Thursday, April 4, 2013

Odoriferous bet sizing

A classic skill of live poker is the ability to pick up on the physical signals, aka tells, that other players unconsciously send out. You might think there are no analogues of physical tells in the virtual world of online poker. You'd be wrong, of course :-) One of those analogues is bet sizing. At every decision point in a hand, each player has the option to fold, bet, raise, or call. The decisions a player has made, when considered as a group, can't help but tell a story of some kind. Sometimes, it becomes clear that the story is lie. Last night, on hand 100, the amounts my opponent chose to bet on the turn and the river encouraged me to call him. On the turn, he bet $4,000 into a pot of $5,200. On the river, he bet $4,800 into a pot of $13,200. The turn bet was too big, and the river bet was too small. Why do I say the turn bet was too big? For the simple reason that it told me he didn't have that good a hand. Good hands don't need to be protected by big turn bets; mediocre hands do. If you bet a good hand too big on the turn, you scare people away and don't end up winning as many chips as you could have. Why do I say the river bet was too small? If he really had a hand, or wanted to represent that he did, he should have made a bet of about half the size of the pot. His weak river bet told me he was only able to scare off a bluff. My eights and deuces beat his sevens and deuces to win a pot worth $22,300, and I was done for the night.

During current Hold'em session you were dealt 101 hands and saw flop:
 - 7 out of 14 times while in big blind (50%)
 - 4 out of 13 times while in small blind (30%)
 - 38 out of 74 times in other positions (51%)
 - a total of 49 out of 101 (48%)
 Pots won at showdown - 7 of 10 (70%)
 Pots won without showdown - 3

delta: $4,312
cash game no limit hold'em balance: $4,651,823
balance: $7,101,231

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