How to overcome being afraid of making a move in good spots?

N AN A Red Chipper Posts: 147 ✭✭
Hello and thanks for the great content. I have seen improvements on my game since joining.

I guess I'm experiencing a transition to be a better player.

My question is, how do I eliminate fear to make a move in good spots?

I'm better at hand reading but couldn't pull the trigger even though I had a good read.

For ex:

I played in weak live 1/3 NL game

2 limps, I raised on the button with :4d :7d

blinds folded, UTG1 folded, MP1 limped call

Flop :Kd :5d :2h

MP1 checked, I bet, MP1 called

Turn :Ts

MP1 checked, I bet, MP1 called

at this time, I was very sure 100% MP1 had a K for top pair

River was :Ah pot was $108

MP1 checked. I had $250 behind. I KNEW 100% an ace was a scare card for V, great card for my range, but I couldn't pull the trigger.

I knew if I overbet the pot, V would fold often with just 2nd pair, but I couldn't pull the trigger with my 7 high busted flush draw.

What should I do to eliminate fear in great spots when I have a read?

Another hand:

I had :As :Js folded to me I open-raised from MP2

button called, blinds folded, heads up to the flop

Flop: :Ks :Tc :6s

I bet, V called

Turn: :5d

I checked, V bet

To be honest, I planned to check-raised the turn, but I couldn't do it. I just called.

River was :3c

I checked, V checked, I ended up winning the pot with A high, V was also on flush draw


  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,745 ✭✭✭✭✭
    1. play smaller stakes
    2. have a huge bankroll
    3. know ranges and percentages more surely

    The reason you call $50 with :AS: :5S: on a :4S: :TS: :KD: flop with a $200 pot is that you KNOW for sure the chance of hitting and the pot odds. When the ace scare card comes and you're going to fire that third barrel, you don't really know your fold equity based on various bet sizes, do you? If you did, it would be a very easy play.
  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 2,144 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2018
    1. Just pull the trigger.
    If you've enough money to play poker, then losing money shouldn't be a big deal - either it's side money and you've an income to pay for your losses and/or your bankroll is deep enough to absorb the shock. It's like trying to bike / dive / etc : always scary the first time, but once you've done it, next times are always easier.

    2. Learn and follow good guidelines
    Read poker books and watch poker videos made by pro. Build a solid ABC game and then make it flourish. There are also some basic guidelines ("Tight is right", "Don't pay them off", etc.) for your to avoid losses and increases your winrate. With solid bases pulling the trigger will be easier as you won't be in difficult spots.

    3. Study your line
    When you know that you're on a +EV line, then you shall no fear to put money in the middle. You should do it happily, knowing that even if the short term result might be a loss, you play it perfectly and this will whatsoever leads to winnings.
    For you to know that, breaks hand down using Flopzilla/Equilab/other to test your line.

