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Maniac presents difficult decision

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  • Maniac presents difficult decision

    So I'm playing $10 NL yesterday, and I spot this player who seems to have no plan to win in the long term. He's throwing his money around like it's going out of fashion, he's just trying to get action and the pot pumped up like a rubber dingy. Sure enough I have been playing poker for 8 years, and I can spot a maniac. BUT as I have mentioned in my previous posts, I have started to take the game seriously only in the last 6 months or so. I am making a small profit very gradually, which is much better than blowing my bankroll all the time like I used to. So I am here to learn, and I seek advice.

    I used to (naively) think that good hole cards alone was the best way to beat the maniac. And when I made a ridiculous call, I would blame it on bad luck, stupidly of course.

    In this hand, I have what seems to be a difficult decision on the river. The hands that this player went to showdown with, I made a note of. Most of the time he was bullying players out of a showdown. Here are my notes:

    "Cash: (Re-raised 3x in the Big Blind with KK, then jammed a 4-bet.)
    (Flatted 3x in Middle Position with K9 off suit.) Flatted the flop with a pair of nines, bet 1/3 on the turn after no improvement, called an overbet on the flop 2/3 of his stack on the river after no improvement.
    (Raised 10x on the button with AJ off suit.) Jammed after being 3bet by the Big Blind.
    (Raised 10x with one limper in the Small Blind with 77.) Bet 80% on the flop with an overpair and called all in."

    Here is the hand:

    PokerStars Hand #99832433251: Hold'em No Limit ($0.05/$0.10 USD) - 2013/06/10 13:28:29 WET [2013/06/10 8:28:29 ET]
    Table 'Beograd V' 9-max Seat #8 is the button
    Seat 1: Villain 1 ($10 in chips)
    Seat 2: Hero ($11.59 in chips)
    Seat 3: Villain 2 ($3.19 in chips)
    Seat 4: Maniac ($11.77 in chips)
    Seat 6: Villain 3 ($4 in chips)
    Seat 7: Villain 4 ($11.30 in chips)
    Seat 8: Villain 5 ($10 in chips)
    Seat 9: Villain 6 ($8.32 in chips)
    Villain 6: posts small blind $0.05
    Villain 1: posts big blind $0.10
    *** HOLE CARDS ***
    Dealt to Hero [Js Jh]
    Hero: raises $0.20 to $0.30
    Villain 2: folds
    Maniac: calls $0.30
    Villain 3: folds
    Villain 4: calls $0.30
    Villain 5: folds
    Villain 6: folds
    Villain 1: folds
    *** FLOP *** [8d 3d 6s]
    Hero: bets $0.80
    Maniac: calls $0.80
    Villain 4: folds
    *** TURN *** [8d 3d 6s] [Ts]
    Hero: bets $2
    Maniac: calls $2
    *** RIVER *** [8d 3d 6s Ts] [Td]
    Hero: checks
    Maniac: bets $5.30
    Hero: raises $3.19 to $8.49 and is all-in
    Maniac: calls $3.19
    *** SHOW DOWN ***
    Hero: shows [Js Jh] (two pair, Jacks and Tens)
    Maniac: shows [As Jd] (a pair of Tens)
    Hero collected $22.57 from pot
    *** SUMMARY ***
    Total pot $23.63 | Rake $1.06
    Board [8d 3d 6s Ts Td]
    Seat 1: Villain 1 (big blind) folded before Flop
    Seat 2: Hero showed [Js Jh] and won ($22.57) with two pair, Jacks and Tens
    Seat 3: Villain 2 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
    Seat 4: Maniac showed [As Jd] and lost with a pair of Tens
    Seat 6: Villain 3 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
    Seat 7: Villain 4 folded on the Flop
    Seat 8: Villain 5 (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
    Seat 9: Villain 6 (small blind) folded before Flop

    My decision on the river was one of the most difficult decisions I've made ever. And I have a strong feeling it shouldn't have been. Despite the short thinking time in the hand re-player, I was churning over my decision for what seemed like a lifetime before I actually jammed.

    The flop and turn seemed pretty simple. I have the best hand so I'll take him to Value Town. I knew I would get called. Even if he had missed completely. He was playing all sorts of junk and just calling in or out of position just for fun.

    My problem was, "why the hell is he shoving?" "Did he hit trips? Did he hit the flush? Or is he shoving with air?"
    It was difficult for me to answer the question of why he was flatting the flop and turn. Yes he was flatting with nothing most of the time, but he could have been chasing.

    I came to my decision to shove on the river because more often than not, he was making crazy bets with nothing. And to be perfectly honest, it really didn't make sense for him to shove on the river with a real hand. It seemed more like an emotional shove. I thought that he didn't like the fact that I was betting into him, rather than letting him do the betting.

    I'm not very good at explaining things, but the reason I am posting this is because I am trying to find out if the better players of this forum think I made the right decision with the long term in mind.

    And also, are there more things I can look out for to make decisions like this easier?

    As always, please be blunt. I am here to learn.
    Thank you in advance for any help you may offer.


  • #2
    Hi Ed,

    Nice post, great detail!

    I think given what we know about this villain I would never fold an overpair to the board here. If he's got us, he's got us. But I actually think this is a pretty safe board run out for us. The river card improves diamonds and Tx. The thing is I find those holdings to be unlikely because of the maniac's passive post flop play. I would expect to get raised earlier in the hand if he flopped a flush draw. He would raise with 2 pair+. He would probably raise the turn with a random Tx hand when he makes top pair.

    So what hands will he simply be calling with? Weak showdown value hands mostly. 56, 43, 22, ace high... stuff like that.

    Given the diamond on the river, I don't mind checking to induce a bluff. We also might bet small, something that looks like a blocking bet that is afraid of the flush card, to induce him to raise... a bet of $2.50-$3 definitely gets paid by weak pairs, and may induce a bluff raise all in. If the river were not a diamond, I would prefer to bet again and on the larger side, so we are not risking his 1 pair hands checking down and losing value from them. If his trend was just to make big bets with everything when checked to though, then checking non-diamond rivers is fine too.

    I also don't mind putting him all in for his last $3, since I would expect him to call the rest of it off with anything he bets here as played.
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