# Go with the math or your read?

Red Chipper Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭✭
Live 1/3, Wednesday night around 9PM.

V1 is UTG and to my immediate right. He is a tiiiiiight player. He once folded 98 on QJTr flop when he was re-raised all-in, figuring that V had either K9 or AK (he was wrong). He did win a couple of huge pots, putting him at \$1,200+.

V2 is in MP1 and is sitting immediately to my left. She doesn't have much feel for the game despite being a retired dealer. Odd bet-sizing, calls when she is behind and should fold, and folds when it's clear that she is given great odds to call with most of whatever range she might have. She has around \$200.

I have been card dead the entire night and must appear as a tight player. I had to rebuy when I shoved my combo draw and missed (the only apparent outlier to my tight image). Other that, I have been mostly treading water. I start the hand with around \$350.

PRE-FLOP
Hero UTG+1:

UTG (V1) raises to \$15.
Hero calls.
*Given UTG's play and image, I feel confident that a flopped set would get paid off. In addition, I have a decent chance of being able to steal the pot if a scare card or two comes later. At this table, most raised pots haven't gone multi-way. Given that factor and UTG's image, I didn't expect this hand to have too many callers. Even if there were, then I easily have enough set-mine implied odds to make the pre-flop call.
MP1 (V2) calls.
Eveyone else folds.

FLOP (\$50):

UTG (V1) bets \$35.

Hero calls.
I thought that UTG would likely fold to a strong raise here and, even if he called, would almost assuredly fold to the turn shove. That being said, I also felt fairly confident that UTG would double- and triple-barrel most run-outs (except a turned ace, for instance, if he had, say, QQ or KK). In addition, MP1 might call here with any two over-cards or even with, say, 96 or Q9 or many other weird combos. I wanted to keep her in.

MP1 raises to \$70.
Odd. But, odd is standard for her. When MP1 raised, UTG gave a disgusted sigh. I read that as him likely to fold. At that point, I was planning to shove since MP1 would almost assuredly call with whatever she had; she only had around \$115 behind.

UTG shoves.
Alarm bells went off instantaneously. I looked at UTG, who just looked straight ahead. He was breathing heavily, and he kept bouncing his leg up and down.

I would need to call around \$300 to win around \$550 (I'm including the almost inevitable call by MP1 in the pot). UTG really could be disgusted thinking that his overpair would lose and could be willing to shove here to fold me out. Math and probability make this a snap call.

But, UTG is tiiight. And he sighed when MP1 raised. And he shoved. And he had all the nervous signs of a player about to get paid off with a made hand. I profiled him as someone would only call this raise with an overpair. My read make this an easy fold (I don't put 88 in his pre-flop raising range, thus limiting him to TT).

The math (especially since MP1 would almost assuredly call) makes this a clear call; the read makes this a clear fold. Which would you do: Follow the numbers, or trust your read?

Or am I missing something here?

Hells, no. I'm not revealing it yet! Shame on you for sneaking a peak so early! :) :)
«1

## Comments

• Red Chipper Posts: 51 ✭✭
I ask him if he can beat my pocket 8's here. If he replies with an instant yes I'm much more likely to lay it down. If he tries to stare me down I'm calling all the way. If he stares at the board trying not to say anything I may lay it down. Take your time in this spot, there is no need to rush.
• Red Chipper Posts: 249 ✭✭
Nice Analysis btw, love the description and how in detail you are.

I try a different approach.

Hows your bankroll? If you call and your read is correct, are you going to tilt?

If you are properly rolled and you are not to going to tilt and play your A game on your 2nd buy in then, I'd call.

However, I do believe that Live poker can be math based but is more inline with a people game vs a math game. Since you are seeing far fewer hands and you are getting far more information of reads, I could see a fold here.

If the flop came AK2, against this type of player would this be a much easier fold? If the answer is yes, then I'd probably fold here as well because he is basically telling you with the shove he has top set. So based on your description and my personal situation, I'd probably fold. Personally, I'm not good enough, if I got stacked earlier with a missed flush/straight draw and then got set over set to rebuy a 3rd time and play my best game. If I lost here, I'd just quit the session and move on.
• Red Chipper Posts: 2
Definitely calling here. Hard to imagine him raising with 88 and there's more combo of AA KK QQ he has here rather than TT. Set over set are always coolers.
• Red Chipper Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭✭
Thanks for the comments, everyone! As couple of replies/responses.

