It’s no secret that even the best poker players in the world have leaks in their game. All players do, no matter what. We are not made to be perfect, we are only human to begin with. Even Phil Ivey mucked a flush accidentally in the WSOP Main Event, but he still got to the Final Table! Some players think that their game is perfect, but let me tell you a secret: Don’t believe them! No one’s game is perfect because it would mean having the perfect sizing for every bet, playing the perfect range in any situation, choosing the most advantageous situation postflop all the time, and basically playing exactly like you could see your opponent’s cards, and no one is even close to that, not even in 2015!
So, without further ado, I bring to you more of the most recurring leaks amongst players:
Calling down passive players
This was a big breakthrough for me when I started really playing a lot of hands. I wanted to make more profit per hand so I thought, how do I do this? Well one way was to increase my opening ranges, to play more hands and to play them well/get paid more with my better holdings. I did that. But after that I was thinking, where can I improve my game and it will benefit me the most? Oh yeah, I said.
I have to get to read my opponents better because that way I’ll get to make better folds and save more money when I’m behind! And if my reading skills are better than theirs, they will invest more money when I’m ahead then I do when they are! So, in the long run, I’m just printing money this way.
After you install a tracking HUD, you’ll see that the most players that exhibit fishy attributes at the tables are loose passive players. This means that their stats are ~ 40/2 or something around that. Some are tighter and play ~20/6, some are looser and play 70/4. These guys have the idea incremented into their brains that they must call to see a flop and if they hit anything call you down. The types of players are called Calling Stations for a reason.
I see players struggling a lot with these guys, because they can’t comprehend how they are getting raised when the other player calls preflop with 70% of their range. What does he have when I have AK and there’s A274r down there and he raises me? It’s easy to assume that his value range is very thin on this board, but the thing that most players don’t understand versus these guys is that they don’t think like you think, they’re just trying to see a flop, call and see a turn with second pair or whatever draw they have, and when they hit it’s natural for them to raise, because they know that now they have a strong hand and can raise it up to get value!
How to fix this leak
It’s so simple to play against these players that it blew my mind the first time when I got around their play style. If they limp/fold a lot pre-flop, raise a lot when in position and in the BB. Iso-raise 4x Q4s from the BTN, if you’re getting called then you have a lot of chances to hit something decent postflop, OR you can just take it away if he folds a lot to C-bets. Most of these players will, because their only chance is to hit a flop, and that’s exactly what they’re trying to do. Obviously they flop a pair only ~30% of the time and a FD ~10% of the time, straight draws are rare, so more than 50% of the time the pot is yours, which is very profitable, because you only need to win it a lot less than that(ex if you C-bet ½ pot you need to win it 33% of the time).
If they don’t fold to iso-raises, then have a more pair-value oriented range like suited broadways, K8s+, Q9s+, and 77+. Other hands like A2s-A8s+ and 22-66, just limp them ahead if the SB/BB aren’t too aggressive.
The postflop strategy is so simple with these guys, if they like to fold more than 50% to C-bets then bet every flop, and if they don’t, you need to take them to value town and not bluff so much. Try to hit a top pair and your default line should be bet/fold bet/fold bet/fold(we’re talking if he’s a big stack 70-90BB+). Don’t be afraid to bet the river also because most players like this will never fold top pair no kicker.
I’m saying bet/fold because if you get raised, you’re going to have a bad time, you are most of the time facing 2p+! So fold your TP and look for another spot to iso him and take his money! Don’t level yourself into thinking that these players might do this with draws. They call pre-flop to see a flop and hit something, they’ll call the flop with a draw to see the turn and hit that draw, as their mentality implies. They will never raise these, their mentality forbids it!
So next time you’re faced with a raise postflop, and you see 40/2, much your AK and let him win with his A4(see board above). All in all you’re going to get into tougher situations against these players, for example in multi-way pots when you have bottom two, but the main thing to have in mind is that they raise with 2p+ and just fold weaker holdings without much chance to improve.
This has been a lot of elaboration. I wanted to explain thoroughly and precisely the exact method in which you can fix this big leak and start printing cold hard CA$H against these players!
I’ll see if I find more recurring leaks, and if I do they’ll be posted in the next articles! Have a nice run at the tables!Your Poker Dealer