Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Playing Against the Maniac

First - anyone else think it is somewhat amusing that I have a Royal Flush post followed by a pseudo-bad beat post?

Anyways, as per the previous post, I was able to control my frustration. As a result, my fortunes reversed and I was able to finish positive 2 buy-ins against the maniac. But not before I saw not one, not two, but THREE people lose full buy-ins to the maniac through a combination of bad luck and poor play. Battling preflop aggression with preflop aggression is not a good idea folks. Why take a 60-40 when you can have a 80-20 postflop?

Here's some ideas I gathered from the session on how to play against a maniac:

1) If maniac is over a full buy-in, make sure you have a full buy-in on the table at all times. RELOAD RELOAD RELOAD. When we get our hand, we want max value.

2) Don't get into a preflop raise war without AA or KK. QQ is a possibility but be fully aware that you may get stacked by Ace-rag and King-rag hands.

3) Get to the flop cheaply. Maniacs tend to raise 4-5x BB. Be prepared for this.
Outplay the maniac POST flop, not PREFLOP. What does this mean exactly? Keep the pot small preflop with your Ace-Face hands and 88-JJ. He is going to either call or raise you anyways and your AJo doesn't look nearly as good on a K73 board.

4) Don't be afraid to fold postflop. Yes, it's a very real possibility that the maniac has nothing. But is your missed hand any better? Take comfort in knowing that when you do hit, you will get paid off in full.

5) Be aware of bet sizes and timing tells. From my short experience, these are easier to spot in maniacs. Exploit these to your full advantage.

Be patient. Control your emotions. Enjoy the profits.


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