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WSOP circuit event-LAG giving me fits at a 2-5 cash game

dapperdavedapperdave Posts: 26Member
Hi Guys:

2-5. The table all full of regs (perhaps one or two inexperience players).

Everyone was at least 100bb deep (I was usually at around 100bb). The guy to my left (on the button to my big blind) was at least 200bb deep.

Every time he had the button, he would straddle. I would call with any decent hand I had (5 dollars to complete) and usually there would be at least 3 callers to when it gets to the button. The button would then raise it to range of $55-65 dollars. He is a very aggressive player. He would usually get one to three callers at that point.

I would call with my pocket pairs, and AJ+. The flop would come where an ace would hit the flop when I had pocket pair (not hitting my set) and would be blank when I had AJ+. The pattern would develop where everyone would check to him, he makes a bet of 80-120 and everyone would fold.

The only time I made the call is when I hit middle pair (such as a K, J, 4 board-please do not respond based upon this exact flop) and I had like AJ (I rarely had top pair in these situations) trying to pot control. However, the turn would usually bring-in an Ace or complete some kind of draw and he would always fire the second barrel and I fold (usually not picking up any additional equity).

So at the end of the day, I would fold my big blind when I had a weak hand and fold my calling hands (basically playing a fit or fold style). I occasionally got the best him on hands where I was strong with top pair. However, this probably only happen two (three times tops) during a 4 hr session.

In case you are wondering, if someone tried c-betting out of position, he would call and would bet once checked to him. For the most part, I could not find a way to exploit his play (at least on this particular session).

What are thoughts on how I should of handle the situation.


  • OminousCowOminousCow Posts: 702Subscriber
    I'm a little confused about the relative positions here. You say he is to your left but has the button when you have the big blind. How is this possible? Do you mean to say he just had position on you?

    In any case, you absolutely cannot play fit-or-fold against this sort of opponent. If you do you will be hemorrhaging money and will not get paid when you actually do hit since you have been playing so straightforwardly.

    Everything about this table is encouraging this player to raise an extremely wide range in position and then continuation bet extremely widely. This means that he has an extremely weak range on just about any board and you must attack that weak range. You can do things like:

    1. Make plays at him when you have not nailed to flop or have some sort of draw (as little as a gutshot+ an over card). If you have been playing tight, your over card hands have a lot of equity against his cbet range and you can periodically check-raise him to take down the pot. If you employ this strategy, you will have to be willing to fire several barrels and bluff for your stack. This is not for the weak of heart.

    2. Play rope-a-dope. Either check-call him down with very strong hands from pre-flop onward or employ a lead, check-call, check-call or raise line with strong hands like good top pairs. Be willing to call down light. Hands as weak as middle pair good kicker have him crushed if he is really raising any two cards in position. You can rope-a-dope with these hands too.

    He will start to realize that just because you check does not mean that you have nothing. He will learn some expensive lessons trying to bluff you off of top pair for three streets. Once he catches on, you can start employing lines such as check-call, check-call, check-raise as a bluff and watch him fold. Furthermore, he will have to start playing more straightforwardly against you and you will not have to face constant pressure since he will have to dial back to represent something resembling a credible value range.
  • OminousCowOminousCow Posts: 702Subscriber
    Also, it's not quite clear from your description but you should not be limping in with hands that you plan to fold to a raise since you said this guy will be raising almost always. You are just burning money doing this.
  • shmedshmed Posts: 321Subscriber
    It sounds like you are describing a mississippi straddle (meaning the button can straddle and now the SB is first to act -- I assume you meant he was on your right)?

    If that's the case, you should be outright folding most of your hands in the blinds - you need to play uber tight in early position in this situation (no calling to complete -- either raise with a premium or fold). I also hate this rule and would be looking to get up and see if there are games that don't allow the button straddle. If you forced me to play this game I would try to seat-change to his right as soon as possible.

    I like Om's strategic and thoughtful advice. Just adding some logistical considerations.
  • whatsyourplay?whatsyourplay? Posts: 752Member
    If you have 100 BB eff., a straddle (which makes it basically 50 BB eff.) and a couple of callers, I would start limp-reraising preflop quite a bit. You can basically limp-shove with stuff like AT+, 77+, etc... Maybe even wider.

    Once you either get deeper or he adjusts, you can start to exploit him postflop. Check-raise the flop, or lead flop and check-raise turn, etc..... He can't have a hand every time, so if you have a good image, he has to fold a lot.
  • dapperdavedapperdave Posts: 26Member
    Yes. Sorry. He was on my right and it was a Mississippi straddle.
  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,090Subscriber
    Dapper.. If you have a tough player who is giving you trouble at a game then just move.. A couple of days ago I was at a table where there were a couple of spots and one guy who is a decent player. I had built my stack from 300 at a 2/3 game to over 600.. then a really good player who normally plays the 5/5 300-1000 game came to the game and he just always tries to take over. With him raising and three betting even when I have position on him is just not a much fun for me nor do I think it allows me to do my thing..

    So I got up and left the game.. even with a big stack and a great image.. I just would rather play against weaker players and I dont need to sit a game where two or more really good players are there too..

    Even though it took me a while at my new table ended up being so much better than the original table since the good players were all concentrated at one table..

  • Excellent advice by Wendy. The alternative would be to reraise your AJ type hands to about 200 preflop after he raises his straddle and then shove any flop (you said you are at about 100 bbs so the math works here). If he shoves on your preflop raise then you are committed to call. If you aren't willing to do this on a given hand then don't call his straddle. Players like this force you to gamble or leave - if you are playing fit or fold to his naked aggression you will get ground down and he will laugh all the way to the bank.

    Wendy's advice is more prudent (especially if you don't have the bankroll to handle extreme variance) but if you don't want to leave you need to loosen up and be willing to go to the mat when you are ahead of his ridiculous range.
  • WackabrewWackabrew Posts: 400Subscriber
    whatsyourplay? said

    If you have 100 BB eff., a straddle (which makes it basically 50 BB eff.) and a couple of callers, I would start limp-reraising preflop quite a bit. You can basically limp-shove with stuff like AT+, 77+, etc... Maybe even wider.

    +1. I would be doing this with almost my entire range. You are not deep enough to profitably play AJo out of position in a fit or fold style. It's either a limp r/r jam preflop, or limp r/r and then jam any flop where you have even a little bit of equity. Playing passively against this type of opponent is burning money, especially if they are good and will not stack off when you do hit your monster.

    Edit: Obviously this is high variance. If you have a tilt problem or can't handle losing 100bb coin flips, then I would take Wendy's advice and change tables.
  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,090Subscriber
    Yeah me likey lower variance non "whose is bigger" type games Kiss
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