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Heads-Up NL versus aggro tards

Posted by sunny sen on 2011-07-24 at 12:00 AM

So the last few days I played quite a few longish sessions multi-tabling hyper-aggro Heads-Up (HU) players at 100nl. HU matches vs aggros across multiple tables is personally to me one of the most fun aspects of poker and I absolutely love playing these matches. But of course these matches tend to be very swingy.

So I decided to make this blog about the basic strats to counter these hyper aggro HU players:

1. An important assumption that you should be making is that most of these hyper aggro players at 50 and 100 nl are not going to be strong players. While they would usually put you under a lot of pressure preflop by 3 betting a huge % (anything above 20% across multiple tables is unusually high), but they also have a big tendency to overplay hands. One of the guys I played for almost an hour was IM_ICM, an euro MTT pro, on 3 tables of 100hu and numerous times he took the bet-bet-shove line in 3 bet pots with hands that he was clearly overplaying vs my range. I have played him before several times on Full-Tilt so I had a pretty good read on his tendencies.

2. Also vs these players one should not try to fight fire with fire. Most of the aggros are very
suspicious and will call most of your 3 bets and will call you down light or float you or bluff raise
you on the flop. Thus its very important that your own preflop 3 betting range is value heavy (not bluff heavy) and one must absolutely widen one’s preflop value 3 betting range vs these players.

3. In 3 bet pots decent-ish top pair are the nuts 100bb deep. If you flop a hand then by all means you should try and put in as much money as your opponent is willing to. Of course being 100 bb deep this is a much easier thing to do and this is one of the main reasons why I prefer to play these aggros 100bb deep rather than 200bb. Being 200bb deeper some of the aggros will tend to slow down a tad more.

4. Playing mid-small pocket pairs 55-99 aggresively preflop is also pretty crucial vs aggros. Since our villain is 3 betting a very high % preflop, one should try to 4 bet get it in these pocket pairs pre.

5. Perhaps the most important thing in playing aggro players in heads up matches is to maintain ones composure and tilt control. The very style of these aggros is designed to put you on monkey tilt, and once you start tilting vs them you can easily drop quite a few buy-ins. Its important to keep in mind that even if these weak aggros will a lot of the smaller pots, its the bigger pots that you would be winning. But if you start tilting then your edge would drop significantly versus them.

Good luck at the tables and as that TV guy would say “May your cards be live and your pots be monsters”.


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sunny sen

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