How to play against insane amount of fishy limpers early in MTTs

sundriedsundried Red Chipper Posts: 18 ✭✭
edited June 2 in Tournament Poker Hands
I've noticed that when I play low stakes tournaments ($10-$30 ignition) there are so many splashy limpers early on that I have no choice but to play tight. With 10k starting stacks, 10/20 blinds and 4 limpers even if I have a theoretically perfect steal opportunity I can't do it. Against 4 limpers even if I make it 1000 one of them always calls. It's frustrating if I try to steal so I'm just not doing this anymore in these situations. Sure it's great if I have 10s+ for this to happen as I'm getting paid 80% of the time but when I have a hand such as :As:Qd it becomes very blurry on how to play.

Say I have :As:Qd in the big blind and there are 5 limpers before me. Assume 10k effective stacks and 10/20 blinds. I make it 400 and 2 call. Then the flop comes something like :Ks:9c:4h . If I attempt to demonstrate strength with 75%-125% pot bets they will STILL call with something like :8c:9d . Should I just abandon the hand when I miss like this? These players will float any hand. How about if the board is :Ks:Tc:4h ? Sure if I hit that gutter I will get paid most of the time as they just call so wide, but how about in the majority of cases where I won't hit it? Do I abandon that on the flop too?
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Comments

  • blindraiseblindraise Red Chipper Posts: 283 ✭✭
    edited June 2
    Punish their inelasticity, go for first, and thin the field early by overbet shoving preflop
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,499 -
    At 10k effective and 10/20 I don't think overbet shoving is ever going to come into play.

    It's fine to play extremely tight until the antes kick in. There's no rule that says you have to raise AQo from the BB when half the county has limped. If you don't smash the flop, nothing bad will happen if you check-fold.

    Let me suggest there's a psychological trap here. It's clear to you that these sticky limpers are bad poker players. I would agree. But it turns out that en masse, they are quite difficult to exploit. Their error in the early levels, at least when they're all doing it, is what limit players used to call implicit collusion.

    So set up a tight image, be the guy who never plays a hand, then when you're at 125/250/250 you can unleash the hounds.
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  • blindraiseblindraise Red Chipper Posts: 283 ✭✭
    It depends on how truly fishy the players are, but most of my final tables were played by exploiting the clueless early.

    The pot is 240 with 6 limpers I overbet shove 10k and get 3 callers, one has J7s one has deuces the other A9o.

    Run clean take their chips and keep doing it until the slot players are gone. Or bust out early cuz some1 woke up with AA to ur AQo and rebuy.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,499 -
    If you can get a 4-way AI with a dominating hand, I have no problem at all with the play.
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  • sundriedsundried Red Chipper Posts: 18 ✭✭
    Thanks guys. The one thing that's been bothering me most is that usually the biggest stack on the table by the time the bubble comes around is one of the fish who is just simply running good and getting their garbage hands paid off as they hit 2 pairs with them. Then I have to inevitably coin flip them. It's usually 70/30 in my favour but hey tournaments will do what tournaments do and I gotta work on my emotions in this case.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,499 -
    sundried wrote: »
    Thanks guys. The one thing that's been bothering me most is that usually the biggest stack on the table by the time the bubble comes around is one of the fish who is just simply running good and getting their garbage hands paid off as they hit 2 pairs with them. Then I have to inevitably coin flip them. It's usually 70/30 in my favour but hey tournaments will do what tournaments do and I gotta work on my emotions in this case.

    This may help. Suppose there are 950 weak players in a tournament and 50 good ones. What distribution of good/bad players do you expect to arrive at the final table?
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  • sundriedsundried Red Chipper Posts: 18 ✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »

    This may help. Suppose there are 950 weak players in a tournament and 50 good ones. What distribution of good/bad players do you expect to arrive at the final table?

    I'd say it depends on the starting stack. In my lower stake tournaments there's a very good chance there's more fish than good players at the final table. In monster stacked ones there would be maybe 1 if any.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,499 -
    edited June 3
    sundried wrote: »
    TheGameKat wrote: »

    This may help. Suppose there are 950 weak players in a tournament and 50 good ones. What distribution of good/bad players do you expect to arrive at the final table?

