Why do I call against my gut-feeling?

    • jangeisler
      jangeisler
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.05.2011 Posts: 7
      Hi all.

      Thank you PokerStrategy for the free 50$ on FT.

      I primarily play $1+0.2 SnG's.

      I also play at Partypoker, and until recently, i build up my bankroll from approx $10 to approx $70. When I reached approx. $30, i started playing $3 SnG's, which went well.

      Then something went wrong. I started calling bets/raises I knew i shouldn't.

      For instance, when I try to steal a pot in late position and SB or BB raises me, I tend to call sometimes.

      Or when I'm playing in the middle of a STT, against 1 person, i tend to raise all-in to try to make the person who just bet fold their hand. Or when i hit mid pair or something like that, and i bet (primarily to steal the pot), they go all-in, AND I CALL.

      Also, early on, after calling a small blind with decent holecards to see a cheap flop, when someone raises 2-3xBB, i tend to pay the extra 1-2BB and call the raise to see the flop.

      After printing your great guidelines for beginners in SnG's, I've tried to follow them strictly, but doing so, I tend to be too tight, and get eaten by the blinds.

      Then, when i signed up at FT, getting the $50 from you, i played a lot of $3 sng's. Now my bankroll at FT is about $25, and I have to play the $1 sng's. It's okay, but i dont really want to bust my bankroll, because I know, that I play decent poker when I'm not making stupid mistakes.

      Have any of you been experiencing this, and if so, what did you do to fix it?

      Thanks

      Jan
  • 11 replies
    • pleno1
      pleno1
      Coach
      Coach
      Joined: 19.11.2010 Posts: 5,596
      Hey Jan,

      If you are getting into a state where you know you're playing sub optimally then you should definitely stop and take a break. This can usually happen when you play after work and you are tired or if you have had an argument with someone in your life and you feel angry.

      Playing poker you should be stressfree and really focused and locked in the game. For example, when I play I like to have fruit and water next to me, no rubbish on ym desk and really feel "in the zone".

      It's actually great that you have identified what your weakness is. You know why you lost, you don't think you got unlcuky but you know you made a mistake, this is a great first step and now if we improve on your mentality we can get that bankroll growing in the right direction.

      :s_cool:
    • YinYangS
      YinYangS
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.10.2010 Posts: 1,077
      i really like how moderators reply with such a positive message like the line, "a great first step".

      your mindsets are just so awesome. i haven't been doing well this month of May but i think it's because there are leaks to my mindset but i'm on my way to improving it again. and so to Mr. Profits, you're always welcome in my pockets. :f_biggrin:
    • jangeisler
      jangeisler
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.05.2011 Posts: 7
      Thank you for the quick reply :-)

      I love playing poker, and most of the time, it's rather stress-free.
      But a major part of poker is about folding your bad hands, especially out of position.

      When I'm having a period of folding nearly every hand I get, and flopping bad flops with great holecards against maniacs, I get a bit tired of it, and miss the great game of poker, where I get to be part of at least some of the hands.

      It seems that I enjoy the exitement of marginal hands, which I truly shouldn't. :-)

      How do you cope with the feeling you get, when you've been folding lots and lots of bad hands, and folding good hands due to bad flops for a while?


      ...btw, how important is it to make notes of other players at the table, and exactly how do you do it? I've been trying to do it lately, making small notes as "loose", "maniac", "caution, maybe regular" etc. Anyone have a system to making notes?
    • pleno1
      pleno1
      Coach
      Coach
      Joined: 19.11.2010 Posts: 5,596
      Hey,

      My system is usally something similar to:

      NL200 6max game running 4 handed, Its important to know what game it was. If we take a note against somebody in a $11 sng and then play against them inn a 400nl cash game ofc they are going to be playing very different.14/4/2011, important to know when somebody did something, poekr evolves all the time and people change their games, I know I play completely different on the river now to how I used to and if anybody is using 1 year old notes on me about the river then I'm very happy :) , Floated flop in 3bet pot 125bbs deep and jammed turn when picked up equity The way you exploit people is by picking up on their tendancies, if they have a weakness or a thing they do alllllll the time then you can c/jam turns instead of b/f to pick up max fold equity. Know what they want to do/what they like to do and then counteract it.

