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I have just lost 5 buyins against a very lucky aggro monkey (87/65/33). 3 All-In's starting very much a favourite and lost, and a plethora of coolers left me completely tilted. I don't want this to happen again, so my question is, when I'm faced with this kind of player, what is the best strategy?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I think this is the wrong way to think about what happened:

I don't want this to happen again

The situation you were in was a dream; a player willing to get it in while you held the better hand? Again and again for lots of money? I want that to happen as often as possible! The fact that you can lose (and lose a lot) in these situations is something you need to accept as a poker player. If you make the decision to tighten up and worry about the risk of losing, it makes you less money in the long run.

The best strategy may be to continue doing what you were doing; getting it all in the middle with the better hand.

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Haha... I know the type. You're ahead but he sucks out on the turn or river and stacks you. It's allright... we all have been here.

A basic poker sentence says that you make money by playing the opposite of what the other players are playing. So, if he's a loose aggro monkey, be a tight human. Flop a pair (TP is the nuts here) and go to showdown hell and high water. That's what happened to me last night agains a 95/35 who had position on me. Hand #1: I had JJ and ran into his AA, Hand #2: had a set on the turn but he made a straight on the river, Hand #3: I flopped a full house and tripled up. He won from me 1.4 buy-ins, but I got 2 buy-ins from him :)

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I think you should continue accepting his all-ins if you are really very much over his push range. You will make him a bankrupt at the distance :)

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I would play super tight and wait for very strong starting hand (AA, AK, KK, QQ, etc.) and then push all-in. If he is really a manic player as you suggest there's a good chance he'll call and the odds will be in your favour.

Update: I'd probably only raise all-in on a small table (< 4 players), otherwise I'd do a standard raise. Best time for this strategy would be heads-up.

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Although I believe this is OK, just making a standard raise with the range you suggest and generally playing for stacks regardless of the flop (If it gets that far, without being All-in Preflop) would be superior to just shoving. –  Toby Booth Mar 31 '13 at 21:35
    
Why would it be superior? What you suggest is how I'd usually play against reasonable players, mainly because I'd want a few callers. However, if you believe there's a good chance that a player will call an all-in preflop and you have a very strong starting hand, it makes sense to do so, in my opinion. –  Dan Stevens Mar 31 '13 at 21:49
    
What I mean is that you may be called only by a stronger (although still worse) range when just shoving, which amounts to a huge overbet and slightly worse equity! Alternatively, re-raising (not shoving, yet!) may mean villain will re-re-raise with a broader range and thus you profit more by, perhaps, shoving over this bet. It's an overly simplistic example that I make, but my thoughts are that even adding a little nuance to Hero's play here, will reap greater rewards than the initial suggestion you made. –  Toby Booth Apr 1 '13 at 0:32

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