Experiments in a LAG/Maniac Style

    • gavinonymous
      gavinonymous
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      First off, this blog (aside from my usual NL SH blog) is only an experiment. It came about from recent huge upswings, followed by downswings that included tilt from being too aggressive, and/or overconfident.

      I also struggle a bit playing some fish and maniacs, especially out of position. I thought that by exploring a LAG/Maniac style at NL10 SH, I might source out some of the problems, and possibly discover a few things about my game.

      I spent a lot of time going over my NL SH stats in pokertracker.

      I win mostly when I bet, and not much if anything when I check.

      a lot of these winnings come from cbets, if the cbet is called or raised, I'm more often than not beat by the end of the hand.

      Even if I give people the wrong odds to call, they are going to call me anyway. Mainly non-thinking players, of which there are many many (especially at low limits) Thinking players will usually give up to bad odds with their draw or low pair, unless they are sure you are bluffing.

      Based on these observations, I came up with a style to counter the fish and maniacs, minimize the effect of bad position on them, and really take it to the regulars.

      My first attempt used the following rules:

      Preflop
      1) Never limp in, unless it's a freeplay
      2) Always raise first in or 3 bet
      3) If you are 3 bet, then 4 bet or fold
      4) If you are 4 bet, then go all in or fold
      5) If 5 bets then it's all in
      6) Open raise is 5 big blinds without limpers (add ~20c/limper)
      7) If there's an opportunity to squeeze (with almost anything) do it (overbet huge - to all in if necessary)

      Flop
      1) I always have initiative according to preflop play so cbet or check/fold - occasionaly c/raise with a draw any pair, made hand or air (board and opponent depending)
      2) Cbet to about 2 times the pot, seriously. Anything less and I give them odds to call (implied or whatever) - if my cbet is called, I am most likely pushing the turn - adjust bet size accordingly.
      3) Check/Fold anything in multiway pots where you didn't hit
      4) If your opponent donks, then raise him enough to commit him on the turn

      Turn
      1) If I am here, then push.

      River
      1) Most likely I'm here because it's all in already, or checked down the whole way with opponent (rarely)

      The result is that I will hardly ever call. Just bet or fold. I bet really big, both to chase away draws and take down pots, but also to balance my monster hands like AA, and other big hands that don't get much action when I play TAG. If people think I'm a maniac, they are more likely to raise my AA or KK - I know, it's happened to me enough times.

      Please remember, this is a work in progress, and I'm trying it at micro limits (NL10 SH) only. Hopefully there will be some fun hands, and we'll get to see how people counter this type of play, and whether it works. I'll spend an hour or so every now and then to work off some steam, especially after upswings. First report coming up real soon. You might be surprised at the results of the first session

      Next post I'll also discuss what I found out about the meta game and how I adjusted to my image.

      p.s. if this blog is immoral, I'll take it down right away. I certainly don't recommend anyone try this themselves, unless they have some money to throw away and don't blame me :)
  • 4 replies
    • lozz08
      lozz08
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.06.2009 Posts: 106
      I personally think that at these limits playing slightly over agressive is profitable. LAG wont get you far though IMO. If I were you I would increase in agressiveness over time to find the right balance for your limit.
    • fun101rockets
      fun101rockets
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.06.2008 Posts: 1,162
      LAG is not neccassary but u can do it for fun
    • gavinonymous
      gavinonymous
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      Warning: this high variance style is experimental, only for the purpose of education, investigation and entertainment, and is not according to pokerstrategy teaching. Please do not try this at home unless you are prepared to lose some stacks or blow off some steam (and stacks)


      Ok, I managed my first session of one hour at NL10 SH. It took a few hands to get used to it and I made one or two 'marginal' pushes. I even got 'coolered' by a higher flush draw all in on the flop!! (I had K high) I think if I hadn't had made two obvious really bad plays I'd have done much much better.





      It started out bad, I quickly became pegged as the maniac I'm sure. Still I had hands to play and I did. When I didn't have a hand I just folded preflop.

