Big Preflop raises

xOneCoolHandx

xOneCoolHandx

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Hi All,

So, I have noticed a recent trend in raising REALLY big preflop. I guess it's not really that recent, I used to see it years ago in cash ring games like $1/2 NL where people would raise to like $20 with AA to "protect their hand"...and I know it's a thing in smaller buyin games and freerolls but this is something I am seeing more and more of in regular tournaments and even in league. Is there some new solver thing I missed? For the last few years min raising has been a trend because of the deeper implementation of GTO into poker, but now the "solvers" hate the min raise and we are back to a more traditional 2.5-3.5 and sometimes 4x the BB raise preflop (stack size dependent, not hand strength dependent) although the min raising is still pretty popular.

So why all of a sudden am I seeing 4.4 to half stack raises preflop and a lot of them with hands that probably should be going in the muck?

Anyway, Happy Holidays to all of you :icon_bigs
 
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LFC_yllnwa

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I think it's simple. Poker is developing, there are more new young players who are not inclined to slow and calm poker, to put it simply, there are a lot of aggressive players who do not have patience and calmness. It is not fashionable to sit at the table for a long time. I will say my opinion, I would be happy if the players returned completely to the game with minimal raises and a long gradual game, but I think this is absolutely impossible now, especially in online poker. I think the percentage of super aggression is much lower at big, well-known world major tournaments.
 
Collin Moshman

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It depends a lot on effective stack.

At 20bb for example, while there are times to limp or shove, if you're making a standard raise it should almost always be 2x or just over. At 150bb, it makes a lot more sense to increase raise-sizing and 3x or even higher can be a good option.

If someone is making a surprising raise-size pre-flop, the most common explanation is that they're a recreational player. But if their post-flop game is solid, then it could for sure be that it's a good player doing something creative.
 
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Valkyria_Jane

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Hi All,

So why all of a sudden am I seeing 4.4 to half stack raises preflop and a lot of them with hands that probably should be going in the muck?


I am a recent player in poker and play about 6 months. I have friends who plays a while. Once I said that it is difficult to keep the stack arount 25BB when you run deep. Then one of my friends said that he uses the trick how in one deal to get about 8BBs. Is just raise 3,5 or 4BB preflop with solid hands as AJo+ or poket pairs is better depend on your position, then Cbet on flop. As you can see, you get your 3,5BB of openraise, then get call from any of opponent, also add antes and 1,5BB from SB and BB. Total 10BB per deal. Then I started to do so. As a result, much more deeprun rates. Mostly it helps to stay in track in the turney. Key idea - don't overbluff your hands.

Hope my english is well enough to deliver you the idea concerning such preflop openraise sizing.
 
xOneCoolHandx

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It depends a lot on effective stack.

At 20bb for example, while there are times to limp or shove, if you're making a standard raise it should almost always be 2x or just over. At 150bb, it makes a lot more sense to increase raise-sizing and 3x or even higher can be a good option.

If someone is making a surprising raise-size pre-flop, the most common explanation is that they're a recreational player. But if their post-flop game is solid, then it could for sure be that it's a good player doing something creative.


Totally spot on as usual Collin, and I agree with the analysis and use a very similar strategy that you have outlined. I have just noticed that a lot of players have gone to a 4.4 BB raise from a 30-60 BB stack...and not just with premium hands. Some of these are pretty good players, some are rec players that are just doing what they see others doing.

I really like to watch the trends in poker across the different levels since I play quite a variety of levels and this has been one that has been growing over the last 5 or 6 months. Have you been seeing anything similar in your games?
 
Phoenix Wright

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My preflop raising is generally in that "solid" range mentioned of 2x-4x (based on variables like effective stack, position, players etc. (but not hole cards!).

However, lots of newer players lack post-flop confidence with so much preflop teaching and preflop charts online (many of which are free). Perhaps they are raising big to discourage playing post-flop as often? Not as solid as learning post-flop skills, but sometimes the "logical" route isn't the one taken :D

Basically, raising big might just be a way they try to compensate for lack of post-flop ability. At least they "price you in" with a solid hand if they have to go up against you.
 
