Wednesday, October 05, 2005

To Defend or Not?

I was grinding on some 2/4 Limit on PP last night and watched the table go from very loose to pretty tight. After the table tightened up, a new face sat down to my right and started aggressively playing 60% or more of the pots.... and winning. I was playing tight aggressive with the second or third lowest VP$IP of the table. There were two super tight players (under 10%) and then me (16-17%). I was holding my own, endured a few suckouts (expected at limit, no heartburn for me) and was down a few BB. I was not catching much in the way of cards, but I was making up for that in stealing a few pots and getting the blinds every few orbits from my tight friends.

Here is my question. I do not focus on defending my blinds, and rarely play from the small blind. This might be a weakness, I am just not sure. Last night I tried to defend the BB three times against this loose aggressive maniac and lost all three. fitman111 was playing 2 out of every three flops so I figured he would be on some junk cards. He was, but they were hitting!! My wired 7's in the BB ran into his powerful J6o. I bet it the whole way and his second 6 on the river took the pot. Similar bs occurred two other times and it got me thinking how much should I care about defending? One of the other times was with A4s when it was raised to me in the BB by fitman111 in the SB. A decent hand HU I figured, but it lost also.

I have not seen a discussion in my limited blog reading about this, but it seems to be a prominent stat in all the tracking and overlay software I use. My hunch is it is probably more important in NL, but If you fold your BB everytime in limit, that can be exploited also. I would love to hear any thoughts out there.

My .02 after thinking about this last night - In Limit hold em, I am more inclined to fold my blinds to a raise because I do not have the power to push anyone off of a drawing hand and by a big bet and with all the people willing to call down through the river in the lower limit hold em games, I prefer to play better hands and will not worry about throwing away the SB at all and do not try to defend the BB much.

This logic would change for me in a SNG as the blinds increase, but in a fixed blind game.... I am not sure the reward outweighs the risk.


GaryC said...

Jordan and I bumped heads about defending blinds a while back, right after Pauly's tournament. After reading his thoughts, I have come over to his way of thinking.

I don't defend my blinds, just to defend my blinds anymore. If I have a hand I would play in EP or LP, then I will play it in my blinds, if not, el foldo.

You are correct about it being more important in NL, rather than Limit. I don't have much of a problem defending in Limit, as long as you are able to get away from it after a bad flop.

Just my .02 cents.


TripJax said...

If someone is clearly pegging me for a person they can steal blinds from, then I'm going to attack.

But if it is just a regular game where you to fold to the occasional raise then I'm much more passive.

As for limit vs. NL, I don't play enough limit to really put much info into it...

Good post Josh.

WillWonka said...

In my humble opinion, defending the blinds is very important.. If you look at your stats, the blinds are where you lose the most money. If you have a "better than random hand" and someone is constantly attempting to steal your blinds, then you should not only defend but attack by re-raising. If you are in SB then you need a pretty good hand to defend.

Having said that, I probably fold to blind steals a little more than 50% of the time from BB(I don't have PT stats with me at the moment.. it may be much higher)... and fold from SB almost 100%.

Unfortunately, we all run into those maniacs that seem to hit. Long term, you win.. short term.. it stinks..