    I'd say it depends on the starting stack. In my lower stake tournaments there's a very good chance there's more fish than good players at the final table. In monster stacked ones there would be maybe 1 if any.

    That's a reasonable assessment. Structure certainly has a major impact. Part of it is when most of the players are bad, they're swapping chips between them until a handful of weak players get massive stacks.

    The thing to remember is that the fact there's a particular weak player with all the chips tends to mean that a dozen of similarly weak players who accidentally got them there are now on the rail.
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  • blindraiseblindraise Red Chipper Posts: 283 ✭✭
    Also if rebuys are available you're more likely to run across skilled players as the tournament goes on.
  • MnpokerMnpoker Red Chipper Posts: 136 ✭✭
    If it is a unlimited rebuy tournament then your “fish” maybe loose aggressive players who are willing to fire multiple bullets so they are looking to double or rebuy in the early stages. I see a lot of this in $300-$1600 live tournaments. I will usually only fire one or two bullets (depending on how much time I had for sats) so I usually tighten up for the first 5-6 levels. Then rebuy madness calms down
  • John ValentineJohn Valentine Red Chipper Posts: 89 ✭✭
    When the wsop comes to Harris in new Orleans there are a load of satellites . There are always a bunch of players who rebuy 4 or 5 times in a satellite. Than if or when they reach the rebuy tournament, there will be an announcement that rebuy will close in 10 minutes. You can watch them calculate. I have less chips than if I rebuy. "Dealer...I'm allin!" Its amusing to watch.
  • KeyserS023KeyserS023 Red Chipper Posts: 30 ✭✭
    sundried wrote: »
    Thanks guys. The one thing that's been bothering me most is that usually the biggest stack on the table by the time the bubble comes around is one of the fish who is just simply running good and getting their garbage hands paid off as they hit 2 pairs with them. Then I have to inevitably coin flip them. It's usually 70/30 in my favour but hey tournaments will do what tournaments do and I gotta work on my emotions in this case.

    Maybe a small change in perspective would help. Your goal in a tournament is not to be the deep stack when the bubble comes; your goal is to survive as long as possible. You can place second in a tournament without ever being the deep stack.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,499 -
    KeyserS023 wrote: »
    sundried wrote: »
    Thanks guys. The one thing that's been bothering me most is that usually the biggest stack on the table by the time the bubble comes around is one of the fish who is just simply running good and getting their garbage hands paid off as they hit 2 pairs with them. Then I have to inevitably coin flip them. It's usually 70/30 in my favour but hey tournaments will do what tournaments do and I gotta work on my emotions in this case.

    Maybe a small change in perspective would help. Your goal in a tournament is not to be the deep stack when the bubble comes; your goal is to survive as long as possible. You can place second in a tournament without ever being the deep stack.

    Fair point, and you can win it by only becoming chip leader on the penultimate hand.

    Something else to consider. If you somehow got parachuted into a tournament seat towards the bubble and got to choose which one, you'd hopefully pick the one with the most chips in front of it. However, recognize that the big stack at this stage invariably had to take a lot more risks (or just run like ceiling cat) to get that stack. Additionally, many winning tournament players are not actually that effective with a deep stack, thus they don't go to extreme lengths to obtain one.
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  • sfx_beigssfx_beigs Red Chipper Posts: 56 ✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    Additionally, many winning tournament players are not actually that effective with a deep stack, thus they don't go to extreme lengths to obtain one.

    Can you elaborate on this? Is it just that good tourney players have a better short stack strategy than average? It would still seem counterintuitive because even with a good short stack strategy you’ll find your self all in frequently and need the math to run in your favor.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,499 -
    sfx_beigs wrote: »
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    Additionally, many winning tournament players are not actually that effective with a deep stack, thus they don't go to extreme lengths to obtain one.

    Can you elaborate on this? Is it just that good tourney players have a better short stack strategy than average? It would still seem counterintuitive because even with a good short stack strategy you’ll find your self all in frequently and need the math to run in your favor.

