Friday, March 04, 2005

Loosey Goosey

I've been asked to expound on my trouble hands. I will get to that in the next post or so when I can write and have Poker Tracker up at the same time. Since I'm currently at work I want to write about some trouble I ran into last night that I believe needs some blog time.

I reacquainted myself with an old hole in my game last night that may be very easy for others to succumb to. As stated in the past I generally try to find the tables with the highest average pots and join them. This table makeup often times has the loosest players and can in turn lead to some nice profits. Since finding some problems with the way I've been handling my starting cards I've been doing very well at the 1/2 party tables. Using my table selection criteria the tables at this level generally have an overall VP$IP% of around the high twenties to the mid thirties. Since I've moved back up to 2/4 I've found the percentages increasing to the high 30's to the low 40's. The play is much looser and last night I ran into the maniac of maniacs.

This player was seated to my immediate left and to his left was a close cousin of his in the Tasmanian Devil family. The VP$IP% on this table was in the mid 40's. This particular player was an odd sort and his VP$IP% was 95. He never folded a single hand preflop that I could recall. His preflop style of play was if the table limped, he limped, if anyone raised he would re-raise automatically. His cards were of no consequence and he capped it once with 10,3 offsuit. He would also rarely release a hand before the river often calling down with no pair. His caveat was that when he lucked out and caught a hand or actually had a monster on the flop no one would relinquish the pot to him. He was always building pots and it was common to have about every third of fourth pot over 35BB's.

I had the best of this situation since he was on my immediate left. The proper way to play a player who could have anything is to do a lot of folding. Let them have the small pots early because you want the big pots when you know you have the best hand. My downfall came from my realization of his preflop strategy (or lack thereof). Since he was like an automatic reraise button. I was able to isolate him from the rest of the table by using his own play. If I was in a situation where I had good starting cards and it was folded or only one limper had come along when the action got to me, I would raise. Using his auto reraise this would drive everyone else out a majority of the time and leave me heads up. Now all I had to do was worry about being able to beat two random cards. Sometimes his cousin on the left would come along as well and this would just sweeten the deal. Within about 45 minutes I had managed to amass a 45BB profit on the table due to the large pot sizes.

This sounds all wine and roses but the problem in fact didn't come from this table, but my reaction to the table. To further realize the impact the maniac table had on my play we need to switch to the second table I was playing. This table was of the type I have been recently thriving on. The table preflop average was steady at the low thirties. Straight forward play was all that was required to win. My dealings with the maniac was delivering a cause and effect impact to me physically as well as mentally. The large size of the pots and the furious play was giving me an adrenaline boost. This led to quick snap decisions and since I was aware that often times I was against crap cards I was able to loosen up a little myself enjoying my big lead. The lead wasn't on both tables but the reaction to one had caused a change in play on the other. At this other table I quickly took upon myself the moniker of table maniac. It didn't help matters that it was the time when the true maniac decided to start catching big hands. As I saw my chip stack start to dwindle the catchup monster sat perched upon my shoulder egging me on. By the end of the night I had left the maniac table with only a 2BB profit. My true downfall though had been the effect of play on the other table where I left with a 33BB loss.

I've written before about how important discipline is. Others have touched upon this as well but when the action monkey comes for a visit it's very hard to send him packing. He's cute and cuddly at first but when he leaves behind broken items and walls covered in shit you really have to wonder why you keep letting him back in.