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  • Folding TPTK

    I played this hand last night.

    $200 re-entry, about 4 hours in, re-entry period over, everyone now playing snug. Blinds 1000/2000/200, 9 handed, I have 22bb.

    UTG I open 2.25bb with AdQh, HJ calls, BB calls, about 8bb in the pot

    I hadn't played against HJ recently and I was not thinking much about his style. Big mistake.

    Flop is 5cQs8h, I c-bet 4bb.

    Already I am thinking, if I get called I am dead. Nobody has 67, A5, A8, but maybe KQ, 55, 88.

    HJ raises to 10bb.

    I am absolutely certain I am beat, but somehow my arm wouldn't obey my brain, and my arm pushed the rest of my chips in the pot.

    Of course HJ shows 88.

    The player next to me says "Patrick, against that player in that spot you have to fold bottom set, because he has a set every time"

    On the way home I searched through my memory and yes found a mental note about this player from years ago "He has a set every time".

    Bit of a leak I have, but how do I get my arm to obey my brain?


  • #2
    If the blinds are 20 mins, I wouldn't worry about the beat, I sort of like the play. If that guy is that much of a nit, then yeah, you can live read fold but in general folding is a bad, and calling off isn't much better.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Patrick O View Post


      Bit of a leak I have, but how do I get my arm to obey my brain?

      I found Elliot Roe's mp3 http://www.pokermindcoach.com/produc...oure-beat-mp3/ very helpful.
      Last edited by Charlie Farley; 03-29-2017, 12:37 AM.

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      • #4
        In theory Xbob is right. With these stacks you are supposed to stack off with top pair.

        But if you do have a read that counters that and you are supposed to fold, there are a few reasons that lead to your type of error.

        1) You have an improper decision making process. What I mean is have you ever sat down and thought about or wrote out all of the details you must think about at every decision point and you run through them point by point at every decision point. Poker is a game of decisions. We must have an organized process to allow us to make the best decision at all times.

        2) Every poker player has days where they can't make mistakes and every poker player has days where their decision making is just not up to par. This is where developing a pre-game routine is supposed to help get your mind sharp and ready for the days play. For instance, I find it important to ensure a full nights rest, go to the gym before I play, eat properly before I play and 15 minutes meditation to prepare.

        3) Players act impulsively. This is sometimes my error. Having ADHD, I have been known to act before fully completing my decision making process. I try to ensure I do 1 and 2 to avoid this third error.

        4) Finally, this last cause of error, is the player just didn't know. You took your time and went through the entire decision making process but just came to the wrong conclusion. Study is the answer to this one.

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        • #5
          All true. But I did come to the correct conclusion I just didn't act in accordance with that conclusion.

          I should have taken more time, allowed my conclusion to override my impulse, taken a good look at the player so I might have recalled what I later remembered about him.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Patrick O View Post
            All true. But I did come to the correct conclusion I just didn't act in accordance with that conclusion.

            I should have taken more time, allowed my conclusion to override my impulse, taken a good look at the player so I might have recalled what I later remembered about him.
            Yeah, it sounds like #3. Since I have a bad habit of doing this, I know what it is like. I used to play tournament chess as well and took lessons and had the same problem with that game. My coach used to tell me to sit on my hands until I finished my decision making protocol. I never got very good at chess, but luckily, I was able to take his lessons over into my poker game and they have helped me incredibly.

            But anyway, I don't sit on my hands, but I have trained myself to complete my decision making protocol before I act. In live poker you will have the time to go through this. In fact, I developed "triggers" in my game to prevent impulsive actions.

            I keep my hands off the table and away from my chips until I reach the "trigger" for my action. I may lean on the table, but I would keep my hands off the table area until I am ready to act. For me the trigger for action is the announcement of my action. This is what has worked for me. Maybe you might need to develop a different trigger, but the idea is the same. Train yourself not to touch your chips until you reach your trigger. Or if your impulse is speaking actions, like announcing plays impulsively, make your trigger a physical action. Chris Ferguson silently counted to 10. I am not sure, but this may have been for the same purpose, as a trigger to prevent impulsive decisions.
            Last edited by jjpregler; 03-29-2017, 07:11 AM.

