Note: I know this post is long, so if you just want to skip it and post your general thoughts, that's fine too =) Seat change is not an option.
A new player has joined our 1/1 home game and has completely changed the dynamic of the game due to his large raise sizing and frequent 3-betting. It used to be that maybe 20% of hands were limped pots and we might have one 3-bet the entire night. Now we're probably down to 5% of hands being limped and the villain is 3 betting maybe 10% of hands. A typical raise size for our game is somewhere between 6 and 11, but his opens are $16 to $26 and his 3-bets to a $6-$8 raise (no callers in-between) is usually $26-$32. He likes to gamble but I've seen him fold strong hands in spots where opponents show a large amount of aggression, so fold equity can be considered when playing in a pot.
Unfortunately my seat is locked, and he's figured out that sitting to my left is the best spot for him at the table. I'm a TAG player and have the highest winrate in a game that is extremely loose pre-flop and sticky post-flop. Many times I can get 3 streets of value with a single pair because players can't fold gutshot draws or TPWK.
Overall, I'm used to having low volatility with plenty of super +EV spots, so I generally shy away from playing big pots in neutral EV situations. This new Villain is willing to put in a ton of money pre-flop, and it causes other players to make bad calls out of frustration. Even when the Villain is not in the hand, a player that would have previously opened to $6, now opens to $10-16. There are plenty of bloated pre-flop pots and low stack to pot ratios and I need to figure out the best way to approach this new style of game.
Scenario #1: Hero in CO, Villain on Button
The villain loves to open raise in late position (CO/BTN), especially if there are multiple limpers. In these situations it seems as though he's raising 40-50% of the time with hands potentially as weak as 87o or J7s. For example, we're 8 handed and there are 4 limps for $1, Villain will raise on the button to $16-$18. Typically there will be 1 to 2 callers.
Assume that Hero is in the cutoff 200bb deep with the Villain on the button, one caller out of the blinds at 100bb, and one MP caller with 60bb.
1. What types of hands should I limp/call? Limp/3-bet or Limp/Jam?
2. How should I play hands like AQ+ and TT+ ? What should my raise sizing be? A smaller raise size like $6 seems to increase the Villain's 3-betting frequency a little bit, like he's trying to isolate me.
3. How should I play hands like 87s, 55-99, J9s?
4. My gut tells me that field callers may be more apt to slow-play big hands and just call, rather than 3-bet or 4-bet. Any thoughts on this when considering how likely the field callers are to fold if we limp/3-bet or limp/jam?
Scenario #2: Hero in SB, Villain in BB
The villain will also open raise out of the big blind if it's limped to him. I'm guessing that he does this 35% of the time he's in the BB, with slightly larger sizing of $20-22.
Assume that Hero is 200bb deep with the Villain, one EP caller with 100bb, and one MP caller with 60bb.
1. What types of hands should I check/call? check/3-bet or check/Jam?
2. How should I play hands like AQ+ and TT+ ? What should my raise sizing be?
3. How should I play hands like 87s, 55-99, J9s?
4. My gut tells me that field callers may be more apt to slow-play big hands and just call, rather than 3-bet or 4-bet. Any thoughts on this when considering how likely the field callers are to fold if we check/3-bet or check/jam?
Here are a couple of hands that I can recall:
Hand #1: 8 handed, $1/$1 blinds - MP limps $1, HJ limps $1, Hero raises in CO to $6 with A9o, Villain on BTN immediately min-raises to $12, blinds fold, MP folds, HJ calls $12, Hero 4-bets to $62. Pot $89, $50 to call. Villain starts to make a quick call and then thinks for 20 seconds and folds, HJ quickly folds.
Notes: I raised pre-flop as a "Blocker Raise" because I didn't want to have the Villain open to $16 because of all the limps. I know this isn't a good reason to raise, but I knew that A9o was likely ahead of his range here. When he insta-min-raised me, it just felt weak to me so I finally put on my big-boy pants and put in a 4-bet without a premium hand for the first time ever in our game. Is this type of play worth pursuing again in the future? With the same hand or a different hand? Same sizing or different sizing?
Hand #2: 8 handed, $1/$1 blinds - EP limps $1, Hero raises in CO to $6 with K♣ Q♠, Villain raises on BTN to $25 with K♦ Q♥, SB cold calls $25, BB folds, EP folds, Hero calls.
Flop ($77): K♥ 7♣ 6♣
SB checks, Hero checks, Villain bets $35, SB calls, Hero calls
Turn ($182): 9♦
SB checks, Hero checks, Villain bets $50, SB calls, Hero calls
River ($332): 3♠
SB checks, Hero checks, Villain checks. Hero/Villain split pot.
Notes: I made a mental note that he 3-bet me with KQo, something that would never happen from any other player in our game. Any nuggets to glean from this hand that will help me going forward with this Villain?
Thanks for the help!