HOW TO PLAY KK IN EARLY POSITION

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intlplaya

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WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO PLAY KK IN EARLY POSITION?
 
B

bw07507

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That is a very general question, but I will try to answer it. I will always raise this 4-5x the BB in early position. If the table is very aggressive and you are fairly sure someone will raise the pot later on you could limp this then reraise the original raiser, but I would only do this if I was 90% sure someone was going to throw in a raise after me.
 
tonymaclennan

tonymaclennan

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I like to take the pot down pre-flop! Pocket pairs scare me :p

PokerStars Game #10653391459: Hold'em No Limit ($0.01/$0.02) - 2007/06/27 - 20:12:22 (ET)
Table 'Tvashtri II' 9-max Seat #8 is the button
Seat 1: tonymaclenna ($4.60 in chips)
Seat 2: blindeye87 ($1.04 in chips)
Seat 3: meangene11 ($3.09 in chips)
Seat 4: WChang ($2.54 in chips)
Seat 6: witstile ($3.18 in chips)
Seat 8: Jones5780 ($0.73 in chips)
Seat 9: hairy45 ($3.08 in chips)
hairy45: posts small blind $0.01
tonymaclenna: posts big blind $0.02
WChang: posts small blind $0.01
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to tonymaclenna [Kc Kh]
blindeye87: raises $1.02 to $1.04 and is all-in
tonymaclenna said, ":-D"
meangene11: folds
WChang: folds
witstile: folds
tonymaclenna said, "Ill play blindeye"
Jones5780: folds
hairy45: folds
tonymaclenna: calls $1.02
*** FLOP *** [Jd 3h 2s]
*** TURN *** [Jd 3h 2s] [Ah]
*** RIVER *** [Jd 3h 2s Ah] [7d]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
tonymaclenna: shows [Kc Kh] (a pair of Kings)
blindeye87: mucks hand
tonymaclenna collected $2 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $2.10 | Rake $0.10
Board [Jd 3h 2s Ah 7d]
Seat 1: tonymaclenna (big blind) showed [Kc Kh] and won ($2) with a pair of Kings
Seat 2: blindeye87 mucked [8h 8s]
Seat 3: meangene11 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 4: WChang folded before Flop
Seat 6: witstile folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 8: Jones5780 (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 9: hairy45 (small blind) folded before Flop
 
reglardave

reglardave

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Sine preflop there is only one hand better, I think you should raise big- 5 to 6x BB; you're much better off isolating one caller-2 at most- than trying to get them to hold up against a family pot. If you have a good read on a LAG player at your table, you might scale back a little and rerais, as bw suggests, but I don't like to count on that play. Get as much of you money in preflop as you can, while you are fairly sure you're in the lead.
 
kidkvno1

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I am beginning to wonder if standard rules apply to online poker. The preflop raise does not seem to be respected at all on full tilt in my opinion. I'm not sure too many are really paying enough attention to how players bet...maybe 4 of the 9 at the table. I am hoping cardschat freerolls are different and I have heard that the players for cardschat PLAY POKER and I am looking forward to it. Don't let the name fool you.
In freerolls, and low buy-ins, your raise does not get any respected... Yes CCs freerolls are better.
 
jdeliverer

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I am beginning to wonder if standard rules apply to online poker. The preflop raise does not seem to be respected at all on full tilt in my opinion. I'm not sure too many are really paying enough attention to how players bet...maybe 4 of the 9 at the table. I am hoping cardschat freerolls are different and I have heard that the players for cardschat PLAY POKER and I am looking forward to it. Don't let the name fool you.

This is only true in freerolls... standard rules apply online as soon as you start playing for any real money (and more so as you move up in limits).

Are you sure 4x and 5x the BB is a good choice? From what I understand 3x the BB is a standard raise. I've also heard you're supposed to be consistent with raises no matter the hand so they cannot place you on anything i.e. you raise the same amount with AA as you would AQo. If you do raise 4x and 5x the BB won't it be immediately obvious to the villians immediately place you on KK or AA?

Yes, which is why you don't raise more based on the hand. You raise more based on the position. In late position you would raise to 3xBB. In EP you want to discourage action, and so you charge more for others to see the flop. You want to raise more with both AA and 9-10s.
 
Stu_Ungar

Stu_Ungar

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Do not slow play KK, by limping in early position.

If you get called rather than raised, you have limited the size of the pot you can profitably play it in. I see it happen lots of times. Someone limps with KK gets called, bets the flop, bets the turn and then either bets or shoves the river.

The shove only gets called by a better hand, the bet gets paid off, but the payoff is not reflective of KK.

