Friday, April 04, 2008

Low pockets folo

A few days ago, I wrote, "Calling 3-bets preflop with low pocket pairs is not profitable if you have to count on hitting a set to win the pot."

While making my point, I intentionally neglected the times when it is profitable to call reraises with low pocket pairs.

My favorite situation occurs when I'm against a very tight raiser from the blinds. I'm talking about players who almost never raise, and when they do from a bad position, it means AA or KK. Calling a reraise against these guys is a no-brainer because their hand range is so narrow, increasing your implied odds. If you hit, you'll stack them. If not, you can fold.

A similar circumstance occurs when you're against a huge calling station. Some of these players will pay off so liberally that you do have odds to flat call and set mine.

Another good time to call a 3-bet with a low pocket pair is when you think you can bluff postflop. In addition to the chance of hitting a set, you also have another way of winning a medium-sized pot with a bet or a raise. It's almost like a combo draw because you have some fold equity postflop, an idea a couple of commenters pointed out.

I'll never try bluffing with a low pocket pair against a calling station, but it works well on a variety of mildly coordinated flops against fit-or-fold type opponents. In general, it doesn't perform as well on completely uncoordinated or high-card flops.

One thing not to do with these low pocket pairs is 4-bet or push with them. It's almost always a disaster unless your opponent folds immediately.


WillWonka said...

How high to "low" pockets go?

The reason I ask is that I 4 bet with TT a couple of times last night which ended up bad (not surprisingly) so maybe calling is the better idea.

Folding is obviously a choice as well depending on Villian. TT and JJ are very hard for me to figure out.

Eric a.k.a. Bone Daddy said...

Gnome, well thought out as always. How are you suggesting exploiting the calling stations, as they tend to give me fits (I'm not very patience).

The ICP said...

Greetings Gnome!

If you can find ultra-predictable players like that, you can outflank them with any number of hands. I absolutely LOVE fit or fold players because they basically broadcast to you what they have by their action, and you can use that to bully them all over the table when you have the best of them. Trouble I find is that they can get a little "slippery". You really need a "FOF" player to hit something to cash in. Calling stations, on the other hand... Man, that's like Christmas and Thanksgiving all rolled up in one.

Good blog, my friend. You're linked!

The Intrepid Cardplayer

cmitch said...

Check out CTS's latest vid. He talks about how he isn't getting anywhere near good enough odds to call pf with a midpair and discusses what he feels his opponent stack size needs to be.

It is the main thing that I remember from the vid.

Wish I could have made the blogger cash game the other day, hopefully I will be able to next month.