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Hello and welcome back to another episode of Ask SplitSuit a Question. I’m James ‘SplitSuit’ Sweeney here for ThePokerBank.com and today we’re going to answer one of your questions. Today’s question comes from Chris R and Chris says ‘Playing in live low stakes limp fest types of games, what should my flatting range look like? What hands just aren’t even worth flatting behind here?’
Chris, that’s a great question. It reminds me a lot of these types of games that I see out here in Vegas, these $1/$2 and $1/$3 games that are total Limp Fests. So I’ll talk a little bit about my ranges that I would use in these kind of situations. I’m also going to assume you meant limping behind not so much flatting anything.
If you’re in a situation where there are multiple limpers, then what I’m usually going to limp behind with is pocket pairs that I don’t deem strong enough to raise, suited connectors that I don’t deem strong enough to raise, and suited aces that I don’t deem strong enough to raise. There are a lot of little factors that go into this – a big one of course is position. If I’m in MP1 and there’re two limpers to me, then I’m not really going to be limping behind here with an 87 suited or 54 suited…simply because there’re still a ton of players behind me that could take position. That’s not really going to be all that great and we’re going to be out of position or monkey-in-the-middle a large chunk of the time when we go post flop.
…hands that aren’t strong enough to raise, but aren’t weak enough to fold…
We’re really not going to take position from MP1 in that situation because once there are a couple of limpers, normally the rest of the field is going to start limping behind a lot more as well. And again, there are a lot of players between yourself and the button. Because of this, I am going to be doing most of my limping from later position, from the cutoff and the button and sometimes the high jack. But always consider if you limp what’s realistically going to happen. Are there any players behind you that are likely to raise and isolate? Are there mostly nits behind you? If you raise could you get just one of the people behind you to call and then everyone else may or may not fold? As always, think ahead and think about what’s realistically going to happen and how profitable that is for you and your hand, and also your skills as a whole.
I talked earlier about limping behind with things that I don’t deem strong enough to raise. So suited connected, suited aces and pocket pairs. An example of that could be like pocket 8’s. Say you’re in a situation where you’re in the cutoff, there are 4 limpers to you, if you raise with those pocket 8’s what’s realistically going to happen? Again, thinking that step ahead, if you raise is everyone going to continue? If so, that’s going to be a very very bloated pot with a hand that’s very very tough to play even when you have position.
My general rule is that the more limpers there are, the less I’m going to be raising, and the stronger my raising range needs to be. Whereas the less limpers there are, the more I’m going to lower my pair standards and I’ll start raising 88 against 2 limpers or 77 against a limper, that sort of thing. The same thing if you take a suited ace, like ATs, could be something that I raise against 1, possibly 2 people, but its usually not going to be something that I raise against 4 or 5 limpers.
When you have more and more limpers your raising standards get stronger and stronger which means you’re forced to limp some hands behind. Now the other thing that you want to keep in mind is that a lot of players will limp too often in these situations. If you limp A3o or T9o and those kind of things and those are hands I tend to veer away from because they don’t play as well post flop. They don’t hit well, they don’t get that extra draw potential, like a suited aces like A3s, at least can catch a flush draw. Whereas an A3o is kind of just left solely to bottom and weak top pairs. And you could take the same concept with a T9o. Yes, you could still catch a pair or 2 pair but remember when you play a T9o, when you flop 2 pair with a hand like that, either its going to be bottom two pair or its going to be top two pair or its going to be extremely connected and tough to kind of figure out for the rest of the way so keep that in mind before you start playing them
Don’t use this situation as an excuse to limp behind a tremendous amount of hands, keep your limping range reasonable and keep it strong enough where you know your going to make profit and you’re not over-estimating your edges because a lot of people do that in these situations.