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Shoving against loose players

January 14, 2008

I learned something from a friend of mine who multitables $50NL.  He raised 99 from late position and was called by a very loose player (54/0/1.8) in BB. Flop came Q94, all clubs so my friend has a set but is behind any flush. He says that against this player he has to get his stack in.

The light that went on for me is that because this player is so loose he may be calling with Q9o rather than something that made a flush. Since he’s also aggressive postflop it’s possible that he has any Q or paired the Q or 9 with the Ace of clubs, and all these hands may be undecipherable in the betting from a made flush, so my friend immediately decided that he has to get all the chips in.

The additional stat that I use is how often a player calls raises preflop. This helps me in SnGs to determine where I have more or less fold equity when I am deciding to raise/shove. If a player has a high VP$IP, a high call rate of preflop raises, low preflop raise rate but with high aggression overall which means that the aggression must be coming postflop, putting him on a wide range of made, drawing and missed hands seems likely. A person like this can cloak their monsters, so I guess getting all your money in against them (in cash games, at least) seems to be a good choice.

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