We’ve all had this problem, we log on to the internet or walk into our favorite poker room only to find out that our favorite buy in game is currently full, or in the case of the internet, the average pot size is way higher than wanted. What should you do at this point? Should you just sit down at another table anyway, even though the table is playing well beyond where you feel comfortable playing? Definitely not.
When you sit down at a table that is beyond your means, either bankroll wise, or there are too many maniacs raising the pot preflop for you to play your game, you are setting yourself up for disaster. There is zero reason to play in a game that you aren’t comfortable with. You’re entering into the game with the wrong mindset to begin with. If you like to play the 1-2 no limit game with the average pot size of 20 then don’t enter into a game where the average pot size is 50. The same applies to entering into a two four game. Don’t join the two four game simply because you’re 1-2 game isn’t playing at the level you’re comfortable with.
Winning poker is a mindset. If you’re in the “zone” you’re playing well and chips are flying to you, or you’re minimizing your losses. If you’re sitting down at a table and you’re uncomfortable about the current betting patterns of your opponents, bad things are going to happen to your bankroll. You won’t be making the correct plays, your odds will be off, and you’ll be left wondering “why you lost” after-wards.
Sitting down with maniacs is a tough place to be, especially if they’re good at playing like maniacs. A bet of four times the big blind may look like a raise with a decent hand, but the maniac may be playing with a suited connector or some other strange hand. Even if you’re holding something like big slick suited, call, and flop a pair, you may be blinded by frustration and not see the straight draw your opponent is on. The longer you play with a table of maniac’s, the more you’ll be eager to play a good hand. When you finally land the good hand, your tunnel vision may turn on and you’ll miss the impending danger. Even worse, you may not be up against a straight draw, but instead be up against either A) trips or B) two pair, something that is more difficult to read on the board.
Maniacs are great at throwing off their opponents with betting patterns. That’s how they win pots, sometimes they have garbage, other times they have a great hand. Reading maniac’s is more difficult than reading a regular tight aggressive player. When the tight aggressive player raises, you know to get out of their way. This is why it’s best to play where you’re comfortable. If you like playing against tight aggressive players and do well, then play against them. Stick to your comfort level. Don’t let your need to play at that very moment dictate what table you sit down at. If your comfort level isn’t available, come back later. You’ll be happier months down the road.
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