Capping Ranges in Live Poker

My latest poker strategy article, Capping Ranges in Live Poker, has just been published in 2+2 Magazine. Using examples from the Borgata Poker Open, I demonstrate what you can get away with when your opponents are kind enough to broadcast the upper limits of their hand strength via bet sizing and other tells:

“No-limit hold ’em, especially when played with deep stacks, is about pressure. When your opponents make the mistake of revealing to you the upper limits of their hand strength, you can push them out by pushing them beyond that limit. Conveniently, you can also value bet all better hands with impunity. The key is to stay alert to all the signs, big and small, that your opponent isn’t thrilled about his hand.”

The topic of capped ranges is one I’ve discussed before, but not in the context of live poker, where there are so many more ways for your opponents to show you weakness. Please let me know what you think of the article!


4 thoughts on “Capping Ranges in Live Poker

  1. What pity that so powerful concept of capped Ranges in NL holdem has limited use for different variants of poker.
    The fold equity is priceless commodity in many variants of poker.
    Let me give you two examples PLO and O8.
    In PLO you have very frequent situation “you can have nut or near-nut hands in your range but you think that your opponent cant’t”
    But there are problems to apply this concept.
    Virtually every turn card redefine “nut” hand(s) for almost every board.
    There are many implication.
    1.In NL holdem player actions cap his range.
    So in PLO board caps players ranges rather than his actions.
    2. This turn “nuts” redefinition very frequently translates into huge shift in equity status-quo.
    A pot limit structure,equity shifts and smooth equity distribution did not help to exert pressure even in deep stack situation.
    When you are taking flops OOP in PLO you pray for your opponent fold regardless your flop “nuts” and his capped range.
    The river is only street in PLO where the concept of capped range is used to its fullest.

    In PLO8, NLO8 is different story.The capped ranges are powerful concept on all streets.
    One minor problem is split nature of the game which decrease the leverage of the concept in hu pots.
    The other problem to utilize the concept is the quantum number of unique hand combinations created by four-card (Omaha) potential vs holdem.

    • Good points. Also worth mentioning is the bare Ace bluff in PLO, or bluffing with like 88 on 965 – cases where card removal caps or limits your opponent’s nutted range. That comes up a lot more in PLO because you need such a strong hand to consider it nutted, unlike in NLHE where any two card flush can often be played like a nut hand on a non-paired board.

  2. So in the 44 T73 hand…

    Can’t he just jam over your c-bet with anything repping a set?
    (I realize most players won’t do this.)

    Against anyone but Durr what do you call a Jam with?

    • I’d probably call KK+. I’m not convinced a set would actually jam here, it’s a pretty dry flop and my range isn’t necessarily that strong. And given that I’m 4-betting 44, I could certainly have 33 here. It’s not a great spot, on top of which most people just aren’t going to do that.

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