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Crush Live Poker Video No. 308: Introduction to Preflop Fundamentals

Craig Posts: 742Administrator
Introduction to Preflop Fundamentals
Introduction to the 5 part course on preflop fundamentals. Discussion of the
importance of preflop and how NLHE is about initiative and position.

Part 1 - Opening ranges
Strategy for playing preflop as RFI(Raise First In) and opening ranges from different
positions.

Part 2 - Responding to limpers
Strategy for punishing limpers. When to iso-raise vs over-limp. What range to
iso-raise with from different positions

Part 3 - Responding to opens
Strategy for playing vs someone else who already opened the pot. The importance of
playing less hands than the initial PFR. How to construct a range for continuing vs an
open from different positions

Part 4 - To 3bet or to flat?
Dividing our range into 3betting and flatting ranges when continuing vs a PFR.
Discussion of polarized vs linear 3betting ranges and how the 2 different 3betting
ranges work better in different configurations.

Part 5 - Responding to 3 bets
Finale of the 5-part preflop series. Discussion of how to respond to one of the most
difficult preflop spots in NLHE. Different factors to consider in determining what hands
to continue with in 3bets pots, and how to construct a proper 4betting range.

Episode Posts at 11 AM PST.

http://www.crushlivepoker.com/videos/introduction-to-preflop-fundamentals
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Comments

  • gg Posts: 32Subscriber
    Great material, thanks! I have a couple if questions:
    - at the CG tables here, there are 10 players, does it mean that the UTG range should be tighter than your suggested UTG opening range?
    - Does opening range depend on the level like 1-3 vs 5-10.
    Thanks!
    by 1KiLee
  • KiLeeKiLee Posts: 266Pro
    Hey Gg, good question. The CG has 9 players (SB/BB/UTG/UTG+1/MP1/MP2/HJ/CO/BT) depicted. For 10 players, I use UTG range for the first 2 positions and the 3rd position should be the same as UTG 1 range depicted, 4th position is MP1, and so forth.
    As to range difference for 5/10 and 1/3, to be honest I haven't played 1/3 in a long time, so I'm not 100% sure as to the optimal opening ranges at that level.
    Few things- my opening range is pretty tight among the winning regs, esp from EP and MP.
    In SUPER loose passive games with super multiway action postflop every hand, the value of pocket pairs and suited aces go up depending on stack sizes and the value of suited connectors becomes diminished. I may adjust by having SOME limping range ESP with PP and suited aces.
    Generally in softer and passive games, you can open wider and more aggressively, but not just with our entire range; hands like 22/33 don't do well when we open and get called in 5 spots. I may get slightly wider in opening my high cards. I may open AJo/KQo from EP in such games.
  • ZambrotAZambrotA Posts: 372Subscriber
    Great Video again Ki. What a Beast!!!
    Can't wait for the next one...
    Keep it up!!!
    by 1KiLee
  • Aja51 Posts: 1Subscriber
    edited August 2017
    I agree, this was an excellent video. I got more out of this video than numerous others combined.
    by 1KiLee
  • MikeZ Posts: 35Subscriber
    I could not agree more! fucking good stuff :)
    after getting lost the last half year with high level thinking in low level games - applied your fundamental (ranges) stuff to the last 2 sessions and crushed it and felt awesome because did not get in difficult spots so often - and get paid off anyways
    can´t wait for the next ones too :)
    by 1KiLee
  • KiLeeKiLee Posts: 266Pro
    Thanks for the encouragement. I'm glad that you guys find it helpful. If you have suggestions on the format, content, or anything else, please feel free to comment on them.
  • pokergal72 Posts: 56Subscriber
    I think this would be a good addition to the Curriculum. Really great stuff here!
  • RiffRapper Posts: 2Subscriber
    Hey Ki, great video. I just recently started the transition from $1/$2 to $2/$5, and I found this video to be super helpful.

    I really liked how you formatted this, so no suggestions here.

