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Loose Aggressive Poker

Söndag 18 April, Steven A. Keys

Poker Tourrnament4You’ve probably heard the phrase loose aggressive many times in poker, but the majority of players online and in live games do not fully understand the concept of what loose aggressive really is.
Everyone has played at a poker table where they see someone constantly raising and making bets into pots far too often to have the nuts every time;  an uneducated player would think these such players are just suicidal and just throwing their chips away constantly bluffing, but the more skilled eye see’s that these players are performing the seemingly lost art of the ‘educated loose aggressive player’.

A “Great” example set...

A famous exampleof the LAG player is Gus ‘the Great Dane’ Hansen, a former World Poker Tour winner and Poker Superstars Season 1 champion. Hansen takes advantage of his table image of being ‘suicidal’ and is very successful with his LAG. Hansen gets paid off in pots where other players call simply because it’s Gus and they have no idea whether he has a legitimate hand or not. The majority of professional players have LAG in their game play but few use it to the extent that Hansen does, other examples are Internet phenomena’s and now successful live game player Tom ‘Durr’ Dwan and WSOP and High Stakes Poker star Sammy Farha.

If these players are so successful then why can’t i do it?

The answer is you can, all you need to do is actually learn what a real loose aggressive player is all about. LAG players do not raise every hand which is where the majority of beginners go wrong. LAG players study the table and use their position to key advantage. You will never see Gus Hansen in the small blind raising with 7/5 off suit just to win the big blind, firstly Hansen is out of position, betting more than the pot is worth to him and if he does get called then he really has no playable hand after the flop unless a miracle comes. What you will see happen is Hansen sitting on the button with a hand like 10/9 suited, in this situation Gus will raise or call a raise, the reasoning being that he is in prime position acting last if a flop does come down, he has seen all the other players at the table act and can act accordingly. 10/9 suited is a perfect hand to play in position and Hansen can raise aggressively to either take the pot down there and then or to see a flop which if it comes well will result in Hansen being paid off big time.

How do you adapt these sorts of plays into your game?

Firstly set your table image very early on, within the first few hands make raises with what are possibly seen as non premium hands, hands like 10/9 9/8 J/10 Q/10 in position can result in monster flops particularly if they are suited as the possibilities for straights and flushes are high. Bet your hands aggressively when you flop a monster, do not sit back and play passively after you have been aggressive all the way through the game the other players will see through this in a heartbeat. Show your bluffs, if you make an outrageous bluff and don’t get caught show it to the rest of the table, this way whenever you are in a deep pot and you make a similar bet it will trigger the opponents mind into believing that you may be bluffing again and you will get paid off. And finally keep switching up your play and your raises, don’t always raise the same amount, vary it when you have a monster or a marginal hand. Varying your raises will always keep the opponents guessing and not allow them to make a solid read regarding your betting.

Key reminders

Final thing to remember in becoming a LAG player, use your position and table image to get paid off. Do not raise awful hands out of position nor call a raise with 7/2 off suit because you plan on bluffing, if you plan on bluffing if you believe your opponent has a monster hand, allow yourself an out by called with suited connectors or connectors, that way you have options after the flop other than a pure bluff.