When to play back at Aggressive Players/Establishing a good table image
When you should play back at aggressive players is when you pick up hands, or look to make a move after hours of sitting there letting them run over you at the table. Also, this could be a time when you have picked off a betting pattern or a tell. If you pay attention to what aggressive players do at the table, you will certainly find out a handful of things that they do regularly. Once you pick off an aggressive players tell, you should never let them know, but rather you should play back at them in the form of 3 betting before the flop. When you 3 bet before the flop after sitting there for a long time, you have earned respect from almost anyone at the table. Often times playing tight for a while then going into super aggressive mode will earn you tournament wins in the end, or at least it will earn you cashes in tournaments.
If you are playing in a cash game you will see tons of aggressive poker players. The aggression is king in cash games and there are drastic swings in stacks constantly. The way to have your stack trending upwards is to play a solid game and exploit subtleties in other players’ games. If you can see what other players’ are doing within the first half an hour from sitting down at a live cash game, you will have success in your poker session. The big part of this is to establish a tight and passive table image in the first half hour of a game. If you do that then you can have everyone guessing what you are doing for the next 5 hours. Picking off tells is so important in live cash games, and if you do this right away, you will only benefit from it.
Playing back at aggressive players isn’t a good idea to do with weak hands all too often. You don’t want to go nuts with a hand and run in to a hand where the aggressive player has trapped you. This would be an awful situation for obvious reasons. If you play back at aggressive players you should either look to bet every street with a big bluff which isn’t recommended or you should have premium holdings. If you have premium cards then you can collect value for your hands simply by checking to them and let them give you chips.
In tournament poker you will find some aggressive poker players very early on in poker tournaments. If you look to win poker tournaments you will want to win the pots when the pots matter more. This is when the blinds get bigger and the money means more. The pots early on in poker tournaments aren’t necessarily all too important. Most players will break even or win a small amount of chips early on in tournaments. The later portion of the tournament when blinds get bigger is when you should ratchet up your play. If you watch a player win tons of small pots early on in a poker tournament you can certainly have success utilizing a 3 bet later on in the tournament. The 3 bet is the best way to get chips. Whether you choose to 3 bet before the flop or do it post flop, it is all dependent on how aggressive the player is playing. Also, you have to keep in mind what their view of you is at the table. If you don’t call or 3 bet ever unless you have a monster this is the time where you have to change gears and step it up. You can either make a big bluff or start to 3 bet them and make your plays more complex. This is the time to take floating bets in to your arsenal, and also 4 betting, and three barrel or two barrel bluffing. All of these types of plays are necessary for playing back at aggressive players.
If you are viewed as an aggressive player and you look to play back at an aggressive player, this is where it is more so a test of wills and hand holdings. If you are playing back with air or lesser holdings at an aggressive player, you really have to be playing with a ton of confidence. If you pick up that confidence late in a tournament then you are in great shape to go in for a win.