How to Beat a Maniac

Posted by Dan in The Maniac on July 16, 2009

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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