Alright, straight to it.....I am getting RAN OVER by awful maniacs. And I'm not just talking about catching bad beats because that's self-explanatory and a non-issue. The problem I am having is simple, they are hammering me with raise after raise after raise, and when I'm not catching I am simply losing. And That's what it's turned me into, a moron just sitting there waiting for that easy hand to bust them on. What I have yet to understand is how often should I be gambling with them? How often do other people just say %$# it their raising every hand I'm all in 60-40 who cares. I understand that a Brunson school of thought would say that NOBODY should lean on you, nobody hammers you, and that sooner or later you've got to play a big pot even if it means taking a small percentage all in. But he plays against great players where any advantage pre-flop is a good advantage. But I am playing MORONS.........
Basically I just want anyone who has experience on this subject to give me some of their thoughts on how often they gamble with these players, or if they do it all. And in all reality, of course I'm beating these players more often then their beating me, but after getting punked in the most extreme way possible earlier I have to think that i'm doing something wrong. But who knows. Also if any one is kind enough to answer you can feel free to ask me more specific questions about how I'm playing them hand for hand and so on. Usually I'm only a reader not a poster......but this one, is really getting me and so I am humbled before you. ha
The answer to your question really depends on the situation.
If you are playing tournaments you want to be cautious and wait for a big hand to bust them with. Risking all your chips is usually not a good idea in tournaments, and you shoudln't do it unless you have a big hand or the situation is just right for it.
If you are playing cash games, then you want to gamble with these players any time that it will be profitable. That basically means any time your hand is a significant favorite over the range of hands that they will raise with. Over the long run the more times you can get your money in with the best of it the more money you will make in cash games.
I think the more important question is why are you being run over? I know the last 3 guys other than me in a single table last night thought I was a maniac, because as soon as I was sure they were all overly timid I ran over the game completely. I wasn't playing badly at all for the situation, I won the SNG and I was fairly sure that I would once it got down to 4 handed, but they sure thought I was crazy raising so frequently.
It's possible that your opponents have figured out that you are easily bluffed out of a pot and that your blinds are for sale, in which case you need to be a little more aggressive and check raise or limp reraise more often. A huge check raise will often either break this kind of player when they call you, or earn your checks a little more respect when they fold.
Another way to slow down an aggressive palyer is to beat them to the punch. Make a good sized raise before they get into the pot. A large bet that makes you appear to be pot committed or an all in bet will usually stop them from their overly aggressive behavior.
Good luck man, let me know how it goes for you.
Wow, somehow in my rant I forgot to mention that I play heads up sitngo's, in the range of 50-200, mostly all on UB and sometimes on other various sites. And the thing is, I actually am an aggressive player, especially pre-flop. I raise nearly every hand pre-flop (which in alot of cases is the exact reason my opponents start re-raising so often). What really happens is this:
I raise they re-reraise, I then either fold, or with a decent to solid hand I call hoping to hit a flop.
They bet pot on flop almost automatically, and here in lies my decision, risk my stack by raising with nothing against an awful player? Or...fold and try to wait it out. I've thought about just stopping the raising pre-flop, but that seems like it would make it all too obvious when I do catch a hand that I come aggressive out of nowhere, they will probably fold. Based on your advice from cash games, I can probably assume you would advise me to be re-raising with wide range of hands including my mid-aces, and medium pocket pairs. since they are very likely to have atleast a small advantage on what he's reraising me with. Basically though in this situation should all my real moves be done pre-flop? Because on flop it's so hard to pick up real tells online when it's a given he's going to throw a pot bet out there. I really am just confused on how often I should be in the mindset of trying to win each and every game, or... trying to let the percentages work for me, even if it is against players I feel like I have a 70% of beating everytime. Sorry that this post is question packed, but thanks for answering and if you have any more thoughts on this please let me know.
If your not willing to raise somebody with nothing you have no business playing heads up sit and go's. What it takes to win those is balls. The other guy may be an idiot raising with nothing but he is beating you. Aggresive pre-flop and thats it, your meat on my plate if we play. Get in there and mix it up. You raise with an A9 and he re-raises, put the fucker all-in and see how he likes it.
Well actually heads up sitngoes are my business, I've been making a living off of them for a little under a year now. The problem I'm having is based almost completely on maximizing profit, instead of trying to achieve it in the first place which I've already done. And the reason it's a such a big problem is because it's a reoccuring theme anytime my cards aren't so hot. I'm really just trying to find a way to take the wins when there not there, which is something that is not easily done against maniacs. Throwing my stack in with A-9 is obviously an option, and I'm definitely going to try putting in the all-in raise more often. I just think it's a fine line between turning up the heat on these players and actually turning into these players. Because believe it or not, I actually love when my opponents start doing this. If it goes well.... then comes the A-K versus A-7 and it's all cool. I do like the intensity of "putting the fucker all in and see how he likes it" though.
