How to play against very aggressive players?

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felipeanicio

Rock Star
What are some ways to exploit very aggressive players in different phases of the tournament (Early, middle and late)? I have a little bigger notion in early (I think), but the others do not see a cake recipe to follow. Early game - seek to play value hand, giving chance to the very aggressive player to err (this is playing passively and not looking for bleffs)
 
L

louaylouay

Enthusiast
It would depend on whether or not they are loose or tight I suppose. I will assume you are talking about a LOOSE aggressive player, who seems to come over the top with a raise on every single hand.

For MTTs, this is my strategy:


Early - I am super tight early. Probably too tight, but I'm comfortable with it. I'll play AA - JJ, AJ+, and that is about it. There are a few reasons for this, based on my understanding of the game and the math:


1) Doubling up early doesn't matter so much, while getting stacked will end your tournament. Even if I'm dealt 8d9d and get into a raised pot, hit a straight flush, and take someone's entire stack, it doesn't really matter early in a tournament. A double-up in the first 2 or 3 stages will probably not even be worth a big-blind by the time the bubble bursts.


2) The risk of losing your entire stack early is the same exact risk of losing your entire stack later in the tournament. If I get caught with a straight vs a full house early in the tournament, and lose my whole stack, my tournament is over. If I get caught with the same hand later in the tournament, my tournament is still over.


SOOOOOO for me, there is minimal reward for winning big pots early and maximum risk for losing them, so I will rarely try to get into a big pot unless my edge is giant (my range as seen above).


The caveat to this is if I am, say, on the button with suited connectors with the blinds being passive and there are a few limpers, I'll limp to a flop and only put my money in with monsters. That way, my risk is minimized (NO I am not betting a top pair of 9s when I had 8s9s, I'm betting the flush or straight only, once again risk vs reward).


3) Most tournaments will see some crazy stuff happen early in a tournament. Some guy shoving with K4 and flopping trips vs KJ. I avoid these weird situations like a plague. Although variance is part of the game, it IS A TOURNAMENT not a cash game. Variance will end your tournament. Variance will not end your bankroll in a cash game. I let the gamblers gamble until they clear up. They will always clear up eventually.


Middle Stage

In the middle stage, I really take a table read and play the exact opposite of my table. If my table is still loosey goosey, as a lot of tournaments will be early, I stay tight. Slowly opening up as my table tightens up (specifically big stacks will tighten up mid-stage, which is great for me. They want to wait out a higher place, which I am cool with because I am about to catch up soon).


Once the ante's start coming in, I will start stealing where possible and 3-betting weak raisers. The blinds+antes are now worth some money. My range opens up to probably J10+, any 2 face cards, 55+. Any hand that I can realistically defend with if one of my steals gets caught. DEPENDING on the table I'll steal with some oddball 62o or something but that's really really rare and depends on a lot of factors.


Late

I'm assuming by late, we mean near the money bubble. This depends much more on my stack size and players remaining than anything. If everything has went to plan, I'll be top 10% of stacks at this point. This is my fun part of the tournament. I start being able to jam weaker hands into short stacks because of the effective blinds and steal a whole lot of chips. I can usually make a run to top 10 pretty quickly once I recognize that the table has realized the bubble is near and they tighten up.




Once the bubble pops, I rinse and repeat in a shorter time frame. Tight > Looser > Even Looser if stack warrants. Same once the final table shows up.




If you have any questions, feel free to ask!
 
mariale_1990

mariale_1990

Visionary
Awards
4
the players who are very aggressive are difficult to decipher for me, they are a little unpredictable, sometimes I just wait and start hunting and sometimes it works, but the problem is that they are unpredictable and there are times that depending on the tournament and the chips you can not wait
 
teteuc2

teteuc2

Visionary
I do not much like playing against them. They are unpredictable most of the time. I only get into hands that I'm really too strong to try to catch him by surprise.
 
K

karl coakley

Visionary
As others have posted are you switching aggressive with Loose?

It should be the goal of everyone to be as aggressive as your personality allows. For everyone this is very different. Some people struggle to 3bet hands and other people it isn't a big deal. There is a big difference between being aggressive with solid hands and being aggressive with marginal hands.


