Pre-flop post-flop betting contradiction

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tealurker

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From the 30-day course, and other sources, I understand it is good to raise pre-flop when you have a hand. One of the arguments given is so others won't be able to limp in and form a threat post-flop.

However, post-flop it seems to be that you want weaker hands to call instead (and stronger ones to fold).

I can imagine it'd become a mess if you just limp pre-flop and I've stopped doing already for quite some time. Nonetheless I feel like asking again: Why, odds-wise, wouldn't you want weaker hands (or a lot weaker ones at least) to call you pre-flop? Wouldn't it pay out in the long term?
 
akmost

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Because we want to go heads up post flop, if possible.By allowing our opponents to see a family flop with their trashy hands ,makes our hand's equity make a free fall.That's why many players experiencing hard times in some micro stake games.Because they play against random clickers.

Heads up post flop we will be able to narrow down our opponents hand based on:
-His pre flop action(flat , 3bet , BB defend etc),
-How he reacted to our cbet in a dry / wet board,
-How he played the turn , some hands need protection on the turn whereas some others can be slow played because they have showdown value,
-Did he raise first in in early/middle/late position
...etc...

All the above make a difference for a decent poker player in order to put his opponent in a range.

Even 3 way flops are way more difficult to be played.

Hope I understood the question correctly though :D
 
Phoenix Wright

Phoenix Wright

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Great post above mine. Another factor to consider why this isn't a "contradiction" is because it is at a different stage in the hand. If we are playing a solid hand preflop, then we want the okay-ish hands with decent equity to fold (and if everyone folds then we happily take the pot uncontested). As the post above states, "...hand equity make a freefall [when we face multiple opponents]."

However, post-flop, our situation is slightly different because now we typically know that they aren't continuing with a trashy hand that may have more equity than we would like (since they called to the flop). Now we can shift into value betting if our hand is likely best.

I guess the "slight difference" is that post-flop, we figure that they probably folded the worse hands that might pick up something and if they do still have one of those hands, then we are still getting a good price on them post-flop. Hope this helps :)
 
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tealurker

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First of all thanks akmost, this is really a great answer. You state it very clearly.
As you and @Phoenix sort of mention, the idea sounds like equity denial (just learned the term from day 12, although it didn't answer my question here).

As akmost interestingly mentions: micro-stakes players might face a hard time. I have exactly this feeling myself, although I don't deny it might very well be me being unskilled as of yet. However, I do see a lot of players in micro-stakes still ending up with said weaker hands post-flop, even though I 2bet/3bet pre-flop.

Sometimes, I lose quite a big amount of my stack against these players. Currently, after about ~2 weeks of playing, I found myself rising from $10 to $20, after which I dropped back again to $13. I did have a couple of bad losses because I couldn't let go of hands, lacking proper rationale.

Do you think I might have a better time on somewhat higher stakes? (atm playing 2NL)

I come across the idea that playing micro-stakes needs quite a different strategy than the regular ones being taught and that that's why what I'm learning at the moment isn't as effective. (noticed Jonathan Little has a book about micro-stakes specifically: "Competent players who generally play larger stakes will, of course, beat them. But they won't beat them for nearly as much as they ought to. Why? Because they don't understand how to adjust correctly."
 
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fundiver199

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The more cards are still to come, the closer equities will tend to run, and the more value it therefore has to deny equity by getting worse hands to fold. Sometimes denying equity will also take away a reverse implied odds spot.

Let us say for instance, that someone has made a standard open, and we look down at AK. If we just call rather than 3-bet, then someone behind might also call with 44, which puts us in a reverse implied odds spot postflop. This is because, the pot will only get big, if the runout is something like A84 or K42, where we are always on the bad side of a cooler.

If we 3-bet on the other hand, we knock 44 out of the pot, while original raiser might still call us with hands like AQ, AJs or KQs, which we dominate, and where we have better implied odds. Flop comes A84, and now we stand to win a big pot against AQ or AJs rather than lose a big pot against 44.

This is not only about preflop vs. postflop. Each street is different, and even on the flop and turn you still need to think about equity denial, whereas this is obviously not the case on the river. On the river you either have the best or worst hand, or its a chop.
 
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tealurker

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The more cards are still to come, the closer equities will tend to run, ...

Nice, thanks. This is a good one to keep in the back of my head.
Also your example gives a good picture, even though on a micro-stakes table the chance seems still relatively high that someone might call with 44 after a 3bet.
 
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1nsomn1a

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poker stars taught me not to play slowly with strong hands and monsters, because almost every time you give a chance to a random hand to beat my aces, it always happens.:)
 
akmost

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Glad you found my post helpful.
As a recreational myself I would say that in those micro-limits which I also participate I always have in my mind the below 2 things:

a)Always have a strong preflop game , especially the RFI(raise first in) ranges must be strong.Applying the above will distress you more than you can imagine and it is the key for multitabling. By understanding this after a while you will be able to play more tables(if you want of curse) than usually because the most important move in this particular game will be in the autopilot. So find some charts and follow them.

Needless to mention that everything depends in this game like narrow/widen the RFI range(line up / phase of the tournament / loose , tight players etc) but a strong pre flop game is vital.

b)In micro stakes ,players fast play almost everything so if you find a ''resistance'' if they fight back they usually have it , so don't be the one who pays them.
So super important; you must also label your opponents and know who is regular. Against micro stakes regulars you may play with some bluffs etc.

As for moving up stakes wish I could help you more but I am not an expert :p
You can find professional in the forum with AMA threads so check them out :)
 
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fundiver199

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Also your example gives a good picture, even though on a micro-stakes table the chance seems still relatively high that someone might call with 44 after a 3bet.

This is true, but now the Villain with 44 is making a long term losing play, because he is calling to setmine without getting anywhere near the 20 times implied odds, that Collin talk about in the video. And whenever you induce people to make mistakes, you profit. Maybe not this one time, if he actually flops his set, but 7 out of 8 times, he wont, and he will usually have to fold to your C-bet, even when his 44 is the best hand, because your AK has missed the flop.

To return to your question "dont we want worse hands to call preflop" the answer is, that yes we do, but only when we have a very strong hand, and we want them to pay to see a flop. Also with surpricingly many hands our long term profit per hand is actually going to be less than 1,5BB, which mean, that even for a cash game with no antes it is actually a better outcome, if everyone folds, and we pick up the blinds uncontested.

In my PT4 database I have around 370k cash game hands, which I played on pokerstars. And running filters for starting hands the only hands, where I have won more than 150 BB / 100 on average are JJ+, and AJs+. Even AKo has only made me 100 BB / 100 hands, and as for AJs and AQs the results should be taken with a grain of salt due to sample size issues even over this many hands.

So actually even when we enter the pot with hands as strong as TT or AKo, we stand to win more money on average, if everyone fold, and we just pick up the blinds, than if we get action. To be fair this does also include spots, where we get unfavourable action like getting 3-bet or 4-bet. If we look only at spots, where a player in the blinds called our open raise, the results would probably be a little better.

But even so when we raise preflop the vast majority of the time we are actually bluffing in the sense, that we stand to win more money or chips, if everyone fold, than if we get action.

I think, this comes as a surprice to most poker players, who have not done this kind of analysis already. Intuitively we lust after action and getting to stack someone. But especially in the mid and late stage of a tournament, stealing blinds and winning other small pots without showdown is really the key to accumulating chips.
 
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