Not to long ago I went over to the iPoker Network. This is great! Many fishes, I've been told! It turned out to be true! Whenever I opened a random 6-max Table on NL4 there would be at least 2 terrible Players at the table (mostly Callingstations). So how could it be possible that I had troubles transfering over from a way tougher Playerpool? Here are the most recent 6,000 hands.
Ok, I ran horrible, but I feel like I played worse against Oponnents who are easily abuseable than against Regs. Great! So I had my homework to do and that is how I came up with my new topic!
Not to long ago, I thought that Regs are more predictable and do what they are supposed to do, while the Callingstations and Maniacs act random. For sure that is not true and it's the other way arround. Well thinking Regs are trickier and "more balanced" in general. There's just no excuse to lose in the Long-Run against the bad players so let's have a closer look at the different Playertypes we are going to face in the Micros and how we can ridden them their money!
In general there are 2 factors that define the Playertype.
Starting Hand selection (Loose or Tight)
Starting Hand selection only takes into account how many Hands a Player is playing. (VPIP) Wether he gets there by raising or limping/calling does not matter to figure out if someone is Loose or Tight. Loose players play a high variety of Hands while Tight players usually only play very strong Hands Preflop.
How agressive is a Player (Passive or Agressive)
We can determine how agressive a player is by looking at the difference between VPIP and PFR/RFI preflop, and if he tends to Call or Bet/Raise more on further Streets. Quick Hint: This is shown in the HUD as the "Agression Factor", too. Passive Players rarly will get above 1 (up to 1.49) while you will encounter really agressive Oponnents with an "Agression Factor" of 5 or even above! Balanced Regs should have around 2-3! Passive player have less risk tolerence than their agressive counterparts. Passive player are doomed to lose in todays game! Money is made through (controlled) agression!
So we come up with 4 Basic Types of players which usually cover everything. We could split them in "Semi-Loose-Passive-But-Sometimes- Agressive" and so on, but for this Article we will work with the following: Loose-Passive, Loose-Agressive, Tight-Passive and Tight-Agressive
- VPIP: Very high
- PFR/RFI: Very low
- Fold to C-Bet:Usually low (Careful Player dependend)
- Fold to 3-Bet:Low
Loose-Passive-Players are often times refered to as "Fish" and "Callingstations". They are ALWAYS big losing players (in the Long-Run). They tend to limp alot preflop and stick to their draws, even tho the Odds are not correct. They will also get sticky with alot of "Second-Pair" or "Top Pair Bad Kicker"-Type of hands. Loose-Passive Players are most of the time positionally unaware and play any kind of Hands that look playable to them. (way to many) Every Ace, Every Suited Hand, Most of Connectors and One-Gapper. A very famous move among Loose-Passive Players preflop is Limp + Call. Some even achieve numbers of Limb & Call above 90%! (As shown in PT4 Tabs) Some of them sense a Check for Weakness. We can use this to our Advantage in Position with Second-Pair-Type of Hands. Check Back Turn, call their small Raise on the River or Value-Bet if it is checked to you.
How to play profitably against Loose-Passive Players
- Isolate them a lot in Position with Playable Hands.
- Only 3-Bet for Value!
- Don’t C-Bet when missed completely!
- Value-Bet Top-Pair-Top-Kicker on 3 Streets unless a Draw completes.
- Don’t ever Bluff, Scarecards don’t matter to them!
- Be careful when they Bet/Raise. This is the kind of Player we can find an “Overfold” when facing agression. (Folding a decent Hand)
- Don’t get mad when they hit Two-Pair and called you down while you tried to value your TPTK, this is the (very profitable) risk we have to take.
- VPIP: High to Very High
- PFR/RFI: High to Very High
- C-Bet: High
- Fold to C-Bet: Low
- 3-Bet: High to Very High
- Fold to 3-Bet: Low
While there are plenty of decent LAGs in higher Stakes you will not encounter many decent ones at the Micros. Here we are talking about the overly agressive Players (Maniacs) you will meet alot and who love to gift their stacks away! Maniacs love to Raise, love to 3-Bet and love to Barrel through. What they don't like is folding. They overvalue many Hands including Draws and Top-Pairs without Kicker. They are also really easy to tilt. It happens regularly that they just Openjam ATo when you won a big pot against them recently. Maniacs can be your personal ATM if you have the right approach.
