Playing against constant all-ins on HU.

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Guittars

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Lengthy post follows. 1 sentence summary if you can't be arsed reading it all:

Be as goddamn patient as you possibly can and you'll win a significant majority of your HU games (imo).


Just (successfully!) completed a $5 HU game with a player who constantly went all-in against any small raise or call.

He got slightly unlucky early and made a big bet with 77 pre-flop. I called pretty quickly with my JJ. Held up and I took a big lead- about 2200-800.

After that, he kept going all-in 75% of the time: a great tactic when you're low on chips (although not necessarily when the blinds were only 20/40).

My general philosophy is to avoid calling those all-in's with anything but a premium hand on the grounds I don't want to double him up (changes when blinds get bigger of course).

Patience is obviously a key factor in this. And luckily for me it paid off. I raised small with AKo and he just called (a surprise) with K6o. Flop was A67 - 2 spades. I bet. He went all-in over the top. My hand help up and $10 was mine.

However, a great tactic I spotted (or so I thought) was that he clearly picked up on my reticence to call his all-in's and obviously kept doing it to get back into chip contention. However, he didn't stop. And that last hand - was for over 2800 chips. i.e. he had 1400 chips (nearly 50% of em) when he went all-in. With a pre-flop raise and post-flop bet and all he had was middle pair - suicidal?

Anyway, as summarised much earlier, patience, patience and more patience are an often overlooked set of values in HU poker. Sure aggression is vital, post-flop play etc. But when the blinds are low, what's your rush?

Just my humble opinion.

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trask21

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agreed

The only way to deal with the all in-prflop as you said is patience, fold fold fold, stick it in with the best (although we all know the best odds pre-flop are 4-1) and hope you dont get donked out on. anyways good luck out there
 
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UnkNownJacks

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In general, I am inclined to disagree with this statement. If I am properly bankrolled I don't wait for AK, a PP, or anything of the sort, because you can go many hands without getting those types of hand. Again, if you are properly bankrolled for the SnG and he is definitely pushing all in over 50% of the hand, I wait for a suited ace, a PP, or K10+ and I will make the call.
 
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Bentheman87

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I disagree with waiting for premium hands in this spot. If he's in perma raise mode then I just take any top 30% hand and call him.
 
Chiefer

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I disagree with waiting for premium hands in this spot. If he's in perma raise mode then I just take any top 30% hand and call him.


the only move you have is the all in.

don't take this advice.
 
tnt72

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Sounds like they may have been pushing with Ace anything and any painted card.It can be hard to defend against this sometimes.But congrats on the win!!!:D
 
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Bentheman87

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When he's pushing all in every hand if you take a king 8 or QJ and call you'll usually be ahead.
 
pantin007

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When he's pushing all in every hand if you take a king 8 or QJ and call you'll usually be ahead.
i think any hand greater than J7s is probably the best hand
if someone is that big a maniac,im calling with any king or any ace, most pocket pairs, heck if i feel like gambling i would call with 10-9s
im not waiting for hands like AK, by the time u will get those types of hands ur stack would be severely smaller, u have to be willing to gamble with hands u wont normally call a push with
 
dj11

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Key word in the original post are Heads Up.

You know he is impatient, and you have 2 choices. He has eliminated sanity as a normal 3rd choice. Leaving your choices as passive in a vain attempt to try to control a maniac, or aggressive.

You have to play almost any connectors HU aggressively. And certainly any Ace. You are up against a villain who is willing to gamble and in a setting where you can't leave the table. If you are first to act you either fold or raise, and in HU you have to bluff the raise more often than not. It may be a stand-off for a long time with you raising him folding and visa versa. Once this has gone on a while with a better hand you might try to lower your 'first to act' raise to something more reasonable.

Since you don't know your villain, he may have to pee, or his wife is bugging him to get ready for the family arriving, or he might be bored or he's already ITM and figures to get on to the next game already. So control may be totally out of the question here.

Get a note on him via the site notes, and depending on your mood you may want to find him again some day so also add a note to your tracking system, be it PT, or P&P.
 
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Guittars

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When he's pushing all in every hand if you take a king 8 or QJ and call you'll usually be ahead.

and here lies the advantage of waiting.

you'll 'usually' be ahead. He's gambling you won't call and you're gambling that you'll be ahead. If you win, woo hoo. If you lose, you've just doubled him up and put yourself at a disadvantage.

You're essentially willing to bet on a 50-50.

However, if you wait for a premium (it's up to each person to decide what you consider that to be - a range of views set out above) hand to give yourself - let's say a 70-30 chance of winning instead - much better odds.

This, imo, is more true when the blinds are small. As John Vorhaus says, 'small bets don't matter'.

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Guittars

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Key word in the original post are Heads Up.

Get a note on him via the site notes, and depending on your mood you may want to find him again some day so also add a note to your tracking system, be it Poker Tracker, or P&P.

Meant to say in my last post - great advice. I played one guy three times - not because he was an all-inner but just because I had his style figured out (it was only $1 hu). I beat him 3 times :)

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ratmantoo

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a

However, if you wait for a premium (it's up to each person to decide what you consider that to be - a range of views set out above) hand to give yourself - let's say a 70-30 chance of winning instead - much better odds.

So true...remember the blinds are still low. Giving away 10 in a row is less than 400 chips and less than 20% of your chips. Rather patience and wait for that good hand (K 9 or better IMHO) and then call his All In.

RAT
 
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viking999

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If the blinds are low, I'd play tight (KQ being the worst hand I'd call all-in with). He's not winning much by getting you to fold, but he's risking a lot. When the blinds get big enough, I'd call more freely. By that point, I have better pot odds. Eventually, I'm probably even calling with the top 70% of hands, because I'm getting such good odds, but that's usually much much later.
 
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phisig6057

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I disagree with waiting for premium hands in this spot. If he's in perma raise mode then I just take any top 30% hand and call him.



I agree with this strategy completey. The $5 HU at Ultimatebet is the only thing that I consistantly win. My record on there is 36-4 but i keep pi**ing away my winnings in the ring games, trying to get better at them. When playing the HU and you have an opponent automatically going AI, it is a good idea to call them down with premium or even above average hands. On the rematch it will often prevent them from using this strategy if you have won. If they win, be a little patient and then smash them w a solid hand and hope they don't suck out.
 
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bears007

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Actually I use all on premium hands eventually they are enticed to call with a weak ace. All in beofre the flop with premium hands is a great way to win sngs really quickly and efficiently.
 
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Jle90

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yes wait for a hand and then call! i often had opponents like that,and normally i won then by calling with a hand better then K10 or so
 
KenFischer

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Classic heads-up strategy is to play opposite your opponent. If they like to push and steal, I generally let them.

Against hyper-aggressive players, I *never* raise pre-flop, no matter what I have. I will instead train them to steal from me. The first few times I am on the SB, I will just call, and if they raise I will fold. After doing this a couple of times, they "learn" that I'm not willing to play for a raise. Of course, if I am holding a big pair or AK, I'm calling their push or putting them all-in. By never raising, I allow them to pick up a few tiny pots, but set them up for a trap later on.

If I decide to call the SB and they check behind me, then I play out the hand cautiously for a small pot unless I hit a monster. Remember that some aggressive players will only play their really strong hands softly. If they are just checking and calling, make sure that you ask yourself why.

Most of the time, I survive long enough to catch a strong hand that I can trap them with. If that doesn't happen, eventually I need to become the aggressor and try to get lucky, but it's very rare that it comes to that unless I was really short-stacked to begin with.
 
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