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The Particulars of ReRaising

by David “The Maven” Chicotsky

Reraising: it’s one of the least understood and most talked about poker activities. It can have a great upside if applied properly, and can create great peril if we’re simply over-inflating the pot. There are certain times in a tournament where it is advantageous, and other times when it is not. With (or against) the wrong chipstack, it can be devastating, though if we are within the proper parameters - it can work beautifully. For the purposes of today’s discussions, let’s talk about reraising from 15 to 50 big blinds.

As a tournament gets deep, one of the most apparent dilemmas that will certainly arise is (figuring out) when we should reraise all-in for our stack. Just as importantly, when should we put our opponents all-in for their stack (assuming we have the larger stack)? In general, the most basic parameters for reraising all-in for your stack (or your opponent’s stack) is betwee

n 15 and 25 blinds. Fifteen blinds is almost too light to ensure full reraise fold equity, and 25 blinds is the outer-limits of what is profitable and possible.

Addition by subtraction leads us to the conclusion therefore that 25-50 big blinds is the sizing you’ll want to use normal reraises rather than reraising all-in. The only exception to this would be when you’re making “squeeze” plays. If there’s a raise and a caller or two, you’re able to creep your bets higher - upwards of 30 big blinds, even 35 blinds if there’s a ton of callers and over-callers. Thirty blinds to 50 blinds would be a good set of general parameters for 4-betting or cold 4-betting - again depending on how many players are in the hand and the action in front of us.

When we’re sitting with more than 40 blinds and we’re going up against shorter stacks, we’re able to use our chipstack as leverage - to our advantage. Most people are overly focused on their own stacks and under focused on their opponent’s stack. It will pay incredible dividends if you’re able to keep good track of their stacks just as much as your own. Keep in mind that the majority of the math is based around the shortest stack directly involved in the hand, better known as the effective stack.

Your reraise sizing will range from a “re-click” (the absolute minimum re-raise amount) all the way to around 3 times their original open-raise size. Arguably, the main thing to consider is which player to target and at what chipstack. The wider the open-raiser’s range, the more often they should be folding to an all-in reraise play. At the same token, if you make a small reraise into a player with a wide open-raising range, don’t be surprised if they call pre-flop. Now you’ll be forced to fight them off the hand after the flop. The point is to always be watchful of times when you can reraise in a profitable manner. This is one poker tool the average player doesn’t employ often enough.

Reraising is one of the most talked about aspects of tournament play; it’s sexy, high-flying, and a powerful move. But the reality is that the average player reraises less than 5%, even though many pros reraise as often as the high single-digits, or even more than 10% of the time. It’s not often you’ll find a statistic that pros implement twice as much as the average poker playing public, but when it comes to tournament poker, that’s exactly what we’ll encounter. The next time you sit down to play tournament poker, be on the lookout for instances where you can profitably work in a reraise.

The Maven will be hosting a BOOT CAMP on June 5th, the day before the Senior’s Event, teaching alongside live tournament pros Kathy Liebert, Tom McEvoy, and Rex Clinkscales - go to TheMavenTraining.com for more info. David “The Maven” Chicotsky is the 2008 Online Player of the Year and former #1 ranked online tournament player.

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Wendeen H. Eolis

World Series of Poker


September 4, 2014 - 10:31am
August 28, 2014 - 9:45am
August 25, 2014 - 9:44am
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