Positional aggression

NineLions

NineLions

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I'm trying to add what I think of as "positional aggression" to my game.

As happened the last time I tried to add some aggression (repopping QQ/JJ preflop) it led me to some misplaced aggression which has led to some chip spewing, so I want to get a better handle on this.


The situations that I'm looking at are where you're late in the preflop betting such as late position or the blinds, and you're got 1 or more limpers into the pot.

What I think I want to do is raise with any 2 cards. Joose pointed this out to me the other day with a hand where I was BB and the button limped, SB completed and I just checked my 42o.


I think I should be raising at least a normal amount (normal = 4xBB + 1 for each limper) to chase limpers.

The problem arises when I get callers.

If I get callers, then I should evaluate the flop like I would with any hand, say AK, to see if it might have hit the caller and c-bet if appropriate. If there's resistance, I have to consider getting out, as would be the case with a missed AK. I think this is where I'm spewing chips right now as once I start this hand I don't back down. Maybe I'm afraid of getting caught making this move, or annoyed that the opponent didn't fold already to my brilliant play :dong:

What do you do when the caller is a calling station? Check down, and show your attempt? Or avoid making this play if a known calling station is in the hand?


Are there other aspects/considerations that I'm missing for making this play?
 
aliengenius

aliengenius

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Well, you are NOT is position in the big blind with a limper on the button. You ARE making a sort of "squeeze" play, however. It's almost impossible to say without the added information on your opponents, previous play by you, etc. Sometimes a squeeze play works, sometimes it doesn't. Some times you should fire three bullets, some times you should check fold....
 
tiltboy

tiltboy

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I mostly play No Limit cash games so from personal point of view i look at the board and determine by their call or raise what this may mean.

If a potential scare card hits on the turn i may bet again but at the same time if i feel i am beat im prepared to show my hand as i can use this to my advantage later on.

I limped in with J-9 on the button had an open ended straight draw on the turn missed and bet 3/4 of the pot when everyone checked and got caught by a caller with 2nd pair.

I later won a bit of money a few hands later because people assumed i just bluff at pots because i got caught out i also made money from the calling station, noting that he can call aggressive bets with marginal hands.

I try to make use of everything (good or bad) that happens to me on the table.
 
Emperor IX

Emperor IX

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For future reference: Don't be afraid to get caught making this move. What happens for me (especially in tournaments, but also in small stakes) is usually I'll get a caller or two, and if they call, depending on stack sizes and such, I'll fire a second bullet at the pot on the turn, regardless of what it is.

(Great tip here): Firing the Second Bullet - Poker Tip From Greg Mueller

This puts into the opponents mind that you CAN beat top pair, and they're not likely to continue without something that can beat top pair as well. The reason I'm saying that you shouldn't worry about getting caught is because you're only going to miss the fllop 66%. Now if you decide to use positional aggression from the button, no one is going to catch on that you ALWAYS do it in only three orbits. Just be selective about when you decide to muscle everyone around. Instead of doing it on the button everytime be tricky, switch over to Late-middle position or even try to muscle it under the gun (That'll only work if you have a good TAG image, otherwise they'll muscle it right back from you).

I only utilize positional aggression when there's little to no action in front of me. And dont' be afraid to lose your preflop raise when you fold to a raise and re-raise on the flop, or even the turn.

The most critical part of this is the set up. Spend a bit of time just playing a standard TAG game, get that image in their head that you want good hands. Not premium hands, necessarily, but good ones. Chances are on any board where an overcard hits their pair, they're not going to want to continue with it.

I'm really tired right now so if any of this is jumbled or doesn't makie any sense I'm sorry. lol
 
NineLions

NineLions

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Well, you are NOT is position in the big blind with a limper on the button.

Well, not position as in overall table position, but last/next to last preflop betting position. In other words, everyone has had a chance to make a play. Somewhere in my reading someone had a term for this, but I don't remember where that was anymore.


I only utilize positional aggression when there's little to no action in front of me. And dont' be afraid to lose your preflop raise when you fold to a raise and re-raise on the flop, or even the turn.

Good point. A good LAG is probably happy to raise 8x with any 2 cards with 3 limpers ahead, but I don't know how comfortable I'd be doing that.

