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  1. #1
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    Default LAG play not working in 6 or 12 hour tournaments anymore?

    Just curious how people are doing with LAG play these days?

    I play around a lot with TAG and LAG play in somewhat quick, 6 or 12 hour, daily tournaments (12 hour is deepstack).

    Lately, I'm finding that many players are good enough, and frankly the LAG strategy is so obvious and well known, that many players are playing back. So, raises in late position (or any position) aren't being respected as soon as they see you raise, let's say 5 hands, in the space of a two or three rounds.

    What this means is the normally TAG players are calling with a wider range and then being very sticky with anything they hit on the flop. Bluffing is hard to impossible, because you just can't bluff very often against very sticky players and expect to not get called.

    The upside is I get paid off big when I hit, the downside is I have to hit, which can be very hard in a relatively short tournament.

    I guess my question then is, is it better overall to have a TAG reputation at the table during a short tournament in order to be able to bluff more effectively? Bluffing/stealing is so essential in short tournaments because you just don't have time to chip up, that having a loose image and getting called all the time means you have to hit hands to go deep.

    Maybe the counter to the LAG image problem is LAG-small-ball which attempts to balance the image problems by taking lots of little shots and hoping to get paid off big when something hits which is slightly more likely if you're in every hand.

    It feels like when I'm playing LAG lately, literally nothing hits over many many hands, not even a pair and I'm always stuck trying to bluff or just giving up on the hand. Perhaps this is just running bad and not specific to the strategy.

    Any thoughts? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Overall, I don't enter these with a plan such as I'm going to play TAG, or I'm going to play LAG today. Pretty much, the first level, I do tend to play TAG on the cautious side, until I get a feel for the other players. In general, you want to choose to play in a manner to exploit the players. If most of the table is playing too loose, keep playing TAG. If they are playing a little too tight, open up to a LAG game.

    In general, my experience in these games is that in general, most of them start as loose passive, then as the blinds go up, the table becomes tighter. So in general, once the shift happens and the loose players start pulling back to protect their chips is when I revert to a LAG game. This generally happens in the middle stages.

    So in general, when there is less money in the pot only blinds and antes, they are in the pots fighting for these small pots, but when the pots get larger due to antes, they pull back. That's is opposite of what a logical approach should be. Now they pull back and I am perfectly happy to now fight for the larger pots, with the antes, that they are going to let me pick up.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Little View Post
    I typed out a nice long reply then I realized it said almost the exact same thing as jjpregler said right above me.


  3. #3
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    Thanks, that does sound like a good way to approach it. I took 2nd in a daily yesterday by basically doing that although I started a bit LAG and people were calling me down with bottom pair so I tightened up until (like you said) the antes/blinds got big (and the re-entry period was over) and then loosened up.

    One thing that I have to watch is that sometimes I play too fancy against players that are not playing fancy at all (I give them too much credit for advanced play) and then get myself in trouble. For example, I've been raising a LOT in late position later in the tournament, I think it's so obvious I'm raising light and wondering why nobody is re-raise bluffing/defending, so when someone does re-raise I sometimes think he's playing back though the vast majority of the time he just has a big hand.

    What do you think about min-raising later in the tournament? It seems to be a common strategy combined with post flop c-betting but it doesn't take long for people to stop respecting the raise and start calling loose and then call you down. Maybe that's ok because they won't flop well much of the time so it's still +ev overall if post flop skills are good. Am I looking to get called by the blinds when I min-raise with A5s from the cutoff or T9s from the hijack, etc..?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by krampus View Post
    One thing that I have to watch is that sometimes I play too fancy against players that are not playing fancy at all (I give them too much credit for advanced play) and then get myself in trouble.
    This is why it is important to determine what level your opponents are playing on. If they are playing level 1 poker, you should play level 2. I see many try level 3 plays against level 1 players and needless to say, they don't work.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Little View Post
    I typed out a nice long reply then I realized it said almost the exact same thing as jjpregler said right above me.


  5. #5
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    jjpregler, my experience has been similar to that of krampus, except in my case it's live SNG with a group of 4-8 guys that have been playing together for years and I'm relatively new to the group. My question is twofold:

    1. Typically, how much does a person's actual play style (table image) during a game influence how their opponents perceive and play against them in that game, vs their opponents' overall/ general perception of that person's table image? So short-term image vs long-term?

    2. How much does a person's play style earlier on in the SNG impact how they will be perceived throughout the entire game (so in latter stages)?

    In your response to krampus above you've indicated that you start tight in order to evaluate your opponents and their style of play and act accordingly. If you then decide to play TAG in the beginning and then later switch to LAG, are you purposefully trying to instill your table image as being a TAG to later take advantage of them when you looses up? Or are you simply adjusting and playing the opposite of their play styles in a given game?

    In my case, this group usually starts off very loose and passive, with lots of preflop limpers (even with decent hands) and most players seeing the flop. Blinds are small so preflop raising is tricky because if too low everybody calls, if too high everybody folds and the pot is tiny. I always start playing tight and fold most hands but usually realize that I could be winning a lot of pots with marginal hands so I open my range and play very aggressively. I found aggressive postflop play usually wins here and gets me decent sized stacks... but people can buy back in or top up.

    After a people get knocked out and the blinds increase they do play tighter but still quite loose, so it's very difficult to get them on ranges. The difference is they switch from being passive to very aggressive. They often make maniac bets that make winning the pot more about a battle of wills than logic. They can do this with both air and with hands so one has to be careful but at the same time can't let people steal pots simply by betting huge. And bluffing at this stage of the game is risky because they will often call almost anything.

    Going back to my first 2 questions, should I be instilling a table image early on in the game in order to capitalize on this later on, and how much of their overall view of me as a player (skill-wise and play style) impacts/ plays a role on this? In other words, do you think they are more influenced by my current game play or by their overall long-term perception of me?

    Do you have any recommendations for me? Thx!
    Last edited by tadman; February 9th, 2016 at 02:50 PM.

  6. #6
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    Krampus, do you have any updates on your tourney play experience since your last post in this thread? Have you made any notable changes and what have been the results?
    Last edited by tadman; February 9th, 2016 at 05:01 PM.

  7. #7
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    I don't set out trying to establish a table image. I generally monitor what my image would look like and adjust from that. At one time, I used to set out investing some chips on making a play to set up a loose passive image. In the early levels I would look for a spot to open from early position with a hand that shouldn't realistically be opened. I felt if we had 10k stacks, investing 200 - 300 setting an image could win more later. then the table broke and I moved. After this happened 3 weeks in a row to me, I decided to stop this.

    Now a SNG is different, but if you play the same guys week after week, I don't see how advertising plays would benefit. Selling and image is something you would try against a bunch of player who don't know you.

    I would rather just go with the image that the deck allows me and exploit that. Even though I don't plan on getting out of line too often in the first levels, if I get a run of hands I make look like a maniac. Often, I plan on not getting out of line early, the cards statistically match up and I look like a nit early on. Then when I do start applying pressure, people tend to back down too easily.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Little View Post
    I typed out a nice long reply then I realized it said almost the exact same thing as jjpregler said right above me.


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