What skills can be used in WSOP novice teaching to deal with straddle?
Adding a straddle to the game can create new table dynamics that players can't easily grasp.
In this article, I'll break down three tips to help you understand what adjustments you need to make when a straddle exists.
1. Raise to a size proportional to the straddle
In a standard regular hand, we should usually raise to between 2.3BB-3BB. This scale accomplishes many goals:
● We got a good price for our raise.
● The big blind will be forced to defend with a relatively wide and weak range.
● The latter player does not have a good pot odds to call.
When the straddle exists, it basically acts as a new big blind. Therefore, it is ideal to set our raise size based on the size of the straddle, just as we set our raise size based on the big blind earlier.
So if we normally raise to 3BB, we should now raise to 6BB or 3x the straddle when the straddle exists. For example, if we have $500 in a $2/$5 game and someone puts in a $10 straddle, we should raise to $30.
If we're in a hold'em game with a bigger raise size (4BB+) and we're playing deep stacks, we should only raise to that many times the straddle (4x+). Otherwise, we should re-use the 3x straddle raise size. If most of the players at the table are short stacks, we shouldn't raise to $20 in a $1/$2 blind and $4 straddle.
Against players who are very loose on raising after their straddle, our adjustment is to make a bigger raise (4x straddle or more). I've seen players defending the straddle with hands like 62o, which is obviously a huge mistake! If straddle players don't seem to fold easily, we should raise to a larger size than recommended above.
2. Tighten your raising range
There are two important considerations when considering how often we should open:
● How many unacted players are left. The more players behind us, the fewer hands we should raise. And vice versa.
● How many players who haven't acted have position against us. The more players we have position on, the looser we can play.
Let's take a look at the positional factors for the CO, button, and blinds at standard regular and straddle tables:
In a standard regular hand, there are two players behind the button player, and he is in a good position against both. A good button raising range in this very common spot should be about 40% of your starting hands. The range looks like this:
Explanation: A button-opening range with 40% of the starting hands. Red squares indicate a raise and blue squares indicate a fold.
When the straddle exists, there are three players behind the button player, and he has position against all of them. This means that the ideal opening frequency will be less than 40% because there are more players who have not yet acted.
We can use logic to roughly estimate how low our raising frequency should be. In this example, we should consider the standard table's cutoff opening range, since there are also three players behind this position.
Explanation: A standard table open-raising range with 26% of starting hands from the cutoff. Red squares indicate a raise and blue squares indicate a fold.
But we can actually play a little looser than the diagram above, because unlike the CO position at standard tables, we have position on all players who haven't acted yet.
Therefore, we can determine that the opening range on the button should be between the 26 %范围和40% range when the straddle exists. If we average these two percentages, we get a 33% range that looks like this:
Explanation: A 33% button opening range with straddles in place. Red squares indicate a raise and blue squares indicate a fold.
This method won't give us an exact ideal frequency, but it's certainly close to ideal.
We can follow the same process to derive approximate ranges for all other locations.
3. Adjust your postflop strategy based on the chip-to-pot ratio
We might have 100BB in, but it's basically 50BB when the straddle exists. This halving of the stack size reduces the chip-to-pot ratio and also changes the optimal strategy.
We now compare the chip-to-pot ratios at regular and straddle tables (assuming each player has 100BB in chips).
If a player raises to 2.5BB at the regular table and gets a call, there will be about 6BB in the pot on the flop, and the player has 97.5BB left. This leaves a stack-to-pot ratio of 15.75, which is very deep.
If a player raises to 2.5 times the straddle at a straddle table and gets a call, there will be about 6 times the straddle in the pot on the flop, and the player has 47.5 times the straddle left. This results in a stack-to-pot ratio of 8, which also means that players have a lot less room to play than at regular tables.
Now suppose a player raises to 2.5BB and then calls a 3-bet of 8.5BB. The pot will be around 18BB on the flop, and the player has 91.5BB left. In this case, the chip-to-pot ratio is about 5.
We now review the chip-to-pot ratios in different situations:
● Single Raised Pot, Regular: 15.75
● Single raise pot, straddle table: 8
● 3-bet pot, regular table: 5
We can see that the stack-to-pot ratio of a single-raised pot at a straddle table is very close to the stack-to-pot ratio of a 3-bet pot at a regular table. For this reason, the ideal strategy would be simpler and more straightforward, meaning:
● We should always play our strong hands fast.
● Protecting our scope is not that important.
● The relative value of strong, non-best hands like top pair goes up.
We were basically playing short stack poker, which also brought us into the final quarter.
Some tips for playing shallow stacks
Since many people reading this will encounter straddles at $1/3 and $2/5 tables, I feel compelled to introduce some adjustments when you or your opponents become short stacks.
As your stack size decreases, your preflop strategy should also start to change. We're going to start focusing on the value of overcards and underestimating the value of speculative hands (suited connectors and small pairs). This is because implied odds decrease with short stacks, making chasing sets, flushes and straights less attractive.
When you play against opponents with small stacks (let's say about 20 straddles), you should raise to less than 3 straddles preflop. By doing this, your opponent won't make much money when they shove and you fold. And continuing to use a larger raise size is basically giving money to their 3-bet all-in range.
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