NYI80283 wrote: »
I ask him if he can beat my pocket 8's here.

I can't. There are three players in the hand, so no table talk is allowed. Good idea, though!

Leonard wrote: »
Nice Analysis btw, love the description and how in detail you are.

Thank you!

Leonard wrote: »
Hows your bankroll? If you call and your read is correct, are you going to tilt?

Good questions. I'm properly rolled for 1/3, so that's not an issue. And, no this wouldn't tilt me (at worst, I'd get up, take a couple of minute walk, and repeat to my poker mantra to myself a few times).

If you are properly rolled and you are not to going to tilt and play your A game on your 2nd buy in then, I'd call.

Leonard wrote: »
If the flop came AK2, against this type of player would this be a much easier fold? If the answer is yes, then I'd probably fold here as well because he is basically telling you with the shove he has top set.

Interesting thought-process. I hadn't come up with that one...

Diablozzz wrote: »
Hard to imagine him raising with 88 and there's more combo of AA KK QQ he has here rather than TT.

You seem more confident than I that he would play AA-JJ the same way, though... Do you think that he would?

• Red Chipper Posts: 563 ✭✭✭
edited July 2018
*Given UTG's play and image, I feel confident that a flopped set would get paid off

Nit aint folding KK or AA here.

6 combos beat you, 3 of which likely flat the raise.

The only read strong enough to fold would be if he flips his hand over and you read his two cards.

I would rather make a read mistake and adhere to the math rather than deviate from what the math says because guy is bouncing his knee.

Also nobody is a robot. Tight players overplay hands and punt just like the rest of us. Youll feel like a chump if he shows JJ. We have to lose pots sometimes with big hands to earn the max.

ALSO, fish ladys dead money!
• Red Chipper Posts: 91 ✭✭
edited July 2018
SPR of 6 with bottom set with a live read? how sure are you of the read? any chance he is just sick of her odd play and is making a move back at her with a big pair? maybe even T8s? if hes tight i guess T8 not in preflop range

stacks are just not deep enough for me to worry here. if u get set over set, just walk away saying "i dont do handshakes, people"

id call and hope i dont get shown Frieza's brother
• WisconsinRed Chipper Posts: 265 ✭✭✭
I just don't get why you're so certain this is TT and not AA. This player types strikes me as far more likely to jam with AA and slowplay top set than vice versa. It's easy for him to find a fold on a QJT board because "I put you on AK."

Getting close to 2:1 on our money, if he jams with AA here even a third of the time, it's a breakeven call (not to mention the potential KK and less likely JJ-QQ.)

Also:
keasbey wrote: »
id call and hope i dont get shown Frieza's brother
Lol

• Posts: 1,757 -
keasbey Red Chipper Posts: 72 ✭✭ 10:41AM edited 10:46AM 162.158.78.158
SPR of 6 with bottom set with a live read? how sure are you of the read? any chance he is just sick of her odd play and is making a move back her with a big pair? maybe even T8s?

stacks are just not deep enough for me to worry here. if u get set over set, just walk away saying "i dont do handshakes, people"

id call and hope i dont get shown Frieza's brother
Moderation In Moderation
• Red Chipper Posts: 5,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
I would give the min raise a bit more credit here. Is \$15 the standard open for UTG?

I'm leaning on UTG having AA, MP1 having 88 or A10. I think its break even with side pot and main pot.

Shoving 88 or TT doesn't make sense on this texture. He should want to keep you in the pot. He probably noticed MP1 is loose as well and since she only has \$200 he is willing to risk the \$200 with AA. Also if he is at \$1200+ he will definitely gamble a bit more.

To sigh and be disgusted with the hand should be the first read you go with against this player..then when you start thinking he goes quiet "oh shit he might have me beat" is running through his mind.
• Red Chipper Posts: 563 ✭✭✭
Austin wrote: »
I would give the min raise a bit more credit here. Is \$15 the standard open for UTG?

I'm leaning on UTG having AA, MP1 having 88 or A10. I think its break even with side pot and main pot.

Shoving 88 or TT doesn't make sense on this texture. He should want to keep you in the pot. He probably noticed MP1 is loose as well and since she only has \$200 he is willing to risk the \$200 with AA. Also if he is at \$1200+ he will definitely gamble a bit more.

To sigh and be disgusted with the hand should be the first read you go with against this player..then when you start thinking he goes quiet "oh shit he might have me beat" is running through his mind.

Some i agree with and some i dont.

