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Two hands versus maniacs

milkofamnsia Posts: 10Subscriber
edited August 2018 in NLHE Strategy Discussion
I've always had some trouble (like a lot of people do, I think) playing against those crazy maniacs who come in slightly drunk and super splashy. After reviewing these hands, I noticed that thinking about blockers and reasonable actions street-to-street from a crazy villain might not be as helpful as applying that same logic to a standard TAG/ABC player. What do you guys think about in these spots, especially compared to more normal opponents?

Hand 1:

Villain is not a super maniac, but is definitely drinking and splashy. Playing tons of hands (mostly limping or flatting his whole pre-flop range regardless of position) and making big bluffs a lot, but with some sort of equity usually (bottom pair, gut shot, weak flush draw, etc.).

Hero has Q Q in MP1 with a $10 button straddle at 2-5, about $1100 effective (I cover). Folded to me and I open to 35, villain calls, all else fold out.

Flop is J 7 8. I bet 40, he calls.

Turn K. I bet 75, villain raises to 575, hero has about $900 left.

How should hero proceed?

Spoiler:
I folded. My reasoning at the time was that with red queens, I block almost all of his reasonable bluffs-- heart draws, diamond draws, and all sorts of straight draws. I don't think a K is that much in his range, but his bluff didn't make sense given my holding. Could have all 16 combos of T× 9×, all sorts of 2-pairs. Or so I thought-- he showed Q 9 for just a gutshot. Kind of unfortunate, but the fact that he had one of the exact hands I heavily blocked made me feel somewhat ok in my fold.


Hand 2:

Villain is a crazy maniac who is raising $100 pre-flop every hand (literally every hand...showing 52o, etc.) unless someone opens ahead of him. He is drunk or high or something for sure. He has been calling people all-in pre-flop for $300+ with hands as bad as 87o, and in other pots he has been betting turns/rivers with huge sizing multiple times. I won a pot earlier against him with a flopped flush vs. his middle pair for a large pot ($1500 or so). He did play AA the exact same way vs. one player and happened to run into 2-pair, but the point is he seems to play all of his hands very similarly (loose and aggressive).

Hero has K 2 on the button with a $10 button straddle at 2-5, about $2700 effective (I cover). Villain opens from BB to $100, all else fold to me and I complete for $90 more.

Flop is J T 6. Villain bets 100 (normal for his whole range), I just call-- I did not want him to fold his bluffs and would rather just get there since he will usually pay off anyway. Maybe should raise to build a pot, but he is super crazy and might simply move all-in.

Turn is K. Great card for me, as I have top pair now with second nut flush. Villain bets 300, I just call again for all the same reasons.

River is 6. Villain now checks, pot is about $1000, and villain has about $2200 behind. I debate about what to do, but decide to bet smallish and go for some value against any of his pairs (I think he would call with even a T×). I bet $400, and he check-raises all in for about $1800 more.

How should hero proceed?

Spoiler:
I called after some thought because I just thought my hand was too strong with top pair. I only lose to AK, AQ, AA, KQ, and a 6, but I thought he would just lead almost all of those hands some percentage of the time. It really sucks to hold two spades blocking a lot of his bluffs, but unlike the previous villain, this guy was truly maniacal and would possibly do this with any two cards.

He tabled Q 7 and I win a massive pot.


Comments

  • JLBJ Posts: 171Subscriber
    Doing this without looking at the spoilers.

    Hand 1: Check turn and see what happens. Your hand has turned into a good bluff catcher. You can call reasonable bets on the turn and river since you’ve thrown him the rope.

    As played, the huge raise is suspicious, especially from someone who seems like a maniac, but I don’t see playing for stacks here. Too many hands beat you, and you have virtually no equity if you’re behind. Fold.

    Hand 2: I get that you’re on the button and he’s doing this every hand, but must we defend K2? Many better spots will come up.

    Love just calling the flop and turn. River bet seems right against this opponent, and now I want to puke. He’s an ultra-maniac, but has he done this before? Even maniacs don’t check-raise all-in on the river that often. Without more knowledge of how he’s played the later streets, I would puke-fold.
  • DrSpace Posts: 716Subscriber
    edited August 2018
    hand 1 I think you might have induced a raise with tentative sizing on flop and turn vs this player profile. That makes it very hard to discern from some value hand that might play this way but I am not folding for 100bb as described. You did nothing wrong its just hard to play against splashy folks that put you to the test. Would you consider folding if this was 50c/$1 instead of 5/10 ?

