Wondering about Maniacal play in cash games

    • Prabhatallin
      Prabhatallin
      Platinum
      Joined: 09.12.2007 Posts: 532
      Ok so since i got my capital yesterday I have managed to increase it 10 dollars. A bit of it through heads up play and a bit through some strange play in cash rooms.

      (I haven't yet used short stack strategy or big stack strategy. Simply because i dont want to risk money against other big stacks. Short stack strat because either i use it as you guys describe without modifications and I simply dont possess the patience to refill at the right time, leave room find another room..will just lose my rhythm and do something stupid.So I have played an aggressive strat of my own based mainly on reads.

      But the interesting part is that at the fag end of today I reserved two dollars for fun and experimentation, bought into a 0.5/0.10 dollar room and decided to play maniacally. Example I have 2 7 os 3 ppl call 0.10, I raise to 0.40 two call my raise. The flop hits 4 9 10. I figure this means anyone who calls in this kind of room probably has ace or king or even queen high or something so since it missed the flop I go all in- everyone folds. I kept playing like this for a while and very few called my raises, usually only one player every hand and that gave me enough chance to read his reaction on the flop and go all-in or cut my losses. (I did this only when I was late position on the table) Soon I decided that with a profit of 5 dollars accumulated in 10 minutes that was about enough.

      Obviously this is not the kind of strategy that anyone should recommend to beginners (or even recommend at all) but is playing like this viable.. I have even read that Annete Obrestad once won a 180 person SNG without ever looking at her hole cards..but is there anything wrong with playing in order to give the impression you are a maniac..sometimes it helps..towards the end of this session I could go all-in with anything and be pretty sure I wouldnt be called unless the guy had Pocket Aces, Kings, Queens or Jacks.

      If you do this when you are late and you start with 2 dollars and leave a room whenever you hit 5 or so this can be effective. If you raise only in late positions the chances of the guys after you having a premium hand to call with is rare..so you can get away...of course you will get caught once in a while but you can back away if you are reraised or the flop is bad and you know the other guy has better cards..besides given that you can often get quite a bit of cash in blinds and the calling which people in these rooms usually indulge in..is this kind of play just bad under all circumstances.
  • 8 replies
    • swissmoumout
      swissmoumout
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.02.2007 Posts: 3,385
      Let the (friendly and constructive) bashing begin xD

      Originally posted by Prabhatallin

      Example I have 2 7 os 3 ppl call 0.10, I raise to 0.40 two call my raise.
      Why make an undersized raise with the worst possible hand? you can beat only 4 other hands!

      The flop hits 4 9 10. I figure this means anyone who calls in this kind of room probably has ace or king or even queen high or something so since it missed the flop
      um... this is NL10, you'll see people playing anything, even 72o :rolleyes:
      And with ~30% chance of hitting a flop, and 3 people in the hand, I'd say there's quite a chance someone hit...statistics experts please? :D
      So basically, if you're called on this kind of flop, you have like 4% chance of winning.

      that gave me enough chance to read his reaction on the flop and go all-in or cut my losses. (I did this only when I was late position on the table)
      Read his reaction? Basically push after a check, right? What if he slowplays? Or, say you raise with the cutoff, the BU calls. What do you do, since you probably hold a bad hand and rarely hit a good flop?


      but is playing like this viable..
      I'd sum up what I've said with a big NO :D
      But in case you decide to play this, what's your nickname / what site do you play on? ;)

      I have even read that Annete Obrestad once won a 180 person SNG without ever looking at her hole cards..
      Luckbox! :D


      but is there anything wrong with playing in order to give the impression you are a maniac..sometimes it helps..
      It can help sometimes I guess, but _extremely_ rarely. I might try it after I've had a few drinks too many, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a good idea :D

      towards the end of this session I could go all-in with anything and be pretty sure I wouldnt be called unless the guy had Pocket Aces, Kings, Queens or Jacks.
      Where's the logic in that? The more hands you play, the more your raises are respected? Try going all-in on every hand, you'll see it's quite the opposite ^^ (ok, bit of an extreme example, but w/e)

      (...)or the flop is bad and you know the other guy has better cards..
      How can you be sure of what he has based only on pre-flop and flop action? If you push every flop when it's checked to you, even total fish will pick up on it and start slowplaying TPTK-like hands.

      (...)the calling which people in these rooms usually indulge in
      Yeah, that pretty much kills your "strategy". People will play basically anything on the microlimits, so they will call all-in with top pair, even middle pair etc. So total bluffs are a VERY bad idea. Tight is right! ^^

      ..is this kind of play just bad under all circumstances.
      Maybe not all, but in 99% yes. Seriously, read the articles in the strategy section (either short stack or big stack strategy). They're great, well done, and thoroughly tested by the authors and proved to be +EV. If you understand and follow them, you will win money.
    • Puschkin81
      Puschkin81
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.04.2006 Posts: 4,786
      Thanks swissmoumout!

      Nothing more to say for me.

      Good luck at the tables!
      Puschkin81
    • Prabhatallin
      Prabhatallin
      Platinum
      Joined: 09.12.2007 Posts: 532
      I think you misunderstood what I was saying, no body is suggesting that this is a particularly great way of playing poker in general (indeed my post says its not to be recommended at all) this was just something I was doing with a bit of cash reserved for fun.

      Most of your analysis is obviously right...but there are a couple of things...its not true that everyone in an NL10 is pushing with everything...there are lots of people who are playing sanely. (guys from this site for example) even if you know I am a maniac, you really wont call with more than 7-8% of your hands If you are a tight player...you will win a profit playing this way, but that wont stop me from making mine.

      The reason (even given that I was just experimenting) is that the intention to raise is often considered more significant than the amount of the raise. So my 0.40 raise from late position will chase out quite a few people.

