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Against the all-in pre-flopper

  • lancelindley (Abilene, TX)

In the pre-flop raise episode, you said that we WILL find a bet size that thins the field. Well, in fake money online games and in micro-stakes online (the safe places for beginners to practice), often all-in is the only bet that will get anyone to fold, and sometimes even that doesn't work. In those venues, there are lots of donkeys and adrenaline junkies who don't know or care how to play, they are basically playing 7-card blackjack: even money, all the way to the river, winner take all. I hate that kind of play because it takes away all the advantages of knowing the nuances of raise sizing, C-betting, value betting, etc. and because when you are strapping in and going to showdown from pre-flop, anything can happen and 72o will beat pocket aces (what feels like) an inordinate amount of time, which just reaffirms the donkey's behavior.

So, my question is, if the PFR size that will get people to fold is "all in," then that is still NOT the right idea, correct? Because as detailed above, all-in preflop is a completely different dynamic, removing all your other skill advantages and options and turning the game into a coin toss (I know, odds still come into play based on the strength of your calling hand but you only have to lose your whole buy-in to a river rat three times before you lose interest in sticking around for the odds to bear out).

If all-in is not the right answer, how much of your stack is acceptable to risk in a single PFR when the stakes don't matter enough to the players to make the decisions meaningful to them?

My guess is that the right play here is "leave the table, try another" but unfortunately these people infest the free and 1c/2c tables like fleas on a stray, and moving up in stakes isn't always an option either.

Your thoughts?

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