Hi. Come on in. We got turkey taquitoes and orange juice. I’m kidding, just thought I’d throw a shout out to Roy West on Card Player. I’m always interested to see what that guy is cooking. Anyway, we are now onto the “Adapting to Others” segment of the Heads Up Doctrine. Hopefully you have read the three posts in “Your Style,” so you know how this fits in. Actually this is the second heads up profile. The first was on a player type named “Tight Passive” and was one of the first posts I made on this site. I hope you read that one along with this one as we start the journey into the styles of heads up players you might come across.
Name: Loose Passive
Playing Style: This player can be quickly identified by his tendency to call instead of bet or raise. When this player does bet, it is usually the minimum or close to it. Most loose passive players rarely bluff so when they do bet pot, run as fast as you can. This player reacts to aggression on the button by constantly calling the whole way and making you beat him with your cards. Needless to say, this player is not scared to call when you raise on the button, even if he is holding junk hands like J7o or k2o. Furthermore, this player will call a bet on the flop if he hits ANY piece of it and maybe even with only 1 or 2 over cards. Finally this player has evidently never heard of pot odds, deception, or kicker trouble
Strength: This player’s strength is his refusal to be run over. If an aggressive player tries to be aggressive on the button, he will get called. If an aggressive player tries to bluff on the river, he will probably also get called. Furthermore, by constantly calling instead of betting or raising, this player can be infuriating to play, often putting the aggressive player on tilt. When on tilt, the aggressive player might become more aggressive, make bigger bluffs, and raise more pre flop. In a situation like this, if the loose passive player gets slightly better cards than the aggressive player, he can win a lot of money in a hurry.
Weakness: This player is punished for his style when he faces someone who bets huge when he has a big hand and rarely bluffs. What this player gives up by playing the sheriff all day and calling everything down is that he does not know when to fold. This player will pay off your monster. Another weakness is this players’ love of trapping. If this player does have a big hand and God forbid does decide to bet, it will most likely be a small enough amount to give you the proper pot odds to call. Then when the draw is made, a pot bet will almost always be paid off by the loose passive player making implied odds correct if pot odds are not.
Plan of Attack: Two things should immediately be changed from your regular style. First, severely narrow the starting hands you raise with on the button. Good starting hands to raise with are any pairs, QJ or higher, and maybe even connected suitors like 67h. However, since deception and pot size are not important to this kind of player, connected suitors and low pairs might be better to limp with. After all, if you hit your hand this player will probably call you if he has anything. The second thing that should be changed is the amount you raise pre flop, now it has to be pot. You want to absolutely punish this player when you have a great starting hand. Throughout the hand the plan is to bluff less and bet huge when you hit. Don’t be scared to shut down a bluff or bet pot if holding quads. Another thing, loose passive players rarely bet. Therefore, trying to trap a loose passive player is like drunk-dialing the girl you have a crush on, in both cases you are seriously jeopardizing a chance to say Ship it!
Notes: The hardest thing to do against a player like this is to quickly recognize him and change your game plan. If you can adjust, this type of player is one of the easiest to win money off of that you will ever play. In basketball, you think you are money dribbling the ball down the court like Jason Kidd until the prick guarding you decides to full court press. Since no one has done that to you since middle school you get flustered and turn the ball over. The only reason the loose passive player catches people off guard is that it takes cards to beat him and he won’t fold a bad hand like most players. If an aggressive player refuses to change his game plan or catches a bad beat and goes on tilt, things have the potential to get ugly for him. Instead, recognize and adjust to crush this weak player.
Like Matt, I’d also like to send a huge thanks out to Iggy for mentioning us on Guinness and Poker. This has given a large number of poker players out there a chance to check us out. Iggy, you did not have to hook us up but we are very grateful that you did. Guiness and Poker is now the only blog under our links, an honor not easily bestowed but one you deserve. Thank you Iggy.