How to play profitably against Maniacs
- Try to sit down to their “left”
- Re-Raise alot of the Hands you want to play to isolate them, you will have the better hand the majority of the times
- Fold more in early Positions, especially hands that need a lot of Fold-Equity
- Don’t give to much credit to their C-Bets and Barrels
- Trap with monsters, he will do the job for you and hang himself!
- Use an unpolarized strong Range with Suited Connectors, Pairs and High Cards against Maniacs
- Widen your Value Range and get it in lighter! (TT-JJ are perfectly fine against alot of them)
- Don’t try to steal their blinds!
- Don’t Bluff!
Tight-Passive (Weak-Passive) and Nits
- VPIP: Low
- C-Bet: Low to Medium
- Fold to C-Bet: High
- 3-Bet: Low to Medium
- Fold to 3-Bet: High
Tight-Passive-Players are playing very few hands, usually check the flop and only Bet/Raise with very strong Holdings. Their Range consits of Premium Hands, Pairs and some Suited Connectors. (unpolarized) They fold to alot of 3-Bets even tho their Starting Requirements are already high. If they continue a Hand in a 3-Bet Pot Alarm-Signals should turn on! Be careful! They don't like to take risks. If they Check that usually is a Sign of weakness. This type of player will gladly find a reason to fold if there is any! Expections are nits! While they are very similar to weak-tight players in alot of cases, they get more Sticky with their Big Pairs and might stack you off when u setmine or find another miricle Flop. Their way of thinking behind this is probably that they waited so long for their Aces/Kings and it is so unlikely (and unlucky) that someone just hit a Set in exactly that hand. There really is nothing more to say about them.
A Word of Advice:
The smaller the gab between VPIP and PFR the more likely your oponnent has a Set when facing agression. (<4) The bigger the gab between VPIP and PFR the more likely your oponnent has 2 Pair and not a set. (>10) While there is alot of generalization in this 2 Sentences this little hint comes in handy especially on uncoordinated Board with 2 "Non-Face-Cards"! (for example A58) So be careful vs Weak-Tights and Nits! There might be good times to fold your own Two-Pair sometimes! (especialy bottom two)
How to play profitable against Tight-Passive Players and Nits
- Try to sit to the “right” of them and attack their Big Blinds 100% of the time
- Attack Blinds alot anyways
- Don’t call to much in general
- Raise when checked to you
- Bluff Scary boards
- Raise Scare-Cards
- Try to win a lot of small Pots
- Don’t play big Pots against them unless you have a really strong Hand yourself. They won’t ever bluff you!
- Slow down on the River after your Bluff got called on the Turn, unless it’s a really scary Card for them and you are in Position (4 Cards to a straight or flush for example)!
- VPIP: Low
- PFR/RFI: Low
- C-Bet: High
- Fold to C-Bet: Medium
- 3-Bet: Medium to High
- Fold to 3-Bet: Medium
The Ferrari among the cars! At least at the Micros! There are huge differences in skill from one individual to another, but one thing is certain: TAG's are the toughest Oponnents! Most of the Tight-Agressive Players should be small to big Winners at their limits.(depending on their Skill) We should also try to play a Tight-Agressive-Style since it is the most profitable up to at least Midstakes. All of the LAG-Players you will encaunter have read some Books, watched Training Videos or at least read some Articles just like thisone. They take this game pretty serious. They are positional aware, most of them use a HUD, and think alot about each play they make. Sure, all of them still have some major leaks in their game, otherwise they wouldn't be here in the Micros anymore (just like us). But All-In-All they are superior to the other Playing-Styles. Don't be afraid of them but also don't try to force things against them to hard. Especialy in the Micros the Rake is way to high! You can't make Winnings against other TAGs (Regs) in the Long-Run. I'm well aware that we can't fold everytime we have another TAG in the hand in todays game. We have to face them at one point and have make the best out of it. Big money is made elsewhere and not against Tight-Agressive Players.
How to play the most profitable against Tight-Agressive Players
- Try to avoid them as much as possible
- Leave Tables with only Tight-Agressive Players
- Don’t play Out-of-Position to much
- Try to steal their Blinds
- Defend your Blinds quite a bit
- Don’t give them to much credit for their C-Bets; Float them from time to time!
- Balance your Game against them, they might try to abuse your tendencies!
It comes in handy to know the preferances of all the Player-Styles. But pick your "Victims" wisely. Try not to get to deep into "Reg-Wars", the Rake will eat your Winnings. Pick on the easy targets to increase your Winrate.
Let me know how you like my approach in the comments section! If you liked it and took something useful out of it I'd like a little reply aswell. Thank you for reading, stay connected and best of luck at the tables.