Isolating Limpers

On the cutoff and button, you should be looking to play as many pots against bad players as possible. You can raise any reasonable hand behind their limp, and the situation will be much more profitable than if it had folded to you with no dead money in the pot. The reason for this is three-fold:

1. You are guaranteed to have position on them if they call your raise.
2. They generally have a weak range to be limping and will miss most flops. 3. You have the blinds in the pot as additional dead money.

I usually only raise the minimum or to three big blinds behind one limper. The reason for this is that I want to see a flop. When you are a stronger player than your opponent, you should not be afraid to see flops with them. You want to give them as many streets as possible to make mistakes against you.

If there are multiple limpers or your hand is especially marginal, raising to 4 times the big blind with a slightly tighter range in order to isolate or shoving all-in with just below the top of your range is usually best.

Shoving Over Limpers

The ability to shove all-in over one or more limpers is another weapon in a short stacker’s arsenal. And the more dead money in the pot when the action gets to you, the more profitable this move becomes.

On an average table, if there is one limper when it is your turn to act, it is generally profitable to shove with the following hands:

CO/BTN- 88+, AQ+

Blinds- 66+, AJ+

If there are two or more limpers, feel free to shove even wider. The following ranges would be fine:

CO/BTN- 66+, AJ+

Blinds- 22+, KJ+, QJs, JTs

You do not want to abuse this move because astute players will begin limping hands at the top of their range in order to trap you. Also, depending on the nature of the limper, a small raise might be more profitable. My advice is that when you are in position and are a competent post-flop player, the most +EV play is likely to be isolating. However, until you are comfortable playing after the flop, I strongly suggest sticking to the shove or fold strategy outlined in this section. I have also included these ranges on the pre-flop chart for easy access.

Mypersonalstrategyincludesisolatinginsomecasesandshovinginothers. Mydefaultshoving range is as follows:

CO/BTN- 77-99, AJ+

SB- 55-99, AJ+

I use the rest of my positional opening range to isolate instead of shoving. Notice that I ISO big pairs instead of shoving, as they are most likely to be good postflop unimproved, but like to shove AQ and AK because they are trickier to play since they will whiff the flop often.

When To Adjust Your Limper Shoving Range

Keep in mind that shoving ranges can be tighter or wider, depending on the dynamics of the table. If there are very loose limpers with a high VPIP of 60+, then it is best to shove only the tighter range. Very weak players will limp pairs, Ax, or big Kx hands, and as a result find it extremely difficult to fold to a shove from a short stack. Make sure that you take notes on players if they show up with a very strong hand with which they limped. Also, there are a number of regulars who will limp premium holdings in order to trap a short stack seated behind them. If a decent player suddenly limps in early position, you should be wary of being set up for a trap.

If there are numerous limpers involved in the hand, you can widen your shoving range even further. I will not lay out any hard and fast rules for you in this book since loose shoving is very situational.

From the blinds, you have another option to exploit limpers.

The Third And Go

To employ the third and go in a limped pot, you raise one-third of your stack and, if called, shove all- in on any flop. Your default range for doing this should be:

77-JJ, ATo+, KJo+

In order to perform this move, you need to either be in the SB or in the BB with no SB in the hand. It is important that you always act first after the flop. Most of the time you will either take it down pre- flop or win on the flop when you shove and they fold. When called, you will sometimes be amazed at what types of hands will stack off against your push. The amount you make when you win will far outweigh the few times your opponent gets lucky and hits his hand and stacks you.

An added benefit to this move is that it tends to further your “crazy” image. However, be wary of overusingitasobservantplayersmaytrytrappingyoubylimpingwithpremiumholdings. Ifyoutry this two revolutions in a row, you will find the second time will typically get action with greater frequency. I would suggest tightening your range for doing it on a consecutive revolution to TT+ and AK.

I find that this move works best against very loose players, maniacs, or obvious gambler types that hate to fold. My win-rate for third and go’s in the last 100k hands is about 164bbs/100 in just under 200 instances. As you can see, it is not something I do all the time. When used sparingly, I know I am printing money each time I utilize this powerful move.

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