Caro's "The Flop Will Disappoint You" article

aliengenius

aliengenius

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Anyone read it in the November bluff? Pretty interesting.

My recent bust out hand in this tournament had me thinking about his idea. Also, I remembered the argument in this thread that playing "neutral" after the flop being a good idea (not so).

He argues that you should raise far less preflop in hold'em, and that aggression post flop is far more preferable than preflop. I'm trying to understand how it fits in overall with the whole idea that the flop will miss both you and your opponent. If you have the lead in the hand, aren't you going to take it down more often than not with a c-bet if you both miss?

I understand that this is getting closer to the whole idea of "small ball" poker, but I don't think I have fully grasped where he was trying to go here with the whole idea of being more passive pre-flop.
 
blankoblanco

blankoblanco

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when you say "raise far less" do you mean lesser amounts or less frequency? i assumed the former
 
blankoblanco

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oh yeah, i should have figured it out by the "passive" part at the end. but that's pretty interesting. i mean, i can definitely understand reraising less often --negreanu actually has bragged before about how he really rarely reraises preflop in tournaments-- but saying to raise less seems to undermine the main ideas behind aggressive play in general, and the profitable aspects of it, a major one which you covered

i'm just not sure i understand the merits of this either. raising preflop instead of limping a) gives you a way to win the blinds, b) puts pressure on your opponents, c) more clearly defines your opponents ranges and makes playing postflop much easier --that is a really key one imo --, d) makes you more likely to win postflop with a c-bet when your opponents usually miss, and e) makes for a bigger pot to win on the flop with aforementioned c-bet

for now i can't help but think that caro is kind of off on this, but i could maybe be convinced otherwise
 
aliengenius

aliengenius

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Yeah, I think I may scale back the three betting a bit against weak opponents without a really huge hand. Maybe.
 
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jeffred1111

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Is the article about tournament, cash or both ? Because I can see the interest of playing small ball poker during the midtstages of an MTT, where playing postflop agressively can mean stacking/taking down massive pots (value of deception + not being committed > than value of picking up the blinds uncontested). But when blinds are increasing and stealing becomes more interesting than actually playing postflop (because you'll miss often and the pot will be huge magnifying your mistakes), raising less or limping seems contradictory since you'll give opponents to see a flop with a hand they would fold pf (and maybe they'll like) or you'll surrender the blinds.

In cash games, I somewhat agree that raising/3-betting less can be profitable, especially in tougher games where people know what you're doing (restealing, stealing blinds), because you're much more likely to get played back at and you haven't seen a a flop yet. But I feel I would need superior postflop skills to what I have now or this would be in turn -EV.
 
Steveg1976

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By not raising the pots so much preflop wouldn't that allow a person to get out of potentially dangerous situations fairly cheaply. Take AK for instance. I have seen a lot of posts discussing that a lot of it's value is preflop but that without help it isn't much of hand. If a person waits to bet heavily after the flop then you have a much better feel for you position for the hand if it goes to a show down.

Also a lot of people go crazy all in pre flop with A7o so in, if heavy betting waited till after the flop and there are only two cards left that haven't been seen it is possible that some of that might slow down or fold becuase there are fewer cards left for a donk to catch and make their hands.
 
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-cKe-

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In cash games, I somewhat agree that raising/3-betting less can be profitable, especially in tougher games where people know what you're doing (restealing, stealing blinds), because you're much more likely to get played back at and you haven't seen a a flop yet.
I agree with you, but you should still raise with your good hands so you dont come in a hand with many people, because your chances of winning the pot becomes worse.
 
Ronaldadio

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I aint read the article yet, but

I can understand to an extent what he is saying, especially if you are playing lower limits (I can`t comment on higher limits)

I have started to do something similar. Say I am in a $1 buy in MTT and I`m delt QQ. I will do nothing more than raise a standard amount - say 5 times bb. A caller at this level means they have any 2 paint, A + anything or any pair.

So, if the flop has an Ace or a King in it, but no Q, if u raise say 1/2 pot in most cases they will fold if they don`t have an ace.

A flop with a King in is the same.

if, again in most cases, put in a larger raise they will call anyway with the same holdings.

I can`t say if this is a sure fire winner yet, but I am getting deep into tournys doing this.
 
dj11

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Don't go changing your successful game too much AG, I think I got a read on ya.....:rolleyes:
 
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unlucky79

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I agree with not betting if you miss the flop as of lately. Because Im missing everything with my AQ Ak hands or when I raise 4xx with jj or qq and a K or A pops. Seems to me you are better off not risking as much maybe only 2 xx lead off bet then another 2xx continuation bet, atleast this way you are not giving away a good chunk of your stack for nothing. Plus I think everyone who plays the game of poker this day and age puts you on a ace hand pre flop raise and when nothing hits alot of time they play the flop ultra aggressive all in or huge 10 xx raises so you dont catch your ace or king. I myself play alot differnt now and tend to set traps with Ak hands post flop. It works out better because if I miss totally its no big deal I just kick in the blind. The only time I change back to aggressive game is when the blinds are heavy but still enter the hand with caution and know when to release your hand. I agree with Bluff less raise pf unless to many limpers are trying to see it cheap. Good luck at the tables everyone...
 