And I don't think it's losing the preflop raise that I have a problem with. For whatever reason I think I get embarrassed folding when I make this kind of move so instead I become hyperaggressive. Kind of like a kid getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar :)


In a tourney/S&G situation I don't have a problem with it when the blinds get worth making a play for. I just think there are a few blinds in ring games that I could be taking without a struggle, as well as a few small post-flop pots that would be available with just a little preflop aggression at the right times.
 
aliengenius

aliengenius

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Well, not position as in overall table position, but last/next to last preflop betting position. In other words, everyone has had a chance to make a play. Somewhere in my reading someone had a term for this, but I don't remember where that was anymore.

It is called a "squeeze play", although you usually have a bunch of limpers, or several people who just called an open raise in position. The idea is that if they are not strong enough to (re)raise after the opener, then they can not call your raise. However, note that the squeeze play is usually a bluff (otherwise you are just raising w a legit strong hand).

Your situation is just a bit different, but the thinking is similar: if the button limper wasn't strong enough to raise, then he might not be able to call your raise.

As far as making the move to start with, you should consider who the limpers are, and like you noted, be less inclined to make this move against a calling station(s).
 
titans4ever

titans4ever

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A good LAG is probably happy to raise 8x with any 2 cards with 3 limpers ahead, No we don't. There are still factors and rules that we have to follow to play profitable poker. but I don't know how comfortable I'd be doing that.

And I don't think it's losing the preflop raise that I have a problem with. For whatever reason I think I get embarrassed folding when I make this kind of move so instead I become hyperaggressive. Never a good combo in poker. How many times do you raise with AK and have to fold when you don't hit. Same thing as here with a raise of any two cards. You have to look at those two hands the same. Kind of like a kid getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar :)

2 points here.
A good LAG is not happy to riase w/ any two cards. For me it is whom more than how many are in the pot. You want the passive (dead money) people limping in to make these moves. Someone who will limp/call a raise can put you into tough decision after the flop if you miss or just hit second pair. Loose means trying to see lots of flops and outplay your opponents after the flop (LAG), not going crazy with big raises with crappy cards preflop (maniac). There is a huge difference there, I hope you can see it.

Never be embrassed about your play (esp. on-line). You don't have to look them in they eyes as you show off your 2 5 off suit. You are a picture on a computer screen. The good players will see it for what it was (a power move) and the stupid ones will make fun of you because they just don't get it. I don't care what the stupid ones think anyways. A power play or power bluff is part of the game. You are not playing LAG right unless you do get caught once in awhile when someone makes a right read on you.
 
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NineLions

NineLions

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It is called a "squeeze play", although you usually have a bunch of limpers, or several people who just called an open raise in position. The idea is that if they are not strong enough to (re)raise after the opener, then they can not call your raise. However, note that the squeeze play is usually a bluff (otherwise you are just raising w a legit strong hand).

Your situation is just a bit different, but the thinking is similar: if the button limper wasn't strong enough to raise, then he might not be able to call your raise.

As far as making the move to start with, you should consider who the limpers are, and like you noted, be less inclined to make this move against a calling station(s).

Yeah, it is like squeeze play, but that I usually think of as raise, call, reraise. Same general idea here, I guess.

But I was thinking of the betting position; I think Phil Gordon just called it "preflop betting position" or something, just to note the fact that preflop you have position, but all subsequent rounds you're OOP.
 
NineLions

NineLions

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2 points here.
A good LAG is not happy to riase w/ any two cards. For me it is whom more than how many are in the pot. You want the passive (dead money) people limping in to make these moves. Someone who will limp/call a raise can put you into tough decision after the flop if you miss or just hit second pair. Loose means trying to see lots of flops and outplay your opponents after the flop (LAG), not going crazy with big raises with crappy cards preflop (maniac). There is a huge difference there, I hope you can see it.

I'd see a maniac as someone who raises/reraises with good but not great hands, ie. overvaluing his hands, and also maybe bluffing but ill-conceived bluffs, whereas a LAG should be able to repop preflop or even on the flop with almost anything when he thinks he can get the first raise to fold, ie. playing the player rather than his own cards.


Actually, I guess the terms used don't matter much. What should matter is the whys and the thinking process (if any) behind the moves.


Never be embrassed about your play (esp. on-line). You don't have to look them in they eyes as you show off your 2 5 off suit. You are a picture on a computer screen. The good players will see it for what it was (a power move) and the stupid ones will make fun of you because they just don't get it. I don't care what the stupid ones think anyways. A power play or power bluff is part of the game. You are not playing LAG right unless you do get caught once in awhile when someone makes a right read on you.

This is one of the interesting things I'm wondering about.

I don't know these people I'm playing against online. Yet, there is a part of me that wants to be respected by them, not ridiculed or feared. Human nature, I guess.
 
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