If you limp, get raised and then reraise preflop, the reraise often is not that much more than a standard opening raise, so you don't gain all that much as they then fold your rereaise.

Now if you open and they reraise you, comming over the top allows you to take down a bigger pot or get all of your money in preflop.

KK is a very difficult hand to play when a single Ace appears on the flop.

For this reason Harrington states that limping with KK is not something he does, not even as a range balencing tool, and Harrington is big on range balencing, but the fact that a single Ace on the flop destroys the hands potential, he does not advise limping.
 
Stu_Ungar

Stu_Ungar

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This is only true in freerolls... standard rules apply online as soon as you start playing for any real money (and more so as you move up in limits).



Yes, which is why you don't raise more based on the hand. You raise more based on the position. In late position you would raise to 3xBB. In EP you want to discourage action, and so you charge more for others to see the flop. You want to raise more with both AA and 9-10s.

Another way of thinking of it is that you raise by a size which is reflective of your range in that position.

So in EP, your range is tight, therefore you raise more in LP where your range is wider.

Your range is tighter in EP because you do not have position and are therefore at a disadvantage (even with AA) for the rest of the hand.

In late position, you have position and therfore can profitably play more hands.

On the button your range is at its widest, and depending on the blinds, you may be stealing all of the time.
 
acehearts1

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id make a raise of about 4x the BB in early position with KK .. i never limp in case someone with A 3 calls and flops an A or even a set of A's lol .. id much rather win a small pot of blinds then lose a big one with someone who limped in with A3
 
J

josh_dei8

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Dont limp it, it will kill you. I like the raise of 4-5 BB but if I have been playing very tight, everyone folds to me and my stack hasnt been improved much. So if my image is tight, I might just raise 2.5 - 3 BB, to get some action. But if that Ace hits the flop, I may have to consider laying it down if my c-bet is reraised.
 
undone

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I normally raise 3 to 4 BB if i am early... If i see a re raise normally i am going to go ahead and re raise them because i don't want to deal with a drawing hand....
 
cardplayer52

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i know people say otherwise. but i find at the right type of table w/aggressive preflop raisers. i don't mind going for a limp/raise in the right spots. and at the 1/2's i do the limp shove too. i think the lmp/hove gets no respect and "it just has to be a bluff" they call. but if your not 99% sure there will be a raise behind you i would make it 3-4xbb.
 
Stu_Ungar

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i know people say otherwise. but i find at the right type of table w/aggressive preflop raisers. i don't mind going for a limp/raise in the right spots. and at the 1/2's i do the limp shove too. i think the lmp/hove gets no respect and "it just has to be a bluff" they call. but if your not 99% sure there will be a raise behind you i would make it 3-4xbb.


I think its a level thing.

When people ask how to play a certain hand, I think the advice given should be the basic ABC works 90% of the time answer.

As a player develops he becomes better at reading hands and situations and can then start to break the rules.

But you have to learn to walk before you can run.

Players who vear from the standard play at low stakes, usually do so at their own peril because their opponents do not play correctly (in a way designed to maximise winnings) so they are very difficult to out level.

If someone asks a basic question, I think it deserves a basic answer as the player's post flop skills are probably not that good yet. This will develop over time, at which point the player will know how and when he can break the rules.

Offering alternatives just confuses the issue.

Therefore I do think the correct play, for anyone who asks... is to raise.
 
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Reducto

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It really depends on the game. Online micro stakes, I'd put in my standard 4x BB raise and re-raise if I get raised. Live, I'd raise to whatever it takes to wake people up and chase all but one or two out. This amount varies quite a bit at my casino depending on what the stakes are and how aggressive people have been. Usually 5-8BB will do the trick. A 3x raise at those tables will get 5-7 callers, no joke.

In a tournament it depends on the blinds and stack sizes. Under 10BB I'd insta-push. In very limited circumstances I might limp if I were sure someone is going to raise and I have a big stack.
 
Deco

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For all those people suggesting we limp-raise or raise 6xBB how do we balance it?
 
Stu_Ungar

Stu_Ungar

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Here is an example of KK played badly

Stacks:
MP2 with $10.64
MP3 with $19.00
CO with $19.65
BTN with $20.09
SB with $19.14
BB with $15.21
UTG with $10.31
UTG+1 with $10.14
MP1 with $19.84


Blinds: $0.05/$0.10
Site: Full Tilt Poker
Dealt to MP1:Q♠ Q♦
Sklansky group 1
Preflop:
2 players fold.
Hero raises to $0.40
1 players fold.
MP3 raises to $1.50
4 players fold.
Hero calls [$1.10]
Total folds this street: 7
Potsize: $3.15
Flop:
2♥ Q♣ 2♦
Hero bets [$1.50]
MP3 raises to $4
Hero raises to $8
MP3 raises to $17.50, and is all in
Hero calls [$9.50]
MP3 shows :
K♣ K♦ Hero shows :
Q♠ Q♦
Potsize: $38.15
Turn:
5♣
Potsize: $38.15
River:
6♠
MP3 shows two pair, Kings and Twos
Hero shows a full house, Queens full of Twos Hero wins the pot ($36.15) with a full house, Queens full of Twos



A few reads on the villian.

