Loose Aggressive Vs Tight Aggressive Play in Poker Tournaments

Loose Aggressive Vs Tight Aggressive Play in Poker Tournaments

Latest Casino News 21 Jul , 2019 0

It is often naturally presumed that whenever you play poker you should employ the Tight Aggressive style of play. With that being said the majority of poker players worldwide do actually adopt this approach. Although the TAG style of play might be the best strategy for no limit cash games it is not always the best tactic to employ when you are playing large tournaments or to a lesser extra single table sit-n-go tournaments.

A common strategy known amongst experienced players is to play in the opposite style to your opponents. Since the majority of players adopt the TAG approach, you may want to consider adding some LAG (Loose Aggressive) elements to your tournament game. This will add an extra dimension to your game; you will constantly keep your opposition guessing by playing a large variety of hands.

After playing poker for a long time I have come to realize that you can not stick to one particular style of play for a long period. If you are always playing the TAG game you will eventually become too predictable and your opponents will figure out that you only play with premium hands. You will get bluffed at a lot more and will not get paid off with your monster hands. In order to overcome this problem you must be able to effectively mix up your play by shifting gears at the right times to continuously keep your opponents on their toes; This is the key to playing solid tournament poker. I'm not saying that you should permanently switch to a LAG style of play, however by simply adding some key LAG elements to your tournament game you should see you a major overall improvement.

Now, what exactly is the Loose Aggressive approach? The LAG player is defined as a poker player who calls and raises a large variety of hands with the intent of outplaying or outdrawing an opponent who is usually holding a stronger hand. This type of player is also very aware and will usually back down when there is retaliation or resistance, however he will semi bluff at a lot more pots and sometimes come over the top if he feels his opponent is weak and can not call.

This type of variety in a player's game can very easily help them exploit the massive number of players who do not let a single chip slip into the pot without holding a premium hand in the early stages of poker tournaments. In No Limit Cash Games you can sit around and wait for the nuts all night, but in tournaments and sit-n-gos you do not have that luxury, the blinds and antes are continuously eating away at your stack, so you must be making some moves regularly. By adding LAG elements to your game in the early stages of Sit-N-Gos and Tournaments your stack will be better equipped to deal with the frenzied circumstances at the end stages of the game.

When you are using the LAG approach you will probably be able to pick up a lot of small pots without much resistance. If you raise pre-flop with hands like 35 when you are in position and if you only get 1 or 2 callers you are in a good spot to take down the pot a majority of the time. Even you miss the flop entirely the pre-flop raise has put you in control of the hand and if your your opponents check to you it is most likely they missed as well (Two Thirds of the time your opponents will completely miss the flop), a continuation bet in this spot will usually take down the pot.

Obviously this tactic will not always work; sometimes you will bet and get check-raised, but that does not matter because you should be able to get away from the hand easily and you would not have lost that much. Overall you will accumulate more chips by continuing winning those small pots, after all you can not win every pot, and even if you missed the flop with AK or AQ and you got noticed you would most likely have to fold.

Another major advantage that makes the LAG style of play so profitable and enjoyable to employ is the fact that sometimes you will hit the flop hard and make a huge hand, eg you flop a straight, a flush or 2 pair. If this occurs it is very unlucky for your opponents to put you on something like 86 or 47, and if they have high pockets or got a piece of the flop you will get paid off in a big way and take down a huge pot.

Although, there are some disadvantages of using the LAG approach. When using this style you will always come across inexperienced players or calling stations that will call you down with bottom pair or AK and absolutely destroy your stack. So to employ the style effectively you must study your opponents very carefully and know who to target. Remember there is no point bluffing a calling station or re-raising with bottom pair if you know your opponent never folds when he hits any pair.

Also by going into the pot with marginal hands you will constantly find yourself holding the second best hand. Whether you are holding middle pair or your kicker is not good enough, a good LAG player should be able to away from 2nd best hands without losing too much money. However if you are not careful this could seriously damage your stack and jeopardize your chances for the latter stages.

Neverheadless overall, by adding LAG elements to your game in the early stages you should be able to amass extra chips and acquire a nice stack early on. You immediately gain a huge advantage over players who play a cautious, tight game. The extra chips that you accumulate will allow you to survive tough decisions in the end stages and give you some breathing space.

So if you happen to get involved in a race situation in the latter stages you are able to withstand a loss and are not completely crippled. You will have an extra buffet of chips that will be much needed and treasured when you are placed in those situations. On the other hand a player that always pursues the TAG approach will most likely be dependent on his AK to win a race or be eliminated out of the tournament.


Source by Vikram Singh


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