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Timing as a tell

Posted by kulubes | April 6, 2010 | Posted in: poker strategy | Comments Off

I played against two maniacs recently. Manics are bad players, and for the most part they behave in rather basic ways, so they are rather easier to read compared to other players, as (1) they get involved in hands all the time (2) they do not play too witty.

In this particular online poker session, what stood out were the timing tells these two maniac players exhibited.

In the first case he raised pre flop and I called with Kx (he had A8o). The flop came K8x, he bet and I called. The turn was a brick and he almost used up all his time before making a 30BB bet. I called. The river was another blank and he made a smaller bet this time. I called with top pair and he showed second pair. Here the tell is that it took him a long time to make his decision at the turn; meaning he wanted to determine what bet size was big enough to make me fold.

In the second case the timing tell was opposite, i.e. I played with another maniac but this time he played very fast. I raised pre flop with Ako and got called by A8o. The flop came A8x. I made a standard pot bet at the flop and he instantly min-raised me. The turn was a blank, so I checked but he instantly bet. As he had flopped two pairs, he wanted to bet and he did not try to disguise the strength of his hand with his timing.

The point is that there are a lot of these maniacs at the low or mid stakes online poker tables. As they seem to consistently make bets, it may seem difficult to have a clue about the real strength of their hands. The clues are in their betting sizes and in the timing of their actions. For the most part, they are not very subtle about the timing of their bets, so an instantaneous bets usually indicates an easy decision, while if they stay in the tank for a while, they are really thinking about what to do next.

Maniacs are predictable with their timing tells, more so than other players.

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The Old West and Poker

Posted by kulubes | April 3, 2010 | Posted in: poker strategy | Comments Off

The Old West and Poker – The Rifleman

The Rifleman with his trusty big loop 44-40 at his side was sipping a cool beer at the bar on a hot summer’s day at the local saloon (B & M). Suddenly the saloon doors swung open and some drunk noisy cowboy burst in with gun in hand pointing it at the Rifleman…yelling at him, “i’ve heard about you! You’re not so good…let’s see what you’ve got!” (been drinking, had a A Q suited).

The Rifleman looks in the bar mirror at the drunk (his hand was not on his rifle, which was laying down 2 feet away) and in a strong confident voice (he had 66) said “lay it down cowboy, you’re not good enough for me today” (reraised to find out where he was). The cowboy didn’t back down, continued walking up and shouted another insult (reraised all-in).

The Rifleman softened, smiled and said “you’re good cowboy, too good for me today! Come on over and i’ll buy ya a beer” (swallowed his pride, laid his hand down, backed off until conditions would be better to put him on an all in decision… play good poker, it can teach you how to be a better man).

Few days later, cowboy gets drunk again (has KJ off) and challenges the Rifleman again…The Rifleman not sitting at the bar with his back to the door, but leaning back in a chair with his back to the wall and his hand on his rifle… (has AA) “Bring it on cowboy!!” (goes all-in) Cowboy calls…

… another fresh grave the next day in boothill… written on the tombstone… “pick your spots on your terms, not theirs…plus don’t drink and play”.

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