      Once I was really noticeable, betting 5bb or more first in, squeezing and 3betting to up to 10x the amount, c-betting 1/3 of my stack etc.. some people started to play back. If I noticed it, I adjusted, and played a strong hand next the same way. I also bet very big on draws, whether I was made or drawing. One draw did come in, but turned out I was second best flush (it happens!)

      There was one guy (a maniac two to my left) that we went back and forth for stacks together. I ended up two stacks on him - he was sure I was crazy.

      I kept saying things like '2:3 odds is good?' or 'this much?' just in case I wasn't tilting them enough. Lots of crazy chat can really throw people off their game lol (including me)

      At another table I quickly lost a stack, but got it back and some, and also at another table.

      It's amazing - really I got so many folds preflop, and on the flop. I second barreled all in successfully a couple of times and generaly had the best of it. One table I was left alone after everyone else had enough.. the whole experiment was a lot of fun (and some profit too!) It would be fun to do it again - so long as I'm prepared to lose the small 5BI roll I set aside for it.

      Here's my details so far, next time I hope not to make the same mistakes next time and come out even better.



      Here's some interesting hands from this session.

      1) People squeeze kind of light against a maniac? These guys have seen me raise and squeeze every time.

      Hero (UTG): $12.45
      Adaml3 (MP): $3.10
      morrison277 (CO): $18.80
      craigen12 (BTN): $9.70
      Oernie3000 (SB): $4.85
      FunGow (BB): $13.40

      Pre Flop: ($0.15) Hero is UTG with 5:diamond: 5:spade:
      Hero raises to $0.50, 1 fold, morrison277 calls $0.50, 1 fold, Oernie3000 raises to $4.85 all in, 1 fold, Hero raises to $12.45 all in, 1 fold
      Flop: ($10.30) 5:club: 3:club: 2:spade: (2 players - 2 are all in)
      Turn: ($10.30) A:club: (2 players - 2 are all in)
      River: ($10.30) 6:diamond: (2 players - 2 are all in)
      Final Pot: $10.30
      Hero shows 5:diamond: 5:spade: (three of a kind, Fives)
      Oernie3000 shows T:club: A:heart: (a pair of Aces)
      Hero wins $9.80
      (Rake: $0.50)

      Next.

      Hero (BB): $17.85
      Adaml3 (UTG): $3.50
      morrison277 (MP): $20.70
      craigen12 (CO): $6.80
      Oernie3000 (BTN): $1.80
      FunGow (SB): $12.85

      Pre Flop: ($0.15) Hero is BB with T:diamond: K:heart:
      Adaml3 calls $0.10, 2 folds, Oernie3000 calls $0.10, 1 fold, Hero raises to $1, 1 fold, Oernie3000 raises to $1.80 all in, Hero calls $0.80
      Flop: ($3.75) 8:spade: 2:heart: J:spade: (2 players - 1 is all in)
      Turn: ($3.75) 7:heart: (2 players - 1 is all in)
      River: ($3.75) J:heart: (2 players - 1 is all in)
      Final Pot: $3.75
      Hero shows T:diamond: K:heart: (a pair of Jacks)
      Oernie3000 shows 5:heart: K:spade: (a pair of Jacks - lower kicker)
      Hero wins $3.60
      (Rake: $0.15)

      Then. (and I usually would have let this one get away)

      Hero (CO): $9.85
      Adaml3 (BTN): $2.60
      morrison277 (SB): $24.65
      craigen12 (BB): $13.80

      Pre Flop: ($0.15) Hero is CO with K:diamond: A:spade:
      Hero raises to $0.50, Adaml3 calls $0.50, 2 folds
      Flop: ($1.15) T:club: Q:heart: 4:diamond: (2 players)
      Hero bets $9.35 all in, Adaml3 calls $2.10 all in
      Turn: ($5.35) Q:club: (2 players - 2 are all in)
      River: ($5.35) 6:diamond: (2 players - 2 are all in)
      Final Pot: $5.35
      Hero shows K:diamond: A:spade: (a pair of Queens)
      Adaml3 shows J:spade: 8:club: (a pair of Queens - lower kicker)
      Hero wins $5.10
      (Rake: $0.25)