    Hand 2 I am never calling with k2s rather jam then call. As played I mostly ✔️ river -- if I did bet I would have my decision made to call or fold in this kind of situation.
  • FuzzypupFuzzypup Posts: 2,433Subscriber
    I've posted before on maniacs. They are the easiest to play vs. It's a simple math game of calling with something reasonable. Play passive and let them hang themselves.

    One key thing to distinguish is where they are the maniac. Some crazies will raise or 3b with air but never 4b. Some will raise with air all the time but always 3b with AA/KK. Then there are some who are just preflop maniacs and stations post flop. Others call everything, rarely raise, and just bluff post flop.

    I'd play hand #1 as XC on the turn and XC on the river with the correct card. Betting and getting raised makes for a very tough decision as the King can totally be in his range. When you XC you open him up to increasing his bluff range from hands that might fold the turn when you bet like bottom pair weak kicker. If he is a maniac he is bombing anyways the turn and river so the money is going in and QQ is plenty good. By Xing you let him bluff with MORE of his range thus it is a larger profit line than BC. As played I am C, XC river on many cards. You bet weak twice which also increases his bluffing frequency. He has a lot of draws, if not more, as he does strong hands. And I highly doubt he is raising a naked King in this spot. I think only a river card like 9 or 9 T T I would consider folding as then the weight drastically shifts to him at least having 2 pair or so.

    Hand #2 is just math. You are getting almost 2:1.... he needs to be bluffing here ~40% of the time for it to be a call. He certainly isn't playing TPGK like this so its some made hand or nothing. AND the larger kicker here is that many players like this love to XR or Raise the river when the bottom pair... pairs. I don't know why but they love repping trips. Since all the draws missed and the odds, it's a call.

    You pretty much can't read their hands so you just go by the math. In both pots both draws missed and since you can consider roughly 30 combos of FD per FD and 60ish combos of SDs per SD that far outweighs big hands. The SDs also include GSs. The combos depends on the flop. Less SDs on a 23x then a 87x of course. Also the board split. No gap is more combos likely than a 2 gap because he might not play something like 96o.
  • dpbuckdpbuck Posts: 2,009Subscriber
    edited August 2018
    Fuzzypup said:

    One key thing to distinguish is where they are the maniac. Some crazies will raise or 3b with air but never 4b. Some will raise with air all the time but always 3b with AA/KK. Then there are some who are just preflop maniacs and stations post flop. Others call everything, rarely raise, and just bluff post flop.
    ^^^ This is the key. So many of these type players do play ATC preflop, but are very fit or fold postflop. So you'll see them end up at showdown with raggy two-pair or unlikely straights, but you'll see that they had equity on the flop that they proceeded with. While it is tempting to focus on their preflop tendencies, really zone in on how they play the flop - that should give you the keys to beating them.


    In hand 1, seems like a pretty straightforward fold, especially since you block the flush draws and straight draws he could be playing fast.

    Hand 2, fold pre. K2s is crap, even if he is opening 100%. As played, I'm calling. He can't be sure you'd be betting the river, so how can he checkraise a better hand?
  • FuzzypupFuzzypup Posts: 2,433Subscriber
    edited August 2018
    Yes what dpbuck said. Don't play shit hands vs a maniac. Play hands that do well heads up. They always pay off anyways or bluff off their stack. Forgot to mention that.
  • milkofamnsia Posts: 10Subscriber
    I thought K 2 was an easy call versus this player type because it's heads up and in position. I'm not sure it's even speculative given the player profile and that it folded to me.
  • FuzzypupFuzzypup Posts: 2,433Subscriber
    I'd rather have 87s if I am calling. You can't maximize value K2s. Much more difficult of a decision. The crazy players constantly shoves his money in so why play high variance risking uncertain hands. Just be patient.
  • ClockClock Posts: 1,098Subscriber
    milkofamnsia said:
    I thought K 2 was an easy call versus this player type because it's heads up and in position. I'm not sure it's even speculative given the player profile and that it folded to me.
    K2s to a 10x raise is 100% fold (more so since it's a straddled pot) ALL the time vs ANY player, but especially vs maniac like you describe.


    Hand 1 - don't bet the turn.
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