The toughest of all opponents in NLHE

illustration of two opponents

The loose aggressive opponent is the toughest of all opponents in which to make money from. Their constant aggression both pre-flop and post flop means that they often run over tight minded players and players that are concentrating on several tables at the same time. We all know of course that such aggression and such representing of narrow ranges cannot be done with good hands all the time. So just how do we go about combating such players? Well it can be very difficult to sometimes spot when a certain player is running over us when we are playing numerous tables.

I play a lot of full ring and so my opponents tend not to get out of line too often and this works well for me. However in six max games, short-handed games and heads up games then ultra-aggressive play is the norm. So just how do you go about handling players that represent tight ranges in no limit games? Well with regards to handling aggression then you have two possible ways to go. You either need to tighten up your game and exploit them by having stronger ranges against their range or you need to become more aggressive than them.

One of the areas where you have to be careful against sophisticated opponents is when stacks are either really deep or when they are shallow enough for your opponent to get in the last move. Like for example if the pot is 20bb and both you and your opponent have 100bb left. The flop is Jc-10c-4s and your hand is the Ac-5c for the nut flush draw and your opponent has the Ah-Kh for the inside straight draw with overcards.

They bet 12bb and you raise to 30bb and they shove for their remaining 88bb. This puts 150bb into the pot and you have 70bb left and so you are barely getting the right pot odds to call with two cards to come. The ace may be an out but if we change the stacks slightly then you certainly wouldn’t be getting the right odds to call in many instances. This would leave you either folding and losing 30bb plus whatever was in the pot pre-flop or calling with insufficient odds. Either scenario isn’t good for you and this was all because an aggressive opponent got the final move in.

These players are often referred to as “pouncers” because they look to exploit fold equity from their opponents to the absolute maximum. So they ended up being more aggressive than us which is a terrible result for us when we either fold and lose our entire equity in the pot or call with poor odds. To combat this player then we need to be the one that gets in the last move providing that the stacks are shallow enough to allow that to happen. Against other straight forward aggressive players then it may be necessary to simply widen our calling ranges any time that our hand beats a bluff.