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Things it took me a while to learn: Part 2 - Position

Bond18 One of the most common mistakes I see on these forums is a lack of understanding in regards to position. You see this at all levels of play in MTT’s, and it was a mistake I very often made until recently. At this point, I’ve gone so far off the other edge that I might be too tight out of position, which can hardly be called a hole considering how important it turns out to be.

I think the reason a lot of players (myself included) fail to realize how essential being in position ends up being is one, that MTT players are mostly very bad post flop and don’t know how to take advantage of position, and two stacks are often so short that calling OOP you can’t be taken advantage on multiple streets.

The more you play good players, the more you realize it’s importance. If you want good proof of this, ask the best post flop player you know to play a deep stacked HU SNG and you will literally feel yourself getting taken advantage of.

Thing’s to know about calling OOP: First of all, under 40 BB’s there are very, very few hands you should be calling raises out of the SB with. When it comes to the SB, almost every hand at this stack size is a 3-bet or fold, though there are a few spots where it’s more appropriate. Examples: If a decent and aggressive player raises on the HJ/CO or button raises and you have a stack in the low 30 BB’s calling a hand like KQs, KJs, QJs, AJo is probably okay, though I still hardly end up doing, especially if the BB is a risk to squeeze you. Or if a good player raises in early/middle position and you have something like AQ in the SB, calling is fine as well. Also, you can of course sometimes flat call AA vs a raise in the SB vs players who won’t be aware that you’re calling range should be so tight.

However, it is clearly the BB where people make the most mistakes, as they're getting a discount on seeing the flop and often closing the action pre flop.

A decent range for calling in the BB vs LP raises is KT/KJ/KQ, QT/QJ, JT, AJ/AT, T9s, maybe a few decent suited A’s.

Vs an EP raise my range is reduced drastically, to stuff like AQ, AJs, KQ, QJs, depending on who’s raising and our stack depth. Sometimes I’d go a little looser than that, sometimes a little tighter.

When it comes to playing in position, I think a lot of people on this forum can go even looser than they realize. At the point the antes kick in, anytime it folds to me on the button, assuming the blinds aren’t in a situation where I have very strong reason to suspect they’ll shove, I’m raising an absolute ton of hands.

To give a rough idea of that range, assuming lets say, 30 BB stacks for myself and the blinds would be: 22+/A2o+/43s+/65o+/any two cards 8 and above. T7s+

If stacks were roughly the same and it’s folded to me on the CO I might likely raise a very similar range, though drop a few of the holdings like off suit connectors, T7s, a few of the unsuited ace rags.

When you raise a very wide range like that people in the blinds will start adjusting, however most bad players will adjust by just trying to call more than 3 bet, since as my GF puts it, “3-betting is scary.” Make sure to pay a lot of attention to which players are capable of adjusting with resteals, which adjust with more flat calls, and which just continue to nit it up. Verse people who won’t 3 bet pre, just keep raising your full range since even if they flat call you OOP you should be able to extract a major edge post flop.

When playing this kind of very aggressive style in late positions you should be C betting a lot of flops, though there are a number of flop textures that hit a villains cold calling range so hard that you should check behind. Consider that most semi sensible villains cold calling range in the BB is hands that contain cards 9-A.

So say you get a flop like QT8 after raising 55 on the CO. On a flop like this, villain will have connected enough that your continuation bet will be called or raised an absolute ton so checking behind often becomes optimal. Flop textures to be more cautious on are things like:
QJx, QTx, 89T, 89J, KJ9, JTx, 9Tx, thing’s of that nature.

Hopefully this helps clear up some ideas of position. I’m not sure how much further to elaborate here, but if people have questions or specific areas they’d like to see further explanation on, as always, just ask.

Comments

Swami54 says

How much sleep do you get a night? Every time I'm on 2+2 there are at least 3 new posts by you...you're omnipresent!!!!

10/06/07

EdmondDantes says

This is great stuff and a nice follow-up to Part 1. I'm anxious to improve my tournament play and I learn a lot from your posts, so I really appreciate you taking the time to explain things. As for your personal habits, sleep is over-rated. On to part 3!

10/06/07

Landlord79 says

I haven't played an online tourney in a few months, after these two posts, I think I might have a swing at a tourney this week! Thanks for the awesome posts!

10/07/07

Anonymous says

Thanks for the info. Good post!

10/09/07

mary says

Mary

06/02/08

matt damon (Anonymous) says

matt damon

07/23/08

Edooward Norton (Anonymous) says

Edooward Norton

01/03/09

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