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Defending the BB against RFI

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  • Defending the BB against RFI

    I have been playing poker since the 1990s, well before the TV boom, and even before it was possible to play no limit most places (many places only had limit).

    I decided to take Jonathan Little's course, and while I know I am not a perfect player by any means, there is only one thing that has really surprised me so far, and even leaves me thinking "this can't be right" after I consider it carefully. That is the frequency recommended to defend the BB against a RFI, which seems to exceed half the deck depending on position. My own inclination would be to defend the BB to a RFI something similar to the Btn charts, and that is apparently way too tight.

    I am left with this question: if my opponents do not raise as frequently as the solvers would recommend (they do not, especially from the Btn), and when they do raise they raise a much larger amount than recommended here (5x RFIs are just about standard), what would that do to these chart recommendations. Of course it would tighten them up, but would it tighten them up by a large margin?

    Sorry, quick edit, because I confusingly said BB where I meant Btn in one place, which causes the question to not make sense.
    Last edited by RCMorea; 03-13-2021, 02:47 PM.

  • #2
    The charts assume that our opponent is also playing a fundamentally sound strategy.

    If our opponents are not then we definitely need to adjust our ranges to exploit them.

    If they open too wide, we should defend wider.

    If they open too large, we should defend tighter.

    Actually quantifying this without more information is a lot tougher.

    What effective stacks are you talking about? MTTs or cash? What does their range look like? What is the opening size?


    • #3
      Thanks for answering. I am assuming the game I usually play, a live 2/5 NL cash game, about 100 blinds deep. The opening size is usually 4x or 5x. The opening ranges are pretty reasonable from early and mid position, but not wide enough from late or from the button. Such that, I just don't see defending from the BB anything like as wide as suggested--but then again, the whole point of being here is to see what I might be doing wrong, and this is the first point where I haven't been able to convince myself.


      • #4
        Are you familiar with the 'Hand Range Calculator' function on Equilab?

        If we know our opponent's raise size, then we can work out roughly the equity our range needs to have in order to call.

        Once we know this percentage, we can use Equilab to enter various different ranges that our opponents may be opening and come up with decent defending strategies.

        Here's a rough example:

        If the villain is opening from the BTN to 5bb, then we can do:

        4bb / (5bb + 4bb + 1bb + 0.5bb) = 38%

        We may want to add a couple of percent to this to take into account the rake and give us an edge.

        So let's say we need our hands need 40% equity to call.

        If I know my opponent is opening tighter than usual, I might assign them a range like:

        Click image for larger version  Name:	Range.JPG Views:	0 Size:	104.7 KB ID:	47197

        This is a range of ~24% of hands, as opposed to the recommended ~41% of hands we should be opening with.

        We can then use the 'Hand Range Calculator' function to find all hands in our range which have >40% equity against this range:

        Click image for larger version  Name:	Range2.JPG Views:	0 Size:	109.2 KB ID:	47198

        So this is what my defending range would look like. As you can see it is far tighter than what the charts would have us defend with, but I believe it is a reasonable adjustment based on the assumptions made about our opponent.


        • #5
          Wow. Thanks. I thought I was familiar with equilab but maybe not enough...


          • LondonImp
            LondonImp commented
            Editing a comment
            Make the most out of the program mate. It's probably the best bit of free software out there.