Paragrpah 1 and 2: lady is described as a button clicker. She could have AT or 88. But she could also have any Tx, T8s, J9s, JJ, QQ, or even 97s. Bad players will min raise for a myriad of reasons. Maybe she is nutted, maybe she wants to see where shes at, maybe she wants them to check to her so she can get a free card, maybe she doesnt even know.

Run equities
22 vs following ranges:
UTG: AA, TT, 88
MP: QQ, TT, 88, T8s

Equilab gives us about 30%. Honestly this is a pretty worst case scenario and its pretty much break even equity. At the stone minimum I believe we can give UTG some KK and lady some T8s and some JJ. Lets not give 1/3 players too much credit. How often do we see opponents flat big pairs pre and then overvalue them post?

Paragraph 3: while it doesnt make sense to shove 2nd nut +, it happens. I think we should discount it though. I think youre right about the possibility of UTG winning and being slightly chip drunk and overvaluing something.

Paragraph 4: who cares what utg’s demeanor is. He could be faking tells, or reverse faking tells. What we DO know is were at the top of our range here 100bb deep. Lets not speculate on why he is sighing or keeping quiet.
• Red Chipper Posts: 5,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
Wiki_Leaks wrote: »
Austin wrote: »
I would give the min raise a bit more credit here. Is \$15 the standard open for UTG?

I'm leaning on UTG having AA, MP1 having 88 or A10. I think its break even with side pot and main pot.

Shoving 88 or TT doesn't make sense on this texture. He should want to keep you in the pot. He probably noticed MP1 is loose as well and since she only has \$200 he is willing to risk the \$200 with AA. Also if he is at \$1200+ he will definitely gamble a bit more.

To sigh and be disgusted with the hand should be the first read you go with against this player..then when you start thinking he goes quiet "oh shit he might have me beat" is running through his mind.

Some i agree with and some i dont.

Paragrpah 1 and 2: lady is described as a button clicker. She could have AT or 88. But she could also have any Tx, T8s, J9s, JJ, QQ, or even 97s. Bad players will min raise for a myriad of reasons. Maybe she is nutted, maybe she wants to see where shes at, maybe she wants them to check to her so she can get a free card, maybe she doesnt even know.

Run equities
22 vs following ranges:
UTG: AA, TT, 88
MP: QQ, TT, 88, T8s

Equilab gives us about 30%. Honestly this is a pretty worst case scenario and its pretty much break even equity. At the stone minimum I believe we can give UTG some KK and lady some T8s and some JJ. Lets not give 1/3 players too much credit. How often do we see opponents flat big pairs pre and then overvalue them post?

Paragraph 3: while it doesnt make sense to shove 2nd nut +, it happens. I think we should discount it though. I think youre right about the possibility of UTG winning and being slightly chip drunk and overvaluing something.

Paragraph 4: who cares what utg’s demeanor is. He could be faking tells, or reverse faking tells. What we DO know is were at the top of our range here 100bb deep. Lets not speculate on why he is sighing or keeping quiet.

Agreed. I just out A10 and 88 to keep it simple. The pfr is showing decent aggression with 5bb open and 60% cbet into two players, leading me to believe he has at minimum A10s here.

UTG I would give the following combos
TT (3)
88(3)
A10s (2) *bdfd
JJ (2)
QQ (3)
Kk (6)
AA (6)

Mp1
A10s (3)
K10s (2)
TT (1)
88 (3)
JJ (6)
QQ (3)
Kk (1)

I rarely see players raise J9s or 97s for almost half their stack as a min raise, so I'm giving her zero draws and more of a merged range.

Also keep in mind there are two pots when hero calls, main pot \$600 and side pot \$300.

For the side pot I think hero would have around 80% equity off top of my head and main pot probably closer to 55-60%.
• Red Chipper Posts: 249 ✭✭
Sorry one question. What was his average opening raise size? You said he opened for \$15, was this his standard? Or did he varies he opening size. Also was he a rec player or a "pro" at 1/3?

If he was a rec player and he varied his raise size, the standard rec player usually raises larger with bigger hands preflop. Like if his normal open size was \$10 and if he has AA or KK, he might open larger to \$20 or \$25.

With a hand like TT, I would guess he would open a standard average amount assuming rec player and changes his raise size based on preflop hand strength.
• Red Chipper Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭✭
edited July 2018
Thanks for all the comments. I'm still processing them!

Some more facts (and, by "facts", I mean observations and details. :) ).

