You're playing at a $10/$20 6 max limit HE table. You're a good, aggressive player who plays shorthanded very well. You understand the principles and apply constant pressure to the blinds, defend your own blinds well, utlize aggression effectively, yada yada yada.
Four of your opponents are basically nondescript and are largely loose passive. They don't attempt to steal enough and don't defend enough. They aren't terrible but they prefer to limp and see a flop and don't drive the action. They won't often cold-call, though, as they like to limp in cheap.
Your fifth opponent, though, is a different beast. We'll call him Gonzo.
Gonzo sits down and tells the table the following five things:
1) I will raise pre-flop with any two cards if I'm the first in the pot, no matter what position I'm in. Every single time, no matter the cards I hold.
2) If anyone limps in front of me, I will raise with any two cards, except for when I'm in the BB.
3) If I'm first in with a raise, and facing a re-raise from a single opponent and closing the action, I will always simply call, and never re-raise, no matter what cards I hold.
4) If I'm faced with calling two bets pre-flop, 25% of the time I will re-raise, and 75% of the time I will fold.
5) If I'm in the BB and no one raises, I will always check. If I'm in the BB and it's one bet to call, I will always call.
He then follows through on the above, doing exactly that pre-flop. You know, without a doubt, that he will act in the above prescribed fashion, every single hand.
Post-flop, Gonzo is a very good player. He does nothing out of line post-flop and plays a good aggressive shorthanded game.
Gonzo is in the 1 seat, you're in the 4 seat.
The question, then, is how do you adjust your play to take Gonzo into account (and keeping in mind the fact that the rest of the table is generally loose-passive)?
I played with Gonzo for a few hours the other night, and have to admit that I was pretty flummoxed, so I truly am looking for feedback/advice. When I realized he was actually a pretty good post-flop player I was tempted to just get up and find another table, which actually might be the best answer.
My mental thought processes as the session progressed were something along the following lines:
1) That predictable, possibly tilting lemur is raising every single hand when he's first in the pot. And people seem to be getting out of his way too much, as the table's pretty passive. I need to isolate him with any halfway decent hands I have, as the blinds will eat me up otherwise. He's likely just an idiot that doesn't play well post-flop. The table's too passive to wait for monster hands, too, as the eventual pot might not be big enough to offset blind attrition.
2) Hmm. This is actually interesting, as I'm pushing too hard with marginal hands pre-flop, and he seems to play pretty well post-flop. The problem isn't so much Gonzo but when I raise with a marginal hand to isolate and one of the other players wakes up, either cold-calling or re-raising. Since I have to assume that the other players are somewhat aware of what's going on at the table, the next logical step is to assume they have a pretty big hand, so I end up feeling lost post-flop, unable to fire more bullets when the flop doesn't help me, especially when I'm first to act.
I also have to fight the tendency to let his pre-flop play influence my thinking, too, as I keep leaning towards assuming he's full of shit and doesn't have a hand, and am paying him off too much when he does have something. The fact that he simply calls any re-raise pre-flop is interesting, as it disguises his truly big hands, yet his play in general is getting lots of money in the pot.
3) Now I'm overcorrecting too much in the opposite direction, as far as waiting for big cards. I wish we didn't have two players in between us, as this would be easier if he were on one side or the other, preferably the right.
4) Another side effect of his pre-flop strategy is that he gets to see lots of hands free from the BB. While his rules of engagement don't include always raising from the BB, the table often defers to his general aggression and lets him in for free from the BB, when the button or SB would otherwise take a shot at his BB.
5) The always raising a limper no matter what is a bit of a double edged sword. While it discourages limping in front of him (increasing his odds of taking down the blinds uncontested with a raise) it does set him up for the limp-reraise when you have a big hand. Which is easy enough when you have AA, but the difficulty is in defining "big". Is Q9o big enough to limp-reraise with? Odds say yes, as he's truly playing a random hand, but that's taking me outside my comfort zone, as far as my ability to limp-reraise with that and play it aggressively post-flop, regardless of what comes on the flop.
6) This is more difficult than I would have thought, as far as exploiting such a transparent strategy that involves raising pre-flop with any two cards. The fact that the table is passive is the real crux of the problem, I think, as his strategy prevents normal blind stealing and only encourages real action from the other players when they have a big hand. He also seems aware that I'm aware of what he's doing, and applies pressure to me post-flop accordingly, under the correct assumption that I'm isolating him with less than stellar cards.
7) His results definitely yip and yaw all over the place, but he's picking up a lot of uncontested pots and gets paid when he has a big hand. I would think that he'd bleed too many chips from raising pre-flop with any two cards (and he very well might in the long run), but it does build decent pots that are largely heads-up, when the strength of his hand is always completely disguised. He's also good enough post-flop to dump or pump the hands he should.
So yeah. Long-winded way of soliciting thoughts on playing against Gonzo in the above conditions. Suggestions?