When you are playing no-limit poker tournaments online, you are going to come up against a variety of opponents, most of which will be unpredictable, because of their lack of knowledge and not necessarily their inherent skill level.
Your poker calculator will often alert you to such loose aggressive opponents by way of their excessive VP$IP, PFR% and AF, and it is easy to assume that most of these players are going to don’t themselves out of the tournament sooner than later. However, even in the lower limits there are players who can play this style and manage to accumulate tournament chips at a successful rate in the early stages.
Some of these players will by the grace of fortune, make it to the middle stages and beyond. One of the strategies that these types of opponents often use is three betting, which is simply re-raising your raises. It gives you caution to wonder how strong your hand really is, and even though you’re playing a tight aggressive style, your opponent is completely ignoring that and often puts your tournament in jeopardy at an early stage with marginal hand. What you need to find out is, how do you play against such an opponent?
First of all, even though you suspect your opponent may not know what he is doing, there is a chance that he actually does. So in that sense, you should look at lower in your opening race size, particularly in late position and in that way, you will have better implied odds to call their free bet with may be something like pocket pairs or suited connectors.
You should also be prepared to widen your range but not calling three bets out of position, unless you have a really good hand. This is somewhat conducive to being able to distinguish if your opponent is actually employing a strategy or playing like any other donkey.
To help preserve your stack, refrain from real raising this player. It's probably better that you wait until the river is safe for you, then stick a value bet out there for him to call. He will probably call, if in fact he is weak player. Just don’t get caught in a stupid bluffing war, with players like this.
This begs the questions though is if you should be betting more assertively. If you are only three betting in the range of 2% or less, then there is likely more opportunity for you to be stealing some pots. You should be very certain though of the type of opponent you are up against here.
Three betting is advanced play to be sure. This really means that winning poker tournaments online, in particular the – low limits, you are likely better off playing tighter than your opponents. However, in the later stages you are going to be up against some relatively aggressive players, who know how to play, when more money is on the line – so you shouldn’t be taking them lightly.
See my video reviews of all the online poker calculators, just so you know which will work good for your needs. He also has a poker tournament strategy video series that is free poker training just for signing up.