    For example, why do you think in your first presented hand that raising 74s was +EV ? What is your equity ? Range advantage? It's going through:
    -> Villain's profile: What is MP1 preflop limp/call range? What does he continue with postflop ?
    -> Same for you: what do you usually raise preflop with ? How does the flop hit this range?
    -> And alternatives: what if Villain donkbets? or check-raises?
  • jfarrow13jfarrow13 Red Chipper Posts: 1,254 ✭✭✭✭
    So for starters:
    1. Play tight the first hour. Build that NITTY image. It'll help with da bluffs.
    2. Observe the players, pick your customers. I'm not raising 74ss against a limp calling station. There has to be FE there for the hand to be profitable. If he's just gonna limp call KQ and KJ, he's not the man to target. Instead if you want, limp behind hands that have good equity in multiway pots. These include small pocket pairs and nut-flush draw hands A4ss type hands. This way, if he has a strong range, he's making a mistake by letting you into the pot for so cheap. I don't limp my 76ss type of hands anymore, because chances are if you join the limpest, someone is showing up with Q9ss that they woulda folded to a raise, but now your dominated and your hand super sucks.
    3. Have a plan with what your trying to accomplish with each hand. If I raise K9o on the BU against 2 limpers, it's 100% in an attempt to steal the limps. It's not for value. And if it's players who I have seen limping hands like AJ and A10o who I know won't fold, I'm not raising, I'm just folding it. I WILL still raise then with hands like 76ss, because we are unlikely to share cards, and I can make very strong hands in position that they will have a tough time defending for 3 streets.
    4. Also, man stop calling pre-flop without a plan. If someone who is rather tight opens in EP A10o is a fold. KJo is a fold. WO that's so NITTY! Ya, well against a strong opening range these cards suck. I'd rather call 98ss in position 150BB + than KJo 150BB + in position. Think about stack sizes, and what hands perform well at what point across the streets then make a decision. Against a tight opening raise with 100BB's in play, PP are decent set miners, especially multi way. I don't really even love playing them heads up IP 100 BB's deep, because I want more than 1 player in the pot to increase my profitability if I hit and to subsidize my call. Calling 5 BB opens with a PP only to check/fold flops 100 BB's deep heads up is a tragic mistake. By the time you hit one, you'll have bled out so many chips.
    5. If your living on the edge, your taking up too much space in the middle. Craft your bluffs in a correct line and be confident. "How could you not fold there!" people ask this when they go for 3 streets with AK and I call then down with top pair, and I want to tell them "because I know you'd get scared on the river and check back an overpair", but I don't. Think about this yourself. What hands are you repping, and would you take that same line?
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 4,085 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Ultimately in a constructed strategy there are no bluffs or value bets, just rational actions of high EV. Understand this and your fear, which derives from reactive, tactical thinking, will greatly diminish.
  • EazzyEazzy Red Chipper Posts: 969 ✭✭✭✭
    At some point as you get to know what good spots look like you will see them when you not in the hand. A guy raises too much pre flop, and cbets all the time. You figure this might be a guy I could call wide against and check raise a lot of flops.

    But you don't do it. Instead you watch another player call him. And you think a check raise on a lot of flops would work. You see the other player check call and then check it down....Villain shows up with a hand he would have folded the flop to.

    Do this a few times...Think this guy is going to fold to a bet here. A bet comes and he folds. Or he shows down with a range he would defiantly fold.

    Over a few sessions you will begin to realaize these spots would have worked. Then it becomes easier.
  • AustinAustin Red Chipper Posts: 5,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Bring multiple bullets to your session and don't be afraid to lose it all but don't be reckless either. Have some history that will show they fold top pair or 2nd pair.

    Don't focus on keeping a winning session. Focus on long term EV decisions. This is how you go from a small winning player to crushing the game.
  • Ruxton_AtheistRuxton_Atheist Red Chipper Posts: 152 ✭✭✭
    persuadeo wrote: »
    Ultimately in a constructed strategy there are no bluffs or value bets, just rational actions of high EV. Understand this and your fear, which derives from reactive, tactical thinking, will greatly diminish.

    When my youngest son was an infant (his high school graduation is in two months) he spent two nights in the Johns Hopkins pediatric ICU, where I met Dr. Ben Carson (before he was HUD secretary, he was a brilliant kiddie brain doc - no, really). My son shared a room with a little girl who was in a bad state, about to have her fourth brain surgery, when Dr. Carson and his entourage walked in and was confronted by the sobbing and exhausted mother. He started to explain the procedure, and the mom interrupted him: "But doctor, she crashed the last time. What about the risk?" And without missing a beat, he says: "If she crashes, we resuscitate".
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,745 ✭✭✭✭✭
    a little girl who was in a bad state, about to have her fourth brain surgery

    It's good to have some perspective. Sometimes when I just can't get over myself after suffering a bad beat or horrible session, I imagine this fictional personal standing behind me, who perhaps just lost a child or something, saying "That's not a bad beat."

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