Winning more than your fair share
The question posed about the LAG sitting on my left in the last post perhaps wasn't as clear as it should have been. Granted if I'm going to showdown with the guy then I just have to get some good hole cards. But my question really should have been the following :
"How do you win more than your fair share of pots against the LAG on your left ?"
At the levels of MTT poker I'm playing everyone has a pattern. They don't mix it up, deviate, misdirect and make brilliant plays. Everyone has a pattern and for every pattern there is a counter strategy that will allow you to gain chips from it.
For instance lets say the button always min raises if its folded to him to try and steal the blinds, but always folds to a reraise. The obvious counter strategy is to always reraise back regardless of your cards. A half decent player on the button might use this to set you up, doing it several times and then waking up with AA, but you will be surprised how many players just keep the same pattern over and over, then when they get AA they change the pattern and raise 4x instead, telling you this is the one time to avoid them.
I met a guy on the tables last night who would raise in early position and then check-fold any flop he missed. That meant I could call EVERY time he raised in EP regardless of my cards. He was an ATM and just kept dropping small pots to me. Eventually I made a stupid mistake that resulted in me giving them all back, but that was nothing to do with the previous "gifts".
When you've got a LAG acting behind you it makes it much harder to make these kind of plays that give you an advantage over everyone who's just playing their cards. If they are always calling your c-bets, or raising if you check the flop how do you earn chips off them when you don't have a hand ? I posted on RTR, and the responses varied from just have to wait for cards to become the LAG yourself. In a cash game just waiting for hand is fine I guess since you don’t have increasing blinds. But in the tourney we have to find places to earn chips we don’t deserve.
One response from a guy I respect because he goes deep in so many MTT's was that the only bet the LAG will respect is a check-raise. Make it consistent but don't over commit because if he did hit something you still want to be able to get away, more often than not though he's trying to buy the pot away from you and check-raising is the best way to get him to stop taking these pots down uncontested. Be careful though, when you've done this a few times to him it also makes him less likely to bet air on future hands since he will start to expect the check-raise again.