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Hand Range vs. Pre-Flop Bet Size in MTTs with Antes

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  • Hand Range vs. Pre-Flop Bet Size in MTTs with Antes

    Been working on my game and studying up on my play in MTTs with antes.

    I know I should be opening up my playable hand range to account for the extra money in the pot, but what about my pre-flop bet size?
    Should I be making bigger pre-flop bets in addition to playing my expanded range in tournaments with antes?

    In his Tournament Masterclass, Jonathan Little often mentions that when he’s deep-stacked (>100bb) his standard pre-flop bet is 2.5-3x the last bet made + all the other money in the pot (blinds, limpers ,etc).

    But combining that formula and using an expanded range seems like compounding the situation... putting an even greater amount of pre-flop money at risk with looser holdings.

    Is it one or the other (wider range vs bigger bet), rather than both?

    I’m wondering, because as I watch high level MTTs being streamed online nowadays, it seems that good players are not including the antes in their pre-flop bet calculations... rather just sticking to 2.2-2.5bb pre-flop bets while playing wider ranges.

    Any input?
    Would love to get one of the coaches to give some clarification on this!

  • #2
    Hi mate what I generally do is when I’m over 50bbs I raise first in 2.7bbs and below 50bbs use 2.2bbs hope this helps


    • #3
      The ranges Jonathan gives are derived from GTO solvers. The ranges are accurate GTO ranges. The ranges are run with the bet sizes in mind. So I think it would be fair to say that the GTO ranges and Jonathan's bet sizing video are linked.

      I like Jonathan's bet sizing. When deep stacked and you raise small, it is harder to build a decent pot.

      Example: 100BBs - 3.5 raise and 1 call. 9.5BBs in the pot 96.5 behind = 10:1 SPR /// 2.2x raise and 1 call = 6.7 pot and 97.8 behind = 14.5 SPR.

      That is a huge difference and the higher SPR pot is much more difficult to play post flop. The higher SPR actually favors a calling range.


      • #4
        jjpregler , That’s good feedback, but specific to my question, do you do BOTH... play a wider hand range AND bet bigger to include antes?

        This scenario of wider range COMBINED with the bigger raise isn’t discussed.
        Last edited by PokerDogDoc; 04-02-2021, 12:06 AM.


        • #5
          Yes, when early in MTT at very deep stacks at about 150BB I open pot, 100 BBs I open 3x, 30 -60 I open 2.5x, and less than 30 I open 2.2x


          • #6
            I believe the GTO charts are based on 2.3x

            I use the 3x over 90BB+. As the tournament moves on I choose my bet sizing based on a few factors.

            If for instance most are relatively deep or mid stacked I choose my open bet size based off off my stack or the effective stack I am mostly likely going to play.
            Meaning I might have 45BB from EP or MP then there might be 1 short stack of 20BB and a few stacks between 40-60BB.
            In that scenario I've been opening 2.3x or round down to 2.2x which ever works given the size of the blinds.

            If I'm opening from LP and there is a short stack in the blinds we will again say 20BB or whenever I have less than roughly 35BB I open 2x.

            When I'm at 40BB+ to like 90BB and the effective stacks I'm most likely to play against are 40BB+ I generally use 2.3x or round up to 2.4x

            I think a lot of players resist opening 2x vs short stacks because it gives them great odds to call. BUT it gives them great odds to call and less incentive to rejam.

            For example 20BB effective the BTN opens their normal range 3x. I'm going to rip it in about 10% wider from the BB because I'm more incentivized to take down the pot pre-flop and the BTN has to fold about 65% of their range.
            Some might say well I can open tighter for 3x and and wider for 2x. That only works for so long and you're still going to lose those flips with your tight range about 37% of the time.

            You want to be unpredictable.

            When I open for 2x you have no idea if its AA KK J5s or K8o meaning I get to comfortably play my entire range IP which is much more profitable. You might be surprised how often a 2x open takes down the blinds and antes which is why I want to be able to open J5s K8o etc

            Jonathan almost never opens more than 3x unless it's an exploit. I think you might be conflating open bet sizes and 3! sizes.

            In MPT Michael Acevedo says it's ok to use a larger open sizes from UTG and I believe the SB. I think he also mentions exploitatively using a smaller size from the BTN because we want to play pots IP vs the blinds. But never vary bet sizing based off of hand strength.


            • jjpregler
              jjpregler commented
              Editing a comment
              In the Masterclass - Jonathan gives instructions to open pot size at very deep stacks then 2.75x from 60 - 100. He also says to 3b pot size at very deep stacks.

            • jjpregler
              jjpregler commented
              Editing a comment
              I would also be very surprised if Jonathan created content instructing a certain amount on a bet size, but then gives hand charts that would not correspond to his sizing instructions.

            • kkep
              kkep commented
              Editing a comment
              I honestly don't know. I did the first 1/3 of the MC while it was in Beta and there was some conflicting information that has been corrected so it's very likely my memory is conflating some spots.

              He for sure used both the implementable charts and GTO charts throughout parts of the class which are different and can lead to some confusion IMO.

              I also re-watched a video from the MC the other day where JL did use different bet sizings. The first was UTG open EP call from MP he 3! bet + call + money in the pot.
              In the next example there was a bet, call, he was on the BTN and he used 1/2BB less. He didn't say why he went slightly smaller but I surmised it's because he has position on the table.

              There is no information on those GTO charts so honestly I don't know what size they used or if they are solved with smaller sizing's as we get shorter or not. I was told by someone that they are based off of 2.3x tho.

              Those GTO charts were also up for a good bit before I pointed out an error in them. Supposedly it's being fixed but it's been over 2 months now. It wasn't a huge deal but the 3! carry over % was wrong on all of them.

              Say we open a bunch of combos at mixed frequency and get 3!. Lets suppose all those combos are in our calling range. Those fractions turned into 100% so it looked like we defended 3! often with up to 65% or more of our range when in reality we should only be defending roughly 48-54% of our range.

              Say we open K9s 25% get 3! and call with K9s. It would show that we had 4 combos of K9s in our defending range but I suppose we should know that we only have 1 combo . So for now they scrubbed the percentages that would come up to the right of the ranges.

              I'll post some images below

          • #7
            Click image for larger version

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            and what it looks like now

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