$5/$10, five‐handed, effective stack sizes are $1,000. Opponent in CO raises to $35, he is a good player. Button folds, and it’s to me in the SB with 6‐6 and I fold. The value in a low pocket pair is generally hitting a set and building a big pot. The opponent, however, will not get his stack all‐in with me just because he hits a mediocre made hand. So I will have to outplay him and trick him in some way and I’d rather wait to try and do that when I have position on him and a hand that will hit the flop more often then the 8‐1 of hitting a set. 6‐6 also has showdown value but vs. a skilled opponent, he will not let me win with a low pocket pair out of position (OOP) if he has king high or ace high, as opposed to a bad player who could very well allow that to happen.
$1/$2, six‐handed, effective stacks of $200, friend raises to $7 second to act and then the cutoff (CO) makes it $29 to go. Friend has aces but what are the criteria for deciding whether or not to reraise? Start with the most basic thinking which is what do you have? A good hand, so you want to get money into the pot. Then take it to the sec‐ ond step – what does he have? If he is raising a lot then he has a wide hand range and if he is raising a little then he has a small hand range. A wide hand range means it’s likely he has a weakish hand that will not call a reraise and will fold. A small hand range means he has a good hand that will call a reraise and may just push all‐in because he will be practically pot committed from calling a reraise. Another consideration is how aggressive the opponent is – if he is aggressive now is a good time to take advantage of that and just call because on the flop he will play aggressive like he normally does and trap himself. The aces will almost certainly remain the best hand on the flop, so that’s exactly what you want – him to be put‐ ting more money in on the flop. However, if he isn’t aggressive then just calling pre‐flop won’t serve to trap him very well because his style of play means he won’t trap himself.
$25/$50, six‐handed, 7‐8s UTG. I raise to $175. This decision is pretty straightforward, the main criteria here is how good I am relative to my opponents. If I am good and want to play pots with them then I will take marginal situations pre‐flop and go with them. If they are better than me then I will fold in marginal situations. In this case I am better so raised.
$25/$50, K‐9o, second to act six‐handed. The opponents are very bad, I raise to $175.
$25/$50 K‐Jo, second to act six‐handed. The opponents are skilled, I fold.
$25/$50, A‐5o HU. The opponent is skilled and tight and opens to $150 on the button, I fold. The next hand I have 9‐5o on the button and raise to $150 to take advantage of his tightness. He folds.
$25/$50, six‐handed, UTG opens to $175, he is slightly bad and loose. I have A‐8s next to act. It’s tempting to call here and a big factor is how aggressive the players behind you are. If they reraise frequently using their position it’s very bad to cold call here, so if that is a pos‐ sibility it weighs strongly on the side of folding. But if that doesn’t happen often then a call is reasonable, though still marginal.
$25/$50, six‐handed, UTG opens to $175, the CO and button call and I have A‐8s in the BB. In an absolute sense all the other players have position on me, i.e. they will all act after me on every street. But what is also important here is relative position. The pre‐flop raiser has a good chance of betting the flop again because he was aggres‐ sive pre‐flop, so there’s a decent chance he continues being aggres‐ sive. In which case my position is actually better than the CO and button. They will have to respond an UTG flop bet and I get to act after everyone else on the flop. Relative position is an important fac‐ tor to consider along with absolute position. A‐8s is a call here.
$10/$25 HU, opponent has $1,300. We haven’t played much but he has reraised me a lot so far, and recently he showed down Q‐6s after reraising so it is very obvious he is reraising us light now. I raise A‐ 10o on the button and he reraises me. This is normally a bad spot to reraise because of stack sizes since we will be pot committed for a big over‐bet of the pot and A‐10o is a medium strength hand so he could call with better hands and fold worse ones. Also, he is so bad that it might be better to wait and just grind him down with lower variance post‐flop than get it all in pre‐flop (even with a small EV edge) and gamble. However, on the other hand he is so bad and his range is so wide that in the final analysis a reraise is a good play. Also he is bad‐aggressive and not bad‐passive, which means he won’t be that easy to play against anyway, and he could definitely chip me down if I don’t fight back. I reraised him all‐in and he called with Q‐7s.
$10/$25 HU, we both have $2,200. I have Q‐Q and raise to $75 on the button and he reraises to $225. Now there is a decision as to whether to reraise him again or to just call and trap. It was close, but there was one deciding factor that made the right play clear. He was play‐ ing straightforward and decently pre‐flop. However, post‐flop he was just a terrible player. So I wanted to make sure we got to post‐ flop play where he will play badly. As the hand turned out, the flop was 5♦‐5♠‐4♥, he bets $300, and I called. Again he plays bad so I wanted to let him keep going and give him as much rope as possible so I just called. The turn is the 2♠; he bets $775 and I raised him his last $900, and he called with 6‐6.
$5/$10, three‐handed, opponent opens to $30 in the SB, I am in the BB. He has raised to $30 in the SB a lot. This means his hand usually isn’t very good. I have Q‐9 and reraise to $90. This is a good spot to reraise for a combination of reasons. First of all, I’m not scared of a four‐bet from him because he has opened a lot and I haven’t reraised him yet so it looks like I have a hand, and since he has opened a lot he probably doesn’t have a hand. And if he does reraise me he probably has a good hand and Q‐9o isn’t that good of a hand any‐ way so I’m not losing a lot of value by not seeing a flop. Also if he folds then for metagame reasons it will make my image looser and crazier and next time I reraise him pre‐flop he won’t know what I have. My style of play is to raise and reraise a lot preflop and hope that tricks my opponent into thinking I have a loose and crazy im‐ age, but from there I tighten up a lot and in big pots I am very tight and have a good hand often. This is a good low variance style be‐ cause in the beginning when the pot is small I am playing “crazy”, but when the pot is big and we play around with bigger bets I play conservatively so when I do play a big pot I generally win. And in the beginning when I am playing crazy I am really not giving away a lot, assuming I’m the better player.
$25/$50 HU. I limp on the button with 3‐5o and he raises me pot to $150 as he has done every time I have limped, so I call. The flop is 6♦‐9♦‐Q♠ and he leads $300 as he has done every time so I pot it to $1,200. Since he has been making this play regularly the odds are good that he doesn’t have any piece of the board, and even if he does since he bets every time it could be something like 6‐7, which he can’t call me with anyway.