Monday, April 24, 2006

Synchrony as it relates to Bluffing

Considerable chatter regarding physical tells exists and is neatly summarized in the Mike Caro classic.

However, there is a real problem within the lack of reliability in physical tells.

Good players can utilize reverse tells and bad players tend to be inconsistent.

we all know how expensive a misread can be ...

Better players need to look a little deeper into their opponents actions.

It is funny how little play the topic of synchrony gets in the “tells” literature.

Synchrony refers to either occurrence at the same time or movement at the same rate. Synchronous actions are innate and very difficult to fake. Where it equates to bluffing/deception relates to the congruency of a player’s actions/words. Bluffing is likely occurring when synchrony does not occur between what is being said and the events at the time.

Things to look for:

1) Does my opponents head movement match their answer to a yes-or-no question?

2) Is there a noticeable delay in answering yes-or-no questions?

If the answer to the first question is no or to the second question is yes, then you have likely observed non-synchronous behavior and have more often than not sniffed out a bluff.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Presto Hand #2

This guy thinks he can raise the signature hand and live to tell about it?

Remaining Players: 44 (171 started)
Fuel55 dealt down
5s 5d
EP raises 1,600 to 3,200
Fuel55 calls 3,200 from MP
LP calls 3,200
Button raises 14,900 to 18,100 and is all-in

EP folds
Fuel55 calls 14,900
(gotta call with the signature hand!)
LP folds
Button's cards were Ad Td
Fuel55's cards were 5s 5d
>>>DEALING FLOP<<< [ 4h 3d 5c ]
>>>DEALING TURN<<< [ 5h ]
>>>DEALING RIVER<<< [ Ah ]
Fuel55 wins 46,800 with four of a kind, fives
Button finishes in 44th place

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

55 is the STONE COLD nutz

From time to time I will post all my glorious victories with presto, which loyal readers should know is my favorite hand.

Presto Hand #1:

SB posts $3
Fuel55 posts big blind $6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Fuel55 [5d 5h]
players 1-6 fold
Victim raises $18 to $24 from the CO
Button and SB fold

Fuel55 calls $18
*** FLOP *** [4h 8h 5s]
Fuel55 bets $24
Victim raises $144 to $168
Fuel55 calls $135.10 and is all-in
*** TURN *** [4h 8h 5s] [6h]
*** RIVER *** [4h 8h 5s 6h] [4d]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Fuel55 shows [5d 5h] (a full house, Fives full of Fours)
Victim mucks hand [Jh Jd]
Fuel55 collected $366.20 from pot

Monday, April 17, 2006


Reality check: poker is a brutal game.

As players, we face countless donks in the form of suckouts and drawouts. The summation of good play and bad, good cards and bad, and good luck and bad is variance. Given that there is no team behind you in poker, you have to deal with your own variance. Sure you may gripe to friends about this bad beat or that, but at the end of the day the variance of your bankroll is yours and yours alone. Plain and simply, it is every player for himself.

Clearly, winning at poker is good but it isn't everything in the short run. What really matters is making good decisions and, if you can do that, ultimately everything will work out in your favor.

Each and every hand we play has decision points and the player who make the best decisions about folding, calling, raising, and/or checking is the one who will win in the long run.

As I said in my first post, I often believe that I am the unluckiest player alive. I have learned to make good decisions and by in large get my money into pots with the best hand. But given that few hands are really that much far ahead of others, getting donked will forever be part of my poker experience. I have learned to get over it in the short run and I have learned to be largely unemotional about it all.

I think this quote by Thomas Carlyle is fitting in many areas of life, poker included.

"Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak."