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6max: Folding Small PP's In EP

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  1. #1
    BigSlickBaby's Avatar
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    Default 6max: Folding Small PP's In EP

    Games are evolving a lot right now. People are becoming tighter/more aggressive and depending upon the stakes/site/times you play, the reg/rec ratio at the tables can vary tremendously.

    That said, I'm starting to find myself feeling uncomfortable opening 22-55/66 from UTG in 6 max games. I have a 12% chance of hitting my set on the flop and it's pretty unlikely that I won't get 3b+ and wind up in a bad spot OOP.

    Is anyone else feeling this way? Even a year ago, 22 was an auto open UTG but today it just seems far less profitable. I'm wondering what more experienced players have to say about this subject as a whole, and then as it pertains specifically to the micros.
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  2. #2
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    Those set-mining hands are quite difficult to make money from when you're OOP. They're probably quite near 0 EV, even when played perfectly, much like suited connectors.

    These hands are brilliant to play if you can play them well, but you don't need to focus on learning how to "not lose" with those marginal hands while you're still leaking monies from unplugged holes in your straight-forward ABC game.

    I heartily endorse beginner players playing tighter than they've ever imagined for a while. Plenty of people argue that it will make the game boring if you're folding 80% of the time. My counter-argument is that it will allow them to spend the same amount of mental energy, but it removes a ton of clutter from tryinig to really intuitively internalize the most fundamental basics of poker: 1) playing strong ranges against weak ranges is easy money, and 2) playing in position makes for easier decisions ('cause acting last means more info)
  3. #3
    22 should be a fold UTG in my opinion, maybe 33 and 44 too if the table if tough. They're all holdings right on the margin of profitability for most players. 55 flops better than lower pairs, so I'd always open UTG.
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    88 flops a set more than it does an overpair. Should we fold that too?

    In all seriousness, you can make a case for both opening UTG and folding. But simply deciding not to play them there is a tad irresponsible, lazy, or whatever word I'm looking for. OP alluded to certain table conditions and that's exactly what we should be focusing on when deciding whether to play these small pairs from UTG.

    I mean, it's pretty obvious it's a fold if there are 3-bet happy villains at our table. We can't really call for set value if they 3-bet wide and 4-betting is atrocious. What if the table is loose-passive though? What if there are idiots in the blinds who will pay us off with garbage when we do hit a set? What if most effective stacks are deep?

    So yeah, taking small pairs out of your UTG range is perfectly fine when certain red flags exist. And I know the EV of a fold is 0 but to take them out of your range completely, regardless of conditions, well I think you're losing out on some profitable opportunities.
    Last edited by StarGrinder; 06-16-2017 at 08:39 PM.
  5. #5
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    88 UTG at 6-max is probably a solid open. 77 is probably a fold, but can be an open if the table is fishy. I don't think 66- will ever be a profitable open UTG 6-max.

    Just to put it out there, here's some sensible, tight opening ranges for 6-max beginners. If these seem "too tight" to you, give them a try for a session. They strip away the marginal and 0EV hands from early position, and open up broadly in late position.

    UTG: { 88+, ATs+, KJs+, QJs, AQo+ }
    MP: { 77+, ATs+, KTs+, QTs+, JTs, AJo+, KQo }
    CO/SB: {22+, A2s+, K9s+, Q9s+, J9s+, T8s+, 97s+, 87s, 76s, 65s, 54s, ATo+, KTo+, QTo+, J9o+, T8o+, 98o }
    BTN: { 22+, A2s+, K2s+, Q8s+, J7s+, T7s+, 96s+, 85s+, 74s+, 64s+, 53s+, A2o+, KTo+, QTo+, J9o+, T8o+, 98o, 87o }

    Just a reminder that these are opening ranges. Ranges to use when it's folded (or limped) to you in these positions.
    These are not VPIP ranges (except for UTG, obv.).
    There's no BB, since that's not necessary when it's folded to you, and you can check with ATC for free.
  6. #6
    BigSlickBaby's Avatar
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    55+ is the bare bottom for what I'll open UTG or in MP right now in 6max. I've just analyzed it enough and the small PP's from UTG simply are not profitable. You're hitting your set just over 12% of the time and with the possibility of getting 3b and facing a flop OOP or simply getting 2+ callers behind you so high, the set itself doesn't even mean as much. You're likely still beat by anyone who's still in the pot on the turn/river and you're OOP for the entire hand.

