# The "Gangup Effect"?

• Bronze
Joined: 21.07.2010
Hey All,

I have just been reading a Strategy Article posted on 2+2 talking about Isolating Limpers. Most of it is fairly straight forward and great stuff, but there is 1 section that has me thinking.

Concept of the Week #6: Isolating Limpers: Post 5

GANGUP EFFECT

Let's talk set mining for a bit. We all know the math, 5-10 rule and 1:8 blah blah blah. Well guess what? All that standard math is for HU pots and doesn't matter in multiway pots. We all know that if you can get a villain to put in 15-20% of their stack preflop when you're holding aces that they cannot profitably setmine, that you can safely stackoff postflop and STILL be +EV. Well, not so much if you're playing against a field and are not HU postflop.

You're OTB with AA. Time to make some money, amirite! Four limpers to you, std 2+2 raise of 4+1, you bust it to \$2... everyone calls.

"Stupid idiots. All four of them just called without good odds to setmine, putting in too much of their stack to be profitable in the longrun. Gogogogogo!"

*buzzzz* Thank you for playing. Please head to the back of the line and practice your EV calculations.

Each one may have made a -EV call individually, but you're playing against the field. Peel back the curtain and all 4 have small pocket pairs, say 22, 44, 55, 77. There is now a huge chance that the field catches a set, something like 42% on the flop. You're now in the awkward position of having to cbet and give up on this hand, because putting in any more money than that makes you -EV. All it takes is one idiot with KTo to feel priced in preflop, spike his T on the flop and peel your cbet, then put you on AK and bet the river and BAM you fold the best hand. Yuck.

"But I did what I was supposed to do and raised! What do you want me to do, limp and setmine aces to avoid -EV situations?"

No. But this CoW is not called Raising Limpers, its called Isolating Limpers. Same example, AA OTB with 4 limpers. Make the bet \$3.25. Now you get one optimistic caller who is bad at math... feel free to stack off happily. NH, GG.

"But what if they all fold? I make the minimum with my aces?"

Yes, but you make money. +EV. Playing against a field is not like playing against one villain. Each one can individually be -EV and you are STILL -EV also. Let me repeat that: each one can individually be -EV and you are STILL -EV also! Because you're not playing against a hand, you're playing against many hands. You're better off winning a small pot with your big hands than getting yourself into a pickle against a large field where you have high RIO. Reverse implied odds my friends... limpers are playing for Implied Odds, and when you have a good hand against limpers, that means you have the opposite, Reverse Implied Odds.

Spoiler:
Note how the previous example plays essentially the same if you have Q5s as if you have AA. We'll get back to that later on. But first...

Another example:

Unknown villains, full stacks.

Pre Flop: (\$0.35) Hero is BU with A J
1 fold, UTG+1 calls \$0.25, 1 fold, MP1 calls \$0.25, HJ calls \$0.25, Hero raises to \$1.25, UTG+1 calls \$1.00, MP1 calls \$1.00, HJ calls \$1.00.

Flop: (\$5.35) T A 9 (4 players)
UTG+1 checks, MP1 checks, HJ checks, Hero bets \$4.00, UTG+1 calls \$4.00, MP1 folds, HJ calls \$4.00

Turn: (\$17.35) T A 9 6: (3 players)
UTG+1 checks, MP1 checks, Hero ??????

Kicks a puppy? What now? OHAI you're in a world of hurt!

Let's peel back the curtain and see that UTG+1 had 99 for bottom set and HJ has QJ for the OESFD. Yeah, HJ could have just as easily had 87 and made his straight. UTG+1 got greedy and tried to trap more money in the pot with his set (yes, even with the FD out). And you... you want to puke. Bet/fold and protect against the draws? Check for pot control and call one on the river if the flush doesn't come in? Or just c/f from here out, and risk folding the best hand or allowing them to draw out? ****. Let's try that again!

