The other day I painted for you the picture of an ideal table: everyone so tight you can get away with just about anythig.

The exact opposite is a table where people are so loose you can't get away with diddly. I found myself at a table with a few of these people. Player 1 played 75% of the hands in the first 6 levels. But, only a 17% preflop raise rate. Two others were also way over 30%. At a table like that, you don't get to have fun: no stealing the blinds, no playing marginal hands, and no free flops. In the early stages, they simply called every raise I made. The Aj, the 99, everythinjg went in the muck on the flop as they donked into me. And by this time I already figured out they were playing way too loose, but still - calling off your tournament with 3rd pair is hard to do. These clowns could have anything.

So the answer to players like thein the hijack position. It was folded to me, and I made a standard raise to 300, knowing this was probably going to be the hand that would double me up, or bust me. The first loose cannon immediately 3-bet to 1,400, enough to put me all-in. The small blind folds, and the big blind calls all-in for just under 1,400. At this pioint it's my turn to act. I barely considered my options: the blinds were at 50/100, so at thjis point I had  8 big blinds left. To call them off, I was getting almost 4 to 1 odds. Now my raise was meant to either take the pot, or induce a shove to call, or else I'd shove on the flop. Now there were two people in the pot with me, but at this point, I couldn't let the AK go. On this table, I already had no fold equity with 12 big blinds, let alone 8. So I called too and flipped over the AK.

Loose cannon #1 had set me all-in with JQ offsuit, and the loose cannon that called off his stack showed QT off suit. It makes you wonder if these guys ever actually bothered to sit down and learn the hand rankings. I had played less than 1 in 10 hands, so the big reraise with the JQ is questionable at best. But I wish I knew what was going through the mind of loose cannon #2. Whatever made him call off his stack with QT off suit... I guess we'll never know.

Now I ended up 12th in this tourney. When the blinds went up to 100/200, Under the Gun guy opened for a 5x raise. He'd been doing that plenty, and with the way he was playing, my AQ suited was good enough to shove on him. He called, and again I made the right move: he flipped over KQ off suit. Another terrible play, as he called off 90% of his stack with a mediocre hand against my range. I doubt he even considered my range. He's basically in terrible shape here, he has 3 outs. Too bad for me, this was the one time in three that he won the hand when he flopped himself a king. Still - I still feel my shove was correct. It happens, that's poker.

On the table I described in my last blog entry, the key to success was stealing blinds and antes, punishing the limpers and generally throwing chips into the pot like a madman. Although there was a whole lot of thinking behind it. On this table, it's the exact opposite: limit your starting hand range to the absolute best hands: the pocket pairs Jacks and above, and maybe the AK. And even then, be prepared to muck them if the flops comes with any overcard, because there's a good chance they were playing a ace rag or king rag or even the queen rag from what I saw here.

Of course both last time's table and this one are extremes - you rarely find yourself at a table where everyone's a nit or just about everyone's a maniac. But the story stays the same. Poker is about seizing opportunities. Learn to spot them at your table, whether they be the nits or the maniacs. Play the right strategy, and both end up being very profitable opponents.