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Thread: Perception can or can't be taught?

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    Strangelove's Avatar
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    Default Perception can or can't be taught?

    Think back on your noob days. How long did it take you to get to the point where you felt perceptive, until you were experienced enough against other experienced players to be reliably +EV long term?

    I made a very dumb mistake tonight. I had been getting bad cards and a nitty image, so I assumed an opponent's reraise was to chase me off when I should have pegged him for a made or monster hand. Instead, in a 5-handed game, I called with A9s. Flop came JXX and I decided to represent top pair with all-in. He had pocket jacks.

    Is poker one of those things where after a certain amount of time put in, you either have it or you don't? Honestly.

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    Even if you had "top pair", let's say AJ, your opponent is calling with AA, KK, probably QQ, and of course JJ, 4 of the 5 hands at the top of his range. In fact, if he's raising with those hands, he wants you to shove with "top pair." The only credible shoving hands you could have would be top 2 pair or a set, an extremely unlikely result.

    Any good bluff needs to be credible, needs to make sense, needs to be 'constructed', if you will, telling a believable 'story' to a competent opponent. For example, even if you had flopped a set, why then would you be instantly shoving all in? Wouldn't you hold back, let me (as the aggressor) make at least one flop bet before you brought the hammer down? So your shove is highly suspect no matter what. It just isn't a reasonable play. Almost any good opponent will realize these kinds of things. Assume your opponents are skilled until they prove otherwise.

    So, sure. Over time, these things will become more and more apparent. You need to study books, read articles, gain experience, keep playing. Good play will become second nature eventually, and the intricacies of the game become more and more clear. Your sense of what to do, and when, will improve the longer you play and keep an open mind to the way the game really works.

    Good luck!

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    Sounds like you were on some form of tilt and wanted to make something happen. You saw an opportunity that wasn't actually there. Nice work recognizing it for what it is, you'll be better prepared for the next time.
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    Really good advice, thank you. I figured he might have Ax or KQ, but it really was a poorly constructed bluff, and it all comes back to my decision preflop that he was reacting to my image rather than advertising a pocket pair with his 3x reraise. Had I not been getting very bad cards (and yes, Rych, probably a form of tilt), I might've seen that clearly. My fault.

    But anyway, cogently my question is this: How long did it take you to get to the point Queso described? I'm not a blithering idiot but I don't feel that perceptive tbh. I ask because I'm not keen on taking losses at live tables until I get savvy enough.

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    Eh, when I played I was constantly learning. Since I played SNGs and turbo MTTs online I tried to pay attention to bet sizing more than anything, especially preflop. I also took notes on the actual client I was playing on, every site had some method of recording notes on players (though Bovada took that away since they when with anon players). Just being aware that you have to pay attention to what is going on at the table(s), that alone is a skill worth having.
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    Alright. Thanks again for your advice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strangelove View Post
    Think back on your noob days. How long did it take you to get to the point where you felt perceptive, until you were experienced enough against other experienced players to be reliably +EV long term?

    I made a very dumb mistake tonight. I had been getting bad cards and a nitty image, so I assumed an opponent's reraise was to chase me off when I should have pegged him for a made or monster hand. Instead, in a 5-handed game, I called with A9s. Flop came JXX and I decided to represent top pair with all-in. He had pocket jacks.

    Is poker one of those things where after a certain amount of time put in, you either have it or you don't? Honestly.
    Good stuff by Queso and Ricky as usual, but, possibly, a little advanced. Let me get back to basics.

    Top two mistakes when running a bluff:

    1) assuming people are paying attention as to how you are playing. People who are sitting in for full buy-ins and are auto-topping up, might be paying some attention to the actual flow of the game, if they're playing 6 tables or less and even that's tenuous. Otherwise regs will just be playing your stats, regardless of what you do. So don't get fancy with them by polarising your range the wrong way.

    2) given you've identified someone who's paying attention, then assuming they're dumber than you. What do you think this 3-better read you for when you just called? -that's right: an unpaired suited hand, AKo or an underpair to the board. You would have had more chance of a fold, pre-flop, by 4-betting than you did by shoving this flop. As Queso points out, you're not constructing a believable story to any aware opponent.

    But: don't worry about making this mistake. It's all a learning a learning experience. Pretty soon you will start to see through the basic stuff. Next will be to garner a sense of being coolered against totally unaware opponents, which I haven't mastered at all.
    greasy likes this.

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    Well, to break it down even more clearly, let's just say this then: stop bluffing. There is almost no need ever to bluff in a cash game. It's thrill-seeking behavior. It just isn't necessary to be a winning player. Pulling off a well constructed bluff is something you will need to do from time to time. But again, hardly ever. Just play solid poker.

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    Well, you could semi-bluff. At least then you have a chance. :)
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyckyRych View Post
    Well, you could semi-bluff. At least then you have a chance. :)
    Well, yes, of course. A semi bluff is a completely different animal.

    I meant bluffing with nothing

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