How to Beat a Maniac

16 Jul , 2009 - Posted by Dan in The Maniac

Welcome to the first edition of this series on how to beat your opponents. We will be discussing the best strategies when confronted with different playing styles. The first style we will be looking at is the Maniac.

The Maniac plays exactly as the name describes. He is crazy, wild, and shows no regard for typical poker theory. In fact, it almost seems like he hates money. This holds true until someone calls one of his crazy bets while he is holding the nuts. This player can win or lose a lot of chips in a hurry. Once they have a lot of chips they can be very dangerous because of their aggressive nature. So strap in as we dissect The Maniac.

Spotting the Maniac will be easy. He makes the biggest bets in the strangest spots and most likely will be doing the most talking. This is due to the fact that everyone will be questioning what the heck he is doing. This is definitely the type of player that we want to beat themselves, but you also want to make sure that you get some of the rewards before he is out of money. First, the setup. Try and play a few pots with this player. Heads up would be nice, but if some others sneak in it won’t matter. The idea is to let the Maniac bluff you out of some pots.

Make him think that he will just run right over you. Once he finally gets the idea that you are soft, you bait the hook. It may take some patience, but we are looking for a decent to good hand that connects on the flop. The ideal situation would be for him to raise pre-flop and you slow-play a top ten hand. Once he has his money in there, he will continue to fire at the pot. Setting a trap seems like the logical course of action, but let’s stop and consider it for a moment.  If you lead out to this person, he will at least call because he already created a big pot. Most likely he will raise because he remembers how soft you are. This is where we get the extra bet out of him or even an all-in.

Remember to trust your instinct when he fires out at you. You may have to grow a pair right there at the table, but you will be glad you did when you scoop a monster.

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How to Deal with a Bad Player When They Beat You on a Suckout

10 Jul , 2009 - Posted by Dan in Poker Strategy

This is something that has happened to all of us and the amount of fury that you feel when someone hits their 2 outer when you were making pot sized bets or better can get to the best of us.  Many players will let out a rant and inform the donkey of how idiotic their play was and then state exactly why it was a bad play.  Big mistake!

I am not a big fan of the phrase, “that’s poker,” but it really is.  The nature of the beast is that bad beats are going to happen and you need to be able to deal with them if you are going to be a successful poker player.  What you need to do is keep your mouth shut and deal with the bad beat instead of giving a poker lesson at the table.

When someone makes a play like that, they more than likely think that they have done the right thing and you need to applaud them for their incredible play.  The reality of it is that you want this guy to make that play each and every time.  Sheer odds dictate that you are going to come out on top in this situation far more than you are going to lose.  He may have beaten you on this occasion, but in the end, you are going to be the one holding the chips on him.


If you give him the lecture, you are teaching your opponent how to play the game.  Why would you ever do that?  Not only that, but you are also giving the entire table information on how you play the game and exposing yourself to bluffs and getting outplayed in later hands.  This is one of the absolute no-no’s of poker.  Again, keep your mouth shut and take the beat.  If you open it up at all, it should be to tell him he made a great play.

Dealing with something like this is going to take some discipline.  You were expecting to win a huge hand and all of sudden someone else is taking down the pot.  Start thinking about the times that you sucked out and put a smile on your face.  File the information away for later and eventually, that money will be back in your stack.

When the hand presents itself again and he does not hit, tell him how scared you were to play against him.  Tell him how lucky he has been and you figured he would hit again.  All of this will re-enforce his playing style and get him to continue to feed the pots and help you get that stack back in the positive.  Dealing with a suckout is part of the game and you better learn how to do it if you are going to get the most out of bad players.

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