Two Plus Two Poker Forums Math or 'Feel' - which do you use when playing live?
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 Small Stakes Limit Discussions about small stakes Texas Hold'em (from 2/4 to around 15/30)

 06-08-2012, 04:09 PM #1 enthusiast     Join Date: May 2012 Location: in an RV Posts: 81 Math or 'Feel' - which do you use when playing live? I'm curious how many of you actually keep track of pot size and make your decisions based on it - vs. how many eyeball the pot, consider the odds of making your hand, and make your decisions based on that. Personally I've read dozens of books and have been playing poker for at least 5 years. While I'd like to say that I do the math before chasing with draws, the truth is I play based on what I'd call 'feel' or instincts most of the time. If the pot looks large enough to chase my OESD, FD, or even a GSSD or set draw, then I chase it. If I think villain will pay off a raise when I hit my hand then I'll chase a little light, etc.. After many years of playing I'd say I can guess a pot size within a bet or 2 just by looking at it - but would long-time players consider this a leak? Should we be calculating or counting the pot while we play to make sure we factor in accurate pot odds and make the +EV play in each hand? (obv this applies to draws more than pots where we're ahead to begin with)
 06-08-2012, 05:33 PM #2 Carpal \'Tunnel   Join Date: May 2009 Posts: 8,149 Re: Math or 'Feel' - which do you use when playing live? I keep track of every single pot and every single bet. Now having said that, I *DON'T* think that you actually need to make every single decision on the razor's edge, but I don't believe that online either. We don't, after all, have precise information about how good our outs are or what our opponents' ranges are. But I still want to know what the exact number of bets in the pot is. Having said that, I don't recommend the "eyeball" approach for another reason. I think that 99.99 percent of live players are prone to distraction. Counting the pot requires that you watch the game carefully, which is reason enough to do it.
 06-08-2012, 06:42 PM #3 old hand     Join Date: Sep 2009 Location: My head hurts Posts: 1,413 Re: Math or 'Feel' - which do you use when playing live? one or two bets either way would sway me from a call to a fold. i keep track of pot odds in every hand that im delt into.
 06-08-2012, 07:11 PM #4 stranger   Join Date: Dec 2011 Location: Bay Area Posts: 9 Re: Math or 'Feel' - which do you use when playing live? If Im playing 3/6 then no. Most pots where I play are often 6 or 7 handed.
 06-08-2012, 07:13 PM #5 East Coast Elephant     Join Date: Dec 2005 Location: CHASE QP, PAYPAL, AMAZON = UNSAFE! Posts: 18,387 Re: Math or 'Feel' - which do you use when playing live? better step up that math game. welcome to the forum.
 06-08-2012, 09:19 PM #6 Pooh-Bah     Join Date: Feb 2009 Location: Saint Paul, MN Posts: 3,712 Re: Math or 'Feel' - which do you use when playing live? I always count the pot and make my decisions accordingly. The guess work should be putting your opponents on ranges ... Not the math. Laziness is expensive.
 06-08-2012, 09:48 PM #7 Formerly red     Join Date: Sep 2005 Posts: 12,435 Re: Math or 'Feel' - which do you use when playing live? I spend most of my time watching the other players. I can't count the pot and watch to the extent I want to at the same time so it's 'eyeball' for me.
 06-09-2012, 02:51 AM #8 grinder     Join Date: Mar 2009 Posts: 557 Re: Math or 'Feel' - which do you use when playing live? drop down a limit one day and just focus on counting the pot (with thinking about combo counting and what he thinks you have being secondary), do this for every hand even after you've folded. Count in terms of bets, small bets on and before the flop, then half that number to get big bets on the turn and river. It's important to think in terms of bets instead of monetary value both for ease of moving to a new level and seperating the psychology of how many cheeseburgers you're risking (actually, thinking in terms of cheeseburgers might not be a bad alternative(it's probably more delicious)). You can even practice by railing an online cash game. If you practice this, you'll get really efficient at knowing exactly how big the pot is at all times and it also helps you recall hands better.
06-09-2012, 03:48 AM   #9
old hand

Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,413
Re: Math or 'Feel' - which do you use when playing live?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by iseedeadmoney drop down a limit one day
there is a 2/5 limit where i've played a couple times. pot odds on the turn just get all messed up when counting bets

 06-09-2012, 03:49 AM #10 veteran   Join Date: Sep 2002 Location: Silicon Valley Posts: 2,082 Re: Math or 'Feel' - which do you use when playing live? I usually total up the pot at the end of each street when the dealer is pushing the bets into the pot, if I'm still involved in the hand. If I need to make a close decision, I may call time to add up the pot and guess what the people to my left are going to do.
06-09-2012, 01:08 PM   #11
Yes, you barred

Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 13,150
Re: Math or 'Feel' - which do you use when playing live?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by mikeca I usually total up the pot at the end of each street when the dealer is pushing the bets into the pot, if I'm still involved in the hand. If I need to make a close decision, I may call time to add up the pot and guess what the people to my left are going to do.
This is pretty much how I roll unless I'm in hyper A Game mode

06-09-2012, 01:38 PM   #12
grinder

Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 557
Re: Math or 'Feel' - which do you use when playing live?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Arseface there is a 2/5 limit where i've played a couple times. pot odds on the turn just get all messed up when counting bets

06-09-2012, 02:51 PM   #13
old hand

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: where the T50 chip doesn't exist
Posts: 1,220
Re: Math or 'Feel' - which do you use when playing live?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Arseface there is a 2/5 limit where i've played a couple times. pot odds on the turn just get all messed up when counting bets
Multiply by 5, then divide by 2. It's only a little harder than divide by 2.

 06-09-2012, 03:55 PM #14 journeyman     Join Date: Apr 2005 Posts: 342 Re: Math or 'Feel' - which do you use when playing live? I always know (a lot of the time the dealers even tell you) how many see a flop. At that point I figure out the Small Bets by just multiplying how many bets there were pre by the number of players. Then it is easy from there. At smaller stakes. Usually at that point you know if you can chase a gut-shot or try to make a 5 outter for 2pr/trips. I mean flush and OESDs are easy because you almost always have the odds. Once in a while, I will have to recall the action to see if I have the odds to peel the flop for a set in a raised or 3 bet multi-way pot.
 06-09-2012, 05:05 PM #15 Wot     Join Date: Aug 2005 Location: Money for nothin and chips for free Posts: 6,130 Re: Math or 'Feel' - which do you use when playing live? RobbyD's got it right. It's usually only the gutshots and 5-outers that you have to count for. OESD/flush draws are automatic, and you very rarely have the 22:1 for a 2-outer set draw with a pocket pair.

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