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Dealing with a Hyper Aggressive Opponent

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  • Dealing with a Hyper Aggressive Opponent

    So I have played against this opponent a couple of times now. I have close to 200 hands on him. His numbers are off the charts. His numbers are:


    So this is posing a dilemma. I cannot just fold or keep calling his 3 bet and folding if I miss the flop or continuing as he keeps betting with nothing. I think I have to stop this preflop. I have been 3 & 4 betting most of his raises, mostly in position. Here is an example of what he is raising with:

    PokerStars - $0.10 NL (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players
    Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

    BTN: $7.18
    SB: $3.06
    BB: $22.33
    Hero (UTG): $10.06
    MP: $14.41
    CO: $20.56

    SB posts SB $0.05, BB posts BB $0.10

    Pre Flop: (pot: $0.15) Hero has A:spade: A:club:

    Hero raises to $0.30, fold, CO calls $0.30, fold, fold, BB raises to $1.25, Hero raises to $3.00, fold, BB raises to $9.05, Hero raises to $10.06 and is all-in, BB calls $1.01

    Flop: ($20.47, 2 players) 2:heart: 9:diamond: 5:diamond:

    Turn: ($20.47, 2 players) 2:club:

    River: ($20.47, 2 players) 4:spade:

    BB shows J:heart: T:club: (One Pair, Twos)
    (Pre 17%, Flop 6%, Turn 0%)
    Hero shows A:spade: A:club: (Two Pair, Aces and Twos)
    (Pre 83%, Flop 94%, Turn 100%)
    Hero wins $19.45

    So as you can see he range is wide open. But he is also going to wake up with a hand from time to time:

    PokerStars - $0.10 NL (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players
    Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

    SB: $8.96
    BB: $11.67
    UTG: $9.30
    MP: $16.64
    Hero (CO): $11.19
    BTN: $6.78

    SB posts SB $0.05, BB posts BB $0.10

    Pre Flop: (pot: $0.15) Hero has Q:heart: K:club:

    fold, fold, Hero raises to $0.30, fold, fold, BB raises to $1.20, Hero raises to $11.19 and is all-in, BB calls $9.99

    Flop: ($22.43, 2 players) K:diamond: J:club: 5:club:

    Turn: ($22.43, 2 players) 7:spade:

    River: ($22.43, 2 players) 6:spade:

    BB shows 9:spade: 9:club: (One Pair, Nines)
    (Pre 55%, Flop 9%, Turn 5%)
    Hero shows Q:heart: K:club: (One Pair, Kings)
    (Pre 45%, Flop 91%, Turn 95%)
    Hero wins $21.31

    OK so this is a very marginal hand, but way ahead of the villain's range. Should I have shoved preflop? No but I think I should have 4 bet.

    Here is another example:

    PokerStars - $0.10 NL (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players
    Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

    UTG: $6.41
    MP: $3.55
    CO: $10.97
    Hero (BTN): $14.43
    SB: $14.35
    BB: $24.28

    SB posts SB $0.05, BB posts BB $0.10

    Pre Flop: (pot: $0.15) Hero has K:heart: Q:heart:

    fold, fold, CO raises to $0.30, Hero raises to $0.90, fold, fold, CO raises to $2.55, Hero calls $1.65

    Flop: ($5.25, 2 players) J:diamond: 2:diamond: T:diamond:
    CO bets $3.00, Hero raises to $11.88 and is all-in, CO calls $5.42 and is all-in

    Turn: ($22.09, 2 players) 4:club:

    River: ($22.09, 2 players) 7:club:

    CO shows A:club: A:spade: (One Pair, Aces)
    (Pre 82%, Flop 76%, Turn 86%)
    Hero shows K:heart: Q:heart: (High Card, King)
    (Pre 18%, Flop 24%, Turn 14%)
    CO wins $20.99

    I am open ended and I don't think the villain has a flush. I think this is very hard for the villain to call without holding a similar type of hand. He thought for a while but called. I did not get there.

    Thoughts on the best way to play this type of villain?

    Last edited by NJpokermike36; 04-21-2021, 02:23 PM.

  • #2
    I think it was in one of the homework webinars where JL says something to the effect of "Playing against a manic is not hard , it can be scary but just show up with a strong range and don't fold , you'll be fine"
    I can see a good argument for jamming alot of big offsuit hands when he three bets you don't leave him a buffing spot unless you want him to bluff , so I'd check the nuts on at least one street for sure .
    So i think your doing it right showing up with a strong linear 3 betting range and not folding .


    • #3
      Advice from a newbie

      Embrace the variance that comes with playing against maniacs. When you show up with KQs, you're often going to have 60%+ equity. Sometimes you'll be in a coin flip, but usually you'll be ahead. Don't turn into a maniac postflop, but be very happy to get it in with top/second pairs and good draws. I swear I make more money from these guys than everyone else put together


      • #4
        Don't play a game of chicken with him. I would call and see a flop and let him bluff off when you catch anything.

        Why do the pushing when the donkey will do the pulling?
        -Layne Flack

        With the AA its fine because he's not folding. But you don't have to play bingo with him and get all your chips in early by 3 betting him all the time. When you allow him to shrink the SPR it makes his game easier to play, because if he catches anything he can go all the way without worry.

        With the second hand, I think it is better to just flat the 3 bet. You are in position, and your hands will over realize their equity because he is probably going to over value his holdings.

        And if this small sample is any indication that he never folds to 3 bets, but 4 bets, KQs in position is a great hand to flat.

