Goliath pro tips: Bet-sizing strategy
In this short blog I’m going to give you some free tips on a topic that I don’t think receives as much attention as it deserves, bet-sizing. Players that bet-size well make the most when they have the best hand and lose the least when bluffing with the worst.
When choosing a bet size pre or post flop it’s very important you get your sizings correct. As often in poker, there is no correct answer, but there are a lot of things to consider. Hopefully this article might help some of you squeeze a few more chips out of your pots going forward, which is vital in tournament poker; especially big-field MTT’s like the Goliath – where chip accumulation is vital.
Play the player
Your opponent is one of the main things to consider. Are you dealing with a high level player, semi-pro, or a fun player? You need to make a decision based on all the evidence presented in front of you before you choose what size to go for.
Let’s start with a preflop example. The button opens to 2k at 500/1k blinds off 50k stack, we have the same 50k stack and are in the SB with AA. We decide to 3bet for obvious value. Now comes the decision on how to size and now you should be classifying your opponent.
Against a strong regular (generally online midstakes or highstakes live player) that will play GTO (game theory optimal) ill choose to 3bet to around 8k-9k, reasons being we would want to use the same sizing we would if we were 3bet bluffing with a hand like KTo or A2/A3 etc. The main point being is that we don’t want to give the good player a good price in position so we would size all of our hands the same (nuts and value) in order to be balanced.
Against a loose fun player id 3bet to between 5000 and 5500, because I want the call. Balancing vs a loose fun player is not a concern to us, as they won’t realise were skewed to always having value in this spot against them. If I see that this player is incredibly sticky, ill 3bet bigger, trying to find the sweet spot to get as much money in preflop as I’m certain they will call.
We raise to 2k off 50k stack at 500/1k blinds with QKsuited in spades and the big blind defends of an identical stack. 4k in the pot and the flop is
When we are betting we need to pick what size and the player and board texture is the most important. If we are playing against a weak and passive player we would want to bet small.
We very rarely face a check raise and can easily fold our backdoor equity if we are check raised vs said player. Vs an aggressive player we want to bet a bigger size if his check raise frequency is higher to small cbets, which a lot of aggressive amateurs frequencies are. The GTO size would be between 25-30% of the pot.
The best hand
When we know we have the best hand its important to maximise value. For example, it’s the middle of the day at the Goliath. You look down at the wonderful AA, raise 2.5BB preflop from UTG and 4 loose players call including both blinds (all players have 60bb).
The flop is K55 rainbow, you cbet 9bb into 13.5bb and both the small and big blind call. The turn is an Ace completing the rainbow and is checked through the blinds, you check back.
The river is a 2. The SB player bets 10bb into 40.5bb and is called by the BB. In this instance your bet-sizing on the river is extremely critical. There is 60bb in the pot, you have roughly 50bb back.
This is a clear situation where one or both players could easily have a 5 and you have almost certainly the best hand. Don’t get fancy and minimum raise, maximise your value and go all-in! There is a good chance all 5x hands will call you, especially in a tournament like the Goliath. Fun players don’t like folding big hands!
Exploit vs GTO
Whilst GTO is used at the cutting edge of poker, its important to realise 95% of players at this year’s Goliath will be nowhere near that level of sophistication. If you think your opponent is weak-tight and will give up easily and missed the flop (and you are bluffing), bet small, if you think they are a huge calling station and you have a nut hand, bomb the pot!
Satellites are now running on Grosvenorpoker.com, with huge daily super-satellites (all at least guaranteeing 25 x £125 seats+) on from 7th July. Don’t miss out on this years big one. Check out the full schedule here.