If you’re already learning about poker types, then the loose aggressive player is probably the one that scares the daylights out of you. You want to believe that you can beat them but they seem to do so well in the short term. They make a lot of money taking your chips, but that doesn’t mean that you have to let them get away with it. Here’s how to get back at those pesky LAGs.
As always, keep in mind that your strategy is really going to depend on how you’re playing, who is playing with you, and what the stakes are. Don’t take any strategy as something that has to be set in stone. You just can’t afford that type of rigidity in poker. You’re going to need to adapt. This is designed to give you some basic advice that you can modify based on what’s really going on at the table.
So, who is the LAG, really? He (or she, we’re not sexist) is the guy (or gal) who is constantly playing just about any two cards that they can think of. Even 72o isn’t a bad card combo for them, and that’s one of the lowest starting hands that you can have.
The LAG is in every single pot that you can think of, and they love bluffing. They take down the pot based on aggressive betting; because other people at the stable are too scare dot take this guy on. It’s all about making sure that you can take on the maniac, because there are plenty of them out there. They’re going to have no mercy when it comes to your chips, so why should you go soft on them? Think about that.
There are a few things that you want to avoid when it comes to this type of player. For starters, you really don’t want to make the continuation bet at all. It’s really better to avoid it because this is not a player that’s going to fold. They can’t even imagine it. The continuation bet is going to be a waste of money. If you want to make this player fold, you’re going to have to go all in. They will even go all in at times, especially if they can just rebuy into the table. They figure that they will eventually come out ahead in the long run.
By the same token, you don’t want to bluff this type of player. They don’t respond to things like that. They will call and even raise no matter what type of action you’re bringing to the table. So the idea of actually getting this player to back down just isn’t going to happen. They’re going to hang onto those last chance rivers for all they’re worth. The times that they actually are right, they’ll pat themselves on the back and think nothing of their strategy. But you have to make sure that you’re not thinking of only them. You have to think about the pot odds as well. Sometimes it’s really not in your best interest to keep playing. As much as your ego will tell you otherwise, you need to make sure that you’re folding at all of the appropriate times.
You also don’t want to try to read this type of player. You’re not going to get a good read — that’s the secret stretch of the LAG. They know that they’re tough to read because they’re always mixing it up. If the board looks scary, then your mind is going to tell you to fold and give the LAG the victory even when he was holding a garbage hand.
If you can, you can sit to the left, which lets you act only after he makes a move. This lets you see what he’s going to do — if he raises, you can limp in if you have a hand worth playing. Otherwise, you can fold and save yourself some chips.
The very worst thing that you can do when it comes to a loose aggressive player is start giving into your emotional side. You can get angry as you want, but it’s not going to help you win. If anything, it’ll decrease the chances of you actually winning anything. That’s how bad anger is in the world of poker. The maniac knows exactly what he/she is doing to your mental state and they’re going to rub it in. Remember that poker is competitive — your chips are at stake. If you’re really that affected then you definitely want to head back to something other than poker. You have to stay profitable long term. LAGs can be overcome with strategy and flexible thinking. If you give in to the side that says you’ll never beat this type of player, guess what? You won’t, but they won’t care. They’ll go on to other tables, take other players’ chips, and not think twice about you. Tough break, kid, but that’s poker.
If you can play tight and get aggressive back, you’re going to make sure that you push. A lot of players are afraid to get aggressive, and this is where the LAG thrives. You can cut him off at the knees by making sure that you aren’t afraid to raise.
At the end of the day, as long as you don’t bow down to the LAGs of the poker world, you’ll eventually earn their respect. Not everyone is going to be able to win each and every hand. Take solace in that if you’ve been burned by the LAG. Maniacs can be hard to control but do remember that every type of poker player has weaknesses. As long as you keep that in mind, you will overcome this player in the world of poker.