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Playing marginal hands like K9 Q9 suited connectors pre flop

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  • Playing marginal hands like K9 Q9 suited connectors pre flop

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    Hey,
    I've recently got into poker over the past 2 months and have started playing online and have done quite well by reading alot of beginner articles and using them as i play. However i am beginning to feel like im playing too much like a rock and not playing enough hands. over the past 2 weeks i have found myself to get blinded out simply because im sitting waiting for a good hand to hit me pre flop. My question is what sort of hands are good to play pre flop in mid and late position? are maginal hands like K9,Q9 suited, suited connectors good to call with in mid postion? should i only occasionaly play these hands to mix up my play? would anyone play anything weaker than this? if im in late position i will usually try and steal the blinds with these kinds of hands but would fold them if someone raises before me. Just wondered how other people play these hands. Thanks for any help or advice.

  • #2
    it depends on what you are actually playing.
    - in short-stack-strategy it should be a clear fold (except KQ to play in late position and AK to play always ;-) )
    - when you are bigger stacked or in the early phase of a tournament I would recommend you to play marginal hands in late position, maybe even in middle position if e.g. the connectors are high, for example JTs or even JTo. You hit some pair every third flop and could also get straight and/or flush draws.
    - in a tournament: when your M (number of full orbits you survive without doing anything = sum of all blinds and antes divided by your current chip stack) goes into the 10<M<20 zone, you should stop playing such marginal hands. Maybe from the small blind a complete or if you had many limpers before you. The problem is, that if you were playing them in this zone excessively that you pay too much money for the blinds and just blind away like you described.
    Remember that you just have to steal the blinds ONCE in the orbit to stay in the game. everything above is just nice to have and should be your secondary target. just wait for the right opportunity to get back into the M>20 zone where you are safe to do nearly anything.
    Blind stealing could be done with a good marginal hand from the button or cutoff, even if a better hand could work better (remember that even if you could make something better out of e.g. AJ than just stealing the blinds this doesn't have to be always true, so try to steal the blinds and even if someone calls you you have the additional benefit of having a good starting hand).

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    • #3
      Zitat von Ellesar1 Beitrag anzeigen
      it depends on what you are actually playing.
      - in short-stack-strategy it should be a clear fold (except KQ to play in late position and AK to play always ;-) )
      - when you are bigger stacked or in the early phase of a tournament I would recommend you to play marginal hands in late position, maybe even in middle position if e.g. the connectors are high, for example JTs or even JTo. You hit some pair every third flop and could also get straight and/or flush draws.
      - in a tournament: when your M (number of full orbits you survive without doing anything = sum of all blinds and antes divided by your current chip stack) goes into the 10<M<20 zone, you should stop playing such marginal hands. Maybe from the small blind a complete or if you had many limpers before you. The problem is, that if you were playing them in this zone excessively that you pay too much money for the blinds and just blind away like you described.
      Remember that you just have to steal the blinds ONCE in the orbit to stay in the game. everything above is just nice to have and should be your secondary target. just wait for the right opportunity to get back into the M>20 zone where you are safe to do nearly anything.
      Blind stealing could be done with a good marginal hand from the button or cutoff, even if a better hand could work better (remember that even if you could make something better out of e.g. AJ than just stealing the blinds this doesn't have to be always true, so try to steal the blinds and even if someone calls you you have the additional benefit of having a good starting hand).
      I do not fully aggree with ur answer.
      First of all we talk about tournament poker I guess. So Short stack Strategy and al that is just Cashgame Stuff and should not worry us right now.

      Obviously ur a beginner. As a Beginner u should more focus on Preflop Play rather than Postflop Play.
      If ur an advanced Player later u can play more Postflop Strategies like Small Ball.

      Here a basic Strategy about Big BET Preflop Poker. (Just a guidline for a possible Direction)

      So first of all as an beginner u never want to play marginal hands in the early stages of an tournament! Never. So what Ellesar said about calling with marginal hands in the early stages of an tournament is for advanced postflop players only!!

      Why?
      In the early stage u can loose ur whole stack with J,9 for an example if u hit on a Board like T,Q,K. It is not unusual that there is A,J out there. Sure it does not happen that often but there are a lot of such situation accuring in the first stages.

      U wont win that much but u are risking a lot.
      Even if u double up in the early stages, u wont have that much more advantage than against other players who still have starting stack after 3 or 4 levels.
      The tournament is not won in the early stages. You can win easier chips by stealing blinds and ante in later stages of the tournament.

      Play really tight in the early stages but play aggressive if u are getting good hands.

      If u have less than about 24 Big Blinds u have to start to play more aggressive in Late Position to get some blinds and antes.
      So it sound weired but now u have to loosen up a little bit more (but only in Late Position)
      Steal some blinds if u are first in (no one entered the Pot before u)
      Steal with Hands like K,Q, K,J, Q,J, A,8 or something
      If its suited it is much better.
      If u get hard action and u didnt flop soemthing like two pair let the hand go. Dont risk too much Chips on ur Steals.

      If u have under 13 BB u should only play push or fold. Means All In or fold.

      It means if ur first in and u wont to enter the pot think about ur position and than deside if an all in is good in this situation. Dont raise normal or continue with normal play its too expensive and if u dont hit u maybe have 4 BB left and now have to go all in and u dont have any fold equity left.

      This is just a guidline but I suggest u to get Harrington on Holdem. Its a really good Book and he is explaining a lot of hands in his book. It helped me a lot in tournament play.

      Summary:

      Tight Aggressive in the early Stages (no marginal Hands!)
      24 BB or less Start with stealing blinds in good spots with medium strong hands in late position
      13 BB or less play only push or fold.

      Read Harrington or something similar

      1 year and a lot of experience later u can start to learn advanced plays like the Smallball Strategy from Daniel Negreanu and really get an edge. Or Gus new Book is also great. He really shos us why his style is mathematical very profitable. But it requiers good reading Skills and experience. I think its also more sucessfull live than online.

      So learn and play some small MTT.
      there are lots of 2 Dollar ones on Stars.

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