    Looking forward to your next one =)

    by 1KiLee
  • ls1t56 Posts: 4Subscriber
    Another great video Ki!!
    I am going to formally lay out my PF game.
    Can't wait for more to come on the flop, turn and river.
    Bart, you hit a jackpot when it comes to an instructor!
    "Pay the man his money"!
    Thanks again!
    by 1KiLee
  • BrittGriscom Posts: 22Subscriber
    Isn't the purpose of hand selection to do our best to ensure that we start the hand with a better hand than our opponents? If there are two people dealt in a hand, wouldn't we only want to play the top 1/2 of the hands? Likewise, if there are nine people dealt in the hand, wouldn't we only want to play the top 1/9 of hands?

    Imagine a one-card game of poker for two people in which there are only two cards dealt: an ace and a king. High card wins. In this scenario, if you were dealt the king, wouldn't it be correct to fold it?

    Imagine the same scenario with nine people and nine cards: ace through 6. Wouldn't it be correct to fold everything but the ace?

    In the same way, it seems to me that if there are nine people dealt in a hand, we would only want to play the top 1/9 of starting hands.

    Of course, we would have to adjust for position. In middle position, we would play the top 1/9 (11%) of hands. In early position, we would play fewer hands. If our UTG starting range is about 9% of starting hands, then we are only subtracting 2% to adjust for early position. If that's the case, we should only add 2% of starting hands for late position, so that we are only playing 13% of hands on the button.

    Is there something wrong with my reasoning? Shouldn't we on average be playing only 11% of our starting hands when nine people are dealt in the hand?
    by 1KiLee
  • KiLeeKiLee Posts: 266Pro
    BrittGriscom said:
    Isn't the purpose of hand selection to do our best to ensure that we start the hand with a better hand than our opponents? If there are two people dealt in a hand, wouldn't we only want to play the top 1/2 of the hands? Likewise, if there are nine people dealt in the hand, wouldn't we only want to play the top 1/9 of hands?

    Imagine a one-card game of poker for two people in which there are only two cards dealt: an ace and a king. High card wins. In this scenario, if you were dealt the king, wouldn't it be correct to fold it?

    Imagine the same scenario with nine people and nine cards: ace through 6. Wouldn't it be correct to fold everything but the ace?

    In the same way, it seems to me that if there are nine people dealt in a hand, we would only want to play the top 1/9 of starting hands.

    Of course, we would have to adjust for position. In middle position, we would play the top 1/9 (11%) of hands. In early position, we would play fewer hands. If our UTG starting range is about 9% of starting hands, then we are only subtracting 2% to adjust for early position. If that's the case, we should only add 2% of starting hands for late position, so that we are only playing 13% of hands on the button.

    Is there something wrong with my reasoning? Shouldn't we on average be playing only 11% of our starting hands when nine people are dealt in the hand?

    So the game you are describing is not poker. It ends preflop. At the simplest level, starting with the best hand doesn't guarantee that you win in poker. There's the flop, turn, and the river. It's not about who has the best hand preflop and he wins. It's about having hands with good equity and playability. It also doesn't take into account postflop playability, implied odds, position, skill advantage, etc. I don't think that we can simply say that since there are 9 players we play too 1/9 of hands. It's not that simple. Playing 11% of hands on the BTN would be ridiculously tight. We also take in to account other players' playing ranges and need to adjust our hand strength based on their playing range.


  • KiLeeKiLee Posts: 266Pro
    Also, another error in the logic is that just because there are 9 players dealt in, it doesn't mean that 9 players will have hands all in different rankings #1 through 9. And the top 1/9 hand won't always be the best hand dealt in among the 9 players. Some hands are similar in hand strength. And hand strength preflop doesn't equate to hand strength on the flop. Some "better hands" preflop play poorly post flop. Like small pairs on high flops. Also when you take into account pot odds, and the skill gap of players and implied odds, we defined can't simply "play the top 11% of hands on the average for optimal results". And when we are on the BTN, we only have 2 opponents left. We should definitely be opening more than 13% of our hands.
  • KiLeeKiLee Posts: 266Pro
    Furthermore, on the extreme opposite side of the debate, let's say that we are on the BTN. If we raise to 3x the BB and the blinds will fold more than 66% of the time, then it's mathematically correct to open 100% of our hands. Even 72o.
  • BrittGriscom Posts: 22Subscriber
    KiLee said:



