Originally Posted by ssbn743
Itís funny because I hardly ever limp Ė I mean hardly ever, the only time I do is after 1 or 2 players limping before me and Iím in late position. Also in the first 1 to 2 levels of a deep stack tournament I will limp with practically everything just because raising doesnít do much with 350BB stacks all around the table.
Itís really frustrating for me though, other players habitually limp into pots from all positions. I habitually raise from late positions with a very wide range and they habitually call and, oh guess whatÖ.thatís right, check. Now Iím certain that Iím +EV with my continuation bets, but every so often I get some A-hole that limp/check/calls all the way down, or I fold at some point in there and lose more chips than I really want to.
Itís a giant pain in the ass for me and it doesnít change; ever. So Iíve tried to take an analytical approach to this problem and attempted to understand the psyche of a limper. Iíve come up with a couple of questions:
1. Is it ever profitable to limp into a pot? And letís forget about the standard rookie/weak player limp/raising from UTG.
2. What are they attempting to accomplish?
3. Do I need to limp more often?
I know everyone that sits at the table has seen Rounderís or some other Hollywood conception of poker; generally I can see them coming from a mile away as they limp/raise from UTG so I donít think thatís what Iím really after here. In such a case they obviously have their reasons for doing it Ė and I have done it too, albeit, I do only in very explicit and rare situations.
I just donít see how itís profitable to play like that Ė they get no information on anyone elseís hand; which is fine because theyíre not playing poker but are playing cards instead. Thatís ok if thatís how they want to play, itís their money and it just adds value to my stack, but why limp in the first place; surely they must figure out eventually that it is not profitable; right?
I generally only limp if Iím in the blinds and no one has raised or behind two+ limpers and I never really intend on winning the pot; I just do it to try to throw players off of what Iím actually trying to accomplish. But this approach in and of itself is an oxymoron since if all theyíre thinking about is their cards they certainly do not notice my limp/raise numbers.
Yet every few games or so, as I keep raising the same limpers over and over again (some of which are regular players and players I would otherwise consider to be above average), they say ďManÖ.you raise every time I limp!Ē I always respond by saying ďThereís a pattern emerging hereÖĒ which usually gets me a glare.
Anyway, ultimately Iím just not real sure of myself when dealing with limpers and default to aggression to save my bacon. That usually works, especially as the blinds gets higher and higher, but at the same time I wonder; should I be limping more often? Limping more often would be akin to taking a kind of ďif you canít beat them, join themĒ approach; or, do I keep on raising?
Itís just obvious that the limping is never going to end Ė so I need to understand that approach to the game better if such an approach exists.
Wether you should limp less or more really depends on the dynamics of the table .
For example : I play poker at two different venues, on the weekends I play at the local casino , where I almost never limp , here you get all sorts of people , the fish will call with marginal hands out of position, where I can out play them post flop (which is great ) , the regs will fold out of position without a hand and let me pick up the blinds most of the time. This strategy works great for me and being my natural style to come in with a raise , I started to employ this strategy , in the game I play on monday nite in a pub , here the opponents are mostly fish and are avarage . Here it doesnt make sence to raise everytime im first in for these reasons:
1. If I open say 3x BB (cant raise anymore because we want to see the flop cheap) with a hand such as KQ , 10J, A7s, 57s, 22, etc , I have no fold equity, so my steals dont work as these people will call with practacly any suited cards when the price is not too high (live players love to see a flop).
2. If I limp with the cards above , I will get a limpers all the way to the blinds who will check in the blinds most of the time (unless someone was premium then they raise) , thus alowing me to see a cheap flop with many marginal hands against a few opponents and when I hit big the implied odds go through the roof.
3 I raise between 3-6 x BB depending on the stage of the tornament (deeper raise less ) with premiums, when the pre flop raise is higher I get get less callers but will still get 2-3 who like their hand that much , thus thinning out the field and playing with a good hand post flop.
Also my raise % goes up as we get deep as all the fish always tighten up on the final table.
If I used this strategy at the casino where I mostly limp with marginal and raise more with premium , the regs would quickly catch on and make my life really difficult, but at the monday nite game nobody notices , they play their cards and thats it.
So what is a winning strategy in one game is a loosing strategy in a different game. This is why adjusting to dynamics of the table and the quality of players your up against is so important.
As a generall rule the more passive the table is the more my limp % goes up.