Stop Open Limping - Doug Hull

Eager StudentEager Student Red Chipper Posts: 66

Trying out the ideas from Doug Hull's article in 10 Things Good Poker Players Do

Would appreciate any feedback, suggestions, criticisms, thoughts or ideas.
Thank you,
Eager Student

Stop Open Liming - Doug Hull (Summarized)

The only unraised pots I should be in are those where I am in the Big Blind and check my option.

Do not limp into any pots.

I may call a raise and play poker. Just make sure that I consider three betting or folding before I call.

If no one has entered the pot raise to 6X. With one limper raise to 7.5X Two or three limpers 10X or 11X. Four limpers raise to 12.5X. We raise to capitalize on our opponents mistakes and cause them to make bigger mistakes later. Most opponents limp into pots with a wide, weak range. Punish them.

By making a large raise pre-flop we take our opponents out of their comfort zone. They mostly just fold to us. Furthermore, we are most likely going to face one opponent rather than four.

Bottom line

1. Don't limp.
2. Raise bigger pre-flop.
3. Consider re-raising or folding before calling a raise.
4. Want to limp - see Rule One.
5. Seriously - see Rule One.



1/16/2016 - Venetian $1-2 Las Vegas (My stack was between150X to 200X for the session)

After 2 opponents limped; I PFR 10X (AA) all folded,
After 2 opponents limped; I PFR 10X (AA) all folded
After 2 opponents limped; IPFR 10X (K7s) CO all folded


After 1 opponent limped; I PFR 7.5X (QJo) BUT all folded
After 1 opponent limped; I PFR 7.5X (AKs) EP all folded
After 1 opponent limped; I PFR 7.5X (T8o) BUT all folded
After 1 opponent limped; I PFR 7.5X (77) EP all folded
After 1 opponent limped; I PFR 7.5X (22) BUT all folded
After 1 opponent limped; I PFR 7.5X (KTo) BUT all folded
After 4 opponents limped; IPFR 13.5X (44) BB all folded

I open PFR 6X from EP with my EP range (22+, AXs, All suited broadways, 76s+, AQo+) and everyone folded several times.

I open PFR 6X from EP (66) (150X stack);
A very tight non-gambling type player 3Bet to 15X (135X remaining in stack). If I called the SPR would be 4.5. Not a good situation for a small pocket pair against a player marked with a big pair or big over cards. I folded.

BUT straddle 2X; all folded to me in CO I PFR 10X (22) all folded


UTG PFR 3.5X;
MP3 CCR;
I 3Bet 13X SB (AA) all folded


UTG+1 PFR 3.5X (200X stack);
I 3Bet 11X CO (QQ);
UTG+1 4Bet 32.5X (200X stack); I folded (He was a very tight non-gambling type player. Never saw him put big money in the pot without a big hand. I didn't think he would 4Bet without AA or KK)

Previously (I saw him PFR 3.5X ;
His opponent 3Bet to 7.5X;
He 4Bet 50X and showed KK when she folded.

I saw him raise to 3.5X & fold pocket JJ (face up) to an 11X 3Bet.

I also saw him check a Q high straight on the river


MP2 limped;
MP3 PFR 4.5X 200X stack;
BUT CCR 125X stack;
I 3Bet 18X SB (AKo) )150X stack) SB;
MP2 & MP3 folded;
BUT 4Bet 45X (125X stack); I folded (This opponent was new to the table. I had not seen him raise previously. This was a strange play, calling a raise on the BUT, then 4Betting. Nevertheless he put over 1/3 of his stack in pre-flop indicating he wanted to play for stacks. I'm not confident playing in this situation whether to stack off or muck) (Following the principle that opponents are not bluffing enough for big bets; I folded.)

UTG limped 20X stack;
BUT PFR 3.5X (100X stack);
I 3Bet 11X AQo SB 150X stack all folded

I PFR 6X UTG AcQc; (47%)
MP1 3BetAI 24.5X all-In (9c9s); (53%)
All others folded I called. Board ran out all under cards. His 99 won (He had open shoved or 3BetAI on several occasions with a short stack, but no one had called. I was confident that he was doing it wider than QQ+, AK)
I plugged the numbers into the EV calculator
If you win, what is your expected profit? (64) ($3 blinds, my $12 raise, his $49 shove = $64 - $5 rake = $59)
If I lose, what is my expected loss? (37)
From o% to 100%, how often do you expect to win this pot? (47)
Your expected value is: (8)

Did I use the EV calculator correctly?

