Questions about LAG play
I don't play very loose, some people think I do because I do open up my game a lot if there's someone playing looser, but typically I aim to be playing tighter than whoever I'm in a hand with.
A lot of people preffer to play a LAG game, which I still cannot make enough sense of to ever do so myself.
A few questions I have about this:
1: A lot of people try to cultivate a loose table image to get more action. Do you find that this causes you to actually make a few more loose bets/calls than is necessary for the table image, basically, do you find that simulating being too loose causes you to go a step too far and play that way?
Also, assuming you have established that table image, do you find it difficult to play hands like AK-AJ, KQ where you are almost always going to raise pre-flop and more often than not miss the flop, how would you get your opponents to fold bottom/mid/pocket pair or A high here? Do you find that your c-bets lose effectiveness?
I try to cultivate a strong image, if I'm betting it means that I'm ahead. I like my opponents to fold, I can do so much more tricky stuff when they start folding. I've also got position almost all of the time where if you were playing looser, you'd get more callers behind you pre-flop since you wont get much respect, and you'll be raising more from MP than I do so more players to act.
2: Do you lose a large chunk of your stack having to call raises?
Let's say you see a flop, hit middle pair, it's checked or there's a small bet into you, you raise and they come over the top. Now you've just got middle pair, but their range for raising you is very wide (even check raising, every single nit at the table is just waiting to check-raise the LAG guy with any half a hand), you're probably going to have to call here with the money that's already in the pot, plus the chance that they could be behind, plus your 7 outs to improve (to pair your kicker or hit trips), plus the benefits to your table image. It's amazing how few times LAG players actually lay down a hand, typically they fold a very high % of the time to all ins and overbets, but to everything else they come along for the ride - this is why I'm so bad at LAG play, I fold when I'm behind and people know I have at least half a hand when I'm in a pot against them. Raising with a marginal hand and folding to a re-raise doesn't seem to be a trait that many LAG players share.
3: Like I said at the start of this post, I almost always like my range to be tighter than my opponents. The main exception is when I'm on the button, or think I can steal the button then I could easily have rags, but when my hand is the worst, I ALWAYS have position. Do you find that when you start playing looser that you get caught out of position a lot more than you'd like?
4: Hand reading. For all of the wonderfully exploitable weaknesses in most LAG players game, I just can't believe how good most of them are at hand reading. Even some who I'm not sure are long term winners, but especially the winners. How do they do it. I mean, I'm very good at hand reading and am right with a very high accuracy, but often can't compare to good LAG players in this respect. Is it their playing style that does this, do opponents really become that predictable (when I try to play LAG, people become less predictable because they could have A high or be calling me down with bottom pair, or they could have an actual hand), regardless, how do they do it and how can I learn to get that much better at it?