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Lucille Cailly

is a respected poker contender and strong contributor

Poker Score: 71,150

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About Lucille Cailly

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Iveypoker,
since Jan 2013
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Aces Group,
since Jan 1973
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12500€ NLHE 8 PokerStars & Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT Grand Final
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2012 EPT IX - Barcelona
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Aug 19, 2012

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Mar 26, 2011

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Polarized ranges : The preflop 3bet

 

Range polarization definition

 

A range is polarized when the hands in said range can be classified in two categories: max (nuts) or bluff (air). Polarization can be applied preflop as well as post flop. This concept, even though quite basic, is a necessary step in your general learning of poker.

 

But, keep in mind that polarization is useful and necessary only against thinking players. Players who don’t think about your range or have a bad understanding of ranges in general don’t require that much sophistication. They’ll give you action and money anyway.

 

First, we’re going to talk about preflop polarization, in our 3bets.

Why polarize our preflop 3bet??

-       Its gives value to our bad hands (hands we can’t just call profitably).

Let’s imagine we have Q3o at the big blind, in NL 100. The button raises at 3. What are our options? Folding or raising (calling is obviously not a possibility). We decide to raise to 9. Our opponent folds. We just gave value to a hand that had none. And even if, sometimes, he’ll 4bet or call us, he’s going to fold enough so it’s still profitable for us to 3bet those hands periodically.

What hands should we put in our bluff range?

It depends on the frequency your opponent can raise you. If he folds a lot or calls and then folds on the flop, it’s going to be really profitable to 3bet him with a wide range of hands.

On the other hand, if he he’s a pain (4bets a lot and doesn’t fold much flop when he calls the 3bet), you’ll have to 3bet less and call more often with hands that dominate his range (but can’t bear a 4bet).

-       Polarizing your preflop 3bet give value to your monster hands (hands you want to go all in with as AA-KK-QQ-JJ-AK-AKs).

Because obviously, from time to time we’ll get caught 3betting J4o. Once our opponents realize that, they’re going to give us more action when we’ll 3 bet our premiums. They will be more incline to make big pricey mistakes, to 4bet light or call in order to bluff later in the hand. To sum up, they’re going to give us more money than if our 3bet range was only for value.

-       A polarized range is easier to play out of position. Lots of players get themselves in trouble by 3betting hands between those poles, like, for example, broadways (KQ, KJ, QT etc.). When called, it’s going to be harder for us to bluff or to value those hands when we hit a flop. And when our opponent 4bets us, we’ll have to fold a hand that had real value at the beginning (but just became impossible to play oop in a 4bet pot). With a polarized 3bet range, you don’t get such problems. It will be easy to fold our garbage hands and 3betting those hands will help us getting even more value from our premiums.

 

It doesn’t mean that you should never depolarized (add hands that are neither premiums or complete rags) your 3bet range out of position or that you can’t polarized in position. Every situation and opponent is different. We’re just looking at the polarization fundamentals here.

Keep in mind:

You have to 3bet as much in value as in bluff, in order to keep your opponents in the dark. If we 3bet more rags than premiums, a thinking opponent will quickly realize that 4betting us with any two is profitable.

Having a polarized 3bet range will give you easy decisions. When you’ll 3bet J4s out of position, you’ll never lose your entire stack just because the flop comes Jack high. On the other hand, if you 3bet QJ and get a call, a board 56Q could cost you a lot against a dominant hand.

 

 

 

 #RKHpokerstrategy 

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