Aggressive LAG UTG PFR 5X;
I 3Bet 15X CO (QJo) all folded (He was raising frequently but, folding to 3Bets)

Aggressive LAG CO PFR 4X;
BUT CCR;
I 3Bet 19X (AKo) SB all folded. CO is same player as the hand above. He usually raised to 5X. All stacks were 150X effective.

Comments

  • Doug HullDoug Hull RCP Coach Posts: 1,601 -
    It seems like you are getting precious little action and way more than your quota of AA!

    You did not mention the time, but this feels like a morning nitty game to me. I am also curious about what physical presence you bring and what history you bring to the regulars. Are there other casinos you can hit where you have no history?

    I tend to look like this these days.

    dH3jTwT.jpg

    I am not convinced the biker look gets me more action, but it is a hell of a lot better physical image than a quiet guy in hoodie and headphones (not that I think that is you!)

    It usually only takes me an orbit or two before I become "that guy." It really seems to me that people are giving you way too much respect and just think ES is on a heater today. Morning nitty games can get like that also.
    Co-founder Red Chip Poker,
    Author Poker Plays You Can Use
    Author Poker Workbook for Math Geeks
  • Eager StudentEager Student Red Chipper Posts: 66
    Hi Doug,

    The game was at the Venetian from 2:30 PM to 8:45 PM. It was mostly playing very passively with frequent limping. Open raises were usually to $6 or $7 when they occurred and were often getting three or four callers. I was the only one making big open-raises. I 3Bet more often than the rest of the table combined. I did get AA more often than I ever remember in six hours.

    I didn't see any regulars in the game. Mostly tourists. I like the Venetian because it's mostly tourists in the $1-2 game. I am 70 years old in collared shirt and sweater. The dealers know me, but I don't remember ever seeing any of the players before.

    You know me. Chris from Toronto, John, Rita, you and I spent the afternoon discussing poker together at John and Rita's house a couple of times. We also see each other occasionally at the WPDG meetings at Ricardo's.

    Mike

  • Eager StudentEager Student Red Chipper Posts: 66
    MP2 limped;
    MP3 PFR 4.5X 200X stack;
    BUT CCR 125X stack;
    I 3Bet 18X SB (AKo) )150X stack) SB;
    MP2 & MP3 folded;
    BUT 4Bet 45X (125X stack); I folded (This opponent was new to the table. I had not seen him raise previously. This was a strange play, calling a raise on the BUT, then 4Betting. Nevertheless he put over 1/3 of his stack in pre-flop indicating he wanted to play for stacks. I'm not confident playing in this situation whether to stack off or muck) (Following the principle that opponents are not bluffing enough for big bets; I folded.)

    I tried using the Fold Equity calculator to analyze this hand. Very difficult to put this guy on a range because he had only been on the table a short time when this hand came up and left shortly afterwards to go to a $4-8 limit hold'em game. If I had known he was a limit player I would have evaluated his range differently.

    Giving him a range of TT+, AK my equity would have been 40%.

    Pot size before you shove? (135)

    How much do you have to call? (54)

    How much are you shoving total? (214)

    Estimated % equity when called? (40)

    We break even if opponent folds this percentage: (7)


    Giving him a range of QQ+, AK my equity would have been 38%

    Pot size before you shove? (135)

    How much do you have to call? (54)

    How much are you shoving total? (214)

    Estimated % equity when called? (38)

    We break even if opponent folds this percentage: (13)


    Giving him a range of 22+, AK, AJs+ my equity would have been 45%

    Pot size before you shove? (135)

    How much do you have to call? (54)

    How much are you shoving total? (214)

    Estimated % equity when called? (45)

    We break even if opponent folds this percentage: (-13)

    I am still unclear what I should have done, but after learning he was a limit player I think I should have shoved.







  • SaintsTigersSaintsTigers Red Chipper Posts: 238 ✭✭
    Can you post a link to the article? I looked on the site but can't find it.

    Most of the time when I enter a pot, I'm raising. Sometimes, though, I limp because the game situation calls for it. For example, I was playing the other day and limped a few times in late position with pocket pairs. A couple players with 30-35 big blinds limped ahead of me. I didn't want to raise their limps because it would set up an awkward stack to pot ratio when they call. These days the popular rule of thumb is that you need 20x implied odds to profitably set mine. If I would have raised the short stacks then I would've had less than 10x implied odds.
  • Skors3Skors3 Red Chipper Posts: 664 ✭✭✭
    Sometimes, though, I limp because the game situation calls for it. For example, I was playing the other day and limped a few times in late position with pocket pairs. A couple players with 30-35 big blinds limped ahead of me.

