Monday, September 01, 2008

A case for the min raise

The min-raise gets a bad rap. Like any move, it has its time and place. To illustrate my point, let me draw an example.

Its late in a tournament but you still have over 60BB left and another big stack from UtG+2 makes it 3x BB to go. The table is eight handed and you are close to the bubble.

Now you are in the LP (one before the cutoff) and you look down at TT.

Now, I dont see re-raising here with TT because the TT is just not strong enough for that move. And if you limp here, you simply invite the Button and the BB in. If you fold here, you let a hand worth playing go.

I just set up a scenario where chances are you disagree with 1 of the 3 situations I described about your TT.

Now consider this. What about the min-raise here? What does making it 6xBB do? It highly discourages the cutoff, button and blinds from getting into this contested pot. It isolates the raiser using the minimal amount of chips. Now, what moves does it leave the original raiser? Sure he could re-re-raise here. But if he does, I can just chuck the TT. But what I EXPECT to happen is that the mental eyebrow of the raiser goes up and he is going to suspect you have a big hand. Unless he has (or know you have this move and decides to rep) a monster, he is going to CALL.

What have we accomplished?
Isolated with pair, have position on the raiser, AND have the initiative in the hand. Now the original raiser is forced to act based on the flop and since he surrendered initiative, in almost all cases he will check and you will c-bet. About 2/3rd of the time he will have missed the flop. Unless he started better than TT, he is probably done. The check-raise will signal he hit the flop and since TT can't chase a draw or stand up to TP, you just fold.

You made all your decisions easy.

so tell me, what is so awful about the min raise?

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