    Fish are still opening 22+ UTG though and it's extremely easy to profit off of these guys when you're in LP.
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  7. #7
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    I like how this thread is progressing. Makes me want to reassess my already reassessed ranges.
  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigSlickBaby View Post
    55+ is the bare bottom for what I'll open UTG or in MP right now in 6max.
    Filtered from last 350k hands at NL10-NL25 from the past year. Not a huge sample once filtered but 22-44 are never an 'auto-raise' anyway. Maybe you're referring to NL2 or NL5, idk. Table selection is just such a huge variable tho obv.

    Report
    https://gyazo.com/d272f2f0626215456501aaa9e9b6a0f6

    Graph
    https://gyazo.com/e8885d54862117939df674876149ebcc

    Taken from this sample:
    https://gyazo.com/e10123b58fa69073e6dc37e1cce1321e
  9. #9
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigSlickBaby View Post
    55+ is the bare bottom for what I'll open UTG or in MP right now in 6max. I've just analyzed it enough and the small PP's from UTG simply are not profitable. You're hitting your set just over 12% of the time and with the possibility of getting 3b and facing a flop OOP or simply getting 2+ callers behind you so high, the set itself doesn't even mean as much. You're likely still beat by anyone who's still in the pot on the turn/river and you're OOP for the entire hand.

    Fish are still opening 22+ UTG though and it's extremely easy to profit off of these guys when you're in LP.
    Check your tracking software and see if you're +$$ playing { 66, 55 } from UTG.
    Please share.

    I'm not trolling. I'm genuinely curious.

    In general, I'd suggest that if you're making money with 66- from UTG at 6-max, then you are playing some real fish.
    Do not be surprised if these become unprofitable when you move up in stakes.
    It's only a matter of opponent's skill before you'll be the fish if you play these.

    But... if you can profit with them, then you'd be a fish to NOT play them... so... let me know.
  10. #10
    I opened 22 profitably UTG in 6max over decently large samples in tougher games. 33 and 44 however...
  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    Check your tracking software and see if you're +$$ playing { 66, 55 } from UTG.
    Please share.

    I'm not trolling. I'm genuinely curious.

    In general, I'd suggest that if you're making money with 66- from UTG at 6-max, then you are playing some real fish.
    Do not be surprised if these become unprofitable when you move up in stakes.
    It's only a matter of opponent's skill before you'll be the fish if you play these.

    But... if you can profit with them, then you'd be a fish to NOT play them... so... let me know.
    Will definitely do. I just put in a 600 hand session and I'm starting to get the hang of things. A ton of of people are doing the same thing I did when I first started playing: Unrealistic expectations, not studying math, not understanding how radical variance can be, and terrible pride/entitlement issues. 2-3bb/100 is fine and if you expect to go in there just stacking fish after fish, you wind up in all sorts of situations you just never should have put yourself in.

    Regarding PP's - Forget early position. I've started raising limpers with these on the button and already, my winrate is jumping up as a result. I'll post the hand and then later on I'll do some filtering to see just how much I'm profiting (or not, right) with 55, 66 UTG.

    Winning Poker Network (Yatahay) - $0.02 NL (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players
    Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

    SB: $2.07 (VPIP: 18.42, PFR: 13.19, 3Bet Preflop: 1.23, Hands: 436)
    BB: $2.70 (VPIP: 21.12, PFR: 16.15, 3Bet Preflop: 1.75, Hands: 163)
    UTG: $1.67 (VPIP: 21.61, PFR: 6.44, 3Bet Preflop: 0.56, Hands: 445)
    MP: $0.44 (VPIP: 25.91, PFR: 17.52, 3Bet Preflop: 7.08, Hands: 281)
    CO: $2.28 (VPIP: 33.72, PFR: 19.77, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 91)
    Hero (BTN): $2.58

    SB posts SB $0.01, BB posts BB $0.02

    Pre Flop: (pot: $0.03) Hero has 5 5

    fold, MP raises to $0.04, fold, Hero raises to $0.12, SB calls $0.11, fold, MP calls $0.08

