Harrington on Hold'em Vol. 1 discussion: Part 5 + recap

ChuckTs

ChuckTs

Legend
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Total posts
13,642
I trailed off with this review/book analysis a while back, and since I'm rereading it right now I thought I'd finish it off and move on to volume 2 when I'm done. This is the biggest section of the book which is probably why I trailed off here.

I'm basically doing a review to keep the ideas and points throughout the book fresh in our memory. Some of this may be very basic and obvious, but it's helpful nonetheless.

I of course encourage as much participation as possible; for those who have already read the book, reread it! For those who haven't yet, you're missing out big-time.

Part 1, The game of hold'em
Part 2, Playing styles and starting requirements
Part 3, Reading the table
Part 4, Pot odds and hand analysis

and Part 5...

Betting Before The Flop


Introduction:
Why is preflop play so different from postflop play?
What is the reasoning behind each of the three playing style's preflop hand selection?

Basic Strategy:
What are the basic circumstances the author has layed out to which all his 'basic strategy' applies?
Why has he chosen these specific circumstances?
Do these strategies apply to the considerably smaller stakes most of us play?
Why would having a chart with a set of specific hands to play from each position that you could use every hand not be enough? What other criteria do we need to factor in choosing which hands to raise, call and fold with preflop?
What are the five most common situations the author lays out in terms of preflop play?
How should we adjust our hand selection for each and why?
Why is it suggested to raise (albeit occasionally) with suited connectors in early position?
Describe the Gap Concept and the Sandwich Effect. How could you use these concepts to your advantage in a game? When does the Gap Concept actually apply to your game?
What is the reasoning behind varying your bet sizes preflop, as suggested by the author?
What adjustments can (or should) we make on this strategy based on the average table we are faced with? How about vs. specific player types?

Responding To A Raise Behind You:
The author mentions that your decision in a hand should be based on you weighing out the different issues you have to deal with, and most of the time, they will point you in generally the same direction. What are these 7 issues and how do they affect our decision?

Limping Into Pots:
What are the pros and cons regarding limping into pots preflop with a wide range of hands?
When is it a good idea to limp preflop?
When is it not a good idea to limp preflop?

The Squeeze Play: Exploiting The Sandwich Effect: How/why does this play work?

All In Before The Flop: Why is it that open pushing QQ, for example, is a bad play given the circumstances in the author's example?
How would this change at the average small-stakes table?
Do you think it would become profitable enough long-term to make this play a significant tool in your arsenal?

whew...big section :/

NOTE: Please do not quote the book. This thread is to help broaden the understanding of the book, not rip off the copyright of it. Feel free to discuss, but try doing so without infringing on Dan Harrington's, Bill Robertie's or 2+2 publishing's intellectual property rights. Thank you.
 
ChuckTs

ChuckTs

Legend
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Total posts
13,642
C'mon I know most of you have read HoH... :eek:
 
tenbob

tenbob

Legend
Joined
May 16, 2005
Total posts
11,221
Awards
1
Its been a little while Chuck. Ill reread part 5 this week and post here then, im a very busy beaver at the moment :)

Oh you should have broken this section into several parts Chuck, answering and attempting to discuss all of the above aspects would take around 3 days.
 
Sammyv1

Sammyv1

Legend
Joined
Apr 10, 2005
Total posts
1,618
Its been a little while Chuck. Ill reread part 5 this week and post here then, im a very busy beaver at the moment :)

Oh you should have broken this section into several parts Chuck, answering and attempting to discuss all of the above aspects would take around 3 days.

Gosh, its been so long for me also. And I'm awful busy right now too. I'll try and re-read part 5 by Sunday. Not making any promises but I'll try!:D
 
ChuckTs

ChuckTs

Legend
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Total posts
13,642
^ya I realize this section is massive...probably should have broken it down...
 
1

12skin

Guest
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
Total posts
69
I tried to answer in my own words, but some of the questions asked for verbatim answers. Also I may be wrong about some things. If this is the case please correct me, or tell what your point of view is. I am constantly learning and bettering myself. Alot of what is said here is easy to agree with but hard to put into practice under pressure. I am constantly working on my play style and strategy and have found Hoh1 To be very helpful in my learning experience.


Introduction: Why is preflop play so different from postflop play? Depending on your playing style, you can do any number of things, vs when the flop comes where the flop will dictate what you moves will be based on the cards you have because the hand has been defined. For example, pocket 2s - you can do 3 things with 22 - raise, fold, or limp. All may be correct, depending on your playing style, but also depending on how the action at the table is. If you have a bunch of tight players, you might consider raising, and even if you don't get your set, you can make a continuation bet which may force the remaining player(s) out. If the table is loose, you can call, and subsequently fold if you miss your set. Once the flop comes these types of decisions dissappear because the hand becomes defined.
What is the reasoning behind each of the three playing style's preflop hand selection? Depending on what type of player you are determines your starting hand selection. But other factors can also determine the selection. an example would be if everyone folds to you, you could loosen up your starting hand. But if a person raised ahead of you, you may not want to call with that hand. Also your relative position dictates your starting hand selection. Not paying attention to your position and raising mediocre or trap hands out of position can put you in a sandwich situation as the book refers to it - or raising when there are still people left to act, who could in fact re-raise the pot. I would guess that the situation would dictate what you should do, and also your personal feel for the table, and the hand itself. I have alot of trouble with this.

