Isolating limpers 101
Isolating limpers 101
What is isolating?
Isolating is raising a limper preflop.
What does it accomplish?
When to do it?
- It allows you to steal his dead money limp preflop.
- It allows you to play heads up vs a bad player more often.
- It prevents 3betting from players left behind you.
- It prevents players from calling as wide as the normally would to a normal pfr size.
As much as you possibly can. Isolating limpers is a massively profitable play. I know for a fact most players dont do it as much as they should and most players dont understand how much they should be doing it.
Over 100bb/100. Making a buy in every 100 hands is very nice.
How often do you iso?
My normal pfr is 17%. My pfr when unopened is about 23%. Vs a limper its 26%. It should even be higher than this. I think it should be above 30%.
What do you look for in order to isolate?
First check the villains stats. The most important stats to consider are :limp call, limp fold, limp raise, and fold to cb.
Next look at your hand. Is it playable? 93o and J2o are not very playable hands vs almost anyone.
Villain has high limp fold and fold to cb.
Here we can iso almost any 2 cards because he is folding a lot pre and on the flop so it doesnt really matter what we have because mathematically we will win so often we can do it with 100% of our range.
Villain has high limp fold and low fold to cb.
We can still iso very wide but we prefer to have a playable hand postflop that can flop some kind of equity because if he calls pre, his is likely to see the board to the river.
Villain has low limp fold and high fold to cb.
A typically fit or fold player who loves to see flops but folds when he misses. We can still iso a very wide range and cb a ton of flops.
Villain has low limp fold and low fold to cb.
We have to iso wide still but not as wide as the other scenarios. We have to make sure we have hands that can hit postflop, especially top pair good kicker hands. This villain will want to see every flop and call most flop cbets so he can see if he hits on later streets or
will never fold bottom pair. Therefore we need value oriented hands to value bet him to death.
One more thing to consider when you iso is who is left to act. Chances are any reg/tag/nit type player wont give you any trouble unless they have a premium hand. Even the lags who 3b a lot will tend to give you lots of credit unless they have a premium as well. The main thing to look for is another very loose player who will cold call your iso raise. If you iso a limper and have a 64/6 left to act for example, you will have to also assume he will call and make sure your hand will be good enough vs 2 players and their tendancies. So dont iso a guy with 75o (even if vs him heads up it would be profitable) when theres another very loose player left to act as he will likely call and you are now in a bad spot. Keep your range value heavy when you expect to get it multiway on the flop.
What about position?
Position really doesnt matter that much because our skill level is so much greater and we are exploiting them so badly. It is better to play a bit tighter oop though as you dont get as much pot control and post flop options.
Whats our isoing range?
Here is a good one to start. You can add or subtract to it depending on villain tendancy and position. I typically will over limp small pairs because its hard to make postflop unless we have a set. We have 2 outs if we dont hit a set and have little fold equity. Also we get a cheap flop and it will usually be multiway.
Whats our preflop raise size?
I usually start by raising to pot by default. If the villain is fit or fold post flop i might make it a bit bigger. If you make it too big you will just get folds so often preflop that you will end up losing some postflop value. So play with it and take notes on how big each villain is willing to call.
If the player is short stacked on the other hand we need to make it a bit smaller because we still want room and fold equity postflop. 3x is a good start. 2.5x if he is really short.
Whats our plan on the flop?
We should cb a very high amount vs the players who can fold postflop. If we bet half pot we only have to be successful 33% of the time to break even. So if the villain has a 50% fold to cb and we bet half pot every time, we are showing profit. I think its important to cb bluff half pot and bet bigger for value or with big draws. These limpers are usually bad players and wont notice your sizing so you might as well exploit them in another way.
For example if i have 7c6c and the flop comes Kc4d2h, i will bet half pot.
If i have AhJh and the flop comes Th9c3h, i will bet near pot because our A, J, and heart will give us the best hand most of the time. We dont have a hand but we have a large chance of getting one on later streets.
If i have AdKc on AhJc5h, i will bet near pot again. I have a value hand and lots worse will call me. Might as well get max value.
Another important thing you can determine from their fold to cb stat is how light they will call you. For example if a player has a 13% fold to cb, he will be floating you with any pair, any draw, naked overs, and any back door draw. You can easily vbet 2nd pair hands and even worse vs him.
What if they call our cbet?
Then its up to you to play well postflop.
What if there is more than 1 limper?
In this case its more important to have value hands rather than suited connector type hands. You want to flop top pair or other strong hands and vbet them to death. I would also tighten up oop more and cb bluff a lot less. With two or more callers, there is a better chance someone has hit the flop.
How do you combat players who iso limpers alot?
First we can check their raise limper stat to the raise first stat to see if they are tighter or looser vs a limp.
Villain is tighter vs a limper.
Against these guys we know that they will have a tight value heavy range so we should give them more respect. We can play back by calling good hands if we expect the limper to call along. We shouldnt 3b them very much because they will have a value hand and it is less likely they are going to fold. If you do decide to 3b, 3b a polarized range if you expect the limper to fold and the raiser to 4b or fold. 3b a value range if you expect the limper to call your 3b or the raiser to call or fold. Generally you dont get a lot of calls from a tight isoer here, they usually will 4b or fold, you mainly need to know what the limper is going to do.
Villain is looser vs a limper.
This is what we should be so we know we have a very wide isolating range. This means we can 3b here much more often because the villain will have a very wide range and we have lots of fold equity. The only problem is if the limper will call our 3b. We need to have a polarized range or value range based on what we think the limper will do. The best time to bluff is when the raiser is on the btn and we are in the blinds. If you look at players' iso stats they will almost always be widest on the btn.
Overall isolating limpers is a very easy and good way to make a lot of money. It also takes you out of your comfort zone by raising hands you might not normally raise but because you know how to exploit the villain so easily, it makes the hand profitable to play.
I recommend you look to isolate as much as you can comfortably isolate to start. Start with a value heavy range and once you are comfortable with it, start to widen it slowly until you get to a point where you isolate with the maximum profitable range.
Good luck on the felt and feel free to add any more ideas or advice or ask questions.