Posted 30 December 2004 - 11:08 PM
Raising coming in helps narrow the field, define hands, and build a pot. It's a basis for your subsequent reads, and it serves to maximize the number of times you win the pot. Yes, I know the goal is to win money, not pots, but increasing the proportion of pots won will help the ROI on the preflop bet, and the pot will be decently large when someone plays for your raise.It can also make overly loose opponents justified in chasing, or deny bluffing opportunities due to pot odds on subsequent streets, or cause you to make a courtesy bet into a family pot when you flopped nothing, and other unpleasantness.If it doesn't achieve the proper positive ends (i.e. really loose game, hands to river often, people don't know "how to play" certain hands properly), then it may be better to not raise, see the flop, and continue only when justified. Basically, it goes back not to what Chris Ferguson, or Annie Duke, or Daniel or anyone has to say, but know what the reasons you have for doing something are, see if they mesh well with the texture of the game you're currently playing and the opponents you are facing. When you read those people's work, do it to add things to your toolbox and work out how certain plays derive their value and so on. If you're playing a real passive, loose game (i.e. small online limits, like my broke student self), you can limp 1st in with "crap" like a suited K-trash IF you'll pick up a few people, not get raised, and also can be called down reliably by the table should you hit a decent draw or otherwise flop nicely (2 pair, trips made with your garbage card, etc.). At a tough table, you won't pick up enough hitchikers and are too likely to be raised and subsequently risk money on later streets with a hand that has many ways to be second-best. Again, develop the tools to analyze scenarios; for example, against people who play position well, it is imperative you open with a raise, because the blinds are the only potential callers who would act before you on subsequent betting rounds. By eliminating people behind you with marginal hands, you cut the probability of being outplayed in the pot.