    So the game you are describing is not poker. It ends preflop. At the simplest level, starting with the best hand doesn't guarantee that you win in poker. There's the flop, turn, and the river. It's not about who has the best hand preflop and he wins. It's about having hands with good equity and playability. It also doesn't take into account postflop playability, implied odds, position, skill advantage, etc. I don't think that we can simply say that since there are 9 players we play too 1/9 of hands. It's not that simple. Playing 11% of hands on the BTN would be ridiculously tight. We also take in to account other players' playing ranges and need to adjust our hand strength based on their playing range.


    The top 1/9 of hands would incorporate playability and implied odds. In other words, you might leave out hands like ATo and incorporate hands like 98s. I agree that you would need to make modifications for position (as I have outlined) and skill.
  • BrittGriscom Posts: 22Subscriber
    edited August 2017
    I agree that a hand in the top 1/9 isn't guaranteed to be the best hand, but folding inferior hands gives you your best shot at starting with the best hand (incorporating playability and implied odds). Isn't that what we want? To start with the best hand?

    If everyone has folded to us on the button, since there are three people left, maybe we should just have a hand in the top 1/3, and then adjust for position, skill and tightness of blinds?
  • BrittGriscom Posts: 22Subscriber
    I agree about raising 100% of the time on the button if the blinds are likely to fold.

    I'm hoping you will convince me that my reasoning is incorrect. I definitely don't want to play that tight. But I do want to do everything I can to win.
  • KiLeeKiLee Posts: 266Pro
    BrittGriscom said:
    I agree about raising 100% of the time on the button if the blinds are likely to fold.

    I'm hoping you will convince me that my reasoning is incorrect. I definitely don't want to play that tight. But I do want to do everything I can to win.
    To be honest, I don't know EXACTLY what mathematical formula is used to derive the percentage of hands that should be played from each position. Here is what I know-

    1. There is SOME correlation between the number of players left and the % of hands that should be played from each position. For example, we advocated playing about 9.35% of hands from UTG(9 players), about 14.5% from MP1(7 players), about 20% from MP2(6players), etc. We play less hands when there are a lot of players are left to act, and we play more when less players are left to act.

    2. There is NOT direct and linear correlation between the number of players in the pot and the % of hands that should be played. i.e. - We do not simply dive 1 by the number of player in the pot to determine what % of hands to play. For example, in Heads Up (2 players) we DEFINITELY play more than 50% of hands. As a matter of fact, the optimal frequency to play hands from the SB is almost 90% of hands. And this is verified by the biggest winners in high stakes HUNL. So the mathematical theory that you proposed doesn't hold true (1/2 does not equal 90%). There are MANY variables involved other than just a simple number of villains that are left. What kinds of hands will they call? How often will they fold? How much will they lose when outflopped? How easily will they fold postflop? How often will someone 3bet?

    3. Some computer simulations have been done to determine the most profitable hands to play from different positions, and the results have been tested verified by biggest winning players online. These ranges are widely accepted for these reasons. I do not know exactly what computer and what software. As I've said, the suggested ranges is not set in stone. I got those from some online training site and modified them slightly.

    I hope this helps.






  • ohsnapzbrah Posts: 632Subscriber
    I have to say, this is probably the best preflop video I've ever seen. I do feel like a nit sometimes throwing that AJo away from UTG though :). This has definitely led me to 3bet more hands and play more aggressively preflop (especially WRT suited connectors IP), which is something I've been trying to work on for the last year or so. Definitely would not mind more preflop videos like this!
    by 1KiLee
  • KiLeeKiLee Posts: 266Pro
    Thank you
  • eselspiel Posts: 115Subscriber
    hi KiLee,
    another great video. You do of great job of leading the watcher through your thought process.
    I was wondering if you could please post the ranges you used for your analyses. I would like to repeat and modify at home.
    thanks again for some great vids!

    ES
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