Found my “target audience”…

Well, Judith obviously saw the “Ode to Judith” post, where I discussed the min raise. Her paraphrased responses are as follows:

“OK teach - This was among the first things I read. You do make a very strong case as usual - and I really do understand and agree for 95% of the time. However (just so you remember I love to discuss/debate as much as you do) how about the following ideas: (I know you will kill them with some big bang but here it goes anyway)

1)- I want to increase the pot a bit at a minimum cost to me as I see potential in my cards - in other words - I risk 40 call it lost leader - pot will increase 5 - 6 times that if I get my cards I got extra chips from more people - if not - I did not lose anything that really matters.

2)- I hope to obtain some level of "respect" from other players that I can build on.

3)- I think I have a decent hand but I am too low on chips - to risk preflop 3-4 x the blinds - it takes too much out of my stack .... (this last one I probably can argue your point for you lol)


PS - my eyes are improving in leaps and bounce my spelling is not”

I should note, I ran spell check before posting, so spelling is not an issue J

“Oh yes and one more comment/question would you should you raise hard preflop with say AK - as you put it it only can beat a bluff - then why risk so many chips on it? This is a very honest question - I am not cheeky or something - but what is the best thing to do? limp? or put out the bet and if flop misses you... retreat? or pretend? Here is an other Q I meant to ask you for some time now - when I see (in a all in situation) say a 44 against a AK or a 77 against an AK if I remember correctly the 77 has higher odds then the 44 - why? Or am I just having vision issues? LOLCheers teach”

So Judith, let us break down the above scenarios and put this min raise theory of ours into the grinder.

In response to number one, you want to increase the pot at minimal cost. I am assuming that you are putting in this “min-raise” being the first person to open the pot. Typically speaking, while you may “build a pot,” you will not be successful in knocking players out of the hand. Typically, they will treat this as a limp, thus they will limp with the hands they would normally limp in with and raise with the hands they would normally raise. So, if the soul purpose of this min-raise is to begin to build a pot, it would be “acceptable.” My guess though is that if you do this often, will be reraised by “better” players with a larger hand raise, who is doing nothing more than making a positional play on you.

Additionally, it should be noted that many a player “complains” about how the best preflop hand in limit poker “rarely” holds up (I do not necessarily agree with this). A big reason why hands don’t necessarily hold in limit is because raises can only be put in by increasing from the previous bet (10/20 - first raise is 20...). This generally offers the blinds sufficient odds to play if they have somewhat of a hand, and there are callers between raiser and blind.

No limit, on the other hand, allows us the luxury of pricing in chasers or buying them out pretty much when we feel like it. I cannot think of many hands where I would purposely want five callers AND be raising from the early position. One might argue that hands such as 9-8 suited would not mind five callers. Do we really play that hand when we are in the early position?
If we are in the late position putting in a min raise, we are not fully utilizing our positional advantage. Anyone who has entered the pot will call, and we risk a re-raise if someone has put in a limp, with hopes of a raise behind. More often than not, one’s ego gets stuck and runs into a monster. Additionally, how can we get a read on our opposition’s hand ranges with a min raise. If they will limp with any “playable” hand (from position), we really do not know what our opponents might have. For these reasons, I am still not a fan of the min raise.

As for number two, “you plan to obtain some level of respect from other players you can build on.” I hate to be the one to say this, but the Beer Guy has a real hard time respecting a min raise. In fact, I would be inclined to come over top of that min raise more often than not, providing I had position and was in a position to at the very least hold up (+EV) heads up. So honestly, I am not sure how one would plan to build respect with a min raise.

And for the third point you made, Judith, I think I have a decent hand but I am too low on chips - to risk preflop 3-4 x the blinds - it takes too much out of my stack .... (this last one I probably can argue your point for you lol). Go back and read my endgame series. If your chip stack is too low, you are in all-in or fold mode. You have no post flop betting power at this time, so you might as well maximize the impact of your bet. Push all-in or fold!

The AK ordeal

As for your commentary on the AK ordeal, I believe you took my quote entirely out of context. If I recall correctly, the board missed you completely, while you were holding AK. A face card did flop (queen, I believe). Your opposition pushed all-in, you called. The only hand you could beat at the time of the call was a bluff. Any pocket pair beat you, any pair beat you, and any set beats you. You cannot “correctly” make the call on that particular bet unless you are deep stacked and your opponent is short stacked, generally speaking.

77 is 54-45 heads up vs. AK. 44 is 53-46. Quickly, the reason that 7’s are ever so slightly higher than fours heads up vs. AK is because fours stand a slightly better chance of being counterfeited than sevens do. There are five values that help neither sevens nor AK but are higher than sevens (q, j, 10, 9, 8). There are eight values above fours that help neither the fours nor the ace king. It is more probable, mathematically speaking that the fours get counterfeited (board such as 10-10-5-5-2). The board missed the fours and the ace king, and the sevens and the ace king. 4’s vs. AK = AK win (by virtue of the ace kicker - 10-10-5-5-A, vs. 10-10-5-5-4). With 7s vs. AK, the sevens hold up (10-10-7-7-2 vs. 10-10-5-5-A). See why?

Keep asking questions and I will do my best to explain, discuss and debate!