You pretty much live by the sword and die by the sword. While aggression will make you successful, unbridled aggression will win small pots and lose big ones. If you are facing hyper aggressive players you really need to start with strong hands knowing you are going to play big pots. When you connect or have an edge, you do want to play a big pot. Be careful about slow playing, you often will win less or allow a villain to draw. You are going to be far better carefully sizing your bets to maybe even show weakness and let them come over the top rather than play passively and check.
 
Lheticus

Lheticus

Legend
I run into sort of two subtypes of that kind of aggression. The first type is wild but cowardly--if I notice them raising like EVERY time, often I can get results by playing back at them with a reraise, match aggression with aggression.

On the other hand if they have something resembling a brain and seem to wait until they actually have something to be so aggro, I try bullfighting them--wait for a chance to get something monstrous and let them rampage all they want and lose to me. ;) This method depends a lot on the individual range I put them on.
 
luiaguila

luiaguila

Rock Star
winning early in the tournaments many chips do not give much advantage in the near future the aggressive players losse unless you have a really powerful hand I would not risk in the initial stages of the tournaments poker is a game of mentality but you also have to have a little wisdom in the odds
 
monstr999999

monstr999999

Visionary
Wait for a strong map ....
Do not play with the weak ...
Just start playing aggressively with them ....
gl..
:captain:
 
MrGrace

MrGrace

Enthusiast
I play really tight early just because more players seem to call raise bet since its normally cheep so early in the game just be patient and give up the blinds unless you have a hand worth playing. Later in the tournament big stacks seem to play aggressive because it pays off if you steal more blinds with your raises then they lose. If a player in going unchecked and raises over and over its the players at the tables fault for being so scared to play. My advise play tight unless you have a hand worth playing and be careful of tight players raising and think nothing of the aggressive player. You will never know what he has so odds are in your favor he is just pushing and maybe even raising to make you fear calling. Just me
 
pepsilv

pepsilv

Visionary
When it comes to TAG players I just try wait for premium hand JJ+. It has helped alot in my poker carrier but still have to learn more. Great responses here. Thanks guys!!!
 
G

Gads_55

Rising Star
an aggressive player most of the time has no card for that attitude,
so if I have cards I will raise or all in, it will run and if it does not run, at least I have a game to play...
 
777jeton777

777jeton777

Rock Star
What are some ways to exploit very aggressive players in different phases of the tournament (Early, middle and late)? I have a little bigger notion in early (I think), but the others do not see a cake recipe to follow. Early game - seek to play value hand, giving chance to the very aggressive player to err (this is playing passively and not looking for bleffs)
only stake and patience ...
 
B

betang

Rock Star
You have to observe them. And just play against them with you have good hands.
 
Serjo600

Serjo600

Legend
Against maniacs I play passively and I do not provoke if it has a big stack I wait for the convenient moment.
 
radartodd69

radartodd69

Rock Star
The only way I know to counter a very aggressive player is to get hands that would beat his. Easier said than done though. It takes a long time to get a good hand meaning while the aggressor will be chipping up, you'll still be waiting for a good hand. If someone has another way to play against these type of players, let me know.
 
PuMa8818

PuMa8818

Rock Star
Awards
2
If the aggressor is a maniac, then there is no point in betting 3bet, but it will work if a loose-aggressive player with brains. The maniac is simply punished with a premium hand or a cheaper to go to the flop with the connectors and get the monster to deal with it)
 
F

felipeanicio

Rock Star
I think playing with some weaker hands may surprise you, but it's very risky.

I have to train my patience for this, losing bbs or limps is ****
 
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A

AlbieTross

Legend
I would just wait to get a beauty hand and then catch them in a tough situation and take a lot of the stack they earned through their aggressive bluffs.
 
malakata19

malakata19

Visionary
Awards
1
I think the best thing is to let that type of players make their game and wait for a hand in which you have a stop or you think you have the highest percentage of winning, although a strong pair like AA KK or QQ does not give you the assurance that You win, should consider playing with hands like you are with that type of players, and if you get a set or a full try to get the most chips out without leaving your opponent win the hand. I think the best way is to have patience and waiting to be able to execute at the right moment. Good luck at the tables !!!
 
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