Are All Good MTT Players Hyper-LAG?

I like to keep up with the poker literature, so I recently began reading the MTT book Raiser’s Edge.  While I do disagree with some parts and think others need more explanation,  it’s certainly an interesting and entertaining read, priced pretty fairly at $10 or so on Kindle.

 

Katie and I sometimes kid around by imitating young internet guys loudly talking during WSOP breaks, saying things like, “I KNEW HIS 6-BET RANGE WAS POLARIZED SO I 7-BET SHOVED HIM WITH KING HIGH.”

 

The Elky book is full of examples of leveling wars and light 3/4/5-betting, talking at length about the hyper-LAG style.   For instance, one hand they discuss involves a player 3bet squeezing with K4s, another player cold 4-bet shoving 60 blinds with 76, and the K4 player calling it off.  (Strangest part about the hand is, of course, the K4 holding up.)

 

I definitely agree with the main pros and cons they outline for playing hyper-LAG, such as the pro of being very unpredictable, and the con of having a much higher-variance style.

 

One point that they also touch on briefly is that if everyone else is playing loose, playing tight yourself becomes a very viable strategy.  A huge benefit to playing LAG used to be that you could get away with stealing blinds/antes very often.  If you’re at a table of older/tighter players where that’s still possible, then I fully agree that playing LAG or even hyper-LAG is the best strategy – in fact, it’s not even close post-ante.

 

But if you’re at a table where your opens are routinely getting 3bet and called in position by fellow loose players, that’s a very different situation.  Someone like Elky may still be able to play 38/32 or whatever and continue to outplay his fellow LAGs, but the best solution for most will be to tighten up some.

 

Consider an extreme case where you’re at a table with 8 or 9 maniacs.  Obviously you’d want to play tight and let them spew to you.  It’s not as simple when you’re playing against LAGs who are at least somewhat decent/thinking, but one alternative to getting involved in constant leveling wars is just to be more selective in spots you get involved.

 

While I’m not a fulltime MTT pro, I’ve had good results with that strategy at LAG tables, and I think it’s an overlooked alternative in the increasingly LAG games described in Raiser’s Edge.

 

About Collin Moshman

Collin Moshman graduated from Caltech in 2003 with a degree in theoretical math prior to becoming a professional online sit 'n go player. He is the author of best-selling poker strategy books Sit 'n Go Strategy,
Heads-Up No-Limit Hold 'em, and The Math of Hold'em. Collin is also the lead SNG coach for Cardrunners and Pokerstrategy. He lives in Mexico with his wife Katie and dog Wilbur, playing on Pokerstars as tfnc314.

Comments

  1. “Katie and I sometimes kid around by imitating young internet guys loudly talking during WSOP breaks, saying things like, “I KNEW HIS 6-BET RANGE WAS POLARIZED SO I 7-BET SHOVED HIM WITH KING HIGH.”

    I do this too. Except I’m not kidding around :(

  2. In my opinion, playing hyper lag it is what works bets at live MTTs. I can speak about Argentina, where maybe live poker is not up to date with new strategies.
    Here you can 3bet light IP and people will 70% of the time fold to your CB, even with TP!
    So… so far I found it very profitable to play like this.

    Also it works online 15usd stake or close to that, but when you play higher BI you start to notice people adapt quickly and sometimes playing tight works best.

  3. it’s like bruce lee said: “Be the water”… simply adapt to it

  4. Raizin Azian says:

    Lex Veldhuis K4s hand. Always makes me say, “I..I…I can’t do that…”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIBatfaAA-k


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