TIP: Tight Passive Player

We have all heard of TAGs and LAG (tight aggressive players and loose aggressive players), but most of us will probably agree that play is definitely more slanted to passive play at most of the Michigan card rooms.  That’s good for aggressive players, because it means that in most hands, we are losing the minimum when we are behind, and we hardly ever get put in a difficult situation when we are ahead.

I talked in one of my previous posts about taking yourself to value town against these passive players.  I tried to make the point that value betting incessantly and always getting that one last bet even when the board gets scary is where the better players are getting ahead of the standard nits.  However, not heeding the signs of a passive player can result in lost pot after lost pot.

In a hand I played recently at Mavericks in Port Huron, I kept running into the same TIP player at the table.  I had not played with this gentleman before.  He was in his 20’s, short cropped beard and earrings. Played aces all-in pre-flop earlier in the session and got called by pocket fives (???).  He had lost some hands check calling and folding before the river.  Won two hands against me where I value towned myself. He check/called me all the way to show down with the best hand.

The villain limped in for $2 under the gun +1, and got three more limpers to join the pot.  I wake up with two jacks in the small blind and raise it to $15.  Big blind folds and villain calls.  Everyone else folded.  The flop comes 6-7-8, one heart and two diamonds.  The pot is $36 and I have $135 left.  The villain has me covered with about the same number of chips.  I bet $20, and villain thinks and calls.  Turn is a 2 of clubs, I bet $40 and villain again thinks and calls.  River is the 5 of hearts. I decide to give up here and check, but I am surprised that villain checks back pretty quickly and shows QQ.  Really?

Villain won $75 from me in the hand, so about half my stack.  There are definitely some lines (like playing more aggressively pre-flop) where he probably gets my whole stack. After hearing the feedback from our strategy panel on the podcast this week, it seems that this is a spot where I should be planning to commit my stack on the flop and shove the turn. The major issue of course is not having any ability to fold starting with only 75 big blinds in our stack.  What do you think about this concept? Do you try to get your stack all-in in this spot?

About Frank Panama

Frank Panama is the host of the Michigan Poker Monster podcast, a podcast about Michigan poker. He lives in Saint Clair County, Michigan, and loves to play and talk about poker.
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