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Old 07-20-2018, 04:54 AM   #1
Phraust
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How to deal with maniacs?

This is definitely a flaw of mine, dealing with maniacs.

We've all seen them, they raise constantly pre flop, don't mind getting stacks in and overbetting pots, and it's hard to put a range on them. I was playing 1/3 today and this happened. I kicked myself in the ass for every way I went about this hand.. but I have a hard time in these situations even though I feel like I shouldn't. These players seem like the easiest to play against. Wait until you hit a good hand and profit.

Hero 450$ 1/3 live with AQo in utg+2. Crazy agro guy (who others told me apparently plays 2/5 and 5/10, so obviously has money) is on the button and straddles 6$, no calls to hero, hero flats, 2 others call. Straddle raises to 50$, hero ends up folding.

Now normally i'd open AQo, but with this guy behind me I figured he would raise and I was right. Just didn't expect a raise that size. With me limping here I should have been prepared to reraise or shove over him no matter the size. Now I can't call for 1/9th of my stack because if I whiff the flop he's going to cbet most likely and I'll be in a tough spot. So since I didn't think a call would be right, we either get it in preflop or fold at this point. I was planning on either limp/reraising or shoving, but with me having 2 people left to act behind me I didn't know how to handle it. Although I should probably be fist pump jamming here since odds are he doesn't have AA/KK/AK and if he calls we are either flipping against 22-JJ or ahead, I have a hard time in these spots.

It's just a lot easier for someone with that kind of money to come to a 1/3 table and constantly bet over the pot without worrying about losing buy ins. It makes you have to play so much differently imo. Where I may normally fold 2nd pair to an average player to a decent bet on the river, i may have to call a player like him even if he bets huge or he will just walk all over me.. and it's more costly when he does have it.

Same situation.. where I'd normally open with JTs or something in late position, then when it gets to him he 3bets 6x my raise, so I either have to call over 1/6th my stack, shove, or fold. I feel I'm just torching money at that point. But if I limp and he just calls or folds then there are probably far too many people in the hand now.

It just feels like so much variance playing against these players. It's not exactly that i'm playing with scared money.. But I definitely don't feel comfortable going all in preflop for a buy in and a half unless I have QQ+ and maybe AK (obviously depending on action/players). AQ in this situation is basically AK though.

Honestly not sure where I'm going with this post or what answers I'm looking for. How do you go about playing against players like this? Do I just need to change my mindset or something?

Last edited by Phraust; 07-20-2018 at 05:01 AM.
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Old 07-20-2018, 05:19 AM   #2
CowboyCold
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Re: How to deal with maniacs?

You say you aren't playing with scared money, but you are if you fold this hand. Fist pump all in and get on board the variance train. Sounds simple, but even maniacs will think twice about getting in a pot with you if you show no fear.

Think about how many sessions you have had where you get few if any QQ+ type hands. It is like the bully on the playground. Hit him in the mouth and take his PB&J sandwich and he won't mess with you anymore.

This hand should be at the top of your range against this type of player.
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Old 07-20-2018, 05:35 AM   #3
Phraust
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Re: How to deal with maniacs?

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Originally Posted by CowboyCold View Post
You say you aren't playing with scared money, but you are if you fold this hand. Fist pump all in and get on board the variance train. Sounds simple, but even maniacs will think twice about getting in a pot with you if you show no fear.

Think about how many sessions you have had where you get few if any QQ+ type hands. It is like the bully on the playground. Hit him in the mouth and take his PB&J sandwich and he won't mess with you anymore.

This hand should be at the top of your range against this type of player.
Yeah I thought the same thing about playing with scared money. It's weird because I can play out a hand then bluff my stack on the river when I feel it's the right moment or something along them lines.. so it's not exactly that I'm playing with scared money. It's just the fact of getting it in preflop and putting it up to variance with AQ or worse where it would be profitable like against this type of player. Maybe i'm overly tight when it comes to that and need to grow a pair idk.

I'm not sure why I'd feel more comfortable in the situation I was in if I had 88-JJ or something here. Maybe because it's an already "made" hand? It doesn't make sense to me I'd feel better about getting it in with one of them hands than AQo against a player like this but I do.

Last edited by Phraust; 07-20-2018 at 05:42 AM.
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Old 07-20-2018, 06:41 AM   #4
Tomark
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Re: How to deal with maniacs?

True winning poker is basically just getting your money in as the 60% in 60/40 coinflips over and over again. If you refuse to get your money in good against his range for fear its the 1 time you have it, youre scared money.

My entire game is so profitible because I put people in these spots and they “wait for a better spot”. The way you should play poker is that if you think you can get $300 all in and win $0.01 on average, do it. Heck, my game is more like even if i think id lose $3-5 ill do it just to put the fear of god in my enemy.

Theres a reason people suggest that players have 20 buyins in their bankroll. Do you have a $6k BR? (Most players dont, but be aware that you should be investing 100% of your winnings into your BR until you have this much, and you gotta accept that youre scared money because your br isnt big enough)
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Old 07-20-2018, 08:39 AM   #5
QuadJ
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Re: How to deal with maniacs?

It can be really disconcerting if you are not used to playing maniacs. Their style is just so far outside the normal range that making the right adjustments can feel very unnatural. Against a real maniac like that if you are not going to ride the variance train then don't play with him. There is nothing wrong with that.

If you are going to play study the maniac closely. That sort of style has to have huge flaws but not every maniac has the same flaws. Just looking at the example you gave. Does his exceptionally large bet mean a bluff or value? Some maniacs make a lot of smallish bluffs but their big bets are generally real value, other make bigger bets when they are bluffing and bet smaller when they have value, some just really are random. Does his straddle mean anything? Some maniacs get more aggressive once they already have money in the pot but can fold if they have nothing invested yet, making their range weaker if they are a blind or straddle. Some maniacs are more aggressive when in position, other play about the same from all positions.
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Old 07-20-2018, 08:57 AM   #6
Petrucci
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Re: How to deal with maniacs?

Its written countless good threads on this forum on the topic how to deal with maniacs.I would recommend use the search function and dive into some of the older threads. Lot of gold there if you want to spend some time on finding it.

However, you have already gotten som good pointers in this thread too. The point about the adjustments neccesary is the oposite of natural is very accurate described, if youre not used to playing with maniacs. For some players it can be a huge hurdle to jump over,because it goes so far toward their natural tight instincts.

Couple of games ago we had a crazy maniac in our uncapped 1/3 game. First time ever i limpreraised A10 for $500 or something pre against maniac, but i got snapped with the old mighty 2-3 offsuit, so didnt feel very bad about my line.

Point is: against some of these players you just have to get it in when you figure to be ahead of their stackoffrange, and ride the variance train.

Playing against these sort of players can be insanely profitable, but with one condition: you have to be willing to adjust properly and be fearless about getting your money in there with them in appropriate spots. If youre not, they will run over you, and the extra EV they bring to the table isnt coming to you if you are unable to adjust.
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Old 07-20-2018, 09:09 AM   #7
Garick
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Re: How to deal with maniacs?

Quote:
Its written countless good threads on this forum on the topic how to deal with maniacs.I would recommend use the search function and dive into some of the older threads. Lot of gold there if you want to spend some time on finding it.
This. Please use the search function, and bump one of the old threads if there are additional questions or thoughts once you've read them. No need to re-hash the entire discussion.
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