How to Play Back at the Loose Cannon

Strategy & Advice by KCAngell9 Posted

I have a question about how to handle someone going nuts at the table. Background is that I have played with this guy once before. I had played with him for about 2 hours in the first session in which I watched him take his stack from $1300 up to just over $2K in a $1-$3NL game. From some of the other players, he had rebought twice, so he was in for $900. In the first session before eventually spewing off the 2K stack a couple hundred at a time, he would raise every pot preflop in the 30-40 dollar range. On the flop, he would bet someone in the range of 40-60 dollars occasionally up to $100. Any turn would essentially have anyone all-in if they had a normal $300 buy-in.

In the next session, this guy sits down and starts the same song. He claims to be some kind of semi-pro, traveling for the circuit events, but I haven't looked anything up. From what I can tell, they guy has deep enough pockets that he should/could be playing a bigger game but likes the lower limits. He goes on to talk about the reason he does so well is because of guys like us (the rest of the people at the table) and how bad they play. He's trying to tilt as many people as possible with this and visually you can see it getting to some of the players but they aren't showing it so much in their calling/raising. He raises every pot, surprisingly gets lucky a good portion of the time. I end up playing 4 pots against him, (AA cracked by KT, AK that hold up against a hand he doesn't show but led out the whole way, QQ that gets cracked by 66 when he flops a set and then KK that hold up to my all-in but he doesn't show). I don't say anything when I rake a pot but he keeps on chatting it up and getting a little to touchy for my liking. I leave even for the time that he sits at the table, but I'd like to get some opinions on how to handle someone who plays like that. He bought in 3 times total in this session before I left with really no regard for the money. I know this because he tells us that money means nothing to him. I know at a table, the money doesn't exist and I'm pretty good about separating that from the game, but when you go to play a game with 1 to 2 buy-ins and someone essentially changes a small 1-3NL game into more of a 5-10 game and bombs it on the flop, turn and river, how to you play back at that? Also, at the point that he comes to the game, it's around 2am and there isn't an option to change tables. I'm probably leaving some info out but, any advice/criticism is appreciated.



  1. If you happen to win a decent amount early into your session cash out and take an early night off.
    The longer you play against a player like that his bad play and lucky hits will definitely happen more often than you getting premium hands. You win nothing sitting around trying to "outplay" him.

  2. @jonnytsunami17. Thanks for the comment. I'm definitely not on a mission to outplay him, but am curious how others might attack the situation. I think most players would love you have someone in a regular game to keep feeding everyone. Isn't that what we want; getting our money in while we're ahead especially when he provides all of the betting, which allows us to give away as little info as possible? If this were a tournament and he had a stack, say, 4x or 5x your stack and continually made bets that were 10-15BB to open, how would you play it then when you can't cash out? I know it's exploitable. Just curious how much you might open up you calling range.

  3. @KCAngell9 I found this article that pretty much sums it up.

    Just hope the other regs at your table dont tap on the tank too much and scare him away. Im not much of tournament player still learning and studying that part of my game.

  4. @KCAngell9 you did leave out some pertinent info but it sounds as though this is exactly the type of player you are looking for. Sure he is going to win the most pots. He is playing in the most. He thinks he is good but isn’t. It appears that he is lucky but now body is lucky. Everybody gets the same good and bad cards. Play tight aggressive against him. Encourage him in whatever he wants and don’t scare him away.

  5. @KCAngell9 ..Remember ..Position ..Position..Position..That's how u beat this bully!! You don't wanna act last here ..but first is your wont matter cause if he is just running the table with high bets let him drive the action. Do a lil hollywooding like its a hard decesion for u to call, but call..go all the way to 4th st. After the 4th card hits and your first to act. ..Stare at his stack your counting his chips..let him see you doing this when he sees you doing this ..announce ..All in!!!..You will crush his lil peanuts believe me!! ..None of this works without remember..position is key if u wanna play a pot with this guy. You snub him enuff times and he wont wanna sit at the same table that your at anymore. Now thats just oneway to handle him..master that one young pandlwan and i will show u somemore lol

  6. @pokerdon42 I like all comments made so far. I have come across players who come in with the super high stack and want to bully. I will play several revolutions waiting for a premium hand to shove all in,,,, If that doesn't happen,, I will leave the table and find a game that is enjoyable.

  7. The poker gods eventually notice and will deal with such matters. Sometimes it take much time and observation, eventually, they get it right.

  8. With only 1-2 buy-ins your hands are tied. The loose cannon is exploiting players' reluctance to commit their stack without near nuts, so if you aren't willing to gamble with a 30 call without AA/KK/QQ/AK, it will be hard to play. Stay and hope to pick up more of those hands, or call the 30 raise lighter and be willing to get it all in with top pair.

  9. Pokerdon42 is correct. You have to bully him back some what! If it generally is $60-$100 on the flop, you have to be prepared to fire out first a min of $75 if there was a $30/$40 preflop raise. If he is doing a C-bet of about $30 on the flop you can do a check raise of about $75. But that point its not about the cards it about the players. I have done this several times calling with marginal hands and knew what my course of action. Once that happens stay away from him for a few pots, and then switch it up on him next pot you play with him. If you have to sit to his left and he gets first action, then don't get in many pots with him. You can't just call because his next move on the turn is all in as you said.