them's the breaks. At least you're still in action and most of your stack is still intact.
TPTK (and big overpairs) is usually a through ticket at fixed limit, but not at no-limit. You need to be able to play these slowly, and get away from them if your opponent's not being co-operative in keeping the pot small. That's a big mistake FLHE players (or fish who take advise meant for FL play and try to apply it to NL) make all the time: overplaying TPTK, and they pay dearly for it. In no-limit play, these hands usually win you small pots and lose big ones.
If it's a small SPR pot, that's different. In that case, your TPTK is a good hand, and you'd reraise OTF, not to gain information, but for value with the intent to set up a stack-off on the turn or river. If you double up, YEAY! If you double up your vill, you haven't really done much damage to your stack. If you break him, you can either make him reload, or free up his seat for a more well heeled fish.