Fighting raise jitters

    • JirinPanthosa
      JirinPanthosa
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.03.2013 Posts: 13
      Reading articles, the only hands you should ever call if nobody has raised are speculative hands like low pairs and suited connectors.

      I understand the logic of these articles and why it's a bad idea, and from experience have never profited much from calling, say, AQo. Yet still when I'm actually playing and see some kind of hand like ATo it's hard to make myself raise and I end up limping and folding.

      I guess part of it is because I'm usually playing play money tournaments where everyone is loose-passive, and part of it is eagerness to play rather than just waiting through another hand. How do you break your instinctual tendency to limp?
  • 7 replies
    • doctorkgb
      doctorkgb
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.04.2009 Posts: 1,263
      Limp is not bad just "because you are supposed to raise".
      It is bad:
      1. Because you play without initiative
      2. Mostly without position
      3. Your range is weak (otherwise you would most likely raise)
      4. You keep pot small, so when you hit your set or better, you are less likely to get paid because people overlimp with weak range.
      5. Your big hands won't get paid "because you raise only nuts"
      6. Anyone with half brain and HUD will put you on a correct range
      7. People will make you limp/fold.
      8. etc.

      Limping is not terrible if table is loose passive. If you limp you need good reason to, otherwise you are burning money.
    • legand73
      legand73
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.06.2010 Posts: 4,135
      Hey JirinPanthosa

      doctorkgb gave a lot of good disincentives for limping your hands.
      I guarantee you that the more you raise in general the more comfortable you become. You will find that long-term you aren't getting yourself into as many marginal situations where you sit there thinking "i have no idea what to do".

      limping can get you into a lot of these types of situations. If you are used to playing a lot of people that are loose passive then your value hands are gonna get paid off a lot more if people are calling quite wide so this is more of a reason to raise in certain spots imo.

      The starting hands charts we offer here are great for establishing a foundation and you start to get a feel for the strength of hands. At the start it was hard for me not to limp broadway hands like JTo because they seem quite strong to a beginner, but you soon come to realise that in certain spots they definitely aren't.

      You didn't mention which game type you play? At any rate I would advise raising with the hands that we suggest, in our articles and charts. The more you do it the more comfortable you will become.


      Hope this helped and if you have further questions don't hesitate.

      Regards,
      Luke
    • JirinPanthosa
      JirinPanthosa
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.03.2013 Posts: 13
      Thanks for the advice. It's not that I don't fully understand the reasons not to limp and think it's "Just because people say so", it's just an issue of fighting tilt in those cases when you've got 20-30 crap hands in a row and you're getting bored.

      And it doesn't help that my access to real money poker is limited to renting a zip car and driving for an hour or two, so most of my playing comes from play money tables where everybody calls and there's less reason not to limp, and there's no financial reason to fight the impulse to play a little looser to increase the amount of action. (Stupid U.S. nanny laws).

      I tend to play No Limit Texas Holdem, usually in the context of a tournament.

      Maybe I just need to make more trips out to real money tournaments that punish you more for limping.

      Those hand charts are very useful, when you deviate from them you tend to learn why you should follow them. The specific case that troubles me though is marginal and drawing hands behind multiple callers. Wouldn't raising only isolate you against better hands, when you can possibly see a flop cheaply for 1BB that the loose players around you will drive up if they hit anything? In loose tables, aren't there cases where the implied pot odds are better if you call?
    • doctorkgb
      doctorkgb
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.04.2009 Posts: 1,263
      Originally posted by JirinPanthosa
      The specific case that troubles me though is marginal and drawing hands behind multiple callers. Wouldn't raising only isolate you against better hands, when you can possibly see a flop cheaply for 1BB that the loose players around you will drive up if they hit anything? In loose tables, aren't there cases where the implied pot odds are better if you call?
      Over-limping with PPs and SCs, preferably in position is different than open-limping and more profitable, as well. In today games it is common (and profitable), to squeeze after 2-3 limpers especially in position. It does make difference whether you play 6max or full ring; play money or reall money; nano stakes or mid stakes.

      Sometimes limp is correct and +EV play, but if you don't know when and why, open limp is not a good and profitable play. Not knowing what to do with marginal hand (in given circumstances), is not reason to limp. It is safer to fold in that case.
    • UPAY4DINNER
      UPAY4DINNER
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.09.2009 Posts: 21,922
      Thank you doctorkgb :)
    • JirinPanthosa
      JirinPanthosa
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.03.2013 Posts: 13
      So, today I played my first real money tournament against real poker players, and against them, the reasons not to limp are way more obvious than online or against buddies.

      $40 buy in with rebuys, 27 players, I finsihed 11th with no rebuys, so can't feel too bad about that. Early on I got a few lucky hands and played agressively and my stack rose very quickly from 8000 to about 20000.

      Then came the slow decline. For about an hour and a half only twice did I ever get any hand that's even on the beginner's hand chart, 89s and A7s, both when I was out of position. With the 89s I made the beginner's mistake of deciding to play a drawing hand then forgetting which cards I had, so then when I took a second took it became obvious to the sharks I was drawing and a guy with a pair of sixes bet pot size. With the A7s I succumbed to temptation to limp, I was on the button, and then the BB raised all in. As the blinds rose my stack depleted.

      One time I was BU with K8o with no callers, 6 people at the table, and a BB I saw bet big with trash hands, I probably should have bet that hand since I was so short stacked, just to convince my competitors I wasn't a rock and was just getting a long series of really terrible hole cards.

      Now I'm really short stacked, I go all in with A8o, everyone folds, thinking of course I probably have KK because I folded the last 30 hands.

      Finally I got JTs, the best hand I'd seen since very early in the tournament. Somebody bet enough to force me all in, I call. He reveals AK. Flop gives me my Jack, turn gives him his King, I'm out.

      There were people at the table who did seem to know exactly what I had every time I showed aggression, and it was only the loose passive players who were there at the beginning I was initially able to profit from. This has been a learning experience as to exactly why I should behave the same way for any hand I want to play.
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,904
      So, today I played my first real money tournament against real poker players, and against them, the reasons not to limp are way more obvious than online or against buddies.

      $40 buy in with rebuys, 27 players, I finsihed 11th with no rebuys, so can't feel too bad about that. Early on I got a few lucky hands and played agressively and my stack rose very quickly from 8000 to about 20000.

      Then came the slow decline.
      This pattern is quite normal.
      I find that I do well early, have a dead spell, then start getting good hands again. The worst is when your dead spell happens near the bubble.

      What concerns me, though is that you're entering $40 tournaments as your "first real money tournament".

      If this is your first foray into "real money" poker, then I submit that the skill level of these players would crush you.

      Even if you can well afford the $40, I submit to you that it is necessary to gain the relevant experience necessary to tackle this level.

      Start lower, read, study, learn, practice.
      When you have a positive ROI (return on investment -- ie you make more than you spend) then go to the next higher level.

      In multi-table tournaments, I believe that the standard bankroll management criterion is "Never enter a tournament that costs more than 1% of your bankroll".

      All the best,
      --VS