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Playing Against a Pre-flop Min-raise During the Middle Stage of an STT

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  • Playing Against a Pre-flop Min-raise During the Middle Stage of an STT

    Hi all.

    Something I have noticed about the $1.50 Turbo STTs is that, starting around the fourth or fifth level of blinds, players (if their stack is not short enough to automatically go all-in pre-flop) tend to min-raise, rather than make the standard 3-4 BB raise. What I find surprising about this is that it is usually effective in stealing the blinds--including mine. Even though I know the play usually signifies weakness, I still have trouble playing against it. I feel like I fold too often against these when I could come over the top and re-steal, but at the same time, I often end up coin-flipping or dominated when I do shove with something like AJ.

    Here’s an example of a hand where I would be unsure of what I should do, along with my thoughts:

    $1.50 Turbo STT, Blinds: 75/150, 7 players remaining.

    It is folded around to the CU($2380), a seemingly reasonable player who didn’t play too many hands during the early stage of the game, who raises $150 to $300 (he has min-raised pre-flop twice before during the middle stage of the game). The button folds. Action is on Hero ($2100), who holds [Kd Jc] on the SB.

    I’m worried to shove because I don’t think he’ll call with any of the hands he might have that I want him to call with. I think for this player to call an all-in, he would have to hold AJ-AK, or a pocket pair of 88 or better, in which case I’m either behind or coin-flipping, which I don’t want. But it is quite likely that he has a hand worse than mine, and so a lot of the time, when I shove, he will fold and I’ll pick up his raise plus the blinds which will add a significant $525 to my stack.

    Or, with 14 BB, should I wait for a better spot to make a move, and fold? Playing in a turbo STT, I will soon have only about 10 BB, so I don’t have a lot of time to wait for a better spot. So folding is wrong.

    Another option would be to just call the raise for $225, getting decent odds. But if I call, I’m out of position and I can’t even feel really comfortable if I hit top pair, as he could have a better kicker than I do. Also, the big blind will be more likely to call with very good odds, and I don't want to play KJo multi-way. But, because I’ve identified my opponent as tight and reasonable, maybe if I bet out just over half the pot if the flop looks favourable he’ll fold; if he stays in, I can be fairly sure I’m behind and I can check-fold the rest of the way. So I would risk only $625 or so to win the $525, rather than my whole stack.

    Another thing I might do would be to min-re-raise my opponent to $450 with the intention of shoving on the flop no matter what comes if he just calls. I think this is better than calling because (a) it gets the big blind out of the hand and (b) I can gain information about what the min-raiser has. If he has certain hands that I'm scared of (JJ-AA or AK), I think he'll 4-bet, and I can get out of the hand, and if he has any other hand, he'll just call, and I'm only in trouble if he has precisely AQ, KQ, or AJ, so I can be fairly confident that I'm ahead. I also think this move is better than a shove because (a) I’m more likely to get all of his chips in the pot when I'm ahead (if he has QJ and the flop come J-high, for example), (b) I can get him to fold hands like AQ and AJ if we both miss,which he may have called a pre-flop shove with and beaten me, and (c) I get an extra $150 when he folds. But it's worse than shoving because I'm giving him a chance to make a hand with something worse than KJ, and he could get all of my money if he flops a set of 3's or something.

    So there’s my thought process on the hand. If this had actually happened and I didn’t have time to think about it like this, I think I would have played it safe and folded against a relatively tight player, but I really don't know what the best move is.

    What should I do here?

  • #2
    ok this is a bit long so ill try to giv u a good response here ok firstly u mentioned the min raise min raises are now being used by regs and pros people now raise 4bb 1st blind level 3bb 2nd blind level 2.5 after and min raise-2.2bb in big blind levels your play here isnt very simple but with the information u provided i think i can giv a descent answer to this by the rpocess of elimination, sometimes we dont need to think of what play we should make but what play we can not and should not make and we will get our answer and in your case i think this will be ideal 1st play is to call we hv 14bb we are definately not calling here oop 2nd raise u said min raise u should never ever even think about that makes no sense and u accomplish nothing, raise- a raise here would need to be 2.5 times his raise and how much of your stack would that be? i dont think i need to address that so if u raise here u are commied i think so u would be raise calling here i dont think u want to be doing that from the little information u provided he seems somewhat tight and u dont want to be the underdog taking a flip with a nice stack here 3rd shoving on him i guess i covered this in the latter part of my last point since raise calling is basically the same as shoving you can shove on an oponent if he is stealing liberally and u are absolutely positively sure he is, since u said he did it twice be4 i'd say fold i suggest u use smaller raises in the latter part of your stt game i'd suggest 2.2bb instead of min raising, smaller raises will do the same as a big raise and u will still be able to play for stacks even with a min raise danan758 umbup:
    Last edited by danan758; Fri Apr 19, 2013, 06:51 PM. Reason: terrible spelling error


    • #3
      Oh, I didn't realize that min-raising in the middle stage is pretty standard and not necessarily a sign of weakness. That makes sense, now that you've explained it.

      That helps a lot. Thank you for your advice.


      • #4
        no prob

        yh glad to be of assistance
        u should still keep track of post for any analysis by the pros maybe i missed something or got something wrong
        and welcome to the forums


        • #5
          I have to agree with danan, i think with 14bb in a turbo is a push or fold stack, 3bet folding would be really bad.

          This is a really tough spot and because its turbo u get short stacked very fast.

          this is where using a hud can make ur decisions a lot easier, it will show the villians pre flop raise %. So if its 8% then his range is QJs+ and 88+ and therefore never folding to a re-steal shove. But if its like 21%, then its like A7o+, K7s+,
          J10o+ and he might even fold 55 and 66, so shoving would highly profitable.

          The hud will provide other good information too like fold to 3bet %, but there other things to consider like the money bubble, did the villian only just win the chips he has in the last pot and lets not forget its only $1.50 (he might not care).

          The 2 stack sizes are perfect for re-steal 14bb(hero) 15bb(villian) and dont forget, this situation is about "stealing", so i would be less concerned about what we hold, whether it be KJ or 64o and be more concerned about how often we can get the villian to fold (fold equity)

          Here are some tools that can help. I use the HUD holdem manager 2, I think it costs like $80, but its worth it. Download pokerstove, it calculates hand ranges (easy to use and free). Also check out this article by Tony Dunst "Awesome", took to me a whole new level.

          I hope this helps, gl on the tables!


          • #6
            whoops, the article


            there you go



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