Opponents' mistakes on later streets

Because of the nature of shorter, restricted buy-in games most of the decisions within a hand are made preflop and on th...

Posted Jun 09, 2013


Bart Hanson BW2

Bart Hanson

Owner and Lead Pro

Because of the nature of shorter, restricted buy-in games most of the decisions within a hand are made preflop and on the flop . This means that players have much more experience playing these streets as opposed to later streets. That is why you see so many mistakes at the end of a hand that is not all-in particularly when it comes to value betting.

Even bad players know now that they should not call a raise and a reraise with a hand like jack eight off suit. In fact, for most losing players that have played for a long period of time, one of the ways that they stop their bleeding is by playing tighter preflop. They get involved with fewer hands and thus make fewer mistakes per session. This does not mean, however, that they are not still making mistakes when they get involved with hands. Their play is still lousy and because they have less experience on later streets you can really exploit them. That is why I am a big proponent sometimes of not three betting marginal hands against weak players so that I can force them to make mistakes later on in the hand.

Let us take a look at an example. Say a bad player in a $2-$5, game with a $300 stack raises to $20 from middle position. It gets folded to us and we have AQs on the button. Are we ahead of our opponents range? Probably. Does that mean that we should always three bet? No. I think a lot of younger players coming from the world of online six-max miss this point. Players have actually become better at folding trashy holdings preflop. They are still bad and call single raised pots with far too many hands, but when it comes to three bet pots they may very well fold AT, KQ or AJ to our reraise. Do we want that to happen? Of course not. We do not want to give our opponents the opportunity to make the correct decision now when we can force them make bad decisions later on—especially when they are incapable of folding a hand like top pair. These players also rarely fire more than one bullet as a continuation bet so we can sometimes call on the flop if we miss because we will rarely face a second bet and we can get to showdown with our ace high hand or pocket pair. In big bet poker the name of the game is forcing people out of their comfort zone. Because turn and river play happen so rarely in super capped games that is exactly where you want your opponents to have to make their decisions. You can learn more about some of the other intangibles that will allow you to crush capped games on my website SeatOpenPoker.net specifically the podcast “A Capped Game Strategy”.

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