      14/4 2011 - NL200 6max game running 4max - Floated flop in 3bet pot 125bbs deep and jammed turn when picked up equity
    • Jim4rdo
      Jim4rdo
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.10.2010 Posts: 1,252
      pretty cool to see what kind of notes you write, thanks for posting that pleno.

      Mine are pretty rubbish I guess, I just write down what they had and how they played a certain hand, if i think it's important ;p

      like; 4bb raise pf, c/c c-bet on kt4 flop, c/f c-bet on A turn

      or the same, but then c/c c-bet on A turn, donk bet 1$ into 4$ pot with JT

      something like that.

      Probably need to improve them a bit :)
    • LucidDementia
      LucidDementia
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.05.2011 Posts: 60
      Originally posted by jangeisler
      I love playing poker, and most of the time, it's rather stress-free.
      But a major part of poker is about folding your bad hands, especially out of position.

      When I'm having a period of folding nearly every hand I get, and flopping bad flops with great holecards against maniacs, I get a bit tired of it, and miss the great game of poker, where I get to be part of at least some of the hands.

      It seems that I enjoy the exitement of marginal hands, which I truly shouldn't. :-)

      How do you cope with the feeling you get, when you've been folding lots and lots of bad hands, and folding good hands due to bad flops for a while?
      It's all about your mindset my friend. Around a month ago I went into Stoke, my old stomping ground, and sat in the £0.50/£1 NLHE cash game. I sat with £100 at around 9pm.

      I was catching nothing. Literally. I occasionally picked up something marginal in position (by occasionally I mean 4 times in 6 hours) but was nowhere on the flop each time in multiway pots. Come around 4am I was getting tired and down to about £55 just in blinds, and maybe one small win. I looked like a chump-ass rock.

      Finally though between 4am and 5am I started to pick up a few playable hands (nothing serious, but it was like water in the desert). I had great reads on most of the table as I'd had sod all to do but sit and watch them....and as we were kicked out at 6am I cashed in £97 at the desk.

      And you know what? I felt FANTASTIC. I had not put a foot wrong in 9 hours of play (with a couple of ciggie breaks granted). :D

      Take succour in the fact you're doing the right thing even when it feels awful. Your time will always come back around. Walking into the cold morning air £3 down I'd played a long tiring session and stayed on top all the way.
    • DanMeaks
      DanMeaks
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.10.2010 Posts: 360
      Originally posted by LucidDementia
      Originally posted by jangeisler
      I love playing poker, and most of the time, it's rather stress-free.
      But a major part of poker is about folding your bad hands, especially out of position.

      When I'm having a period of folding nearly every hand I get, and flopping bad flops with great holecards against maniacs, I get a bit tired of it, and miss the great game of poker, where I get to be part of at least some of the hands.

      It seems that I enjoy the exitement of marginal hands, which I truly shouldn't. :-)

      How do you cope with the feeling you get, when you've been folding lots and lots of bad hands, and folding good hands due to bad flops for a while?
      It's all about your mindset my friend. Around a month ago I went into Stoke, my old stomping ground, and sat in the £0.50/£1 NLHE cash game. I sat with £100 at around 9pm.

      I was catching nothing. Literally. I occasionally picked up something marginal in position (by occasionally I mean 4 times in 6 hours) but was nowhere on the flop each time in multiway pots. Come around 4am I was getting tired and down to about £55 just in blinds, and maybe one small win. I looked like a chump-ass rock.

