Thursday, March 06, 2008


I think of myself as a tight aggressive player. Not overly aggressive by any stretch but certainly selectively aggressive.

Gordo from my home game recently made a comment on The Corporation blog that got me thinking.

I think you are the most aggresive player at your home game from what I have seen.

-- Gordo
My first thought was, "What! Me!?!? The most aggressive!?!??!!?"

Then I realized, well, yeah I am aggressive WHEN I play a hand. I just don't play that many hands for the most part.

Since I don't think of myself as being overly aggressive I had to wonder if it was just in comparison to my home game players that I am perceived to be aggressive or would he have made that comment based on my play at Tucker's or any other game.

Granted, there do seem to be a lot of players at my home game that like to limp into pots. For the most part you won't see me doing this. This last time, however, I limped into several pots during the first few rounds.

I can't help but wonder if this aggressive label isn't a product of how tight I play. I am easily one of the tightest players in my game. I'm sure the other players pay more attention to how I play WHEN I play so maybe it sticks out more to them because of that.

I guess it comes down to this: should I worry that I'm perceived to be an aggressive player? I guess I would hope that I'm not considered indiscriminately or recklessly aggressive. But should I be worried that I'm getting labeled as aggressive by the people I play with on a regular basis? Is this a bad thing? Good thing? Neither?

Obviously in the online poker world AGGRESSIVE is the catch phrase of the moment. If you aren't aggressive then you are obviously NOT PLAYING POKER the way it should be played.

I've worked hard to develop a tight/aggressive playing style. I'm not sure at this point that I could play any other way - and believe me, I've tried. I would love to be able to limp into pots all night long and amass chips. That just doesn't seem to be the way it works out for me.

Oddly, I don't think of myself as a big pot player but it seems that I sometimes find myself in that position in the later stages of a tournament where I'm forced to play all in or fold. By the time I get there though my image is so tight that I can't get anybody to play with me. Some of the hands I will push with won't stand up to a multi-way limped pot. I've seen a lot of people limp with big hands - something I can't bring myself to do - and get nailed by unusual holdings.

I can't help but wonder if this is something I need to do something about?


MacAnthony said...

Passive is the new aggressive - in cash games at least.

As for your situation, I would try and embrace that image and use it to your advantage. I would shove a lot more buttons and cutoff hands when it's folded to you regardless of your hand. A lot of times when/if you get called, you are in 60/40 spots anyway. It should also help put your image back to more loose/aggressive and could get payed off when your timing is right.

Not much else you can do about it. People will see you for what they think of you. Changing that only gets you to play out of your comfort zone and typically doesn't work as well as we intend. But it's easy to incorporate a play or two to take advantage of the image you already have and it's a lot easier to take advantage of an image you have than it is to change that image.

Hrbek said...


i think in later stages, you absolutely have to be willing to double or get outflopped with a premium ... antes/blinds are a failure, and as a raiser, that's hard to do esp. eith a bunch of limpers... it's a fine line to walk.

In the middles, if you are big stackies, i like not playing for flips, and as a shortie, i do. So it's kinda odd feelings for your styles.

you r good tho and will dominate so push on

Pokerwolf said...

I think being labelled as "aggressive", especially if you play a tight game, is a good thing.

People call down "aggressive" players more often because they don't like to be bullied.

Sounds like a good situation to me!

gordo said...

It was meant as a good comment.

You never limped in that I can remember. In the few hands that you played, you bet somewhere around 3x to 5x the big blind and you always followed it up with a substantial bet or raise after the flop. I can't remember a hand with you in it that the turn card was shown.

I don't play online, so I don't know what the lingo is.