    Flop: ($0.38, 3 players) J 5 A
    SB checks, MP checks, Hero bets $0.18, SB raises to $0.54, fold, Hero calls $0.36

    Turn: ($1.46, 2 players) 7
    SB bets $1.41 and is all-in, Hero calls $1.41

    River: ($4.28, 2 players) 6

    SB shows K A (One Pair, Aces)
    (Pre 45%, Flop 8%, Turn 0%)
    Hero shows 5 5 (Three of a Kind, Fives)
    (Pre 55%, Flop 92%, Turn 100%)
    Hero wins $4.07
    Rake paid $0.15

    $0.06 was deducted from the pot for the jackpot.
    Last edited by BigSlickBaby; 06-19-2017 at 03:45 PM.
    Shove dick in their mouth, then I'm out...

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  12. #12
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    Massively small sample size but in 21 open raises (1st in, so effective UTG) I'm up 14.5 bb's with 55 and 66.
    Shove dick in their mouth, then I'm out...

    - Snoop Do-double-g, bitch.
  13. #13
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    Well then, I stand corrected.

    Thanks!

    EDIT:
    Wait
    -.-
    What is this:
    Quote Originally Posted by BigSlickBaby View Post
    (1st in, so effective UTG)
    Umm... no. No, not at all. You have more information and fewer to act behind you unless UTG.

    This doesn't count as what I was asking about. I'm talking about UTG.
    Specifically UTG @ 6-max... so it doesn't count if table isn't full, either.
    Last edited by MadMojoMonkey; 06-19-2017 at 07:40 PM.
  14. #14
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    The hand with 55:
    You're on the BTN, so acting IP... not the expected case for opening UTG.
    Albeit, against SB, this may be moot, but that assumes SB's range vs a BTN open is the same range vs. a UTG open, and that's terribad play.

    ***
    Also, why did you b/c OTF, rather than b/r?
  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    Well then, I stand corrected.

    Thanks!

    EDIT:
    Wait
    -.-
    What is this:

    Umm... no. No, not at all. You have more information and fewer to act behind you unless UTG.

    This doesn't count as what I was asking about. I'm talking about UTG.
    Specifically UTG @ 6-max... so it doesn't count if table isn't full, either.
    Good to know. This way I understand the game better and don't make an idiot out of myself on the forums in the future

    Let me work on my filtering with PT4. I've never dug into the program this deeply before but it's definitely the time to start. My HUD and custom notes are all set up nice but now I'm using the reports to research the kind of specificity we're talking about here.
    Shove dick in their mouth, then I'm out...

    - Snoop Do-double-g, bitch.
  16. #16
    BigSlickBaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    The hand with 55:
    You're on the BTN, so acting IP... not the expected case for opening UTG.
    Albeit, against SB, this may be moot, but that assumes SB's range vs a BTN open is the same range vs. a UTG open, and that's terribad play.

    ***
    Also, why did you b/c OTF, rather than b/r?
    I b/c the flop because time and again, holding a monster, I've blown these guys off the hand too early. I wanted to let him put the money in the pot this time rather than try and extract it from him myself. Just in that session alone I blew the same guy off my set twice. Once on the flop, once on the turn.

    Please tell me if this thinking needs adjustment.
    Shove dick in their mouth, then I'm out...

    - Snoop Do-double-g, bitch.
  17. #17
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigSlickBaby View Post
    I b/c the flop because time and again, holding a monster, I've blown these guys off the hand too early. I wanted to let him put the money in the pot this time rather than try and extract it from him myself. Just in that session alone I blew the same guy off my set twice. Once on the flop, once on the turn.

    Please tell me if this thinking needs adjustment.
    (Surely, we can find better terminology than "I've blown these guys off.")
    It's great that you're thinking about your opponent as an individual, and not a generic amalgamation of the player pool you're familiar with.

    The thing is, you responded in the opposite way that I'd suggest. Opponents are folding too much when you are aggressive. So be aggressive more often, not less. Don't back down from a flaw in your opponents, push your edge. You have information he doesn't. You see a leak in his play. You exploit that leak. The question is how?

    Easy. Villain folds too much -> Hero bluffs more.

