trouble hand question

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ph_il

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This is a hand I seem to have a lot of trouble with, especially during the early rounds of an SNG or MTT.

Why does it seem like whenever I get a decent PP (JJ-KK) on the button, everyone wants to fold, but if I get it in the small blind the whole table wants to limp in? Especially when I have JJ or QQ.

So, what is the proper way of playing a big (JJ-KK) in the small blind when everyone limps?

To make things easier, say its the start of a new MTT and only a few hands have been dealt so far. No reads on anyone yet and everyone is sitting on roughtly 1500. blinds at 10/20.

Im on the SB with QQ and 6/10 players limp in. Im thinking a raise here in SB is correct because of the strength of my hand, but much of a raise? A standard raise of 4x the BB seems a bit weak in this position and I doubt it'll narrow the field that much. A pot size seems logical, but with such small blinds it might drive everyone out..which isnt bad, but I want to at least get paid for my hand. Another problem is position, if Im holding JJ or QQ and an over comes out, depending on how many players are in the hand, I might have to slow it down.

So my questions:
-What would be the best way to play this hand in early rounds of an MTT or SNG?
-Should I raise PF in this position? And if so, what would be a correct amount to raise to drive weak people out, but not really commit too many chips early on?
-Is just calling and hoping to see a cheap flop worth it? If I hit a set, there is a good chance I'll get paid for it and my hand is diguised. Or should I try and take the pot down right there?
 
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DaveE

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The standard reply is to raise 3 big blinds plus 1 big blind for every limper.
Personally I prefer to go 3-5BB plus 2 per limper in the early stages. That will usually get rid of the low pair/suited connector hands.
 
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ph_il

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The standard reply is to raise 3 big blinds plus 1 big blind for every limper. Personally I prefer to go 3-5BB plus 2 per limper in the early stages. That will usually get rid of the low pair/suited connector hands.

So if blinds are at 10/20 and I decided to raise 3x the BB + 1BB for every limper, my raise should be around 180-200?

I actually like that idea of betting, but wouldnt you say thats committing a lot of chips? Especially during the early rounds? ...Then again, if I do have to check/fold on the flop, I'll still have a healthy stack to work with.
 
mrsnake3695

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With all those limpers, I doubt if anyone had a real good hand unless the filst to act limped with a monster hoping for a raise which happens but without a read you can't worry too much about that.

A bet of about 200 seems about right. It should get rid of most speculative hands live any 2 suited cards etc. But you just might get a call by a smaller pair. I doubt if anyone has AK or AQ but could have Ace X.

In these early stages people dont respect small raises and if you bet say 100 you might get 5 or 6 callers which you definiatley don't want with your big pockets.

Also be prepared to push the flop with a favorable board here. For instance if you raise 200 with KK and get 2 callers and the board comes J,8,2 with 2 suited cards a push is probably a good play here (I'm talking online here where there are alot of donks). You are liable to get called by alot of hands here that you beat like AJ, KJ, A8, 1010, 99 or even 2 suited cards or a straight draw. You don't want them to play cheaply so put the pressure on and make them call off all their chips while behind which so many bad players will. You also don't want to give anyone the opportunity to bluff you off your hand if a scare card comes on the turn.

If you push the flop alot of players will assume you have AK and not a big PP. I see this time and time again. Instead of looking at KK or QQ as a scary hand afraid to see an ace you should look at it as a good opportunity to double up especially early when there are still lots of bad players. A big key in MTTs is winning as many chips as possible with your big hands.
 
DaveE

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So if blinds are at 10/20 and I decided to raise 3x the BB + 1BB for every limper, my raise should be around 180-200?

I actually like that idea of betting, but wouldnt you say thats committing a lot of chips? Especially during the early rounds? ...Then again, if I do have to check/fold on the flop, I'll still have a healthy stack to work with.



That's the idea. You gain valuable info if you get called or reraised. It's up to you to decide what to do with it.
As far as the 3BB+1 per limper vs 5BB+2 goes, I'm basing that on 3-4 limpers, as it's rarely above that in online play. In the early going 3+1 means an 80-100 raise. That's not likely to get enough respect to chase away speculative hands when everyone has around 1500 chips. Hence the 5+2. That's a healthy raise of 200+ chips and as Mr Snake agreed, should do the job. Once the blinds hit 50/100 plus, 3+1 should get the job done.
 
AZE

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I like the way MrSnake thinks here.

If I was in that position I would certainly bet 150/200. If you induce folds from everyone - what's wrong with picking up 100 in chips? Most likely you'll get one or two callers (most AA / AK / KK hands would re-raise here online)
from hands that you're ahead of.

That's the way I see it at least.
 
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So, what is the proper way of playing a big (JJ-KK) in the small blind when everyone limps?
So my questions:
-What would be the best way to play this hand in early rounds of an MTT or SNG?
-Should I raise PF in this position? And if so, what would be a correct amount to raise to drive weak people out, but not really commit too many chips early on?
-Is just calling and hoping to see a cheap flop worth it? If I hit a set, there is a good chance I'll get paid for it and my hand is diguised. Or should I try and take the pot down right there?


Those are all good questions, sometimes its not a good thing to be dealt a high PP in the 1st/2nd level of an MTT or SNG unless you play it smartly, and by that I mean that you need to be ready to let it go if the circumstances aren't favorable. The big raise to 200, as was suggested here, is the way to go if you're sitting in the blinds and six limpers are already in. Most times this will work in isolating 1 player, but still you might end up having the pot go 4-way or more, in which case don't get frustrated and make sure the hand doesn't cost you too much.

In the lower end of the range, QQ-JJ, an overcard on the flop will come often and if pot is 4-way just be ready to dump your hand because its very likely any weak A or K will call a flop bet because these players who call big PF raises just don't fold, and they'll get you broke. When this happens take your 200 loss and move on. Against this type of players who call almost any raise there are no safe flops, and its very hard to deal with it if 3 or more of them are in with you.

The suggestion, given above in another post, on how to play the flop if your PF raise does succeed in isolating 1 or 2 players is fine, no need to get back on that.

I also wanted to talk about another scenario that often happens in level 1, and that is when a big PP is dealt to you UTG or even UTG +1, and you're first in the pot. In this case the first thought is to get value for your hand so you can't just raise to 200, but the problem when you raise to 80 is that pot might go 5-way and what's worse is that you're first to act on the flop. Obviously its almost impossible to discuss this because its situational, it depends how big you're PP is, if there is an overcard and what the flop texture is. But the reason I mention it is that in general you're better off to get ready to dump your hand if it doesn't improve and you bet the flop and get multiple callers, because really with that many in the pot almost no flop is safe regardless if there are overcards or not. This is a mistake that I see ( and have made) many times and have learned to be aware of. Once you bet the flop you need to slow down if called.
 
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