Developing a balanced limp range

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  • ImperatorImperator Red Chipper Posts: 898 ✭✭✭
    edited June 2016
    Instruments, Skill Sets, and Tool Boxes
    I would love if people here begin to think in the terms of the way artists and many chess players think about what they do.

    We have a skill set and we have a tool box. And we also have our instruments . Our instruments at poker consist of our intellectual and emotional aptitudes. I will leave our instruments aside for now.

    Expanding the tool box does not necessarily expand our skill set. But sometimes our tool box and our skill set do not match. We may have a tool box that is beyond our skill set. Or we may have a skill set that is ahead of our tool box, and if we put those new tools in to the box

    I thinking that limping into a pot looks like such an easy tool to put into the box that @persuadeo and @Christian Soto think that people should just do it. I'm trying to say that in these low limit games where everybody already limps in you have to have a much better skill set than practically everybody who plays $1-$2 to put that include that tool in your tool box.
  • Christian SotoChristian Soto RCP Coach Posts: 2,195 ✭✭✭✭
    I'm not trying to convince you or set forth an entire argument piece of how limping can be very good.

    If you build out a strategy that includes limping or if you prepare for game dynamics where limping can thrive, than it can work.

    What is most important however is questioning why a player like me will argue for limping? Rather than just saying "limping is bad because...."
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 4,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    What makes you think I'm addressing a perfectly passive game? Your rules of thumb, which are reasonable and profitable, were not part of this thread until now.

    The only thing I'm actually ignoring is the request to provide my strategy- the theory, which is many times more important, I've addressed in multiple posts quoting your posts here and Adam's.

    You're quite tricky. You say you're all for limping, provide a situation where limping is obviously unnecessary, and then ask for a limping strategy. I think we're talking at cross purposes and can let it rest.

  • ImperatorImperator Red Chipper Posts: 898 ✭✭✭
    edited June 2016
    persuadeo wrote: »
    What makes you think I'm addressing a perfectly passive game? Your rules of thumb, which are reasonable and profitable, were not part of this thread until now.

    Well if you look at @ChipXtractor post it was obvious to me that he was talking about low-limit games where practically everybody limps. I am pretty sure I made this clear in my posts, which was the point about moving up in stakes.

    persuadeo wrote: »
    The only thing I'm actually ignoring is the request to provide my strategy- the theory, which is many times more important, I've addressed in multiple posts quoting your posts here and Adam's.

    Oh yes, I was really wondering about where and when both in the kind of games I run into and some of the $5-$10 games I've been observing.

    I want criticism of my slight proposals of "where" and "when."

    persuadeo wrote: »
    You're quite tricky. You say you're all for limping, provide a situation where limping is obviously unnecessary, and then ask for a limping strategy. I think we're talking at cross purposes and can let it rest.

    It is possible that we are talking at cross purposes because we are talking about different kinds of games. And that was a point I was trying to make early on.

    Nevertheless I am very interested in where and when to limp because, I've never done it except as a joke. Truly.

    And I can be very rhetorical, but I don't think I'm being "tricky." It is possible. I will reread with an eye to logic. What I thought I was doing was describing a situation.
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 4,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It isn't ChipXtractor's thread, so that's not everyone's assumption. Whatever I wrote here was general to any game of any stake where aggression might need a counter, including 1/2 games. Stakes don't matter, gameflow trumps everything.
  • Christian SotoChristian Soto RCP Coach Posts: 2,195 ✭✭✭✭
    "I'm thinking that limping into a pot looks like such an easy tool to put into the box that Persuadeo and Christian Soto think that people should just do it" - @Imperator

    On the contrary, I think limping is one of the hardest tools in the toolbox.
  • tfaziotfazio Red Chipper Posts: 819 ✭✭✭
    "in the kind of games where nearly 100% of the pots begin with people limping in?" These are imho the best games to raise limpers. If you keep raising especially in 1/2 to 15 plus people start adjusting. The hardest thing for me is hand reading limpers and people that limp after. Sure their ranges are mostly capped except for those that balance with stronger hands but there can be way too many combos to keep track of and multiple villains. I'd much rather raise and get folds at first and get people to adjust.
    .
  • ChipXtractorChipXtractor Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 1,191 ✭✭✭✭
    The only comments I ever made about limping is that I observed much better players than I employing the strategy effectively in both passive and aggressive games against some very strong and not so strong opponents.

