Seeking feedback on how I played an MTT hand


I am totally NOT in the “expert” category and, like you, happily learned a lot from everyone better than myself all of whom were generous in their help and advice. One of the things I did learn from one of them - which helped me immensely - was to never second-guess a decision. You can Monday morning quarterback now but a lot of poker is table feel, intuition and the ability to take risks that aren’t necessarily “logical.” Especially when the table thinks they have your play style pegged. So I will let the more experienced folks respond to the mechanics of your play but, for me, you made the right play at the right time and it just didn’t work out. That doesn’t mean it was a bad play.


Having read some of the analyses more carefully I cannot help but be impressed with the poker knowledge so many players on RP have. And I do enjoy reading the strategy books and watching WSOP, etc. and hearing the discussion on odds and percentages. However, a lot of the analysis is based on the presumption that all the other players at the table are making logical, statistically correct highly skilled poker bets (limping in, calling, raising, reraising, shoving, etc.) which we all know is not the case. So, unless you are playing with pros who really know the game, I still think table feel is one of the most important skills. I do remember someone telling me “think, feel, play” which I am happy to report is what I do 100% of the time. Though not necessarily in that order.


That is part of the problem with playing online is you do not get to see body signals that can help you play a hand but you will notice many players will pause longer than normal when they hit a card they wanted and you can rad their clock for signals.

You can also use that to throw people off for a bluff by taking a longer pause on a hand you want them to think you hit.

It is harder to do in a tourney because you are not on a table long enough to read a person you have never played before but it helps in ring games.


I’m really noticing I’m starting to think more as I play and starting to feel out players and tables a little more. My biggest mistakes are no doubt made when my focus and endurance become compromised. I notice it right away. Before I would be extremely disappointed with the mistake(s) and now I’m better at recognizing the mistake and learning from it. Made a few tonight, and will use them to help grow. Thanks for the feedback!


A lot of my play regarding the clock is unintentional, simply because I’m thinking about things going on at the time. Often times I am not able to think as quickly as the average person, so a simple decision takes me longer than most…but it is unintentional. I wonder how many others are in that boat! :slight_smile:


great insight . thank you for the chance to learn as i hope you all do every day


this coming from a bingo player


i would have pushed too


That is a good point and is why you can’t assume anything and have to be on a table with a person for awhile and see them play out hands and then you can start to see the clock signals.

I should have also said the clock signals are usually verified by the bet that follows when they were just calling and suddenly they raise so it is a double check on what you are seeing.

Can be good when you are playing both ends of a straight and you notice them pause on the low end and you have the high or on pairs when you want to know which pair they are probably playing.

Nothing is an exact science in poker but any little thing that helps you win a hand is a good skill to work on IMO.


Using the clock signal is one of the ways i use to read players intentions on what they may or may not do. However this only works if the player does not use or know about how to use the clock signals because then it becomes a flawed assumption because they can use it in a way to throw u off of your assumption, thats how i use the clock, pausing longer or checking very fast when u are gonna check/raise and have the nut hand or top pair for example. pausing longer to make them think u are thinking about betting and have something but are thinking what or if to bet when u actually have nothing but wanna see another card without having to call a bet … for example if u are on a draw. so its a very powerful tool once u get the feel for what each different clock signals mean and after u have seen all the players play several hands u will know if they are using it too or dont know based upon the following decisions or actions they make. Basically it is part of the psycological part of the game which is a very important part of the game. The players that only know and use the mathematical probability of hands to make decisions in the game are missing out on capitalizing on profits of winning the pot with hands that wouldnt usually hold up to win.


Timing tells can provide a little info, but they can also easily be faked.

The most reliable tell by far is the delayed action. If someone almost runs out the clock, then bets. calls, or raises, they almost always have something. They are trying to look like it’s a hard decision, which probably means it isn’t.

However, keep in mind that there can be lots of reasons for someone showing various timings. They could have a slow connection, be distracted in real life, or playing several tables, to name just a few.

In general, it’s probably better to try to take the same amount of time for any action you make other than folding. There’s little point in running out the clock before you fold, except when you are actually facing a hard decision.


ya but im not talking about running out the whole clock, the only signal that gives is if someone does that then raises/re raises big, then the most likely have a great hand and is justified. im talking about a a fast active playing table for the most part with no obvious disconnections or multitasking going on. a fast check when u have flopped 2 pairs or trips is the best scenario because most players wont think u caught anything but that fast check sets u up for a nice check/raise to capitalize on, works for me most of times and u can really up ur stake early on in a tourney doing that. we cant see body language like live cash games so this is one of just a few that u can use as signals in online play.


Sure, I agree with you there. You’re trying to make it look like you checked the “check/fold” button in order to induce a bet or bluff. Of course, I would never do such an underhanded, scandalous thing myself since I’m a paragon of virtue and not a ne’er-do-well or rapscallion, but I do see your point.


lol but u would rip the spleen out of someone and eat it as u said in a prior post, i will stick with the check/raises :slight_smile: of course u have to integrate all of this into when to show and not show good hands,and when to show and not show bluffs, all of this combined makes for a good recipe but not as good as yor spleen that u love so much :slight_smile:


Haha, fair enough. :slight_smile:


This hand was played 100% correctly. It’s kind of an unfortunate situation in a way to be quite honest. You need this pot to move yourself into a position where you have room to play and the ammo to put struggling players to decisions easily as the tournament continues. At the same time, since villain raised in approximately 1/6th of his stack he’s probably never folding and you can expect a race from pocket pairs, some dominated aces, maybe some stuff like KQ, KJ if he’s feeling rather heroic. The reason I don’t celebrate the necessity of this hand is because his range has significant equity against you, therefore requiring you to put your life on the line. So while putting those chips in the middle is absolutely correct, in the grand scheme of things you want your life to be on the line in MTTs as little as humanly possible. Does that makes sense?

Consider this: Suppose you get AA all in in the same tourney 20 times against 72o, but the catch 22 is that your tournament life is on the line every time. Now suppose I go all in for my life twice, but am at a meager 40% equity both times. Which player is more likely to win it all? Given the choice, I want to be all in for my life as little as possible in an MTT. You achieve this by finding ways to quietly build your stack and seize certain opportunities to skim pots at little to no risk. Of course, there’s never a guarantee and sometimes no matter what you do you’ll end up in spots like this. So in short, do the best you can during every tournament to build a stack that can take some hits like this. At the same time, when these situations do arise, keep doing what you’re doing!

Now here’s a thought: Suppose you have this exact same situation, except villain is 1st place in chips, dwarfing most other players, and he barely covers you, who are in 2nd place. What will you do in this situation??



In my experience, people turning out not to be making logical choices is far more likely to open up their range in a way which is harmful to themselves than it is to be harmful to you. I regularly have people, both here and for real cash, show up with hands I didn’t think were possible. Sometimes it really really hurts. Mostly though it just gives them more weak hands to make mistakes with.