Opening trash from upfront

No matter how good you are at No Limit Holdem the simple fact of the matter is that in a nine or ten handed setting in g...

Posted Jun 29, 2013

Contributor

Bart Hanson

Bart Hanson

Owner and Lead Pro

No matter how good you are at No Limit Holdem the simple fact of the matter is that in a nine or ten handed setting in general you will need a good hand to win. This concept is sometimes lost on cocky, overconfident players. I remember right after Black Friday an influx of Internet players that dove into the mid to high stakes live poker scene.

These players were very good and had better fundamentals than most of the live regulars but were accustomed to playing in a six max setting. These guys made it a point to LAG it up and play a lot of hands without regards to position. I observed their play very closely and noticed that they were getting absolutely killed versus weaker players when they opened a wide range from up front.

Opening hands like 6 4 or 8 T is going to be a very tough proposition full ring—especially at the lower stakes. The value of these hands is getting paid off through deception but most of the time when you raise from up front you are forced to bluff with these holdings with very little showdown value.

If you look at online, full ring statistics, the biggest winners played SUPER tight from up front. I cannot stress enough how important position is in big bet games. It is one thing to isolate a weak limper from the button but playing inferior hands at a positional disadvantage is an absolute losing proposition.

One of the things that I battle with in my own game is playing at a variety of different stakes. Sometimes I am playing up to $10-$20 no limit and other days I am playing $5-$5. When I play higher I am very conscious of the tougher competition and play less hands. Sometimes at the lower stakes, however, I feel that my skill level is so superior I want to run over the table. The problem is, however, that so many people call raises. Preflop garbage hands become very difficult to play because there is little fold equity especially with the nature of smaller stacks in capped games.

If you want to up your winrate tighten up from the first three spots. It is one of the easiest things to do but for some of us younger guys it sometimes takes discipline.

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