College students probably consist of 30-40% of the players at the low levels. The majority of them are males, 18-22 years old. Many of them are loose/aggressive and want to dominate the table. They are at a stage in life where they feel invincible and they want to win every pot. They generally feel they are the best player at the table, even though they have paid little or no attention to how their opponents play. Their stacks go up and down rapidly, and they are willing to risk their entire stack in many more situations than better players.
They will often be found in the chat box berating opponents who’ve beat them in a hand, or rubbing it in when they take down a pot. They will use words in the chat box that their mom’s don’t tend to use. Also, their screen names will often tell you. ‘UMass1’ or ‘USCbigDawg’ are likely college students. At nearly every micro/low-stakes NL table, one or two of them will make themselves obvious.
They play too many pots/losing hands. They tend to over-bet in attempts to push around their opponents. They tilt easily, cannot control their emotions. They don’t pay enough attention to how their individual opponents play. They are bad at recognizing when they are being slow-played, and will often bet into a big hand that they cannot win. They are often unbluffable.
But they can be dangerous because nobody ever believes them when they make a big hand. They are willing to bluff, and tend to win a lot of small pots. They are fearless. Occasionally you will run into a young-gun who has the skills to play higher levels, but is limited by a small bankroll. You want to spot this player as early as you can.
Many college students have delusions of becoming professional poker players. Many play to try and earn extra money. Some play for fun, and some actually do make money playing online. We’ve already seen several college students become successful poker players. They tend to be one or the other – serious young-guns, or total donkeys.
If possible, gain position on them by sitting to their left. Play only premium hands in raised pots. In unraised pots when you have position on them, play hands that have a lot of implied value that are also easy to fold post-flop such as middle suited connectors. Try not to play big pots against them, without respectively large hands. Do not bluff them, remember that they are often unbluffable.
Trap them and induce bets by showing weakness. Slow play your big hands, they’ll usually bet into you. Call them less often. Either raise when you think you have the best hand, or fold when you don’t. The idea here is that if you have the best hand, they will likely call you anyway, so don’t be afraid of scaring them off like you would against a tight player. Don’t chase them by calling big bets post flop.
They will likely fire big after the turn which you may be committed to calling. Never assume that top pair with top kicker is good. They are likely to play weaker hands, but hit 2 pair, a small set, or a hard to see straight against you. Remember, K9 looks good to them. This doesn’t mean you fold top pair all the time, but it does mean that you should try keep the pot small. Pot size is always the key in low-stakes NL games.
by gamblemore on May 9th, 2011 Tags: berating opponents, college students, K9, loose/aggressive, losing hands, slow-played, small pots, tilt, unbluffable, willing to bluff
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