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            • #7
              Yes, some good points. I had the same problem online, my hand would click the mouse button before I had fully thought the situation through. When I became aware it was costing me chips, i identified the situation/player type that generally caused me to behave this way and was able to take extra time to analyse the spot.

              I sit on my hands and verbally tell myself to "slow down & think" before I hit the call button with k9o vs a fishy shove for 10000000bb!

              It doesn´t seem to happen so much these days.

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              • #8
                In situations like this a small portion of our brain called the amygdala is to blame.

                Its the same portion of the brain that deals with the fight or flight response. We - as humans - have evolved by creating a very fast and effective way of responding to situations we perceive to put us in danger. The only problem with this is our brain does not know if the danger is real or perceived.

                When presented with a high stress or dangerous situation the last thing our brain is wanting to do is to take time and analyze all the variables of a complex situation. The brain wants to come up with a very quick and effective response that saves our body and life for that matter. So we make a snap decision.

                Think about those times when you make a quick decision at the table and then think "oh crap....why did I just do that, there is no way I am ahead here" as your opponent stares you down at a final table. This is the amygdala doing its thing.

                This goes along with what jj is saying with Ferguson counting to 10. It helps the brain to understand this situation is not a life threatening situation. You can then start to take into consideration all of the various factors and analyze the information.

                Its hard to learn and takes a ton of work and is something I still suffer with. The higher the stress (final tables, facing a tough opponent in a key spot, deep runs in large tournaments, etc) the more the amygdala wants to take over.

                I have been working on taking 1-2 deep breaths and reminding myself to relax and thinking to myself..... The situation is not life threatening...it's fun.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JredA View Post
                  In situations like this a small portion of our brain called the amygdala is to blame.

                  Its the same portion of the brain that deals with the fight or flight response. We - as humans - have evolved by creating a very fast and effective way of responding to situations we perceive to put us in danger. The only problem with this is our brain does not know if the danger is real or perceived.

                  When presented with a high stress or dangerous situation the last thing our brain is wanting to do is to take time and analyze all the variables of a complex situation. The brain wants to come up with a very quick and effective response that saves our body and life for that matter. So we make a snap decision.

                  Think about those times when you make a quick decision at the table and then think "oh crap....why did I just do that, there is no way I am ahead here" as your opponent stares you down at a final table. This is the amygdala doing its thing.

                  This goes along with what jj is saying with Ferguson counting to 10. It helps the brain to understand this situation is not a life threatening situation. You can then start to take into consideration all of the various factors and analyze the information.

                  Its hard to learn and takes a ton of work and is something I still suffer with. The higher the stress (final tables, facing a tough opponent in a key spot, deep runs in large tournaments, etc) the more the amygdala wants to take over.

                  I have been working on taking 1-2 deep breaths and reminding myself to relax and thinking to myself..... The situation is not life threatening...it's fun.
                  I think this answer wins the topic.

                  Seriously, your two deep breaths, Chris Ferguson's counting to 10, they all seem to imitate mini-meditations. Something to clear your mind to prepare for a mindful decision instead of an emotional or impulsive decision.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Another helpful tip I have found to be very effective is to simply recognize in these situations your amygdala is trying to take over again. Saying something to yourself like:

                    "There goes my amygdala again"

                    or:

                    "My amygdala is acting up"

                    These sound silly to think about, but it really does help in the heat of the moment.

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                    • #11
                      Jonathan Haidt wrote a great book called The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. It doesn't have anything in particular to do with poker but is applicable to all forms of logic and decision-making. He goes into the point JredA is making in a lot of detail, and uses a metaphor of a rider and an elephant. The "rider" is the logical part of your brain that is trying to manage the "elephant" that is your emotion and intuition. Usually the elephant goes where it wants to go and then the rider rationalizes the direction the elephant takes, after the fact. My poker game improved significantly when I started recognizing where the elephant was trying to take me, and I started trying to resist it, but the elephant too often still determines my play.

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                      • #12
                        For me, the thing that has helped immensely is having an almost robotic routine whenever I make a decision at the poker table. I try to do the same things in the same order every time (regardless of situation), almost like a checklist where I can't announce my action until I've calculated pot odds, assessed stack sizes, and assigned ranges.

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