AK/AQ/AJ against loose limp callers

    • elhh82
      elhh82
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.09.2008 Posts: 6,838
      In the early game at like t40/t50, there are a lot of randoms who like to limp from early position and call off a raise. In a cash game, where we're much deeper, it will be obvious to isolate and get him to put him more money preflop, but will the same be the best in a SnG?

      Say its t50 and a normal isolation raise would be to 200. This makes the pot 475 if he calls and a c-bet will cost us another ~250 chips. Would it be better to try to make a smaller isolation raise, say to just 160-ish to keep the pot more manageable? Or do we still try to extract as much value as possible preflop against his wide range.
  • 7 replies
    • LgWz
      LgWz
      Black
      Joined: 26.05.2007 Posts: 7,641
      I've been thinking a bit lately on how to gain more edge earlier on.

      I think it must be profitable to isolate with any AJ+ as well as many pocket pairs (like 88+ maybe? not sure) against these guys. I'm talking about isoing from CO and BU mostly. Many play fit or fold postflop so anyway you can add some nice chips to your stack. But you really have to pick your cbets depending on board texture and what you know about the opponent so far.

      So for a raise size I think it can be as low as 3bb if the blinds are tight and it's t50 or t100 (if you're both deep enough for this one). I'm usually mixing raises from 3 to 4 bb with different hands (meaning 3bb won't equal AJo and 4bb AA) so regs don't pick that up.

      Oh and isoing get's a lot better if you already have like 1650+ chips, even if the other guy didn't increase his stack you still get more room to make postflop plays and not getting crippled if something goes wrong.
    • pzhon
      pzhon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      It is profitable to raise a far wider range than that after limpers.

      According to the ICM, your risk aversion in small pots with 9 players left is very small. It exists, but it is not a good reason to turn down very profitable chances like punishing limpers with position and hands ahead of their ranges. In fact, if you are comfortable postflop, you don't even need a hand ahead of the limper's range.

      Much of the time, your opponent who is playing hands like K8s will simply have no pair, no draw, at most one overcard, no idea whether you might have AA or 76s unimproved, and you will have position with more money behind to bet. That should be a good situation for you.

      Note that you can attack someone who is playing 30/10 with a much wider range than someone who is 30/0. Someone who is playing 30/0 is trapping with many more hands, and may dominate you when you hit. Someone who is raising his good hands and limping mediocre hands will rarely hit the flop hard, so even if you get outflopped you will often have chances to outdraw him.
    • LgWz
      LgWz
      Black
      Joined: 26.05.2007 Posts: 7,641
      Do you plan to (re-)release your video on this subject phzon?
    • pzhon
      pzhon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      The video I am working on now mentions that you are not risk-averse in small pots. I think attacking limpers in early levels might be a good subject for a future video. Thanks for the suggestion.
    • goldchess
      goldchess
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.02.2010 Posts: 641
      How do we deal with these loose limpers, when they are also sticky postflop, i.e calling with any pair, any draw, sometimes overcards.
      Problem is our c-bet might not be profitable enough, and in SNG we don't have enough room to make plays like second barrels do we?
      Also in case of the line: isolate, c-bet, check behind turn, fold to small bet on the river, our table image really suffers.

      Against these player types is the only way to exploit just waiting for our monsters and value-betting the hell out them, or is there any way to profitably play a wider range?
    • LgWz
      LgWz
      Black
      Joined: 26.05.2007 Posts: 7,641
      Originally posted by goldchess
      How do we deal with these loose limpers, when they are also sticky postflop, i.e calling with any pair, any draw, sometimes overcards.
      Problem is our c-bet might not be profitable enough, and in SNG we don't have enough room to make plays like second barrels do we?
      Also in case of the line: isolate, c-bet, check behind turn, fold to small bet on the river, our table image really suffers.

      Against these player types is the only way to exploit just waiting for our monsters and value-betting the hell out them, or is there any way to profitably play a wider range?
      That's the good thing of isolating with small preflop raises. You control the size of the pot preflop so you have more room to maneuver postflop, making them pay more when you hit the flop better than their weak made hand. And you shouldn't cbet every flop. TBH I've seen people 2-3 barell as a bluff (I rarely ever do it but maybe I should), but you really need reads for that risky move.
    • pzhon
      pzhon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      Suppose you have a player who raises some of the time, but limps a lot, maybe 35% of the time. When you see him limp, what types of hands should you expect him to have? You will see a lot of hands like A5o, Q7s, JTo, or 96s in his range. (Pocket pairs are possible, but he only gets dealt a pocket pair 6% of the time, so the vast majority of his limps are unpaired hands.) These hands do not have as many ways to flop a draw or two overcards as higher quality hands. Your opponent will have no pair and no draw most of the time.

      There are times to fire two barrels in SNGs, but there are also flops where it is a bad idea. On some flops, you can fire a second barrel profitably on some turn cards but not others.

      Remember that you sometimes hit the flop, or draw out after a cbet semibluff is called. If your opponent is calling with hands like king high, you might be ahead unimproved, and you will tend to have a lot of outs even if you are behind.

      When people play badly, and play more unprofitable hands, this usually means you can play more hands profitably, not fewer. The bubble situations where you don't want to see any calls, even bad ones, are the exception not the rule.