Online Poker

Playing Aggressive Tournament Players

by Jeremy

One tough situation that often arises in online poker tournaments is when you run into an extremely aggressive player who bets 6-8bb preflop every time, raises and re-raises hands frequently, and generally makes players feel as if they’re risking their stack by challenging him. The situation only gets worse when this aggro player has built a huge chip stack!

This being said, you’re often put in very uncomfortable scenarios when facing these players, and it’s difficult to know when’s a good time to challenge and when to fold to the aggression.

One common thought is to loosen up your 3betting range since aggro players often raise with a wide range. Unfortunately, you also have to consider the fact that there’s a very good chance your stack will be going into the middle if the player isn’t afraid to 4bet big. So it’s actually a better idea to 3bet with the upper end of your range such as 99/AQ and up.

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Another good strategy for playing aggressive tournament players it to trap them postflop. In order to do this, you need to play good trapping hands like low pocket pairs, suited Ax and middle connectors. Assuming your hand connects on the flop or turn, you either make small bets or checks (depending on the opponent’s perceived thinking level) to lure them into the trap - where your hand will be waiting to take their chips.

Moving along, one more strategy you can use to deal with aggro tourney players is to simply avoid them. Now this move certainly sounds cowardly, but if you’re in the early or middle stages of a poker tournament, you can always hope to lay low until players are switched to new tables. With any luck, you won’t be on the aggressive player’s table, and they’re not your problem any more.

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