        Years ago I got a book by Elke called the Raisers Edge. In there he had a matrix that went like this:

        Tight Passive ~~> TAG ~~> LAG ~~> Loose Passive~~> Tight Passive ~~> ...

        Basically it was set up as a circle in the book. It started with Tight Passive and the explanation was to work clockwise in the circle. If you opponent was playing a certain style, the best way to combat that style was to move to the next quadrant clockwise in the circle. Against a LAG the adjustment was to play the next quadrant which was loose passive.
        Last edited by jjpregler; 05-01-2021, 07:03 AM.


        • NJpokermike36
          NJpokermike36 commented
          Editing a comment
          I don't think you should be flatting preflop with this villain a lot. It is going to get very expensive to go" Raise, Re-raise, Call, Check, Bet, Fold if we miss. Our range advantage is huge preflop and that is the best time to put pressure back on the villain.

          With his range so wide, if you miss the flop you will have to fold to his bet. By 4 betting and jamming preflop, it puts a lot of pressure on him and forces the villain to think before he keeps 3 betting and 4 betting me light.
          Last edited by NJpokermike36; 05-01-2021, 08:36 AM.

        • jjpregler
          jjpregler commented
          Editing a comment
          There is actually a balance to it, yes you may fold often to the c-bet, depending on the sizing. But when you catch something, you will almost always get max value, making up and more for the times you check/fold.

          Think of poker like a casino manager think of the bets his casino makes against every person every day. They don't care about the short term variance of losing 1 game here or there, they know that over the large sample they have an edge and they care what happens after large samples, where the casinos always win.

          You may lose 3 -4 hands going check/bet, but the 1 hand you win with 3bet/bet/bet/bet lines will pay off more than you lose.

      • #5
        I guess today the matrix may look similar except is has a central circle inside with GTO. If your opponent is playing GTO or close, stay inside the center circle, but if he deviates to one of the outer circles, move to the next outer next circle to exploit him.
        Last edited by jjpregler; 05-01-2021, 07:14 AM.


        • #6
          So below is what the Villain's range looks' like at 40%, my play back range and Equilab comparison of how my range will do against the villains. Let me know what you think.

          Click image for larger version

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          Click image for larger version

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          Attached Files


          • #7
            It depends on your position. With deeper stack and in position, I would definitely have any AXs, any suited 9+ and suited connectors.

            Additionally, you have to be careful in one respect. While his PRF is 40, that does not necessarily mean he opens 40% from every position. It could be something like 20 from EP, 40 from MP and 80 from LP.

            I did a study of my HUD stats a few years ago before I took off, and I found that on average, players raise roughly 1/2 their PFR from EP and about 2x their PFR from LP. Now of course this didn't work for everybody, but it is a good base line to start with until you learn more specifics about his range.


            • NJpokermike36
              NJpokermike36 commented
              Editing a comment
              I did check my HUD stats he was was 3 and 4 betting almost the same from all positions. I originally had a wider range, but tightened it up a bit to lower the variance slightly.

            • jjpregler
              jjpregler commented
              Editing a comment
              Yeah, sometimes players like this have static ranges based only on cards and not position.

              However, the caveat to be careful in earlier position should still stand, you are against his wide range, but if there are still 6 players left to act, the odds of one of them having a premium hand is 17%.

            • NJpokermike36
              NJpokermike36 commented
              Editing a comment
              @JJ I 100% agree

          • #8
            I was thinking about how to do the math on the 3 bet ranges here. So the first thing to determine is that you can tend to get all in with about the top 20% of hands in his range. So if he is opening 40% of hands your 3 bet for value range is about 8% of hands.

            Now you have to adjust that to not allow yourself to be in trouble against a balanced 4 bet range, just in case one of the remaining players pick up a hand to 4 bet. If they are 4 betting tight, it does not matter. They won't 4 bet often enough to worry and you can always overfold if they only 4 bet premiums.

            In a 100 BBs game if HyperLAG opens in EP to 3bbs and you 3bet to 9 bbs from HJ, You are betting 9 to win 4.5. If you are 3 betting the top 8% of hands the bottom of your range is likely to be the best hand at the table 57% of the time. So this is too wide to 3 bet when considering there is 4 players left to act.

            However, a top 6% hand rates to be the best hand at the table 66% of the time which is exactly equal to the pot odds you are giving yourself with this bet.

            Now let's go through some basic questions to determine if we should have a bluff range:

            How much of the 3 bet range has to fold to a 4 bet from one of the remaining players? We are already at 66% of the range and I think that is already maybe too much, but we are exploiting, so overfolding after exploitation is ok. But do we want to add to that. I would say no.

            Will the HyperLag fold 35% of his range to a 3 bet? I think we already know that the answer is no.

            So I would conclude that part of the exploit here is to only have a 3 bet for value range. So my range against the HyperLAG EP open might look like this:

            I am continuing with 100% of my 3 bet range versus the HyperLAG, however against a balanced 4 bet to 27 from one of the other players my range may look like this:

            If they are 4 betting only QQ+ and AK, you can even fold QQ and AK here.
            Last edited by jjpregler; 05-04-2021, 11:29 AM.


            • #9
              @JJ I don't think you looked at the hands. The first hand shows he 4 bet with J10o. you cannot smooth call, miss the flop and fold to his bet. That is how he plays. You have to put the pressure on him preflop, otherwise you will be folding way too much when you miss.

              If you look at the hands, you will see we are heads up. I am not going crazy once someone enters the pot, so worrying about someone else 4 betting is not an issue.