Position, Power, Patience
It is easy to go tilt when you find yourself up against – for want of a better word “crazy” when playing online poker. There is nothing worse than settling down for a nice pleasant hour or two of “A” game poker, from the comfort of your favourite chair, and along comes a maniac, monster or whatever else you what to call him. He plumps himself down in the seat next to you; pumps up the pots, places straddle bets, raises out of position and uses all kinds of means to change your straight A game into an action-seeking battlefield. To make things even worse, the maniac is now taking chips from the opponents you were winning against with your world-class game.
The most important thing to remember is not to stoop to his level, while it is easy to fall into the trap of “I want to get that sucker”. Under circumstances like these it is important to remember the three poker P’s.
If you have position at a table then you have more power over the maniac. Try for most hands to have him make his moves before you – this offers you the advantage. At the minimum you may gauge his actions, and get some idea of his cards. If he is a true poker crazy, he will be winning with far less than desirable hands; of course he may also occasionally show down a monster hand. Just be prepared to play your hand because the maniac does not fold easily – not unless he holds complete junk. When you are out of position, your options are always more limited.
Using power to defeat the poker crazy can be done through the dominance of chips; as they are often in the game for a quick hit and run. Having a bigger chip stack can check his indiscriminate play, all it takes is a few well-timed re-raises. Don’t go over-board; he will consider this to be encouragement. The other way to combat the crazy is using the power of the cards, make some hands and come back with strong hole cards – big pocket pairs if possible and take any opportunity to crush him, but this does take… patience.
Patience is absolutely the most difficult, but possibly the most important of the three P’s. The last thing you want is come across like a poker crazy yourself. This is not a case of “if you can’t beat them join them” it is a case of being the better player. The complete exercise of poker skills is vital to stay patient at the table during circumstances such as playing down a poker crazy. Without the “Patience Factor” both position and power become ineffectual.
Picture it like a triangle with power and position as the side supports and patience as the base. Without the base, the side supports have no way to stand. It is important to be patient to remain inside your strengths and be prepared to engage the poker crazy when the Gods of poker are on your side.