    Read up on merged ranges vs. polarized ranges.

    A merged range is where you bet your big hands and not your small hands. Pretty obv.

    A polarized range splits the betting portion into top and bottom. The idea is that you still bet-bet-bet your biggest hands, but you also bet-fold and bet-bet-fold the lowest hands in your range, as well. You've incorporated a sensible bluffing range as part of your betting strategy.

    It is important to note that which you choose is fully dependent on Villain's calling frequency and the bet-to-pot ratio. The math behind it is all technically simple algebra (with some outlandish simplifying assumptions, but still stuff to learn from the model), but there's a lot of variables and number juggling going on. If you're cool with that, look up the Von Neumann poker model.
    Last edited by MadMojoMonkey; 06-19-2017 at 10:59 PM.
  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    (Surely, we can find better terminology than "I've blown these guys off.")
    LOL...it seems we can

    I actually just watched a PokerStrategy.com video by Lemon36 that's all about bluffing at the nanostakes. Between that and your post, I'm definitely going to start incorporating bluffing ranges against players like the one we're talking about. He's a reg @ 2NL and I'll see him many times again.

    As for the math homework: I'm more than cool with it. Of every subject of academia, math is by far my weakest. I'm a much, much different person than I was when I went to school lol. Back then, I was one of the jerks who thought "I don't need that" when it came to high level algebra and beyond because of the proliferation of computers. Since 18, basically everything I've been involved with or interested in has centered around numbers and as I've become a more cynical, OCD personality I've started to appreciate math tremendously since it never lies. There's really nothing else like that in this world. So, now that we're also now talking about basically more math study = more profit at the tables, I'm beyond excited to start digging into math deeper than ever. At this point, I'll learn things far faster and easier than I would have originally. I know they say you learn faster/deeper when you're younger but that certainly wasn't the case for me. Of course, I had just a ridiculous amount of stress (understatement) around me growing up. In the last few years I've really come full circle and mixed the good of both the past and present while weeding out the bad.
    Shove dick in their mouth, then I'm out...

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  19. #19
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    As a physicist and engineer, I am the same way about thinking something is pointless until I see the practical use for it.

    I had to learn all my college math 2 times. Once to pass a math course, then again when I saw the math was actually used in physics / engineering.
  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    (Surely, we can find better terminology than "I've blown these guys off.")
    It was worse than that in my immature mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigSlickBaby View Post
    because time and again, holding a monster, I've blown these guys off the hand too early. extract it from him myself. Just in that session alone I blew the same guy off

    Please tell me if this thinking needs adjustment.
    Damn I'm immature. Too silly-minded to read that dribble Slick. We all mess up though.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigSlickBaby View Post
    As for the math homework: I'm more than cool with it. Of every subject of academia, math is by far my weakest. I'm a much, much different person than I was when I went to school lol. Back then, I was one of the jerks who thought "I don't need that" when it came to high level algebra and beyond because of the proliferation of computers. Since 18, basically everything I've been involved with or interested in has centered around numbers and as I've become a more cynical, OCD personality I've started to appreciate math tremendously since it never lies. There's really nothing else like that in this world. So, now that we're also now talking about basically more math study = more profit at the tables, I'm beyond excited to start digging into math deeper than ever. At this point, I'll learn things far faster and easier than I would have originally. I know they say you learn faster/deeper when you're younger but that certainly wasn't the case for me. Of course, I had just a ridiculous amount of stress (understatement) around me growing up. In the last few years I've really come full circle and mixed the good of both the past and present while weeding out the bad.
    *tearing up again* Just joking! Honestly sounds like my childhood though. Keep those thoughts in the past as much as possible and never use as a crutch. We've already overcame them, and although traumatic psychologically, they made us stronger, acutely observant, and hopefully humble, yet unabashed men, sadly having lived through such stressful growing years. Hope those comments weren't too much.

    Remember, there is a big difference between education and intelligence. A smart man can always go back and read a book. Many intelligent people found it hard to study, as they saw the subject too dry, daydreamed, or partied too hard, during those younger years. And book smarts and street smarts are totally different, although I think those like you and I strive to study and become top at both disciplines. Now that sounds like a extremely dangerous poker player.

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