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unlucky79

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I can understand to an extent what he is saying, especially if you are playing lower limits (I can`t comment on higher limits)

I have started to do something similar. Say I am in a $1 buy in MTT and I`m delt QQ. I will do nothing more than raise a standard amount - say 5 times bb. A caller at this level means they have any 2 paint, A + anything or any pair.

So, if the flop has an Ace or a King in it, but no Q, if u raise say 1/2 pot in most cases they will fold if they don`t have an ace.

A flop with a King in is the same.

if, again in most cases, put in a larger raise they will call anyway with the same holdings.

I can`t say if this is a sure fire winner yet, but I am getting deep into tournys doing this.

This never works for me on ring games. Seems like I always get a quick call as I seem to hit every donkey online some nights that will call you down on a 3 out draw and win. I do agree with the continue bet of 5xx with qq but if you get a call after that you know you are beat, let the ladies walk.
 
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unlucky79

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By not raising the pots so much preflop wouldn't that allow a person to get out of potentially dangerous situations fairly cheaply. Take AK for instance. I have seen a lot of posts discussing that a lot of it's value is preflop but that without help it isn't much of hand. If a person waits to bet heavily after the flop then you have a much better feel for you position for the hand if it goes to a show down.

Also a lot of people go crazy all in pre flop with A7o so in, if heavy betting waited till after the flop and there are only two cards left that haven't been seen it is possible that some of that might slow down or fold becuase there are fewer cards left for a donk to catch and make their hands.

Ak AQ AJ A10 nothing but trouble when you miss the flop. Let it go if someone bets into you as you are doing nothing but chasing from that point on. Better of putting them chips in the middle on a winning hand not a draw hand.
 
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PoochMasterFlex

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I just played like this in a free roll, passive preflop, aggressive post flop and it helped me out alot. this is a good article to read thanks
 
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Tugboat Complex

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Does anybody have a link to this? I'd like to read it. TIA
 
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WhatItDew

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I have not yet read the article, but based on the posts in this thread I can say that I play this style of poker in all tournaments during the early and middle stages. And I definitely feel as though there is a place for this style of play.
Lets be honest, we don’t always enter the pot with AA or KK, and if we waited for that to happen we would go broke off of the blinds alone (especially online). And even still, you will get broke going all in pre-flop with AA or KK 1 out of 5 times, so you have got to find a way to vary your play at times. And this style of play definitely helps you vary your style of play, while eliminating difficult decisions post flop in most instances.
The true benefit to this style of play is that it allows you to see the flop cheap, and allows you to play a wider range of hands. While I agree with the theory that you can disguise your range of hands with consistent pre-flop raises, you are committing chips from your stack into a pot that you have to c-bet into, and risking more chips post flop on a hand you might have missed.
I don’t agree that you should stick strictly to this style, but I agree that it is a great change of pace, and keeps your opponents off guard and keeps you in the game with a variety of hands that you can enter the pot with, and works well when you have hit a run of dead cards.
 
WildBullshark

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I think this article can be applied in certain situations very successfully. In deep stacked cash games is where I see more value in seeing more flops for cheaper amounts rather than collecting blinds. Being able to disguise your hand and at the same time get paid off more frequently due to the loose maniacal image you develop at the table enforcing this method is much more profitable.

There are also a lot of successful tournament players who like to limp into a lot of pots to see flops. Gus Hanson, Gavin Smith and Daniel Negreanu are players who do this and have done very well. They have decided that their advantage would be on the flop, where they make better decisions then their opponents and also develops a false image of their play to weaker players.

In general, committing few chips early is advisable because if you catch the right flop against the right player, you can win a lot more chips. Also, there becomes less variance if you can make correct decisions through the duration of a hand. Because the community cards in games like hold'em and omaha count for such a large enough % of your hand, while some preflop holdings are more desirable, they become less valuable if they do not improve after the flop (more so in omaha) which some players have a difficult time understanding.

Again, this all depends on your playing style, the image you wish to portray and your ability to make good decisions on later streets. In my opinion, Mike Caro has some very interesting outlooks on poker, and as his thoughts and ideas can come off irrational at first, you have to understand that many of his new articles contradict ones he wrote 10 years ago for a reason...lol. This is due to the changing poker world, and the strategies most people use today. It's like how Doyle Brunson said that once everyone started playing like him, he had to change his playing style. So, someone like Mike Caro is developing new strategies he think will work in most settings these days.

He wrote an article on defending blinds a few months back that was very interesting, but somewhat contradictory to one he wrote two years earlier...just a funny note.
 
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