Basic Strategy: What are the basic circumstances the author has layed out to which all his 'basic strategy' applies? You are at a full table with relatively deep stacks, fairly conservative players, and
Why has he chosen these specific circumstances? probrobly because this is what most of us will face - unforseen circumstances and treading into uncharted waters as it were.
Do these strategies apply to the considerably smaller stakes most of us play? One would think that it should, but sadly this is not the case most of the time. A 3xBB raise in first position could mean KK or it could be a 78o - In my experience it is usually Ax against my KQ and the A always hits the flop. I think in the higher stakes it definitely applies
Why would having a chart with a set of specific hands to play from each position that you could use every hand not be enough? Its poker. The situations will always be different. So you will play each hand differently even when you have the exact same hand. Mike Caro shows in his book of poker tells how the exact same hand can be played 2 different ways even when all players have the exact same cards both times.
What other criteria do we need to factor in choosing which hands to raise, call and fold with preflop?I am gonna go with position, who has entered before you, and who is left. Does the person(s) left to act have a history of raising or being agressive? I would think these all are factors.
What are the five most common situations the author lays out in terms of preflop play? Im not gonna list them because you said not to copy the book. If people want to know it is on page 178.
How should we adjust our hand selection for each and why?I believe this has already been answered
Why is it suggested to raise (albeit occasionally) with suited connectors in early position?You want to randomize your play as to not be predictable.
Describe the Gap Concept and the Sandwich Effect. How could you use these concepts to your advantage in a game? When does the Gap Concept actually apply to your game?kGap concept (skalansky) means To enter a pot with a known opponent you need to have a stronger hand to call than you would to open. The difference between the two is the gap. Sandwich I already commented upon. Its where people are behind you who could possibly still take action and reraise you.
What is the reasoning behind varying your bet sizes preflop, as suggested by the author? Unpredictablity. He suggests using a second hand on a watch. I use my analog clock sometimes , but mostly I just vary it based on 1) what I think will adversly affect the other players, and 2) what hand i get, for example, if I get AK two times in one hand I will maybe raise 3xBB the first time and then limp the second. I really like to slow play sometimes if I flop a boat because then my opponents are afraid that I might have something at any given time.
What adjustments can (or should) we make on this strategy based on the average table we are faced with? How about vs. specific player types? We are told to do the opposite of the table to make money, but it really depends on the reactions of the table to your bets.

Responding To A Raise Behind You:
The author mentions that your decision in a hand should be based on you weighing out the different issues you have to deal with, and most of the time, they will point you in generally the same direction. What are these 7 issues and how do they affect our decision? You have to take into account your hand, your position, how many people have acted before you, and how many people are left to act. What are the pot odds, and also how agressive are people, plus what is the status of the tournament - IE chip stacks, blinds etc. If it is early in a tournament you may just not want to risk it. If you are short stacked it might be a factor in your decision. Also keep in mind your pot odds in relation to your hand odds. I always forget about pot odds when I get in a heated battle and it is something I need to work on.

Limping Into Pots:
What are the pros and cons regarding limping into pots preflop with a wide range of hands?
When is it a good idea to limp preflop?
When is it not a good idea to limp preflop?
You can flop a monster out of a weak hand, but you can also lose alot of chips. I find alot of people online tend to go in with alot of weak hands. If you get 5 people going in with weak hands against your AK you are probrobly gonna lose. Even if you have KK you will probrobly lose. Especially online where every hand results pretty much in a flush or straight. I sometimes do this too although Dorkus says you shouldnt. The time to limp with alot of weak hands preflop is when you are up against weaker players and you want to get their chips before they give them away to someone else.
The Squeeze Play: Exploiting The Sandwich Effect: How/why does this play work? Early raiser , followed by a caller. Late positon reraise. Now the early raiser is in trouble because the caller probrobly has a better hand than him, and the late raiser also most likely has a good hand to be entering after 2 people. It makes the original raiser likely to fold because even if he calls the original caller could still raise so it puts him in a spot. I cant remember if this is the same as what I do when a guy goes all in for 200 and then someone with 1000 calls, I raise to 2000 to knock out the caller and gain better odds against the 200 all-in player.

All In Before The Flop: Why is it that open pushing QQ, for example, is a bad play given the circumstances in the author's example?
How would this change at the average small-stakes table?
Do you think it would become profitable enough long-term to make this play a significant tool in your arsenal? The chances of losing to AA, KK are greater the blinds are worth. Most of the Time I go in with QQ someone shows AA. But at small stakes tables where people call with anything you could be up against 74o and the villian flops 44 or 7k4, and you'll be worried about the K but he really got you with the two underpair. Also at the small tables people love to chase flushes and straights and they catch them alot on the river. So going all in with QQ is not going to deter them and the result will be a suckout.

whew...big section :/
 
ChuckTs

ChuckTs

Legend
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Total posts
13,642
Good stuff, 12skin. Thanks for chipping in with your answers and opinions.

Reading over your post and answering the questions myself in my head made me really realize just how big this section is and that I really should have split it up...ah well :/
 
Top