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fundiver199

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Totally spot on as usual Collin, and I agree with the analysis and use a very similar strategy that you have outlined. I have just noticed that a lot of players have gone to a 4.4 BB raise from a 30-60 BB stack...and not just with premium hands. Some of these are pretty good players, some are rec players that are just doing what they see others doing.

I think, this must be specific to ACR (it thats actually where you play), because I certainly dont see this on 888 Poker or pokerstars. Raising for 4.4BB out of a 30-60BB stack is only a reasonable strategy in the following two situations:

1) From SB against BB, because SB is out of position postflop, so especially in games with antes you need to go very big to not price BB in to call you with almost any cards.

2) As an exploitative strategy with premium hands in games, which are full of inelastic calling stations.

As for point number 2) it might be a factor, that some players have come over from live poker during the pandemic. In low stakes live cash games like 1/2, 1/3 or even 2/5 people are there to have fun, and a live table only deals 30 hands an hour, so the average VPIP is waaaaay higher than online. So raising large and only with strong hands is basically a low stakes live poker exploit, which some might try to carry over to online poker, because their usual casino is closed. Or maybe they just dont enjoy playing with face masks and plexiglass shields.

As for raising half your stack preflop, this obviously makes no sense, since you commit yourself. But I guess, some people might do it, because they think, there is a chance, it might fool their opponents into giving wider action, because they fail to notice, how little is left behind. Its a bit the same, when people raise for 95% of their stack leaving themselfes a small chance to either induce a folding mistake postflop or maybe sometimes get to showdown with a few chips left.

Finally it can be a bit subjective, who you see as "pretty good players". There is a wide spectrum of skill levels in poker, so its not always as simple as deviding people into clueless fish or world class crushers. You can call these "in between" players bad regs. They do some things right but other things wrong, and that large raise size might simply be one of the things, they are doing wrong.
 
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I always raise big with hands more than 10 j in preflight or same suit sequence cards
 
IntenseHeat

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Of course this may not account for all instances, but I often see players making oversized raises as a way of discouraging players from defending their blinds. For example, in a recent game I had just been moved to a new table where I had a huge chip advantage over table, with the exception of one player who had more than double my chip stack. This player alternated between making 8x to 10x raises and preflop shoving. Of course none of the other players at the table wanted to risk so much of their stacks with less than a premium hand, whereas this player could easily afford to double up just about anyone at the table without batting an eye. He continued taking advantage of this situation until one player did call him with a big hand, but lost, and got knocked out. It was only when the eliminated player's seat was filled by one of the tournament chip leaders that had enough chips to be a threat to his tournament life that this guy finally settled down somewhat. After that he would only make those big oversized raises and pre-flop shoves when the bigger stack had already folded in front of him.
 
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Collin Moshman

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Totally spot on as usual Collin, and I agree with the analysis and use a very similar strategy that you have outlined. I have just noticed that a lot of players have gone to a 4.4 BB raise from a 30-60 BB stack...and not just with premium hands. Some of these are pretty good players, some are rec players that are just doing what they see others doing.

I really like to watch the trends in poker across the different levels since I play quite a variety of levels and this has been one that has been growing over the last 5 or 6 months. Have you been seeing anything similar in your games?

Thanks! I'm mainly still seeing recreational players make these larger raises but will for sure be on the lookout now for regs experimenting with it too.
 
Emily Trott

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I think it's simple. Poker is developing, there are more new young players who are not inclined to slow and calm poker, to put it simply, there are a lot of aggressive players who do not have patience and calmness.
That does seem to be a pattern online, at least for the lower/micro limit tournaments that I play. Having played online now since March, due to Covid-19, it may also explain something that I witnessed at a live game early this year. A nice looking young man went allin pre or on the flop, lost, then re-entered at least four times within less than an hour.