1. His PF 3 bet stat is very low <2%
2. His Post flop agression is very high after the flop, i.e. if he hist the flop he goes to showdown with anything. (this kind of fits in with his low PFR as most of the time when he raises PF he has the best hand and therfore bets every street.)
3. His PF stats were 24/7/0.5 The wide discrepency betewwn his VPiP and PFR often means he is a fish. Players with these stats tend to (not always) but tend to play bad post flop.


So lets put it all together. This guy never 3 bets and has a low agression preflop.. So his 3 bet signals AA/KK

My hand does not stack up against this tight range, so I cannot think of comming over the top to induce a fold. Therefore I should fold.

The first mistake he makes is his 3-bet size. We are deep stacked, he dosen't raise enough to prevent set mining. He offers me about 15:1 on an event which happens 7.5:1

Its a large bet to call, but based on his lack of hand reading skills and the fact he likes to take his hands to showdown, I think there is a very good chance he will stack off (im practicaly certain of it)

I call.

I have no intention of c-betting any flop here.

I hit my set... actually its a FH, but thats irrelivent.

I lead out like a c-bet, I dont want him to slow play (fearing I may fold) I want to get all of the money in.

He reraises... perfect!

I min raise, sort of trying to make him think i'm playing back at him, I dont know, maybe a flat call would have been better in the LR.

He shoves... I call

Had his hand reading skills been better then he would realise that the pot was way too big for me to be bluffing.

His PF 3bet range is so tight that I have to think he has AA/KK

He left me with perfect set-mining odds.

I may c-bet but after his raise, I have to have the goods.

Had he raised stronger PF I would have folded.

Had I not hit post flop, the most he could hope from the hand is about 30BB although my decision preflop was not to C-bet so all he stood to win by playing poorly preflop was the PFR (11BB)

He stood to loose his whole stack (about 200BB).

So don't start playing KK differently from the ABC aproach unless you can hand read and confidently fold.

Another factor which comes into play is the stack size. He had recently doubled up from 100BB too 200BB.

His play would not have been as bad with a 100BB stack as a 200BB stack as he was risking less.

I don't think stack sizes factored into his PF decision
 
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Stu_Ungar

Stu_Ungar

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For all those people suggesting we limp-raise or raise 6xBB how do we balance it?

At low stakes, we don't

At higher stakes I would suggest not balancing KK, but instead balancing with AA as it isnt dominated postflop by a single ace
 
Deco

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At low stakes, we don't

At higher stakes I would suggest not balancing KK, but instead balancing with AA as it isnt dominated postflop by a single ace

In most cases balancing isn't necessary at low stakes but my god are limp raises obvious.
Why risk turning our hand face-up when we could just do the normal thing and raise it.
Plus x% of the time were gunna get a big limped in multiway pot.

At higher stakes were using AA to balance our open limping?
Why are we open limping in the first place?
 
Stu_Ungar

Stu_Ungar

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In most cases balancing isn't necessary at low stakes but my god are limp raises obvious.
Why risk turning our hand face-up when we could just do the normal thing and raise it.
Plus x% of the time were gunna get a big limped in multiway pot.

At higher stakes were using AA to balance our open limping?
Why are we open limping in the first place?

Well I don't!!

I'm a micro stakes player so its pointless.

But the reason for balancing with open limping would be so that you could add a few suited connectors into your PF range.

Now when you c-bet postflop with air, people are less willing to shove over the top thinking you could have air because occasionally you limp with AA.
 
pifan

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im confused by this
The first mistake he makes is his 3-bet size. We are deep stacked, he dosen't raise enough to prevent set mining. He offers me about 15:1 on an event which happens 7.5:1

1.10 to call a 2.00 pot is less than 2/1 odds or are you going by implied odds from stack sizes.

also what size of raise does he need to make to get you to fold QQ based on his stats there stu
btw i think this a great example
 
Stu_Ungar

Stu_Ungar

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im confused by this
The first mistake he makes is his 3-bet size. We are deep stacked, he dosen't raise enough to prevent set mining. He offers me about 15:1 on an event which happens 7.5:1

1.10 to call a 2.00 pot is less than 2/1 odds or are you going by implied odds from stack sizes.

also what size of raise does he need to make to get you to fold QQ based on his stats there stu
btw i think this a great example

Its the implied odds

I'm calling $1.10 and he has about $17 left in his stack.

pot odds don't justify the call at all.

