Strategy with Kristy: Randal Flowers Discusses Bluffing Preflop
Randal Flowers, 23, has accumulated more than $2.7 million in tournament winnings, including two World Poker Tour titles.
For this edition of Strategy with Kristy, brought to you by South Point, Flowers sits down with Kristy Arnett to discuss bluffing preflop.
Here is a snippet from the interview:
How do you balance the need to steal with the fact that these days many players know that you're stealing?
If I have a very aggressive player or two to my left and I'm in late position, and there's an obvious weak [player in the] big blind, I don't know how often I'm going to open very light. I'm anticipating getting flatted, and people messing with me after the flop because they know I don't have that great of a range.
A lot of times, the general strategy should change to fold. Play tighter if there are good aggressive players behind you. But, if no one is really messing with you, you can sneak in a raise with a pretty weak hand.
With what kind of range are you willing to go for blind steals?
Well, live is way different than online, and I haven't played online in so long that I guess my strict math fundamentals aren't as good as they should be. When you play live, people look at their hands before they're supposed to, so I could be in the hijack and know the guy on the button is already holding his cards that he wants to fold. So then, I'm really in the cutoff. You should play way, way more hands in live poker, in my opinion.
What raise size do you prefer?
I vary my raise sizing more than most, but generally, I think 2.5 times the big blind is fine. What really matters is, if it's really early in the tournament, and you're very deep, I would recommend raising 3 times.
Maybe midway through the tournament, when there still aren't antes and the average stack is around 50 big blinds, I think under 2.5 times is probably better because you're risking 250 to win 150 if the blinds are 50/100. With no antes, if you get three-bet, it puts you in a tough spot. You're never really getting a good price so depending on stack sizes, I think you can risk less.
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