On the bubble with a maniac at the table

Genso Hikki

Genso Hikki

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I just finished playing a 10 handed s-n-g. Made it down to four players (3 cash). One player had most of the chips at the table, the rest of us were pretty even.

The big stack was a maniac. He raised every hand, which in itself isn't bad, I think he was right to put pressure on the rest of us, but he also called every hand when he was re-popped with ANY two cards. Even worse he kept raising on the turn and river when he had nothing - and didn't seem to understand that if he was getting called or re-raised he was probably beat.

I watched how the other two players dealt with him. Their stradegy seemed to be to go all in pre-flop, knowing he would call and hoping to double up. It worked for a few hands, but even donks catch cards and he managed to maintain his massive chip lead.

My decided my best bet was to lay low and only enter a pot when I had a better than marginal hand. I was nervous, because the blinds come around quick four-handed and they were eating into my stack. I picked up K/10 of clubs in the big blind. The maniac raised me all in and I called and doubled up when the flop came all clubs, including the Ace. I went back into fold mode until I lucked up and got pocket aces. The maniac raised, UTG called and I went all in. I tripled up on that hand. This put me in second chip position, but I went back to fold mode. Sure enough, a couple hands later, the maniac was knocked out when he called an all-in with 6/9 suited and failed to improve.

I then went back to my normal game and went on to win the thing. But I took a bit of verbal abuse for being a weak player - which I guess was justified considering I only played two hands the entire time we were four handed.

My question is this: did I make the wrong decision stradegy wise? Should I have played as aggressively as the other two players did, going in with marginal hands and hope to double up off the maniac? I'm not stupid and I realize that luck played a part in my survival. If I hadn't hit that nut flush and those pocket aces I could have very well been blinded down to nothing. Should I have been playing in push/fold mode like everyone else at the table?
 
DaFrench1

DaFrench1

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It sounds like you played it near perfectly to me, you might have got your bit of luck but we all need them. You don't mention the stack sizes but I'm assuming that you were all sufficiently short-stacked and the blinds were high enough to dictate that yes, this was a necessary strategy.

I would never worry about what anyone has to say about your game as long as the dollars are coming in. Other players will tend to be unhappy when you are winning their money!
 
Genso Hikki

Genso Hikki

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The maniac had about 8,000 in chips the rest of us were hovering around 2000-2500. We were at 200/400 when we got down to 4 handed.

I know I shouldn't take what players say at the table too personally, but I think sometimes I do play a bit too weak, allowing other players to pick off my blinds. I've been working on that, but I felt in this particular situation being cautious was the best chance I had to out-wait the maniac.
 
pigpen02

pigpen02

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The best response to second and third trying to tell you how to play would have been PHHHHHHHHHT!
 
P

ph_il

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I then went back to my normal game and went on to win the thing. But I took a bit of verbal abuse for being a weak player - which I guess was justified considering I only played two hands the entire time we were four handed.

You can play anyway you feel is right and the best strategic wise.

I've done this many, many times when I've been on the bubble with a short stack for a number of reasons. Maybe I was card dead, there was a shorter stack than I on the table so I could just fold and wait for them to get knocked out, or I can see the other players become aggravated and its just a matter of time before they call and get knocked out. Or the maniac gets called and gets knocked out. While I usually like to be more aggressive on the bubble, I dont think there is anything wrong with altering my strategy depending on the table and its players and if this means tightening up and waiting for a monster then I'll do that.

Good job
 
cjroc

cjroc

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Above all, the decisions you made worked well enough to win you the tournament. Sometimes you just have to wait for premium (or at least decent) cards. It can be very frustrating when a bully tries to make every hand for your tournament life. As for the people saying that you were playing weak...they are just sore losers.
 
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GetABrainSon

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i agree... i think it was a good strategy... well played
 
FundaMental01

FundaMental01

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play from the bubble vs a manic

I just finished playing a 10 handed s-n-g. Made it down to four players (3 cash). One player had most of the chips at the table, the rest of us were pretty even.

The big stack was a maniac. He raised every hand, which in itself isn't bad, I think he was right to put pressure on the rest of us, but he also called every hand when he was re-popped with ANY two cards. Even worse he kept raising on the turn and river when he had nothing - and didn't seem to understand that if he was getting called or re-raised he was probably beat.

I watched how the other two players dealt with him. Their stradegy seemed to be to go all in pre-flop, knowing he would call and hoping to double up. It worked for a few hands, but even donks catch cards and he managed to maintain his massive chip lead.

My decided my best bet was to lay low and only enter a pot when I had a better than marginal hand. I was nervous, because the blinds come around quick four-handed and they were eating into my stack. I picked up K/10 of clubs in the big blind. The maniac raised me all in and I called and doubled up when the flop came all clubs, including the Ace. I went back into fold mode until I lucked up and got pocket aces. The maniac raised, UTG called and I went all in. I tripled up on that hand. This put me in second chip position, but I went back to fold mode. Sure enough, a couple hands later, the maniac was knocked out when he called an all-in with 6/9 suited and failed to improve.

I then went back to my normal game and went on to win the thing. But I took a bit of verbal abuse for being a weak player - which I guess was justified considering I only played two hands the entire time we were four handed.

My question is this: did I make the wrong decision stradegy wise? Should I have played as aggressively as the other two players did, going in with marginal hands and hope to double up off the maniac? I'm not stupid and I realize that luck played a part in my survival. If I hadn't hit that nut flush and those pocket aces I could have very well been blinded down to nothing. Should I have been playing in push/fold mode like everyone else at the table?
you played this perfect forget those haters,they were just mad they did not play the way you did ;)
 
Gobbs

Gobbs

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I think it depends on what your goal was when you were four-handed. If your goal was to simply cash, I think your strategy was perfect. If your goal was to win, I think you probably got lucky; however, there is something to be said for having to cash before you can win.
 
kadafi

kadafi

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You played it perfect i think. I would of done the exact same thing in that position.
 
c9h13no3

c9h13no3

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Play what the table gives you. If there's a huge stacked maniac who's willing to double you up every hand, then just make awesome hands, and get him to double you up.

If the table is a bunch of passive rocks, then just raise preflop & c-bet your way to a larger stack.

Playing what the table gives you, IMO, is the ultimate strategy. Especially in SnG's.
 
Effexor

Effexor

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Play what the table gives you. If there's a huge stacked maniac who's willing to double you up every hand, then just make awesome hands, and get him to double you up.

If the table is a bunch of passive rocks, then just raise preflop & c-bet your way to a larger stack.

Playing what the table gives you, IMO, is the ultimate strategy. Especially in SnG's.

Exactly right, and in this situation playing tight was the correct thing to do. Just ask yourself if the table is playing rock / nitty, are you able to switch up your game and play looser and more aggressive? Are you able to raise with ATC and steal blinds, using your table image to your advantage?
 
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