What makes this situation profitable is his low 3bet tendency and his post flop agression.

Most of the time, when people talk about set mining they arent doing it correctly. They look at the size of the bet they have to call. Look at the size of the opponents stack.. see that they are getting 15:1 and think im set mining so I call.

The problem is that you also have to have good reason to think your opponent will actually put his whole stack in, otherwise you are not set mining!!

So with this guy, his 3 bet stat is so low he has to have AA/KK and his post flop aggression is very very high, so he bets bets bets. This makes sense with his low PFR stat. He often has the best hand so he bets.


What size would stop me from set mining?

The odds of hitting a set are 7.5:1

To make the play work you need much better odds than that because you cannot guarantee he will stack off.. and ocassionally he will stack off and still beat you.

So the general rule is at least 10:1.. 15:1 is better and 25:1 is brilliant.

In this case I would have taken 10:1 because I just felt that he was certain to stcak off.. maybe an A would have cooled him off, beond that I was happy he would stack.

So he needed to either put in about $2 or make a decision preflop that he would not stack off with this hand

Had he had only 100BB to begin with then I could not have called his $1.10 raise, I just wouldnt be getting good enough odds.

If his 3 bet range were wider I would not have taken 10:1 I would hhave needed at least 15:1 - 20:1 (which in this situation I was getting) to compensate for the times where I hit my set but he holds AK and refuses to get all the oney in postflop.

Hope that makes sense!
 
pifan

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could he of put you on AQ in that same situation thinking he had you beat in micro stakes it is a huge possibility you see AQ stacking all the time.i dont know about ring but in tourneys. so to him he could be thinking he is ahead.

and yes i see what you are talking about with implied odds per stack size
 
Stu_Ungar

Stu_Ungar

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could he of put you on AQ in that same situation thinking he had you beat in micro stakes it is a huge possibility you see AQ stacking all the time.i dont know about ring but in tourneys. so to him he could be thinking he is ahead.

and yes i see what you are talking about with implied odds per stack size

He could well have.

The Q on the flop is a nice card as it gives me some credability (AQ)

I did think that at the time. Hitting a set with TT JJ QQ means that your oponent can think Ax
 
Four Dogs

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Whats with all these 5-6xbb raises? Are folks crazy? Why so much? Just get some money in the pot. Open raise for 3-4xbb and see what happens. If you get a bunch of callers just check the flop and see what develops. If you get 1 or 2 then auto CB the flop 3/4 pot. I'd probe if an ace falls, 1/2 pot. See if you get raised. If it's just flatted then keep the pot small and call a river bet. DONE!
 
SPCotter

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Coming home after a few beers, the main point I have is that Stu has come up with the goods again! :D

There is something to be said for minraising in early position in an agressive game. Agressive players read minraises as weak, and they can't help but to come over the top when they smell weakness. Then you can really pop them. It's sweet when they throw down a big raise, and I use almost all my time like I'm really thinking about it, and then push. Then they insta-call with JJ or AK, like their ship just came in.

Aside from the standard raise, disguising your hand... if the table permits, this is the way to go, on a more normal table I will play KK like any other *strong* hand in early position, std raise etc.

If you have passive short stacks and such at your table that will raise not recognise in this sense the significance of your min raise it is a good play, in early position only I stress, with shortstacks only I like to play KK, AA in an 'awkward' manner, because they like to steal more postflop, and are easier to trap, otherwise, a standard raise pre flop and wise play post flop works, because, if you get funny pre flop, chances are, if you find yourself with serious action post flop against someone with a playable stack, and you find it hard to lay down KK (which on many boards is easier said than done!), you will be behind, not ahead, like I say, unless you find yourself in a cash game with a passive / calling station you need to play this 'properly', if you take it down pre flop, chances are you were not going to get action with anything that doesn't beat you post flop unless you're against a complete donkey. So while you feel like you're not getting any value or any worth pre flop, you cannot dictate what other people have, and as already mentioned, if you come across this type of hand getting 'funny' (limping, min raising etc.) you are not improving the value and worth of your hand, and against any reasonably skilled and disciplined player, you will not pick up ANY worthwhile pots with anything other than a standard raise. CONSISTENCY is the key in most circumstances :)

In summary, pre flop, I treat KK and AA the same, but post flop is a totally different ball game.

I will probably come back sober to this thread in the morning! :D
 
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