      Finally though between 4am and 5am I started to pick up a few playable hands (nothing serious, but it was like water in the desert). I had great reads on most of the table as I'd had sod all to do but sit and watch them....and as we were kicked out at 6am I cashed in £97 at the desk.

      And you know what? I felt FANTASTIC. I had not put a foot wrong in 9 hours of play (with a couple of ciggie breaks granted). :D

      Take succour in the fact you're doing the right thing even when it feels awful. Your time will always come back around. Walking into the cold morning air £3 down I'd played a long tiring session and stayed on top all the way.
      Good post.

      I also play MTSnG's quite regularly. Starting with 90 men, you watch quite a few hands played badly but see the LAGtard sitting comfortably with 10k+ chips whilst the blinds have taken you down to about 2.5k. You start to think 'when is it my turn, should i loosen up my game?' but patience pays off in the end.

      Since your stack gets shorter as the blinds grow bigger, your game loosens up slightly anyway according to strategy so your time will come to take the game by the scruff of the neck. Whilst the player who you were watching enviously (maybe under your breath you're calling him a luck box) you watch as his loose aggressive style of play back fires on him eventually and his chips deplete and he misses the bubble. You reach the final table, and you are guaranteed of finishing ITM.

      Just yesterday i was playing the $4000 guarantee rush tournament at full tilt. I was holding AA and the flop threw out QJA, my opponent held KQ and chased the straight (or thought his Q was good) to the river, where he hit the T. I was gutted, i lost about 60% of my chips and that guy was elevated into the top 10 (where i was residing at the time).

      I wrote a note about him chasing draws, mainly just to highlight the player as we bounced around the tables. Also i could check his progress on the leader board.

      Within a minute he had lost 50k chips, doubled up again somewhere and the bubble burst. 135 players paid off, he was in the top 25. He finished around 115th.

      Sometimes variance is a bitch, but it will also pay you off on occasion.

      Trick is to not get disgruntled when things aren't going your way (difficult) but to be patient, and your time will come.

      Hope that make sense.
    • pleno1
      pleno1
      Coach
      Coach
      Joined: 19.11.2010 Posts: 5,596
      What a great thread, long may it continue :)
    • bennisboy
      bennisboy
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.04.2011 Posts: 711
      I too make calls even when I know I shouldn't, but I try to see it as a learning experience.

      Here is an example:

      Grabbed by Holdem Manager
      NL Holdem $0.05(BB) Replayer
      SB ($5.02)
      BB ($5)
      Hero ($5.11)
      CO ($4.96)
      BTN ($6.48)

      Dealt to Hero Q:club: K:heart:

      Hero raises to $0.15, fold, fold, SB raises to $0.35, fold, Hero calls $0.20

      FLOP ($0.75) 4:club: 8:diamond: J:diamond:

      SB bets $0.35, Hero calls $0.35

      TURN ($1.45) 4:club: 8:diamond: J:diamond: Q:heart:

      SB bets $4.32 (AI), Hero calls $4.32

      RIVER ($10.09) 4:club: 8:diamond: J:diamond: Q:heart: T:club:

      Hero shows Q:club: K:heart:
      (Pre 44%, Flop 3.2%, Turn 0.0%)

      SB shows J:heart: J:club:
      (Pre 56%, Flop 96.8%, Turn 100.0%)

      SB wins $9.42

      So my thoughts went as follows:

      Pre-flop: Get 3-bet by a fairly TAG player, but figure KQ probably matches up well to his range. So I call the 3-bet.

      Flop: Get bet into, under half-pot, still got over cards to the board, and the villain tends to c-bet a lot.

      Turn: I hit a queen, giving me TPGK. Villain bets almost 3x pot with a shove. I go through what I could realistically be beating from a 3-bet range, and decide the only thing I'm beating here is air and that I should fold. Alas, despite all my reasoning, I call. At least I knew I was right in my read that I wasnt beating him though! haha
    • DanMeaks
      DanMeaks
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.10.2010 Posts: 360
      Originally posted by bennisboy
      I too make calls even when I know I shouldn't, but I try to see it as a learning experience.

