So in STTF, someone asks about a spot at t100. We are in the SB with 98s and stacks are quite deep. I think it's five- or sixhanded. Should we raise or limp and then stab? Villain is playing 29/20 and has folded his BB 80%.
In my view, this is a snapraise. Although fold to BB is an unreliable stat (players fold their BB to raises from earlier positions much more willingly than to SB raises -- you could use fold to SB steal but it takes a long time to converge and we play nitty enough not to have given him many opportunities), if it's high, or the player seems tight or skilled enough, we can make a judgement about a player's willingness to fold.
If we raise to 250, we are risking 200 to win 350. If villain folds 57% of the time, we make an instant profit, and can simply checkfold the flop and make chips. You'd want some overlay for ICM tax and some allowance for simply being wrong, so I tend to think if villain calls or raises tighter than 30%, I'll raise ATC in this spot. 30% is 55+,A2s+,K5s+,Q7s+,J8s+,T8s+,98s,A7o+,A5o,K9o+,Q9o+,J9o+,T9o, and this guy is not going to call that. You'd need to put in more pairs and aces, and lose a lot of the other shit. I think 22+,A2s+,K9s+,Q9s+,J9s+,T9s,98s,A2o+,K9o+,QTo+,JTo is as wide as he will go (that's exactly 30% as it happens). So yeah, there's not too much margin for error. Make him as nitty as I am, say, and you have an easy raise with ATC. I certainly don't call many raises at t100 with JTo or K9o even if I think villain is wide. And he has no reason to think we're wide. We won't have played many hands at all by this stage.
One guy wanted to fold in this spot. That's horribly nitty and I certainly wouldn't. Okay, you might have your doubts about 93s, but 98s is a decent semibluffing hand.
If you limp and then stab for another 100 chips, you are putting in 150 to win 350, so you're laying a slightly more favourable bet. But you do have to let him have a shot at the flop first and he may well raise you off your limp with hands he would not have reraised a raise or even called one with. A 29/20 guy is likely to read a limp from a nit as a weak hand and pop you up with his KT/Q9s type hands.
Should you cbet when you miss? Say the flop is K73r. Well, I certainly bet that but you can check and fold and no real harm is done. If villain has called with 30% though, he doesn't have a great deal he can continue with. He is reraising a lot of the hands that have a piece preflop, and most of his range has missed that flop.
In this hand, we were considering what to do against a guy playing 29/20, where we might feel raising is risky. So yeah, maybe you want to make sure your hand has something so that you can make value on some flops when you are called. Against a looser guy, limpstabbing might be better. Against a tighter one, your cards don't matter so much and 98s even has the advantage over stronger hands that it is not dominated by much of his calling range, where, for example, QT can be.
Games are tighter now and players don't obligingly fold everything short of AA when we get to push/fold, particularly regs, who overgeneralise the need to call looser BvB and now will call much too wide when you're less than 10BB (not that those same regs have realised they also have to push a bit tighter). So we need to find good spots to pick up chips before push/fold and not to waste opportunities because we want to "preserve chips". You have to at least limp/stab in this spot.