Pre Flop: (\$0.35) Hero is BU with A J
1 fold, UTG+1 calls \$0.25, 1 fold, MP1 calls \$0.25, HJ calls \$0.25, Hero raises to \$2.50, UTG+1 calls \$2.25, MP1 folds, HJ folds.

Flop: (\$5.85) T A 9 (4 players)
UTG+1 checks, Hero bets \$4.00, UTG+1 raises \$8.00, Hero???

Folds. Much better!! Hopefully next time he doesn't get so lucky and flop that set.

Most big hands play better against a smaller field, and big preflop raises will accomplish that. Don't get married to one preset "strategy" for preflop hand selection or bet sizing. Think about why you are raising each time, and size your bet to accomplish that.

I didn’t realise that even if you raise standard 4+1 that it can still be -EV to stack off with As? There is further discussion in the thread debating whether everyone can be -EV, I can’t do the math but its interesting because in the example Hero raisers 13BBs with As instead of 8BBs. If we do this how do we act with other hands when do we know whether to raise 4+1 or a larger Raise.

Credit for Quoted text goes to KurtSF of the 2+2 Forum.
• 4 replies
• Silver
Joined: 02.01.2009
Given the limpers are gona be fish most of the time they have ranges way wider than just pp's and are putting in money postflop with gutshots and 1pair hands. It's not at all -EV to hold AA in such spots, even if they all have pp's always. just be ready to actually make some reads and fold when villain makes it clear your beat.

The flop is ofc a big factor - on a flop of K22 you really aren't worried about anything and can happily stack off all day long, but on 789 or even 942 you need to be a bit less less gung-ho.

Making it bigger than standard pre can be a great option - but if you have good regs behind who will 3bet wide vs iso raises and who will recognize that you use a bigger sizing with your absolute premiums then you will be in a world of hurt. An exception might be if one of the fish is the type of player who even limp-calls vs. 3bets (and the reg knows this) - then you can go ahead and be a little unbalanced since the reg can't profitably 3bet you with such a wide range.
• Bronze
Joined: 23.06.2008
AT micros, with 3 limpers, especially serial limpers, I'd make it more like 7x or 8x preflop and if that doesn't work even more! Versus a table of limp/foders this is easy enough, but if they won't fold then I go to 10x. I've pushed from the blinds on occasion in these spots, someone will call with something pretty as usual. If the table is 6 max there can't be too many regs about with multi-limpers anyway. Otherwise I'm with Jan217 and I haven't taken higher limits into account either.
Just my opinion is all though of course, I'm no coach.

Regards,

Mal.
• Bronze
Joined: 21.07.2010
Originally posted by Jan217
Given the limpers are gona be fish most of the time they have ranges way wider than just pp's and are putting in money postflop with gutshots and 1pair hands. It's not at all -EV to hold AA in such spots, even if they all have pp's always. just be ready to actually make some reads and fold when villain makes it clear your beat.

The flop is ofc a big factor - on a flop of K22 you really aren't worried about anything and can happily stack off all day long, but on 789 or even 942 you need to be a bit less less gung-ho.

Making it bigger than standard pre can be a great option - but if you have good regs behind who will 3bet wide vs iso raises and who will recognize that you use a bigger sizing with your absolute premiums then you will be in a world of hurt. An exception might be if one of the fish is the type of player who even limp-calls vs. 3bets (and the reg knows this) - then you can go ahead and be a little unbalanced since the reg can't profitably 3bet you with such a wide range.
I think the point that the section was trying to make is that you cant put 20% of your stack in pre and Fold post Flop.
• Black
Joined: 27.11.2008
It has always been 4bb plus 1bb PER LIMPER. Not sure why u think u should always put in a std raise size of 5bb while isolating.

Ive nv heard of the gang up effect before but if i were to put it kn my own words, being in a hu pot when u have the initiative is almost always going to be bwtter than in a multiway pot. The converse may sometimes be true if u are the pf caller, u prefer to have multiway action so pfr plays more honest and u also get better odds preflop