Thursday, November 15, 2007

C-Betting Like It's Your Job

C-Betting is an important part of an overall NL Holdem strategy. I have discussed it a bunch here so no need to go into great detail again, except that I just realized how early in an MTT it is most likely correct to increase your c-bet frequency even more than normal. To the point where you are doing it "like it's your job". I would never recommend c-betting like it is your job in a cash game, though if you play as tight as I do, you should come semi-close to that. Like a part-time job at least with overtime potential.

So in cash games I like to C-bet when in position and with a small number of opponents. Then you factor in the texture of the board, and lastly you factor in your actual holdings. It is VERY important that you do not C-bet based on your cards, but do it mostly based on the situation. If your C-bets are always situational, there will be no way to really put you on a hand when you do it. If you do it frequently after raising preflop, people will expect it from you, and will be less likely to play drawing type hands preflop against you. Because I play pretty tight preflop, when I C-bet the flop I can be reasonably put on an overpair, and it is also reasonable, that I will not be able to be pushed off of it. Of course, I can be pushed off of a C-bet in a cash game as it is usually just a small portion of your stack. So in cash games I C-bet a very high percentage of flops, but shut down a bit when out of position and as the number of opponents goes up.

Early in MTTs are different though. I realized this last night at the OCPT. Now this is a rebuy tourney early, but I would say this would apply in general for a deep stacks tourney as well. If you play tight like me, you need to dial up you C-betting to near automatic early on. You do this because the early levels do not matter. You may be giving up a small amount of expectation value by C-betting a bit too much, but the image points a tight player like me gains is huge.

So I was catching some cards early and over raising a bunch preflop, and ending up heads-up or three way, and I was just C-betting away like it was my job. They would look at me, and I would say "You know it's coming". So they were mostly backing off, and the one or two times they did not I had something and doubled through. My image for the tourny was set. First of all, when it gets later and I am raising preflop against much bigger blinds, they will still expect the C-bet and will be more likely to stay out of my way. I can also deny a C-bet later on that they would expect at a key point where I want a free card, or to confuse them with a monster. You get them to expect you to do it on autopilot early for cheap and then exploit that expectation later.

Think about a C-bet as an implied multiplier. In a MTT if your preflop raise amount is 3x and you are called for heads-up, the C-bet will be in the 5x range. So automatic C-bets make your 3x preflop raises appear bigger. You pay for the strong multiplier image early in an MTT, and then use the leverage you just earned against much higher blind levels later. Am I on to something here? I did C-bet my way out of the RC on the first hand so it obviously does not always work, and you must be able to release a C-bet to pressure. Early MTTs are very much like cash games so there is tons of room to get away when things go wrong.



At 1:50 PM, Blogger Schaubs said...

I always like coming here to learn something.



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