Playing maniacs

ulysses27ulysses27 Red Chipper Posts: 109 ✭✭
So lately online poker has been filled with some interesting characters. One type of player that I've been having trouble with is someone willing to shove or bet heavy for any reason. They're just looking for excitement. They often pay off big but if your on the wrong end you can loose a lot. Its frustrating and my variance has gone way up. Anyone have some suggestions dealing with this type of player?

Comments

  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,527 -
    Miller's advice on playing in wild games in "The Course" has aged well IMO.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • ulysses27ulysses27 Red Chipper Posts: 109 ✭✭
    Thanks I'll check it out.
  • ulysses27ulysses27 Red Chipper Posts: 109 ✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    Miller's advice on playing in wild games in "The Course" has aged well IMO.

    I watched the video and it is definitely helpful but doesn't really address this type of player. I think that's partly because in live games this doesn't happen that much. I've seen this at micro stakes. Players that are bored or like to gamble. One player I saw win 5 buyins then lose it and then win it again in the space of an hour. He just kept shoving. I had AKo and flopped a K on a dry board and he shoved. He had a 62o. I won that pot but lots of others lost. When 1 or 2 players are like this at a table is really hard to play. So is it best just to switch tables or is there a different route. I understand most of the time they don't have it but it's tough to risk your whole stack on each hand you play.
  • BigFarmBigFarm MontrealRed Chipper Posts: 49 ✭✭
    I think you need to go down in stakes if you're too afraid to get a lot of money in good. Or work on your mental game if you do have the bankroll or recreational funds to play those stakes. What you're describing is easy +EV situations.
  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 2,340 ✭✭✭✭
    Many people aren't able to handle maniac because they were never one - maybe they are themselves still (very) passive.
    It's hard to fight aggression when you don't know what is aggression.

    So try some exercice. Like you never call preflop, only raises. Or you always only raise or fold on the flop. There are many different ones to force you in such aggressive spots.
    As pointed out in another thread, this podcast could help you: https://redchippoker.com/playing-more-aggressive-poker-podcast/
  • ulysses27ulysses27 Red Chipper Posts: 109 ✭✭
    BigFarm wrote: »
    I think you need to go down in stakes if you're too afraid to get a lot of money in good. Or work on your mental game if you do have the bankroll or recreational funds to play those stakes. What you're describing is easy +EV situations.

    I don't think I've described the situation I'm looking for feedback on very well. I don't have a problem with being aggressive or going all in or using other forms of aggression. I'm looking for specific feedback on playing maniacs. I don't see this type of player live really but online especially lately I see them quite often at 10 and 25nl. They have vpip of 70, pfr of 50 and agg %15. If you check they will often shove. This is fine if you have decent equity but if you play a hand with this type of player your playing for stacks every hand.

    I think mainly online players will know what I'm talking about. I'm looking for feedback on how to put them on ranges, strategies on dealing with their hyper-aggression, how much equity should I have to call a shove, does board texture matter as much with such broad ranges. These are the type of questions I need help with.

    Sorry if I wasn't clear in my initial post.
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,300 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Ulysses, poker is all prices, whether someone is taking non-"standard" lines or not. The same players who have trouble knowing which hands to call down my flop overbets will have the same trouble calling ridiculous shoves for the same reason - they need to study some math and be ready to get out of the box.

    Doug Hull's book on poker equities is a great RCP resource to look into, and others exist as well. You can't fake it in a tough spot, nor can someone give you some guideline, when every range you face will be slightly different.

    It's on you to study what a 70% Vpip looks like and what your equity is against it, and this has nothing to do with winning pixels or plastic.

    Finally, Red is right that a passive response to aggression is often wrong. Because poker is about prices, if your opponent is always laying the price and you are accepting it over streets, there is no denial aspect in the denial/realization pattern is is essentially poker strategy itself. So aside from the math, your aggression vs such players, along with, yes, some post flop traps, constitute an established way to beat players who have far too much air in their range.

    When you understand that the way you beat such players is exactly the same as the way you beat the regs, and that it's just the combos that are changing, your question simply disappears.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,527 -
    persuadeo wrote: »

    When you understand that the way you beat such players is exactly the same as the way you beat the regs, and that it's just the combos that are changing, your question simply disappears.

    Should frame this and hang it over my poker PC.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • ulysses27ulysses27 Red Chipper Posts: 109 ✭✭
    Thanks persuadeo that's really helpful. I'll spend some time looking at ranges and different flops and my equity. Your point about getting out of the box hit home. Most of the players at my level have ABC strategies which is pretty easy to play against.
  • cowoltercowolter Red Chipper Posts: 3 ✭✭
    The best way to deal with maniacs is to let them hang themselves. Put traps when you have a strong hand, disguise your strength and let them bet into you, whenever you feel ready to pull the trigger (usually better on later streets) raise them and hopefully you will gain max value.

    The common maniacs would never fold a hand when they hit some piece of the board, even if it's bottom pair on a scary board, so there's no reason to bluff them without equity.
  • PatPat SwedenRed Chipper Posts: 34 ✭✭
    edited May 5
    This Podcast with Fausto Valdez is very good, when you playing against aggressive player, both good, bad, or maniac lags . https://redchippoker.com/fighting-back-vs-lags/

    This two article is good to.
    https://jonathanlittlepoker.com/combatingmaniacs/
    https://www.exceptionalpoker.com/blog/fight-back-against-maniacs-and-bullies

    Step 1: Use the rope/trap. As they like to smell weakness, give them weakness, let them smell fear, lure them in and bam! (this one has a very good feel to it, when you been planing this for some time, and if they not know you since before, you can basically get some of them doing bigger and bigger bluffs until they start bluffing their full stack. :) )
    Step 2: Fight back (this is the hard part), like persuadeo said, same same but different.

    Red, very good exercise to practise aggression, you suggested.
  • ulysses27ulysses27 Red Chipper Posts: 109 ✭✭
    Pat wrote: »
    This Podcast with Fausto Valdez is very good, when you playing against aggressive player, both good, bad, or maniac lags . https://redchippoker.com/fighting-back-vs-lags/

    This two article is good to.
    https://jonathanlittlepoker.com/combatingmaniacs/
    https://www.exceptionalpoker.com/blog/fight-back-against-maniacs-and-bullies

    Step 1: Use the rope/trap. As they like to smell weakness, give them weakness, let them smell fear, lure them in and bam! (this one has a very good feel to it, when you been planing this for some time, and if they not know you since before, you can basically get some of them doing bigger and bigger bluffs until they start bluffing their full stack. :) )
    Step 2: Fight back (this is the hard part), like persuadeo said, same same but different.

    Red, very good exercise to practise aggression, you suggested.

    Thanks for these resources. Very helpful.
  • nocomparisonnocomparison Red Chipper Posts: 1 ✭✭
    had my share of this type of players. sometimes it's like they're making lose your edge and midhandle your play. you have to really try harder to focus and know when and where to put yours. it's easier said than done. lol

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