DEALING WITH LIMPERS; DEALING WITH CONSTANT MIN-BETTORS

“Dealing With Min Bettors
The first question in the Q and A is from Marchy in Germany.

Question: How do you handle players who minbet (1/4 to 1/3 of the pot about) 90% of the flops?
At the moment i play the 33s on FullTilt and there are lots of these guys. I just cant stand

them because i really dont know what the best strategy is against them.

Response: This is a very good question. This is something I struggled with early on in my husng progression and I’m sure many others have or do struggle with as well.

There are a few things I like to keep in mind when dealing with min bettors:

1) We’re usually dealing with a very wide range of hands, so we should not try to narrow their hand range down based on actions that do not warrant it.

2) Our odds of calling a min bet on the flop are much greater than on the turn, therefore we’ll probably be calling a lot more often on the flop and we shouldn’t be worried about folding turns.

3) We want to be careful about getting overzealous about raising them too often in small pots and folding to the min bet too often in bigger pots.

Keeping those points in mind, here are a few things I like to do against min bettors:

– Figuring out if they will min bet 3 streets with strong hands (top pairs+), good draws (flush draws, OESDs, weaker pair combo draws), weak draws (low flush draws, gutshot straights, overcards) and outright “bluffs” (weak hands that need runner runner to beat most hands that will play a big pot).

If they are not following the same betting pattern with all of these hands, then I want

to try to find out which hands that they are deviating from their min bet strategy with and what they are doing instead.

– I want to also figure out how they react to a raise. I generally want to raise a stronger hand first, because most min bettors are going to be too loose and call with a lot of hands they should not on the flop, at least in the early portion of our match. If I notice a fold I’ll try again, perhaps with an outright bluff or semi bluff, if they fold again I start to see they are weak and will throw in a good amount of bluff raises along with semi bluff and strong hands and wait until they adjust.

While I may not always get action on my strong hands, the raises are most likely going to frustrate the player.

– It might not be too difficult to win when you are hitting cards/boards vs these players, but what about when you are card dead and the boards just aren’t hitting your starting hands?

In these cases, you really have to pay attention to how you are playing your high cards, how often you are chasing without the correct odds and other decisions you make in marginal/close spots.

If a player is going to min bet every street with any hand, it’s going to be correct to call down with a hand like A high. If you notice he is starting to check hands that are really weak or that have no showdown value, you’re going to want to adjust and starting folding high cards to his bets.

A few things you’ll want to avoid are bluffing off a lot of chips because “I haven’t bet big in awhile, he has to respect me here” or “he bets every street, he can’t call a few raises from me.”

Be careful on taking raises too far. If you bluff raise his min bet on the flop and he calls, be weary about following through on the turn. Don’t blindly spew chips against these players, that is how they are going to win because they usually don’t get enough value out of their bigger hands and end up letting you build pots when you want with stronger hands.

A few other lesser points that I want to make about playing min bettors:

– Don’t over or under raise them. For example, if they bet 30 into a 200 pot on the turn, raising your weak top pair to 400 is going to be an over raise. On the flip side, raising 3x to 90 is going to probably be an under raise. Often times against constant min bettors, I almost “ignore” their small bet and just raise them to what I would bet if they had checked. In this case it would be a 130-160 type turn bet (raise) that I would make.

– Like I said earlier, be aware of the odds you are being offered compared to their presumably very wide range of hands. You also want to be aware of the odds you are offering them. If their drawing hands are 20-25% likely to hit the river, you don’t want to “keep them in the pot” with an under raise that offers them the correct odds to draw. They will likely make the mistake of calling without odds, so don’t be too worried about pushing them out of the pot with a 4-5x raise. In fact, your raises will often be over 4x the bet against min bettors.

In conclusion, since this is a player and situations you’re probably not dealing with on a regular basis, you might have to think a little longer/harder when facing the min bettor. While I gave a lot of general advice, you should find enough above to effectively combat the min bettor and to get you thinking in the right direction against almost all of them.

I’d say above all, awareness is key against these players, and the most common mistake is a lack of discipline and emotional control when dealing with these players. The same can go for the opposite end of the spectrum, the aggro-maniacs, though it is not just a simple “take this advice but apply it in the opposite direction.” That, however, is another day and another blog post.”