      Here is an example:

      Grabbed by Holdem Manager
      NL Holdem $0.05(BB) Replayer
      SB ($5.02)
      BB ($5)
      Hero ($5.11)
      CO ($4.96)
      BTN ($6.48)

      Dealt to Hero Q:club: K:heart:

      Hero raises to $0.15, fold, fold, SB raises to $0.35, fold, Hero calls $0.20

      FLOP ($0.75) 4:club: 8:diamond: J:diamond:

      SB bets $0.35, Hero calls $0.35

      TURN ($1.45) 4:club: 8:diamond: J:diamond: Q:heart:

      SB bets $4.32 (AI), Hero calls $4.32

      RIVER ($10.09) 4:club: 8:diamond: J:diamond: Q:heart: T:club:

      Hero shows Q:club: K:heart:
      (Pre 44%, Flop 3.2%, Turn 0.0%)

      SB shows J:heart: J:club:
      (Pre 56%, Flop 96.8%, Turn 100.0%)

      SB wins $9.42

      So my thoughts went as follows:

      Pre-flop: Get 3-bet by a fairly TAG player, but figure KQ probably matches up well to his range. So I call the 3-bet.

      Flop: Get bet into, under half-pot, still got over cards to the board, and the villain tends to c-bet a lot.

      Turn: I hit a queen, giving me TPGK. Villain bets almost 3x pot with a shove. I go through what I could realistically be beating from a 3-bet range, and decide the only thing I'm beating here is air and that I should fold. Alas, despite all my reasoning, I call. At least I knew I was right in my read that I wasnt beating him though! haha
      I hate those situations!
    • Jim4rdo
      Jim4rdo
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.10.2010 Posts: 1,252
      Originally posted by bennisboy
      I too make calls even when I know I shouldn't, but I try to see it as a learning experience.

      Here is an example:

      Grabbed by Holdem Manager
      NL Holdem $0.05(BB) Replayer
      SB ($5.02)
      BB ($5)
      Hero ($5.11)
      CO ($4.96)
      BTN ($6.48)

      Dealt to Hero Q:club: K:heart:

      Hero raises to $0.15, fold, fold, SB raises to $0.35, fold, Hero calls $0.20

      FLOP ($0.75) 4:club: 8:diamond: J:diamond:

      SB bets $0.35, Hero calls $0.35

      TURN ($1.45) 4:club: 8:diamond: J:diamond: Q:heart:

      SB bets $4.32 (AI), Hero calls $4.32

      RIVER ($10.09) 4:club: 8:diamond: J:diamond: Q:heart: T:club:

      Hero shows Q:club: K:heart:
      (Pre 44%, Flop 3.2%, Turn 0.0%)

      SB shows J:heart: J:club:
      (Pre 56%, Flop 96.8%, Turn 100.0%)

      SB wins $9.42

      So my thoughts went as follows:

      Pre-flop: Get 3-bet by a fairly TAG player, but figure KQ probably matches up well to his range. So I call the 3-bet.

      Flop: Get bet into, under half-pot, still got over cards to the board, and the villain tends to c-bet a lot.

      Turn: I hit a queen, giving me TPGK. Villain bets almost 3x pot with a shove. I go through what I could realistically be beating from a 3-bet range, and decide the only thing I'm beating here is air and that I should fold. Alas, despite all my reasoning, I call. At least I knew I was right in my read that I wasnt beating him though! haha
      Yeah you're right it is a learning experience.

      I used to do exactly the same thing as you, and call in those situations, even though I knew I was beat. I'm glad I did though. Showed me my instinct was normally right, and how to save some chips.

      It's helped me to lay those hands down now when it's good but probably quite badly behind

      And it's much better for you to make these mistakes now at a lower limit than when you're up on the high stakes!