First, to clarify, open limping is when you are the first one to enter a pot and just limp in. Limping behind someone is a different strategey all together. I will limp behind someone if I know I can stack them when I hit big.
But, on to Open Limping:
I feel this is one of the biggest leaks in a players game. Open limping is a pure chip spew. It tends to leave money on the table when you hit big, so you are therefore losing value.
What do I mean by this? I'll give you an example from a 1/2 NL Live game from a while back. This was a regular game that I played in about 3 days a week.
Hero is in MP1 with about $150 behind. (I know this is bigger stacks than many uNL players are used to, but we all know that this is about as micro as it gets live)
It folds to me and I have AA. I limped in for $2. My friend (who also happens to be MP2) raises to $10 Button calls. Back to me, I reraise to $30, MP2 thinks and finally calls but I can tell he knows what I have. Button folds.
Flop is AAJ, Turn x, river x.
Awesome, i flopped quads. It was checked to the river when i finally bet $20 and he called and said "Show me your aces"
So, in this very hand, and many more like it, had I just made a standard raise to maybe $8 in this case, I more than likely get to reraise all-in. My friend had KK, so yes, I left A LOT of chips on the table that should have been shipped to me by getting it all in PF. I figure that I cost myself $100 by limping that hand. This is just one example, there are many many more like it.
Back to my intial point.
Open limping will cost you money in the long run. This is a very hard concept for many players to grasp. Many do not want to raise SCs UTG, but yet they want to see a flop, so they limp in. When they miss, they feel that they got a chance to get away cheap while still playing a flop. IMO, this is bad for business. If you raise, you immediately take control of the pot until either everyone folds, calls or raises you. When called, you dont have to hit your hand, just evaluate the flop and determine if your opponent hit his hand. Either way, you should make a c-bet.
An example or two: (assume full stacks for both examples at 50nl)
You are UTG with 9 7 and raise to $2.00 One caller and the blinds fold (not taking out the rake) pot is $4.75 Flop is 7Q6r, one spade.
Middle pair for you, lead out for $3.00 This is a fairly standard value bet and you will usually take down the pot.
Hand 2: Again, you are UTG with 7 4 and raise to $2.00 One call and the blinds fold.
Flop is 744
You just flopped a monster. Our natural tendency is to check raise or check call here. Wrong. Lead out for $3 again. Why would you bet this monster you ask? Easy, no one in their right mind can put you on 74s and will believe that you missed this flop and a good aggressive opponent will try to take this away from you with A high or and over pair like 99. Also, your hand isnt the nuts and you make it pricey for an over pair to draw out against you that 5% of the time that they do.
Now, think about if you had just limped in with those hands, odds are that you are leaving chips in your opponents stack that rightfully belong to you.
Both examples are hands very similar to hands I have played. You dont have to play the LAGtard game that I do to never open limp. TAGs should not be open limping either.
Now, you ask, arent there ever times that you should be open limping? So glad you asked. YES there are, but IMO, these type of situations occur more in tournaments than in cash games. When someone is constantly raising and reraising you, then open limping a big hand is fine IMO, but refer back to my first example and how I left a lot of money on the table and you will find it is still better to raise and then reraise them to get it all in PF.
I'll leave you with this example from the same 1/2 NL Live game.
I had been playing a fairly aggressive game and had been getting reraised all night long, felt like every hand actually. I had managed to build up to about $400 despite have gotten played back at all damn night when this hand, one of the biggest live pots I have ever seen (and won for that matter) came up.
I am UTG and raise to $10 with KK 2 callers and then the expected reraise to $90. One more caller. folds back to me and I am just sick but I'm not good enough to fold KK PF. I just say to hell with and push, 2 folds and then the other two both call. I had them covered. We all flip, my KK>QQ>JJ and your hero wins about $800. I also won a tournament about 7 hours later.
Sorry slight brag at the end there, but I hope I have provided you with some decent examples of why you shouldnt be open limping.
There are some ok regs on 50NL Stars who open-limp and it's just ridiculous how transparent it makes their hands to anyone with a brain and how easy it is to play against them in position. If you are 2p2, like a certain carpal/tunnel who plays there, WTF guys, stop open-limping in 6max.
Quote: There are some ok regs on 50NL Stars who open-limp and it's just ridiculous how transparent it makes their hands to anyone with a brain and how easy it is to play against them in position. If you are 2p2, like a certain carpal/tunnel who plays there, WTF guys, stop open-limping in 6max.
I open limp on Stars NL50. If it's so transparent, what do I have in my hand?
I dont open limp at all, full ring or 6max. Certainly there are times when table dynamics my lend itself more to open-limping but IMO, that is so rare that its not really worth trying to look for it.
You notice my examples were with suited rags for the most part. I personally enjoy playing those hands better and feel it is much easier to trap people with, but I really feel that raising them is the best way to accomplish that.
That 74s example was actually a live hand that I raised UTG to $7 at a 1/2 NL game just two weeks ago. BB led into me on the flop and i raised and he pushed and flipped out when saw what i had.
I rarely open limp at ub 50nl, but people tend to respect your raises/cbets there. But at pokerroom, open limping is the way to go, you rarely hit your set, and you can't take the pot down with a cbet.
If you are playing against bad players, you don't need to have a 15+ PFR percentage. Just play tight open limp, because people aren't raising that much anyways.