    I think the OP is referring to open limping as opposed to limping behind as you describe here.
  • SaintsTigersSaintsTigers Red Chipper Posts: 238 ✭✭
    I think the OP is referring to open limping as opposed to limping behind as you describe here.
    From the title you'd think that, but the post says:
    The only unraised pots I should be in are those where I am in the Big Blind and check my option.

    Do not limp into any pots.
  • Eager StudentEager Student Red Chipper Posts: 66
    Hi SaintsTigers,

    It is not an article. It is a chapter in the Red Chip Poker book "10 Things Good Poker Players Don't Do." There are chapters in the book by Doug Hull, James Sweeney, Christian Soto and Ed Miller.

    Doug Hull wrote the article titled " Stop Open Limping". Ed Miller has written articles advising against limping as well. He points out when you sometimes limp and sometimes raise you have forked your range. Most likely the weak hands are the ones you limp with and the premium hands are the ones you raise with. I find this is a valuable tell and is accurate to a high degree.

    I frequently attack limpers since they usually have a wide weak range when they limp. I don't see how you can balance your range against an observant opponent. They can exploit you at will.

    Most players at $1-2 are not that observant so it isn't that big a deal, but if you plan to move up to $2-5 limping is a big leak.

    Eager Student



  • Christian SotoChristian Soto RCP Coach Posts: 2,191 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2016
    Limping in itself is not a leak.

    It can be. Just like opening, 3betting, or cold-calling in incorrect situations can be a leak.

    But we want to avoid saying statements like, "if you wanna move up, limping is a big leak."

    To say limping is a leak and paint a universal brush as it being incorrect is wrong.

    People and instructors will argue that it'll help your win-rate if you stop limping. It may help your immediate win-rate tomorrow at $1/2, but I would argue that it won't help your long term win-rate as the games get tougher next year or when you decide to move up.

    It may fix a problem of passivity, keep you away from certain tricky situations, and make certain hands easier to play as you now have initiative.

    However, this is just a patch. A temporary fix. A fix that in turn hasn't taught you how to think, or more importantly how to adjust.

    As you know, patches dont fix the problem. They only cover it up. The structure is still broken. The player doesn't know how to think or adjust; instead just following a mantra.

    Statements like limping is bad, or opening 54s under the gun is wrong are completely bogus.

    I'm giving you guys credit for being able to think more deeply and not just following mantras and hand charts anymore.
    I promise the game is fluid and much deeper than that.
  • ChipXtractorChipXtractor Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 1,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Limping in itself is not a leak.

    It can be. Just like opening, 3betting, or cold-calling in incorrect situations can be a leak.

    But we want to avoid saying statements like, "if you wanna move up, limping is a big leak."

    To say limping is a leak and paint a universal brush as it being incorrect is wrong.

    People and instructors will argue that it'll help your win-rate if you stop limping. It may help your immediate win-rate tomorrow at $1/2, but I would argue that it won't help your long term win-rate as the games get tougher next year or when you decide to move up.

    It may fix a problem of passivity, keep you away from certain tricky situations, and make certain hands easier to play as you now have initiative.

    However, this is just a patch. A temporary fix. A fix that in turn hasn't taught you how to think, or more importantly how to adjust.

    As you know, patches dont fix the problem. They only cover it up. The structure is still broken. The player doesn't know how to think or adjust; instead just following a mantra.

    Statements like limping is bad, or opening 54s under the gun is wrong are completely bogus.

    I'm giving you guys credit for being able to think more deeply and not just following mantras and hand charts anymore.
    I promise the game is fluid and much deeper than that.

    Chin the voice of compromise and passive pre-flop play. lol

    I like the 'patch' comparison. I might change my forum handle to 'Patches'
    Twitter = @ChipXtractor
  • Eager StudentEager Student Red Chipper Posts: 66
    Oops! Sorry for the mistake. I defer to Christian. He is the pro.

    I just don't like to limp. Most of the players I see limp are not good players. The Las Vegas $1-2 games are full of players who limp in, try to make something good and get paid. They frequently fold to raises and bleed off their stacks to aggressive players who attack. Eventually they get tired of being attacked so they try calling the raise, but often will play fit or fold on the flop spewing off even more money when they don't fit. Most of the time they don't fit the flop well enough with their weak range.

