Originally Posted by sean michael
what tactics would you suggest at a table with several very aggressive/loose (they think that this is good) and several players who check or call constantly.
it always seems in these games, although ive won a decent amount, that i lose hands in situations when i should have seen it coming, ie. the guy who calls constantlly raising a decent amount.
i try to play tight/aggressie but i generally rationalise and end up playing hands such as A10 off suit, J10 off suit etc.
I'm assuming you are talking cash game, correct?
The one fear of an aggressive/loose player is ultra-aggression. Other than that kamikaze style the only way to play against players like this is to check-call and trap them. The problem with this is that the really good players will see the first call you make as a sign of strength and back off, meaning you won't make any more money. Some won't care at all. Those are the ones you want to trap in this manner, the ones that fire three consecutive bullets with nothing, and not give a second thought.
The second player you have described is the "sticky" player. Also known as the "ATM", the calling station, or the cashbox, these are the toughest players to get off a hand. They want to see all 5 cards and don't care what it costs.
The best way to play against these players is to play honest. Don't semi-bluff, because if you don't hit the chances of a successful bluff on the river is somewhat minimalized. When you do have a great hand, bet strong. Make them pay a lot for their draws. Don't lose what you don't have to, and win as much as you can. This is one of the essential rules of poker.
REMEMBER: Maximize wins Minimize losses.
Here is why each one of these schools of poker wins, and it has a lot to do with what you said about "not seeing it coming". When the aggressive player raises he doesn't adjust the raise just because he has a better hand. He bets uniformly so as to disguise the strength of his hand. consequently, you have too much invested in a hand before you realize you are beat. Instead of getting away from the hand you should, you rationalize the amount of money spent in the pot as an excuse to call off more. Than he has you.
The calling station makes his money by having a constant "slow play". Since the play is always a constant check/call, you never have any idea where you are in the hand. This will make it nearly impossible to get away from a very good hand on the river when he finally goes all in because what do you know? Not much at all.
These two styles of poker clash perfectly like the shaolin and Wu Tang schools do. The aggressive players work well against the calling stations and vice versa. However if calling stations clash against each other, the pots will be small. If aggressive players clash the pots will be huge. By having both styles at the table the game becomes more harmonized, more beautiful. By having only one style at the table the game either becomes a giant mess or a drag.