His hands weren't very good at all, and it made no sense to me. He was at my table for a couple of these and I was really feeling sorry for him since with a $60 entry, he went through at least $300.
 
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In tournaments (so this may not apply entirely to your cash game question) I will occasionally open to 4-5BB in certain contexts as a means to protect hands like AK AQ JJ etc. Especially from late position. The reason is that a 2-3 BB raise from late position doesn't get very much respect and people will snap call, suspecting you're up to something. If I'm playing a hand like AQ or JJ I want to thin out the range of my opponents and you can't really do that with a standard 2-3x raise.

OTOH I wouldn't feel the need to do that from UTG because that type of raise gets tons of respect and might even be more effective than a larger late position raise in defending your holdings.

However, this does NOT apply to 1/2 live cash games, which are usually stocked full of maniacs whose motivations are largely impossible to understand, perhaps even by themselves
 
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LFC_yllnwa

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That does seem to be a pattern online, at least for the lower/micro limit tournaments that I play. Having played online now since March, due to Covid-19, it may also explain something that I witnessed at a live game early this year. A nice looking young man went allin pre or on the flop, lost, then re-entered at least four times within less than an hour.

His hands weren't very good at all, and it made no sense to me. He was at my table for a couple of these and I was really feeling sorry for him since with a $60 entry, he went through at least $300.

Yes, this is a really big problem in poker right now. I think a huge number of players see poker as more about earning money than enjoying the game. Unfortunately, I see that switching to a higher game limit does not help in this situation in online poker of course. I doubt that there will be such situations at a big world tournament, but there are a lot of opportunities in the online game now, to collect a very good Bank without a Deposit and continue to play a lot and very stupid without fear.. It may be worth limiting freerolls, but I think this is contrary to the strategy of poker rooms to increase the number of players and profit from them..
 
Adi8877

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I see it, too, mostly micro levels, and in the late reg phase, building a bigger stack, from any kind of players. I do the same nowadays on some turbos, and all the hyper turbos in late reg open pot size, but at least 2,5 BB. It is working , personally I think on those type of tourneys it is a must to build a good sized stack for the further phase of the tourney....
 
ninjareal

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Hi All,

So, I have noticed a recent trend in raising REALLY big preflop. I guess it's not really that recent, I used to see it years ago in cash ring games like $1/2 NL where people would raise to like $20 with AA to "protect their hand"...and I know it's a thing in smaller buyin games and freerolls but this is something I am seeing more and more of in regular tournaments and even in league. Is there some new solver thing I missed? For the last few years min raising has been a trend because of the deeper implementation of GTO into poker, but now the "solvers" hate the min raise and we are back to a more traditional 2.5-3.5 and sometimes 4x the BB raise preflop (stack size dependent, not hand strength dependent) although the min raising is still pretty popular.

So why all of a sudden am I seeing 4.4 to half stack raises preflop and a lot of them with hands that probably should be going in the muck?

Anyway, Happy Holidays to all of you :icon_bigs

hi all , Mark :)
I could offer that it depends whether mtt or cash game, for mtt I have seen some players raising 100bb allin in the 1st level, risking 100bb to win 1.5bb , lol , clearly a very risky and not worth it strategy imo, only gonna get called by a pocket pair who already has a 1/6 chance to hit a set, or premium hands AA KK QQ JJ AK AQ etc, and even AA is at risky vs say AK and flops KK7 for example, risked 100bb to win 1.5bb and then lost 100bb, just bad pot odds or whatever, I will say though that if players have been observing some real bad play - another player doing exactly this with weaker holdings, they'd be inclined to shove into this player ahead of them in the hopes of being called (with probably weaker holding) , so basically if one has a read etc or similar where we know they will call weak, then it's understandable.
I would also add that it seems to play into the push/fold idea that some seem to be using in mtt, it seems to work initially, but the risks are already outlined,