  • Christian SotoChristian Soto RCP Coach Posts: 2,191 ✭✭✭✭
    I agree that a lot of weak players at your game probably do limp and you punish them for it. And what they do looks like it's really bad and it may very well be bad given the way they are doing it.

    But just keep an open mind because there may be situations where limping may be the correct play for you and we do not want to have removed a tool out toolbox for no reason.
  • tagliustaglius Red Chipper Posts: 290 ✭✭
    But just keep an open mind because there may be situations where limping may be the correct play for you and we do not want to have removed a tool out toolbox for no reason.

    I agree with this. Limping is in general bad, but you should weigh all possible decisions in each situation. One example - we're sitting on the button with As2s, and 3 people limp. It's a passive table, and we don't think a raise (even a big one) is going to clear the field to get us heads up. We know the blinds are not aggressive and likely won't raise without premiums. Axs is a nice IO odds hand that that can win us a big pot vs worse flushes and 2pair/sets, and we're going to have position for the hand, so folding seems like a wasted opportunity. Since raising and folding are both out, limping is what's left.
  • Steve007Steve007 Red Chipper Posts: 363 ✭✭✭
    edited January 2016
    Hi Doug,

    The game was at the Venetian from 2:30 PM to 8:45 PM. It was mostly playing very passively with frequent limping. Open raises were usually to $6 or $7 when they occurred and were often getting three or four callers. I was the only one making big open-raises. I 3Bet more often than the rest of the table combined. I did get AA more often than I ever remember in six hours.

    I didn't see any regulars in the game. Mostly tourists. I like the Venetian because it's mostly tourists in the $1-2 game. I am 70 years old in collared shirt and sweater. The dealers know me, but I don't remember ever seeing any of the players before.

    You know me. Chris from Toronto, John, Rita, you and I spent the afternoon discussing poker together at John and Rita's house a couple of times. We also see each other occasionally at the WPDG meetings at Ricardo's.

    Mike

    The description of your game sounds like a lot of the Venetian games I've been in except it sounds like you were getting more respect than I do (I do look younger so maybe people think I'm more likely to bluff). I think the players tend to be passive and scared in the 1-2 NL games there so being really aggressive pays off well. In other words, I think the players there are easy to run over.

    When the open raises are only $6 or $7 and you tend to come in for amounts like $12, $16, or even $20 it will make the players feel uncomfortable, destroys their plan to see cheap flops and a lot of those types of players will give up PF.

    Yes the Venetian has mostly tourists but isn't that true in just about any 1-2 NL game on the Strip? I would see more regulars there than in other places. Not sure about now because they cut the comps in half and increased the rake and in general have started to treat the poker players poorly recently. I have gone from loving the Venetian poker room (it used to be my favorite) to hating it now. But the game you described still sounds like a lot of games I've played there in the past.

    I've been in games at places like Mandalay Bay where a raise to even $20 doesn't always get much respect and I found that people were far less likely to fold to my raises and barrels, and I was far more likely to get involved in multiway pots after I raised, so I started limping more in late position and only raising my stronger hands. That's a far different type of game than the nitty ones I'd play at the Venetian.

    Also I'm not sure what others here would think about me limping more in the loosest 1-2 NL games. Perhaps I should have experimented with even larger raises, but in the loose games I'm talking about opponents were also loose postflop.
  • SullySully Red Chipper Posts: 711 ✭✭✭
    Hard to get paid off when limping.

    I would tighten my range upfront but any time I'm on the Button or in position to buy the Button, big raises are in order, especially in loose games. And I would definitly keep probing with larger raises to narrow the field.
  • Eager StudentEager Student Red Chipper Posts: 66
    While this first session didn't work out as well as I hoped the subsequent sessions have been a lot of fun. Yes, bigger pre-flop raises makes your opponents very uncomfortable and they usually fold pre-flop, but sometimes they call, then play fit or fold post flop which is even better.

    Against sticky players pre-flop and on the flop, you have to be prepared to barrel on the turn and river and make them think you are willing to put stacks in play when they aren't so they give up.

    Sometimes they get so frustrated they spaz out on dump their stack to you when they shouldn't. Often they will tell you with their bet sizing that it is time to get out of the way.

    There are usually six or more $1-2 tables going so you can table change if you don't like the dynamic.

  • SullySully Red Chipper Posts: 711 ✭✭✭
    IMO, One of the most important aspects of larger pre flop raises is their similarity to 3 bets. They give quicker access to stacks for value and bluffs

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