A Reply to Some Poker Guy

In my last post, I talked about how you should let the aggressive players bet for you.  I received these questions from Some Poker Guy.

How much tougher does this become when players intentionally shift aggressive vs. tight play? Do you think that there are still contingencies in the play of almost any player that an alert opponent can detect?

Here are my thoughts.

Some Poker Guy,

Sorry for my late response. Spring break came pretty quick and the week before it was full of papers and exams. I’ll answer your questions one by one.

1) If you are playing against a tough player (someone who can constantly switch pace from aggressive to tight) then this becomes very challenging. If this is the case you have to use your best judgement. I only do these types of plays after I collect enough “evidence” to support my approach. I limped in with A-K because most of my table was aggressive with fairly good hands. This could have easily backfired and someone could have raised with Q-Q, K-K, or A-A, but odds are that they would also raise with A-J, A-Q, A-K, K-Q, K-J, and maybe even A-10. So there was one hand I’d tie, one hand I’d be even money with (Q-Q) and the other hands I dominate. So I figure if someone is raising, out of all those hands, I dominate most of them 5/9, even money with 1/9, tie 1/9, and dominated by 2/9. Those are good odds for me to take this risk by limping in, especially if I can eliminate someone.

A good example of this can be seen in the 2006 Tunica Circuit event final table, King versus Mohajeri (spelling might be off). King limped in or small raised with Kings and Mohajery re-raised with A-Q or A-J. King reraised another small amount and Mohajeri went all in. This transpired because Mohajeri was a very aggressive player, and King played on his aggression.

2) Worse case scenario you can always look at common poker tells if you are uncertain. The most common of such is “If a person acts strong he is weak and if he acts weak he is strong.” However, good players will act strong when they are strong hoping that someone follows this rule (I admit i’ve done it a few times for fun). The most common tells I look for are the betting patterns people do and how they handle their chips. If someone throws all their chips in and they show down a set they flopped, and another time they lightly place in a bunch of chips and show a bluff, I’ll store this in the back of my mind. So later if I have middle pair with a weak kicker against the same guy, and he throws his chips in aggressively, i’ll fold. However, if he throws them in lightly, i’ll reraise to see where I am at.

I look at poker like a good court case. Before you can pass your judgement you need enough evidence. Once you have the evidence you can come up with any attack method to play on your strengths and focus on your opponents weaknesses.

Hope this answered your questions.


3 thoughts on “A Reply to Some Poker Guy

  1. Thanks for taking the time to reply. Very interesting. Best of luck in your continued play!

  2. “I look at poker like a good court case. Before you can pass your judgement you need enough evidence”

    man – I love that quote…I can’t wait to throw that in my Lawyer buddies face this weekend!

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