Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Adapting to Others: Tight Aggressive

First things first, I would like to send a huge thanks out to these four gentlemen for pimping us on their websites. All four have personally endorsed us on their fabulous blogs and because of it we had over 400 visits yesterday and already 300 today!

CJ at Up For Poker
Mourn at Bad Beat Blog
Pokerprof at Las Vegas and Poker Blog
Alcanthang at Dead Money = AlCantHang

Thanks guys!

On another note I would like to thank Andy M. for his email pointing out how I need links in my posts so referenced prior posts can be easily accessed. I totally agree and hope this makes my posts more efficient to read.

As far as the Heads up Doctrine, this is the fourth player profile and the eighth overall post. I will also try to link all the prior posts in one place later, possibly after the "Adapting to Others" portion. Here is the "Tight Aggressive" player profile, not the most profitable heads up opponent you will find, but one that is beatable.

Name: Tight Aggressive

Playing Style: The “Tight Aggressive” player is one that is just beginning the transition from a full ring game to heads up. His sound ring game strategy is so ingrained that he will only raise on the button pre-flop with solid starting hands. Accordingly, his raises are similar to what a normal player would raise with in late position playing in a full ring game. His button raises are also proportional to what type of hand he has. A pot raise will probably be with hands like 99-AA and AK, AQ ,AJ ,AT ,KQ , & KJ. A min raise will be with suited connectors, low pairs, or two big cards like QJ or KT. Out of position, this player plays very tight and will usually fold to a pre-flop raise. However he will re-raise pot with many of the same hands he would bet pot with on the button and just call a raise with many of the same hands he would raise the minimum with on the button. From the flop on, this player will pretty much bet his hand. This player loves to bet hard when he has a monster.
Strength: This “Tight Aggressive” profile is the first winning heads up player type that I have covered. That is because this player doesn’t get caught up chasing out of position, knows when to fold marginal hands, and knows how to get his money in the middle with the best of it. All heads up players should do these three things well. This player will eat alive a “Loose Passive” player, soundly beat a “Tight Passive” player, and probably beat a “Loose Aggressive” player more times than not.

Weakness: This player’s biggest weakness is his predictability. I was very specific as far as what type of hand this player raises with and re-raises with pre-flop but you would be surprised how accurate it is. A player that uses the Heads Up Doctrine, will pick up on this player’s tendencies and systematically pick up small pots while avoiding the big ones. However, most heads up players don’t critically analyze their opponent and that is why this player wins. He counts on his opponent not to realize that he only bets the nuts or close to it.

Plan of Attack: First of all, I like to raise min on the button about 80 percent of the time. There is no reason to raise pot because this player will fold all but good starting hands. Therefore you want to raise the least amount possible. On the flop you should almost always bet as this player will probably fold if he didn’t hit. This simple game plan on the button should start a steady stream of chips flowing your way. Out of position, if he did not raise it pre-flop and instead just limped, you should bet pot if you hit any pair. However if your bet is called, be prepared to give up on the hand. If he does raise pre-flop, fold unless you have a strong starting hand. If you have a great starting hand you can either re-raise pot or try to trap him as he might be scared away by a raise.

Notes: I feel a certain amount of respect for this player because I used to be him. Then I realized how important the button was and how if you are constantly aggressive, people will be far more likely to pay off your monsters. Maybe I realized this after I only won the blinds every time I had AA for four months. As far as beating this player remember two things: 1) Don’t pay off his monsters, his bets are pretty straight up and 2) Stay aggressive as this player does not like to call bets with nothing. Another tip I recommend is trying to be super aggressive at first and show some bluffs. If you can get this player on tilt you are in business. However, don’t be surprised if he doesn’t fall for it and definitely don’t expect him to tilt. If you are a manic on the button and he re-raises you pot one hand pre-flop after you showed a big bluff, DON’T THINK HE IS ONE TILT! If you do, you will almost certainly hear a “Ship it!,” it just won’t be coming from your mouth.

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