      30% chance of opponents hitting their flop (a) I saw very few hands where there were 3 opponents (b) Even idiots like their money say you are a loose player who calls my raise with A7. Flop hits 7, 8, 3. I go all-in, you dont know what I have, are you really calling? I know his high card hasn't hit..

      My nickname.. (obviously I won't play like this on a table full of people who aren't stupid).

      As a final observation, it would take more than luck to win a 180 person SNG blind...you figure the odds...(heads up play blind?)

      And yes the articles here ARE good AND the strategy WILL win you cash. Just that I recognize that I lack the patience to strictly implement them..and I am sure you recognize that they are not the ONLY way to play effective poker. I am rather good at chess, (a much more theoretical and studied game) and one of the most striking things is how even in a completely mathematical game general advice can be ignored quite often. You should see the kind of random play some of the worlds top players produce..beginners would be dropped from a chess school for playing moves like these guys play.
    • whipflip15
      whipflip15
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.11.2006 Posts: 284
      Heads up blind = push from button every hand?
    • Prabhatallin
      Prabhatallin
      Platinum
      Joined: 09.12.2007 Posts: 532
      No that is terrible trust me, I have been playing quite a bit of turbo heads up and even with really high blinds its not worth it...its a bit of a gamble really..the worst hand that wins more than 50% of the time is 10 8 os...given that your opponent will wait for a queen or a king or something of the sort you will be in bad shape. If you go all-in every hand you will be killed quickly even with really high blinds...which is why you dont see immediate all-ins at wsop final table for example...

      Much better is to randomly go all-in twice, because the first two times you are unlikely to be called. Then wait until you have something decent (even King with high kicker) and do it again, this works. But you cant do that blind... so I suppose she is just really good at reading...

      I really dont know on what basis she played her heads up, but if you are good enough to reach even the final table without ever looking at your hole cards, you have to be scary good at reading tells and smelling fear.
      I dont think you can ever do this unless you are very very good..its so humungously unlikely that I really cant put it down to luck.
    • undercover82
      undercover82
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.12.2006 Posts: 813
      You can make that play for fun like you said but dont expect it to be profitable ^^ maybe you can have a good session or two though. Maniacs sometimes end up having huge stacks in just a matter of minutes , but most of them dont have the sense to leave while they are ahead, and end up broke. The more you stay on the table with that play , the more exploitable you become by someone with common sense who will decide to trap you eventually or call you down with something mediocre.
      But i don't doubt that it's a fun strat to screw around with with small amounts of money. And it can also be profitable , but not the way you play it , and also pretty hard to master. You have to be god of hand/opponent reading.
    • Prabhatallin
      Prabhatallin
      Platinum
      Joined: 09.12.2007 Posts: 532
      Even when I am having fun, I do realize when to leave..if i start with 2 dollars and get up to 6 dollars or something its obviously time to quit while ahead...my first post says that...one thing I am not sure about the SSS and BSS posted here is that bluffing is not advocated at all.

      Now if you guys reason that people will cotton onto my aggressive style and start calling, that is spot on. However, it is equally obvious that when a guy has folded 40 hands in a row and raises, i drop my cards like a hot potato. Yes you can make money this way in a room full of maniacs and you can find such rooms. But it is also equally possible to use the same search and find a room full of wusses. And no one is saying this strat (if it can be called that) is as good as advisable as any sane strat, my only question is can it be viable in the right rooms.
    • KillaKHAN
      KillaKHAN
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.04.2007 Posts: 660
      Originally posted by Prabhatallin
      Even when I am having fun, I do realize when to leave..if i start with 2 dollars and get up to 6 dollars or something its obviously time to quit while ahead...my first post says that...one thing I am not sure about the SSS and BSS posted here is that bluffing is not advocated at all.
      Actually bluffing is an important aspect of the SSS as far as I'm concerned. The way I understand the SSS is that the amount of 15-25BB is "mathematically" the best for it as you have the highest probability to get called by weaker hands, read you will win more % of the hands you push, and if you loose the loss isn't damaging your bankroll.

      But the SSS isn't solely based on preflop play but it's also actively involved in 1 of the remaining 3 betting rounds (flopplay). Flopplay is made really simple if you play only premium hands (KQ, AJ+, 77+). On the flop you will probably hold a made hand, a draw or a trash hand (whereas with mediocre hands like suited connectors, low pairs etc. you can hit a middle pair, low pair or anything simple that needs some good evaluating and calculating to play on). So with a made hand or a draw you either raise or push (depending on your stack size, pot size and raise size).

      Now here's the part you obviously missed or just forgot about it. With Trash hands your only way to win is mass luck (runner, runner) or bluffing. Here's the copy/paste from the article:
      Trash-Hands
      It is more difficult to play a hand which is neither a made hand nor a draw because you can only win with a bluff. How you proceed depends on the number of your opponents and from the amount of money which you have left in your stack.t.

      Attention: If the pot is twice as big as your remaining stack or even bigger, you move all-in no matter what kind of hand you are holding and what your opponents are doing.

      One opponent

      Actions of your opponents Your action
      Your opponent did not bet. You bet about 2/3 of the pot.
      If your stack is smaller than or even pot size, you go all-in instantly.
      If your opponent raises you after you made a bet, you have to fold.
      Your opponent made a bet. You fold.

      Two or more opponents

      Actions of your opponents Your action
      Nobody made a bet in front of you. You just check and fold to a bet from your opponents.
      One of your opponents made a bet. You fold.


      That means the only situation in which you bet with a trash hand is when you are up against one single opponent who did not bet. In every other situation the hand is over for you and you fold unless the pot is already too big so that you cannot fold anymore.
      So you see, bluffing is still comming up quite a lot with the SSS as with a single opponent 1 out of 3 times you both won't hit the flop.