    I never claimed to understand the depths of the strategy. Actually, I think I freely admitted I did not. Given all that, there is no way I would presume to state anything about how/why/when a limping strategy could or should be employed.

    I am just saying that in my limited experience I have seen players 'control' tables while limping quite a bit more than would usually be considered optimal.

    It is totally up to Christian and Chris if they decide to share their thoughts on limping effectively. Or not. I honestly don't think either one owes anyone else an explanation.

    In my opinion they have been more than fair so far in leaving a trail of bread crumbs to follow if you so choose.

    cXt



    Twitter = @ChipXtractor
  • tfaziotfazio Red Chipper Posts: 819 ✭✭✭
    I suppose Miller saying Never Limp is a starting point to explain a basic strategy of aggression but as with a lot of these concepts its "always never it depends"
  • ImperatorImperator Red Chipper Posts: 898 ✭✭✭
    edited June 2016
    I myself started talking about limping when I ran into one guy, who I called Mr. 85%, who did it very well and another guy who was so-so.

    I followed Mr. 85% around and I think I understand a tiny bit of why his strategy was working at those tables. He was pretty good.

    In this thread I was trying to think of when a limping range maybe used and how. I am still pretty sure that in most of the games I've played in at casinos there is not very much room for limping. I wish that I could be sure that someone would raise if I limped early but, usually it gets all around and 8 people have limped into the pot.

    If I could figure out how to use Mr. 85% strategy, occasionally in these games I would. But I can't.

    If I could figure out how to limp in and where in other games I would and maybe I can. But these times feel more a weak exception to table dynamics and not a strong reason to limp in.

    When I asked @persuadeo or @Christian Soto to clue me in on ways, and strategies, I know perfectly well that they don't have to tell me. Examples would help, though. But since I don't know where and how I would use this tool I won't do it. So unless I do hire them as coaches, or follow them around very annoyingly, as I am apt to do, I will wait until a time that I can figure it out.

    My whole point is, don't do it unless you can figure out where, when, and why! And even then there are plenty of situations that are recognizable where you shouldn't do it as in my list above.

    But if anyone is willing to give me some help here it might be helpful now instead of in the future.
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 4,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yeah, I'll give you more satisfaction with this later, but I think it's important to think about generalities first. Good discussion.
  • ImperatorImperator Red Chipper Posts: 898 ✭✭✭
    persuadeo wrote: »
    Yeah, I'll give you more satisfaction with this later, but I think it's important to think about generalities first. Good discussion.

    Thank you for that bit. And I think it was a good discussion also; though for me just a little bit frustrating, for reasons that @persuadeo stated in re purposes forking and crossing. (Insert emoticon of some kind here.)
  • JesseJesse Red Chipper Posts: 134 ✭✭
    I do have an interesting story regarding a 100% limp strategy, but not of the 85% variety.

    3/5-$300 fixed buyin NL game, Hawaiian Gardens in CA. I'm just watching because I didn't bring a bankroll and was stopping through on the way home from the mall.
    Player in question is the only female at the table, ~30 years old, average looking, asian, chatting/friendly with her neighbors, playing VERY tightly - seems like she's folding the vast majority of her hands.

    1st hand I see her involved in:
    UTG+2 limps, gal in MP limps, BTN limps, blinds come along.
    The table dynamic seems to be to check to the BTN to c/r - he takes a lot of shots at the flop and has an extremely wide hand range.

    Flop:
    K J 3, rainbow. Everyone checks to BTN who stabs at the pot. UTG+2 check raises, gal re-raises, BTN snap folds, UTG+2 jams it with KJ. Gal has KK.