@Leonard: Yup, \$15 is his standard and static opening raise amount. He's hardly a pro, IMO, just a regular nit who likes to bet big with made/nutted hands and pot control otherwise.

As you can see, that's one strong factor pushing me to him having TT.

Another observation based on comments in this thread: I'm not basing my decision 100% on a sigh and a leg shake. But, a sigh followed by huge aggression, by my observation, is usually a sign that a player has a monster -- he or she was trying to appear weak with the sigh and entice a call. Yes, a fake tell is possible. But, I don't think that this particular player thinks on that level at all; he seems much more straight-forward.

In addition, a change in breathing pattern and leg shaking usually mean that a person is out of his or her regular routine. That's the case with him shoving. His blood is pumping, which means that he's nervous or excited about getting paid off.

If he's nervous, it's either because he's bluffing (and I'd put that as a near-0% likelihood) or because he thinks that he's ahead but doesn't know that he's ahead (i.e., he has AA). At that point, though, I think that he's more likely to call than shove.

As you can guess, yet more factors for me being convinced that he has TT.

For what it's worth, I'm not a seeing-monsters-under-the-bed type of player. Against this player profile, though, I just tend NOT to see anything but monsters given his play.

As for MP1, I'll admit that I discounted her entirely. I gave her such a wide range of holdings that I figured that I was assuredly light years ahead of her range. That was likely a mental/player profile leak on my part.

I'm still absorbing all the comments -- thank you all again!! -- to try to recreate what I was thinking in the moment and seeing if I missed some of the things that you are all pointing out. I do hear loudly and clearly that calling is preferred option since y'all are giving UTG a wider shove range than I did.

I'll keep pondering if I was being way too tight in the range that I assigned. While I'm doing that, does anything in my comments above give you reason to reconsider your suggestion of calling?
• Red Chipper Posts: 744 ✭✭✭
3 things I like to focus on at 100BB:

I'm almost never folding sets ((maybe 4 card flush runouts, maybe), no matter how bad it looks

I will not win with sets all the time no matter how good it looks

I am human and will only do myself a disservice by believing I know my opponents hands, ranges, actions etc. with absolute certainty

spots like this become mush easier

• Red Chipper Posts: 1,245 ✭✭✭✭
Can't get me off sets for 100 BB's.
• Red Chipper Posts: 294 ✭✭✭
edited July 2018
Call

Tight players punt off their stacks all the time with over pairs, they are the group of people who have hardest time folding AA or KK, especially on a board this dry.

Imagine if you are the UTG player and holding AA on such dry board, and your flop bet gets a call and a raise from someone who has less than \$200, what would you do? You’d probably shove too, because the caller is of very little concern in this hand, because he probably has Tx and will fold 90% of the time to your shove. You’ll be looking to get heads up with the lady with \$200. So yeah, the UTG is much more likely holding AA than TT here.

If you decide to set mine, don’t be afraid to get coolered, because the chance of you losing after flopping a set is built into the math of the recommended 20x stack to bet ratio. I’m calling 100% here, especially on a flop this ragged.
• Red Chipper Posts: 1,828 ✭✭✭✭
A thing which hasn't been discussed here is aggro tendencies of MP1. Yet @moishetreats talked about her calling mistakes, but not raising profile.
And how this could impact UTG's decision.

Otherwise I'm more with @PBF_Prodigy .
I also think we could / should raise his c-bet very often.
• Red Chipper Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭✭
Thank you all again for your comments.
I think the problem is that even in your own words, you're unsure if set-mining against him is good or not (it's not).

Good point. I felt confident that UTG isn't a player who pays off made hands, so set mining might have been ambitious. That being said, I DID feel confident that UTG would triple barrel an overpair.

The point remains, though: set-mining might not be as profitable here as I had presumed.

Yanming Z wrote: »
Tight players punt off their stacks all the time with over pairs, they are the group of people who have hardest time folding AA or KK, especially on a board this dry.

True, but not in this case, IMO. This guy would likely triple-barrel lead with AA or KK on a dry board but might well fold to a shoved raise. That does, though, go back to @PBF_Prodigy's point that the set-mining odds might not have been as strong as I had presumed.

@Red: You're correct, and I noted it before, that I didn't give enough consideration to MP1.

I hear y'all that calling is best, but, in the end, I couldn't get away from my screaming gut that V had exactly TT (top set).
I folded. MP1 insta-called and turned over 88 (flopped second set), and UTG turned over TT.