    Mostly it's just something I've observed. There simply aren't that many tournament players who are devastatingly effective with a big stack before the tournament is ITM. You would always like more chips in the latter stages, because as you say, they help you survive more inevitable flips. But what does having 200bbs really achieve a long way from the bubble when effective stacks are 50bb? To get those extra bbs, you typically have to take risks, and yet they're not actually in play.
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  • sundriedsundried Red Chipper Posts: 18 ✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    But what does having 200bbs really achieve a long way from the bubble when effective stacks are 50bb? To get those extra bbs, you typically have to take risks, and yet they're not actually in play.

    That's a fair point. I think I am going to loosen up a lot more early however. I've noticed every time the bubble comes around I'm always middle stack but never the big stack who can bully everyone who's playing nitty. Jonathan Little made the point that you need to play looser and take risks to build the stack up and be in it to win it as coming first once is more money than playing tight and nitty and min cashing 10 times.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,499 -
    The larger the field and more top heavy the pay-out structure, the more I agree with that philosophy. That said, loosening up before the antes kick in is IMO a mistake.
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  • sundriedsundried Red Chipper Posts: 18 ✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    The larger the field and more top heavy the pay-out structure, the more I agree with that philosophy. That said, loosening up before the antes kick in is IMO a mistake.

    Fair enough. Antes kick in in under an hour in my low stakes tournaments. Sometimes they even start with antes.
  • TonyTiltTonyTilt Red Chipper Posts: 11 ✭✭
    sundried wrote: »
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    But what does having 200bbs really achieve a long way from the bubble when effective stacks are 50bb? To get those extra bbs, you typically have to take risks, and yet they're not actually in play.

    That's a fair point. I think I am going to loosen up a lot more early however. I've noticed every time the bubble comes around I'm always middle stack but never the big stack who can bully everyone who's playing nitty. Jonathan Little made the point that you need to play looser and take risks to build the stack up and be in it to win it as coming first once is more money than playing tight and nitty and min cashing 10 times.

    Normally I would agree with this but with my experience on ignition playing looser around the bubble doesn't matter with that player base.
  • blindraiseblindraise Red Chipper Posts: 283 ✭✭
    So if J Lil says it that means it must be right and I've got to make a change to my game since that's what I'm not doing, right?
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,499 -
    blindraise wrote: »
    So if J Lil says it that means it must be right and I've got to make a change to my game since that's what I'm not doing, right?

    Let me make a couple of general points about advice from tournament pros and other training material, that also has some carry over into cash games.

    First, there are plenty of recommendations out there on opening ranges and the best style of play and so forth, but what has always horrified me is this is typically given without any reference to field size or pay-out structure. When I coach tournament students, this is where we start. What type of tournaments do you want to play? Okay, let's fine-tune your approach to exploit that tournament.

    I wrote about the topic briefly in this article.

    Second, there is a lot of excellent tournament advice by people like Mr. Little (who is a great tournament player IMO) that is absolutely perfect if you have the postflop skills of Mr. Little and are playing against players slightly less good than Mr. Little.

    Such information requires filtering. Typically if you are relying on such information, you don't yet know enough to correctly filter the information.

    The content creator of our CORE-Tournaments L4 program, Fox, has similar views to me on this topic, largely because over a decade ago I started learning this stuff from him. I have great confidence in that material for our subscribers.
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  • sundriedsundried Red Chipper Posts: 18 ✭✭
    blindraise wrote: »
    So if J Lil says it that means it must be right and I've got to make a change to my game since that's what I'm not doing, right?

    Well alright you can min cash your MTTs 10 times and I'll take 9 busts and 1 win lmao
  • blindraiseblindraise Red Chipper Posts: 283 ✭✭
    edited June 13
    You misinterpret what I'm saying

    Basically you can read other people's ideas and advice all you want

    But until you actually open up flopzilla, equilab, icm calcs etc., Until you know your EV, IO, FE equations and breakeven %s by heart(and APPLY them), you're always going to be in the same boat as the recs whose gameplay you criticize as "fishy limpers."

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