“Facing A Limp

(Or why you should resist the temptation of raising limps over and over and over again)

You probably get what I’m going to advocate in this post.

First, the following is a response to another question from Spacko about “when you should raise limpers.” It’s a very general question but I notice that even good players often have a general problem with how they approach this area of the game.

Lets begin by looking at reasons why people raise limps.

**We’ll assume that effective stacks are a relatively deep 40-75bb, unless otherwise noted.

1. Our hand is better than the range of hands villain will call with.
2. We think villain will fold a tremendous amount of time and we will raise for the fold equity. You could call this a bluff-raise.
3. We have a great read on villain and have found an exploit in their game (fairly rare early on). For example, a player that calls almost ATC preflop but is very weak/tight postflop. You would want to get chips in the pot preflop to steal postflop.

There are no doubt other reasons you can raise a limp, but the most common will be similar to the 3 above.

We’ll start with raising for pure hand value. A common reply to “why did you raise his limp with that hand (we’ll say a hand like QTo)?” is “he’ll call with worse hands.” That is probably true, a lot of villains will limp and then call a 3-5x raise with a lot of worse hands. But unfortunately, many people don’t consider other factors of the hand besides the hand values.

The first factor of the hand that a lot of people ignore is position. You’re out of position, so you’re at a disadvantage (the deeper you are the more this is true). This will weaken your holding/value somewhat.

Another factor is postflop play. How does your opponent play postflop? What is his calling range? What is his limping range? If you’re having trouble answering any of those questions, raising a medium-strong hand like QTo OOP for around 4x the bb is probably not going to put you in good spots postflop.

As an example of how crucial it is to know most if not all of these things about your opponent, I’ll point you to a thread in 2+2.

In this thread, Skates (a 220-550 regular) raised Heir Apparent’s (a very solid 200/220 regular) limp with what you could call a “medium-strong” hand. He assumed that Heir would raise any ace preflop, so therefore an ace could not be in his calling range. Based on that assumption, it would be a pretty easy call based on Heir’s line (call, c/c, c/bet). However, Skates even admitted that he was pretty confused about the hand/line and it turns out Heir had a weak ace. Throw aces into Heir’s range and it would be a pretty clear fold on this river.

Moving on, the other big reason people will give when raising a limp is “he’s only limping weak hands, he’ll probably fold.”

While this is fine reasoning, this is generally not worth doing until effective stacks (in bbs) are pretty small (think like < 30bbs deep). Most players will adjust after you raise their limps a few times, so you’re not going to want to pick up their 20 or 30 chips once or twice when you have 1500 chips and then have to figure out how they are adjusting later on. Knowing they are limping weak and/or folding often is going to be much more valuable when you can pick up 50-100 chips each time or more appropriately, 5-15% of their stack a pop.

I’ll touch on one other point about limp raising before I conclude, and that would be to think about what it means to face a limp. Are you really worried about a player limping his button when stacks are deep? You shouldn’t be. Most players are losing value by constantly limping their button when stacks are deep, so why should you abuse that leak early on and force them to raise more often in position and generally play more aggressively throughout the game? It is my belief that you should not.

Now lets quickly touch on when you should raise limps.

-The blinds are a big % of the effective stacks. 5-15% is probably a good rule of thumb for when you really want to be paying attention and looking for spot to raise limps for fold equity.

-You really have a good grasp on this villain and his calling range as well as his postflop play.

-Your hand is very strong. I would never suggest checking a hand like 99 or AK in the big blind when a player limps. With a hand like this, your hand is just too strong to not want to build a pot, position or not, good reads or not.

Building off of that, my default raising range for low-mid stakes husngs would be 55+, A9s, ATo+, KJs+, KQo+.

That range would change as effective stacks, game flow and reads developed and changed, but on the first hand of a 22 dollar husng that would be my suggest raising range facing a limp from a random player.

To conclude, in general I would suggest letting players limp early but especially paying attention to limp ranges, reactions to aggression and postflop play of villains so that you can take advantage of poor play as effective big blinds get shallow and leaks grow tremendously. A good way to gain this information is to mainly only raise strong hands early on when facing a limp, and to deviate from that strategy as the conditions above warrant.”

-ChicagoRy

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