I must say I understand bigger raises 4x,5x etc into rivals who are more stubborn, and will call most raises in any position for 2-3x , at times I will like to make these players pay a higher premium for trying to "draw out on me" or indeed for other sinister reasons,
as with all raises there is risk, I'm not sure I understand "fold equity" all that well, but I like to balance my raises to a point where I can lay it down facing a 3 or 4bet ,
.not sure if I made any sense , so enjoy and we can all pick at my comments :p
.
ah I forgot to talk about cash games, depends on the limits perhaps, but cash games are all about mind games/levelling , a lot of lags will play this way on purpose and use an "extended stack" to base their game on, viz , buyin for $10 with maybe $200 behind in their BR , sacrifice maybe $30 to create an image and then seemingly continuing to do this whilst mixing in premium hands, I may be wrong of course as I can't read minds ... :p
 
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ninjareal

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That does seem to be a pattern online, at least for the lower/micro limit tournaments that I play. Having played online now since March, due to Covid-19, it may also explain something that I witnessed at a live game early this year. A nice looking young man went allin pre or on the flop, lost, then re-entered at least four times within less than an hour.

His hands weren't very good at all, and it made no sense to me. He was at my table for a couple of these and I was really feeling sorry for him since with a $60 entry, he went through at least $300.


hi , I don't see anything wrong with this wink wink :) kkkkkkkk , poker takes all types and we should encourage them all , as long as they don't fold when I raise , it's all good and we can be friends :p
 
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If regular atypically large raises on the preflop are a mistake, then just use it and win, the more mistakes your opponents make the better for You.:)
 
theANMATOR

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My experience is in exclusively tournament play.
I see this from three types of players

1. Tight players who want to get the most value from their premium holdings, and charge a higher price to anyone who wants to play the hand with them.

2. The aggro LAG. This player might not be a maniac, but he is raising larger - all aces, all pocket pairs, and all suited broadways - regardless of his position, stack size or stage of the tourney.

3. The manic who over charges all his playable hands - and is 3 betting over 65% of the hands he plays.

Here is the great thing, once you have identified which type of player the opponent who is making the large bet, you can play against that player accordingly.

The LAG and Maniac aren't able to play conservatively, so when you play with them buckle up, and have a strong hand, or the nut draw. Versus the tight player - watch for inconsistencies. If they all the sudden are limping UTG or calling down on the flop/turn - they might be slow playing a monster. Tight players are not always betting large with premiums, they are able to change tactics.

It's also a good practice to see how each 'type' plays post flop. The LAG and maniac are normally cbetting the flop 100% regardless of what it is, although LAGs might slow down at times. Pre flop aggression does not always translate to post flop, except when dealing with a lose player who is gonna value bet his hand regardless of the board, and the manic who thinks they always have the best hand at every stage and if they dont - can always pretend they do.

Also - to be quite honest, aggression is the easiest part of poker. So a lot of newer players will overplay their premium holdings - and hope they get called. It's quite simple to play vs these players, just fold and wait to trap them when they are 4x opening their pocket 88s or K/J suited, or A/9.

Since aggression is essentially the easiest part of the game to learn, newer players try to compensate for their lack in other areas that take time and dedication to improve upon.

I forgot to mention - in deep stack events (micro level) it seems players are defaulting to larger raises. Most of the daily deep stack events on ACR, at the micro level are also turbo or hyper events. So eventually those deep stacks turn into 10-20bb stacks - and the event merges into a push fold environment.
Since everyone is playing with 200+ bb it seems not to be out of line to open 4x instead of 2.2, or 3bet 10x instead of 6x.
 
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MAGICUZ

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This has both pros and cons!A regular player will never raise this big, even if he has AA,only an amateur can do it.An amateur player is afraid that weaker hands can go into his normal raise and knock him out and secondly, they put so much out of greed, they want everything at once.With such a non-standard game it will be very difficult to achieve something in poker.But, this is the business of everyone. Play however you want, it's your right )
 
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