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Open Limping in Poker Cash Games | Q&A | Smart Poker Study Podcast #4


Sky Matsuhashi

on January 8, 2016

We're talking open limping in the first Q&A!

Download and listen to this episode as you follow along below.


Q&A – Open Limping | Podcast #4

Today I discussed a hand history sent in by LTU Maximus.  Here's the email:

Hello Sky,

I had one situation last day, just very short description about the players – bolut81 (utg+1) is so bad vpip62, pfr2, cbet 100 flop and Turn. benwi78 (BB) – vpip12, pfr1. I'd really appreciate if you let me know your thoughts, would you call river allin? But I think in that kind of situation – it's inevitable 🙂

Thanks for sending it in, LTU Maximus!  I was a bit critical, but honesty, being straight-forward and cutting to the chase is my game.

Street by Street

Pre-Flop – gotta come in for a raise, NO OPEN LIMPING (more on this below).  Your limp caused a chain reaction where it's now a 6-way pot.  You're relying on hitting a set or a straight to win the pot with so many players.  Give yourself an additional way to win it with fold-equity by opening pre, limiting the players in the hand, and taking it down with well-placed cbets and barrels.

Flop – Your check is just fine on the A63 board, and I assume you were planning on check/folding to any bets.  If anyone bet into 5 other people, he'd most likely have at minimum and Ace.

Turn – Now that you've hit your set and have likely the best hand, limit the field with a good sized 3x+ 3bet.  Your call just entices any draw (fd, gs, 2p) to come in behind.

River – You've hit the under full-house and folding to the BB bet isn't an option.  But, I think just calling is best here as he's displaying strength by betting, so you need to be more cautious here and just call.  A call would've netted you a 50bb pot barring any other action.  The way the action went down with these two really passive players committing so many chips, you've got to figure you're beat and just ditch the hand.

Open Limping  in Poker Cash Games

There are so many reasons to come in for a raise in poker cash games, and here are just a few:

  • The best way to profit from weak players is to charge them when they’ve got an inferior hand, and that’s most often pre-flop.
  • Bigger pots = magnified opp errors = more profits.
  • Raising every hand hides the strength of your hand from your opp’s
  • It makes you stick to a strong hand selection pre-flop.  If you’re enticed by T8s, but know you need to raise to come in, you’ll think twice and fold it as you prolly should.


Player Types

I discuss player types a bit, especially Loose Passive and Tight Passive Players.  For more info on this, check out my Poker Player Types Article.  It includes access to an awesome Cheat Sheet for helping you exploit your opponents.

Podcast Challenge

Here’s my challenge to you for this episode: If you’re a cash game player and you sometimes limp in, DON’T!  If it’s good enough to play, it’s good enough for a raise.  In your next 4 sessions, don’t limp and see how this effects your hand selections and your post-flop play with these, hopefully, tighter/stronger ranges.


Sky Matsuhashi

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