I definitely do have some work to do on my bet sizing and especially my open size.
I just went out 8th/9 in a SNG where, on the first hand I tried to bet the pot with A9o on the button, betting 120 on a 15/30 blind, got called by 3-5, they end up with 3s full of 5s to win the hand. But not only did that one guy call me, so did 4 players. 120 isn’t too much to call, but even for 53. So I flop a flush draw with the Ace, don’t hit it, and lay down the hand on the river when a player makes a bigger bet than I can call with the nothing I ended up with, but 5-3 raises and takes a 5700 chip pot, and I’m down 25% of my starting stack.
Later on I exited the game, I am dealt JJ sitting in UTG+1, raise with a pot-sized bet, the rest of the table folds, UTG calls with 64s. The flop pairs their 4 and gives them a flush draw, but the flop is all rags, so I bet the pot, he calls, hits two pair on the turn, shoves, I call, he takes the hand.
Not complaining about the outcome, beats happen. Sometimes you make a correct play and still lose. But how does a player play with hands like 53, 64? I never play these unless I’m dealt them on the BB and no one raises. But apparently these hands can profitably call when a player raises with a bet that is “small” objectively (relative to stack sizes) but is huge relative to the blinds (equal to the total pot). I’d like to understand how players can play weak starting cards like 53, 64, especially in the face of any raise.
I can understand 4 players calling a raise to 120 on the opening hand. 120 chips isn’t that much relative to stack size, and so sizing the open relative to the blinds doesn’t work with the blinds so small. I’m sure people will say A9 was too weak to open anyway, even on the button.
On the other hand, I also get advice that if I only raise with big pairs and broadway cards, it’s too obvious to everyone that they should fold when I raise unless they have a premium hand. So sometimes I should open with lesser hands, right? Hence I try opening with A9. And you’re supposed to tighten your range even further when a player ahead of you shows interest in the pot, so I guess 53 tightened up from playing… what? 42? I don’t mind giving up 25% of my stack for the chance to win 25% of 4 other player’s stacks. That would have doubled me up. In a 5-way showdown I’m only 25% likely to win, according to my odds calculator, which isn’t so hot. I want better odds than that, so should have opened bigger and gotten fewer calls. I just can’t seem to find where players are at when it comes to getting them to call vs fold. It almost seems like it’s contagious. If the first player after me calls, everyone comes in, and if they fold, everyone folds. But getting called, and then beat, by a player holding rags… I gotta admit, that kinda burns me up. Maybe I shouldn’t let it bother me, and just play the long game and trust that over time I’m going to take more chips away from this player than I’ll lose to him.