The (hyper) LAG will play many hands, some with good cards, but much more often with mediocre or even bad cards, betting and raising the stakes each time. The strategy is to make other players fear you so much that they are cautious about playing against you and will often fold, even when they are likely to have a better hand, ceding small amounts of chips in the hopes of saving up for a big confrontation. The LAG wins many small skirmishes (steals pots) this way, amassing chips and becoming more powerful. The loose-aggressive (LAG) player wants to control the table, own the table and run the table. Sound familiar?
How do you beat a LAG? The first way is patience; the way to defeat them is to wait to be dealt a very powerful (to unbeatable) hand; it can take time and patience. When this happens, allow the LAG to bet and raise the stakes of the hand until many chips are in the pot, and then, of course, win the pot at showdown (since the LAG likes confrontation and typically won’t fold with any draws/hands) with the superior cards. The other way is you take it to the next level. You have to come over the top (match their bets; don’t fold), raising the stakes.
The LAG controls the pace of the game, controls the flow of the game, controls how much $$$ is put in the pot and pushes the pace to make sure every pot is bigger. Whether he/she has good cards or not, he/she has faith that he/she can outplay you or get lucky (and that you’ll be rattled by the steadily increasing bet sizes and conversely amount of $$$ at stake (pot size)). The way you defeat that is to get even more money in – you have to get more aggressive. You make sure that every time you have a hand that’s likely to be better than his/her hand, you’re getting (relatively) big raises (and all-ins) in. You have to have good discipline, but you get aggressive.
You don’t wait around forever for the perfect opportunity, but when something pretty good presents itself, you go for it, giving it everything you’ve got. Wait to pick your spot(s); but when you choose to battle; don’t back down; your attack must be relentless and persistent.
*You’re in a poker tournament, at the final table of nine players. One (or more) of them is a loose-aggressive bully who is quickly amassing chips and eliminating rivals. If you just wait, you think, until it’s down to just the two of you, then you’ll take him/her on – and win. Even if you should get to that point, one problem with this strategy is that by the time you do, your opponent is likely to have so many more chips than you, that winning in the end is a (very) long shot.
Bully the bully. Two things happen at the poker table when you do that. First, other players see that the LAG can be beaten, and some may be emboldened to use a similar-strategy. Second, the LAG knows this, and will often quickly move to reestablish dominance. Trump has done that time and again in this election when he’s been attacked. In poker; someone who has taken on the role of table captain/police tries to scramble to regain position.
Like the highest-level poker, this election is being played on the emotional level. Many elections have come down to specific policies, party loyalty, how the economy was doing. This election, however, is about raw emotion.
Donald J. Trump has changed the rules of the game, and we’ve let him do that.
– Phil Hellmuth philhellmuth.com