If you're raising EVERY pot preflop and you're calling other people maniacs, that's weird. Dude, if you are going to raise every single hand, you're going to get re-raised. If you can't deal with that, you should find a style of play that suits you better. I can't see how you are asking about maniacs when you're raising every single hand preflop. Or here's an idea, only raise 25-50% of hands preflop, some with big hands, some with garbage, that was your raises will have some credibility and you won't have to be so upset over getting reraised.
Sounds like people are still underestimating your skill level Mr. Gobbles. It sounds like you are a solid player to me and you need to keep very accurate records to get ideas on how to fine tune your game. With pokertracker and pokercahrts you should be able to get a pretty good idea where you could win more money. If pokertracker tells you that you're losing showdowns with A8s too frequently then you are playing it too hard. If on the other hand it tells you that you are winning 68% of the heads up tourneys you are playing then all you can do is play your best game and focus as best you can, because you aren't gonna do a whole lot better than that on UB at the levels you are playing.
I would recommend the poki poker academy thing, get the most expensive one and it has an awesome heads up Bot which might teach you a few things. Also read everything you can find on the game and watch the really good players paly a few heads up SNG's. I learned alot from watching JSUP play some big SNG's a few months ago.
Try out Sklansky's Theory of Poker and Tournament Poker for Advanced Players to learn some of the mathematical and logical concepts for dealing with a maniac, that might help some too. Remember that a maniac is out of control. While he may have hit on a style that works fairly well he is also easily exploited by a solid focused player.
I like to get a real good feel for the guy I'm playing against early, so I might make a few reraises of different sizes to see how he responds. If he's wild is he wild all the way and willing to give you his chips all in one hand when you catch? Is he jsut wild preflop and wanting to steal alot? If so how does he respond to various sized reraises and are they profitable? Remember you're never that big a dog before the flop, so a reraise preflop is not that costly, especially if he may fold his hand, or at least get off your blinds and back down a little.
I've watched 2cents play heads up SNG's, and he's quite good, but his style is very different from mine. I don't remember the last time I moved in at a heads up table without a real hand, I just don't do it, and I have very good results in heads up SNG's.
the thing to remember about maniacs is that they rarely want to call off all their chips in a race situation. if you play someone that frequently calls in obvious coinflips then they're not a maniac, they're donkeys. maniacs would much rather run you over very slowly and chip away at your stack, take some cards with promise and hit him over the head with them. the key to headsup as far as i'm concerned is making the m'fer react to YOU, not the other way around.
I appreciate the input from everyone. And yes fox I think there still may be some misconception about how I came off as a player here, but that's not really important. I'm just trying to step it up a level. About UB though, that's probably the 5th time someone has implied on here that UB is a tougher site than others, is that thinking backed by a lot of people? Because if so I wouldn't mind testing out a few recommended sites as far as heads up sitngo's go. I know I was disappointed to find that PartyPoker doesn't offer them, which quite possibly might have been heaven. UB has been very good to me but even still, if anyone has any comments about heads up sitngo's at various sites I would appreciate it.
My highest win rates in heads up SNG's are at BoDog and Full Tilt, though you have to wait awhile to find an opponent sometimes unless you play during peak hours. Stars is just below them, the timed blinds helps alot and you'll see many more hands per level with fairly bad players. Hopefully 2cents will post here too, he plays a ton of heads up SNG's, and when I got him to switch to stars a week or two ago he was amazed at how easy the games were compared to UB.
I also think the lower levels have a bigger difference than the hgiher levels. If you play a $10 tournament at UB the players are drastically better than the players at Party or Stars, but if you play the $100 tourneys there isn't as much of a difference. I have played very low buy in SNG's on UB while teaching my students sometimes so that they can watch how to play at the level that is right for their bankroll, and the micro levels at UB are actually pretty solid, better than the $20 or $30 levels sometimes.
I find the players on UB to be a little more bluffable and a little less aggressive as well, so you need to take a slightly different approach for different sites. At a $10 SNG on Party you just wait for a big hand or fold your way into the money, because most of the players will be absolutely crazed manical idiots. It would be tough to fold your way into the money on Ub because the players are more cautious and the blinds move at a much slower rate.
I partly blame Hellmuth's book for the solid play on UB. Alot of players find out about UB because of the book, and vice versa, so alot of UB's lower level players have read it. Play Poker Like the Pro's won't turn people into monster players, but it will cut down drastically on the mistakes that beginners make. After the book has cut down their mistakes and taught them to present a smaller target they start folding AJ to a raise in a $10 SNG. On Stars people do not fold AJ to a raise at the $100 level alot of the time.
I think in general a newer site has more beginners and people who have played mostly B&M before. People who haven't played online much are not going to be as good at heads up play simply because they aren't used to it. There are people who disagree about UB and say that the players are terrible there (and many of them are), but I have always found that UB has better players than most other sites.
Good luck if you switch man, look me up on Stars, I play as Fedge.
I would love to write a huge page here on heads up and differant strategys you can use, but I have to get back to work soon. I will put something up tonight on ways to beat a maniac. A maniac is my player of choice to play because they will do all the work for you. I will post a whole story tonight and I have talked with Cal about writing about heads up play. I am going to try to play the Stars Pocket fives tourney this weekend also. I will of course be the first one out.