      Then traded stacks with the maniac 'morrison' and had some friendly chat ;)

      Hero (BTN): $12.60
      morrison277 (SB): $20.35
      craigen12 (BB): $13.50
      benjosan (UTG): $10.00
      kalle157 (CO): $12.00

      Pre Flop: ($0.15) Hero is BTN with J:spade: 9:spade:
      2 folds, Hero raises to $0.50, morrison277 calls $0.45, 1 fold
      Flop: ($1.10) 7:spade: J:club: 8:diamond: (2 players)
      morrison277 checks, Hero bets $2.20, morrison277 raises to $19.85 all in, Hero calls $9.90 all in
      Turn: ($25.30) 2:diamond: (2 players - 2 are all in)
      River: ($25.30) 5:diamond: (2 players - 2 are all in)
      Final Pot: $25.30
      Hero shows J:spade: 9:spade: (a pair of Jacks)
      morrison277 shows A:diamond: 9:heart: (high card Ace)
      Hero wins $24.05
      (Rake: $1.25)

      A few hands later. Morrison was going to call anything I raised, and I'm sure he was confused at least by my play so far. Actually, so was I.

      Hero (BTN): $27.35
      homespot012 (SB): $10.05
      morrison277 (BB): $10.00
      craigen12 (UTG): $11.55
      benjosan (MP): $10.90
      kalle157 (CO): $11.20

      Pre Flop: ($0.15) Hero is BTN with J:club: Q:club:
      3 folds, Hero raises to $0.50, 1 fold, morrison277 calls $0.40
      Flop: ($1.05) 8:heart: K:heart: 9:club: (2 players)
      morrison277 checks, Hero bets $2.20, morrison277 raises to $9.50 all in, Hero calls $7.30
      Turn: ($20.05) 9:diamond: (2 players - 1 is all in)
      River: ($20.05) 6:heart: (2 players - 1 is all in)
      Final Pot: $20.05
      Hero shows J:club: Q:club: (a pair of Nines - King+Queen kicker)
      morrison277 shows J:spade: T:diamond: (a pair of Nines)
      Hero wins $19.05
      (Rake: $1.00)

      Meanwhile, on another table, same thing is going on. At first I played tight until I got a hand to raise in, or squeeze.

      stevey_big (BTN): $15.00
      blittle-emp (SB): $36.05
      bonkyyy (BB): $10.10
      Hero (UTG): $10.00
      ajtrips (CO): $41.65

      Pre Flop: ($0.15) Hero is UTG with T:spade: T:club:
      Hero raises to $0.50, 1 fold, stevey_big raises to $1.40, 2 folds, Hero raises to $10 all in, stevey_big calls $8.60
      Flop: ($20.15) Q:diamond: Q:spade: 6:spade: (2 players - 1 is all in)
      Turn: ($20.15) 4:heart: (2 players - 1 is all in)
      River: ($20.15) 3:spade: (2 players - 1 is all in)
      Final Pot: $20.15
      stevey_big shows A:diamond: T:diamond: (a pair of Queens)
      Hero shows T:spade: T:club: (two pair, Queens and Tens)
      Hero wins $19.15
      (Rake: $1.00)

      I traded a few more stacks, and ended up ahead on two tables, and even on the third - I had opened after everyone left me alone on that last table.
    • gavinonymous
      gavinonymous
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      Originally posted by lozz08
      I personally think that at these limits playing slightly over agressive is profitable. LAG wont get you far though IMO. If I were you I would increase in agressiveness over time to find the right balance for your limit.
      Thanks, yes that's part of the experiment.. to find the edge, the balance where it's too much, or not enough. I'm not even sure to tell u the truth what LAG really is.

      This thing is more fun and interesting, not serious, and I hope to learn something from it, if not profit a little. Pokerstrategy has proven to me so far that I can win at poker using the strategy. Still, I'm prone to tilt, from winning even, and blowing off steam like this can be therapeutic. (I used to wonder when the supernovas came down to NL10 to play... now maybe I know)