Poker ABC, the pre-flop opening, what size to use?

If you’re a veteran poker player, you’ve undoubtedly spent your more or less international career (we hope so) keeping an eye on the poker world changes the characterized latter two decades of the game.

We are not just referring to the specifics of a regulatory nature, but increasingly devoted to the spectacularity of Texas Hold’Em and its specifics speed of action (the introduction of Big blind ante serves as a litmus test for this discussion), but also and above all on the technical aspects, such as the use of more and more open areas, the position from which the less important hands are played, the dynamics of early, middle And late stage, the bubble, the final table and so on and so on.

The Poker Revolution

These variations in the way of playing both online and live are rewarding, just as they have rewarded the most vigilant players over the years “New Poker” after Chris Moneymaker winsthe players best suited to such changes.

It goes without saying that the study of this game has always been the task of such a portal Italy Poker Club, A flag that we have adopted over the years, in the light of the results we want to achieve in the medium and long term, starting from the assumption that in a single tournament or in a single cash game session everyone can beat even the most established poker pros can do.

One of the parameters needed to understand how much our game has evolved and is now evolving month by month is the aperture size of pre-flop hands.

The first distinction to be made is obviously between tournaments And cash games, Given that the size of the openings, by their very nature, needs to be calibrated, taking as a reference our opponents’ stacks and, more generally, the dynamics that differ significantly, to say the least, between cash games and tournaments.

In this article we will try to shed some light on this dynamic applied to the tournament, however starting from a concept that must be clear to everyone: “THERE IS NO PERFECT OPENING SIZE”.

The opening size suitable for all seasons is not provided

The size of the stacks, the stage of the tournament, the playing styles of our opponents, up until a certain point, are all variables that affect how we open a hand at any given point.

It goes without saying that the first piece of good advice to consider when starting a tournament is to consider the following: Increase the average size that we will use in the future, and for at least a number of legitimate reasons.

Now a tournament usually starts with a large number of blinds in our possession, often 100x or much more, and this should already lead us to avoid opening too short, so that we play little and with good hands, as should be the case in the initial phase, against 4/5 opponents ready to take us blow up with impunity.

The second reason is that in the early stages of an event, attendees are not late thanks to very high stacks I want to participate in as many pots as possible.

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The reality is that just the opposite should be done to live up to the motto “Only when push comes to shove do the tough get going“.

This means that we open in the early stages of the tournament when we are used to slightly more than double the big blind It’s not a bad idea to start later in the tournament Raise for a good x3or even greater when we realize that it is not enough in the early stages.

In general, it would be a good idea to choose a size that would cause our opponents not to follow us en masse when we decide to open premium hands and otherwise remain calm and composed until the tournament is more or less involving the entry level wins game of antes.

Less massive stacks, better matched opening sizes

When the stacks, and that won’t happen very late, start to get less plentiful, to give an explanatory example: less than 30/35 big blindsin recent years the opening sizes used and recommended by the best, they never exceed 2.5 BB for each pre-flop raise.

The most commonly used average is approx 2.2 BBsa dimension of the opening raise that is now considered perfect if you don’t have specific information the player occupying the big blind when we decide to enter the game, and more generally the entire table.

On the other hand, if we want to go deeper into the concepts, the right size is the one that allows us, i.eI collect the minimum amount necessary to risk as little as possiblealso and especially when we start to widen our spectrum of what needs to happen in the EU center And late stage, Therefore, this size should not deviate much from double the BB.

Another reason for a size of this magnitude is that we have the opportunity to open our hands with more frequency, especially with players who bid much softer blinds than the others and defend less tenaciously.

This means, among other things, paying close attention to the frequency of our opponents, after all that’s the beauty of poker and, above all, maximum attention at the table makes the difference between winners and losers.

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