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 Post subject: Raising vs calling with KK before the flop
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 1:44 pm 
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I've been reading "Winning Low Limit Hold 'em" and watching the WSOP on TV. I've noticed that most places tell you to raise, and even re-raise with AA KK before the flop. When doing this, how do you avoid chasing players out of the table? Whenever I play online, if I raise before the flop maybe 1-2 people will call, and if I re-raise, almost everyone folds and I win a crappy 50 cent pot. I don't blame them either. If it was before the flop and I had anything less than a pocket pair of AA - 88, or AK, AQ, I doubt I would call a raise.

Edit: I guess position matters, but if I'm in late position, I'm still only getting a fairly small pot if say 4-5 people call the blind.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 2:59 pm 
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Limit or no limit?

Sounds like you might be raising a bit too much if it's no limit.

If it's limit, where are you playing that everyone folds to a raise? I have yet to find a place like that. Pokerstars and TGC are fairly tight, resulting in smaller pots, but everywhere else, most players don't blink an eye to a raise in a limit game.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 3:26 pm 
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If its limit poker we are talking about, then NOT raising with AA or KK preflop is a HUGE mistake and i'll tell you why.

True, sometimes you'll win small pots because everyone folds. Or even just steal the blinds. Then you think... what a waste of AA or KK to win $1.50 in a 1/2 game. But guess what... be happy if you go heads up with one person.

Heads up, AA will win against one person 80% of the time. With every extra person, that win percentage goes down BIG TIME. Against 7 or 8 people, aces only win %30 of the time.... so if you can live with loosing with AA seven out of ten times, just call with them in early position and watch 7 people call to the flop. You will loose alot of the time.

So the ideal situation is to be against 1 or 2 people with the monster pockets.... you have to raise preflop regardless of position to keep people from jumping in. Blinds are unique.... the correct play is almost always to raise... An EXCEPTION is there are lots (ie 6) callers and you have AA in the blinds. Raising will not make anyone fold (they've put in 1 bet, they'll throw in a nother) but will build a big pot.... but now you've blown you're cover in early position and will probably have to bet every single round out from the blind. So to increase your chances of winning the pot, do not raise preflop... try to pull off a check raise on the flop. If everyone checks to the button or late position and he bets, then you check raise... 3 or 4 people will fold instead of calling your raise cold and you have HUGELY increased your chances of winning going up against 1 or 2 now instead of 6.

Last thing is pot size expectation. AA and KK are the best preflop hands but they DO NOT win the biggest pots (unless the improve to trips, etc). Hitting straight and flush draws win huge pots. Preflop raising AA or KK will not build a huge pot but just a normal sized one that you must be happy winning. Or take a gamble, without raising preflop.... there will be a huge pot but you will only win it 30-50% of the time. Plus poor play afterwards of steaming/tilt with loosing your monster.


Note: Lee Jones is a great first book to read. It will stop you from loosing money. But it is a beginners book, not at all teaching the best play for small stakes limit holdem. If you play Lee Jones at 1/2 etc, whether you win or loose basically depends on how good your cards are. Trust me, i played Lee Jones for 4 months when i was a beginner... sometimes win big, sometimes lose. But after 4 months i looked at my overall poker profits and i was up some but not what i expected from playing Lee Jones. I really expected to be making more because i though Jones system was so good and i was really playing it almost perfectly. Then i discovered some better books (sorry no hints) that really taught the correct poker for small stakes.... making perfect decisions based on mathetimatical expectations (positive expected value EV). Way beyond the basic knowing when to call with pot odds. Now I am destroying 2/4, 3/6 and even 5/10. Including regular redeposit bonuses, ive been profitting close to $1k a week at these games. I play everyday... for the last 15 days i haven't had a down day!. Poker truely is a game of skill.... with dedication to improving your self constantly there is a lot of money to be made.


Peace!

LLCoolRS


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 8:05 pm 
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Thanks for that great response. I read a little more and had no idea that AA or AK were power hands only against a few number of players. Actually, I had no idea the number of players even mattered, since i typically play my hands instead of the people (I know that's wrong). I'll start being more aggresive with raising. Thanks again!


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