    =========

    Quite a bit later,
    2nd hand I see her involved in:

    1 limper, gal limps OTB, shortish stack guy (maybe $150 to start) in BB raises to $25. Only the gal calls.

    BB jams it in on J8x type board and runs his AK into her QQ. He gets lucky with an A A run out.

    ==========

    Quite a bit later,

    Raised pot and a guy OOP with A3 decides to 3-barrel an AQTx3 board, getting his money all in on the river for a $400 bet (maybe he bet, she raised? I didn't quite catch it). Gal shows up with KJ.

    ===========

    Her actual hand range in all these pots is actually extremely tight - it's probably equivalent to most people's MP open-raising range. Her strategy is working because people are giving her too much action because they've removed premium holdings from her range because of her passive play, AND they're adjusting poorly given evidence of her actual hand range. At the end of the day, they're value betting too thinly vs her and not folding good hands despite strong info that their hand is no good.

    I'd also suspect that given how she looks, people would rightly give her a lot of respect if she did raise.

    I'm not really sure what her strategy would be if she didn't smash the board, but I'd guess it would involve a lot of folding.
  • ImperatorImperator Red Chipper Posts: 898 ✭✭✭
    edited June 2016
    Jesse wrote: »
    I do have an interesting story regarding a 100% limp strategy, but not of the 85% variety.

    3/5-$300 fixed buyin NL game, Hawaiian Gardens in CA. I'm just watching because I didn't bring a bankroll and was stopping through on the way home from the mall.
    Player in question is the only female at the table, ~30 years old, average looking, asian, chatting/friendly with her neighbors, playing VERY tightly - seems like she's folding the vast majority of her hands.

    1st hand I see her involved in:
    UTG+2 limps, gal in MP limps, BTN limps, blinds come along.
    The table dynamic seems to be to check to the BTN to c/r - he takes a lot of shots at the flop and has an extremely wide hand range.

    Let me see if I have her strategy clearly in mind.

    1) He would play tightly, perhaps 15% of her hands.
    2) She would limp with 100% of her 15% range.

    Questions: Would she bet, out of position or check call? It seems she doesn't check raise and it seems that she is not ashamed to go all in.

    I wonder how long she stays in post flop with her range? With her kind of hands she would probably do well bluffing at least 30% of the time. I could see where this kind of strategy would be successful, if she knew how to be patient. A lot of value would be left on the table but she might be having a lot of fun in the mean time so her patience come along with social benefits. At least that is my guess from what you are saying.

    In Contrast
    Mr. 85% would enter any limped pot with an 85% range. He seemed to only pick tables where there were mostly short stacks and where people mostly limped. He would never raise preflop but would often play very aggressively post flop, especially if he was in position. He seemed to have a strategy for bluffing and was pretty good at knowing when to fold when he was beat. He seemed to have a good read on ranges. He did fold out a lot on the Turn, but less so on the Flop. When he got to the river he seemed to be very dangerous. He might not have known the term "fold equity" but he had a good feel for it.

    I find these people interesting, not for their overall strategy, which I can't and won't imitate, but for the fact that they might be able to give you ideas about how to occasionally play differently in a not GTO way. Some of these players have found exploitative niches in the ecological system of poker games. How quickly would they adapt if they were taken out of that system? I suppose it depends.

    But more importantly, what can we learn from these adaptations? Can any of these adaptations be applied occasionally, even if to cause confusion, at games with better players?

    I don't know. But it gets me thinking.
  • JCWJCW Red Chipper Posts: 93 ✭✭
    edited July 2016
    In the lower limits, you can play a weak strategy well and win money. Only if you play it well tactically and your opponents are playing even weaker strategies. Lots of guys who play a good strategy lose because they do not play it well.

    To raise in limits, you not only need good strategies but you also need to tactically apply them well. Tactics being the application, adaption and even abandonment of a strategy.

    Most money is won and lost in tough marginal spots where tactics come into play. A good strategy can get you into this spots with an edge, but if your judgement is bad...

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