I'm remain unsure if it was a great fold (I still think so) or a better-lucky-than-good play: a bad fold that happened to be correct at the time. Should I be applauding my honed instincts, or was I having a results-oriented celebration....?

Thanks again for all the comments. Feel free to keep posting.
• Red Chipper Posts: 1,828 ✭✭✭✭
The point remains, though: set-mining might not be as profitable here as I had presumed.

No, but you should print money by exploiting his over folding tendencies.
• RCP Coach Posts: 1,684 -
edited July 2018
When people ask "Should I follow the math or go with my read" there are often two different ways they are asking.

1). There is no conflict between math and read. You have used your history, physical tells, etc to put Villain on a range that would be atypical for a more general average player.

This atypical range leads to a different answer than the generic range. This is using your read in conjunction with the math on that unique range. This is good IF and only IF your read is good and the math based on that premise is sound.

2.) The second thing people mean by this is they have an unclear and inarticulable reason to do something other than what the math says for the generic read on Villain. This could be a developing feel for the game (good growth, honing intuition.) This could be undisciplined "never tell me the odds, kid" stuff.
Co-founder Red Chip Poker,
Author Poker Plays You Can Use
Author Poker Workbook for Math Geeks
• Posts: 1,757 -
Yup, false syllogism.
Moderation In Moderation
• Red Chipper Posts: 91 ✭✭
edited July 2018
I folded. MP1 insta-called and turned over 88 (flopped second set), and UTG turned over TT.

I'm remain unsure if it was a great fold (I still think so) or a better-lucky-than-good play: a bad fold that happened to be correct at the time. Should I be applauding my honed instincts, or was I having a results-oriented celebration....?

Thanks again for all the comments. Feel free to keep posting.

set over set over set?

• Red Chipper Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭✭
Thanks, @Doug Hull: Great articulation!
• Red Chipper Posts: 5,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
Great fold. Don't think I could fold here despite thinking MP had a set. Hoping for the best and trying to win the \$300 side if hero called most of the time. You have been running into monsters! I saw this exact hand at bay101 maybe two years ago in a 235 game for like \$4,000 pot. The guy with 22 wishes he had your read..... There was a possible flush draw on board so all 3 sets got it in incase someone had like Jd9d. Hopefully you have been crushing with this instinct of yours.
• Red Chipper Posts: 294 ✭✭✭
Doug Hull wrote: »
2.) The second thing people mean by this is they have an unclear and inarticulable reason to do something other than what the math says for the generic read on Villain. This could be a developing feel for the game (good growth, honing intuition.) This could be undisciplined "never tell me the odds, kid" stuff.

It’s interesting, on a lot of hand reviews done by Alec Torreli on his YouTube channel, he uses the phrase “have the discipline to trust your feelings”. He’s reasoning is that your subconscious mind can notice things at a live table your conscious mind cannot, and your brain is combining years of poker experience to give you that “feeling”.

But his “feelings” are developed from years of high level play. I guess for people who has used math to play poker for years, going with their gut at certain spots is considered “disciplined” while going with good old math is not.

• Red Chipper Posts: 158 ✭✭
edited July 2018
I'm not a huge live tells guy, but the "act weak/disgusted/mad, then follow with a strong action" pattern--specifically on the river--is one of the few reliable live tells I have identified. The trouble with the live tell, of course, is that it tells you only what the opponent THINKS of his/her holding--this doesn't mean you'd feel the same way about it. All of us reading your description of the UTG villain can clearly imagine someone of the same description who would feel like she has the nuts with AA here and give off the same super strong tell.

The fact that you have history with this player and were able to conjure up some specific instances of his tightness allows you to lean more heavily on your intuition here, imo. The "mathematical" approach is just something we players construct in the presence of incomplete information. As your information becomes more complete through things like live tells and player history, your range for villain could actually narrow down to a single hand, though this event is quite unlikely. It sounds like you made a case for it here!
• Red Chipper Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭✭
Thanks for the kind words, @Austin. I'll admit that, at least recently, I have been playing well -- even better than usual. I think that I've identified a couple of things that have been helping, so I hope that (a) I'm right about those, and, if so, that (b) I have the discipline to keep 'em going. We'll see :) :).

@Yanming Z and @Outlier: Thank you both, too. Your thoughts really build on @Doug Hull's comments and help me understand and give language to something that I had only been able to express feebly. I appreciate it!
«1

Drop image/file