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Old 05-15-2017, 05:12 PM   #1
JayKon
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Mason's psychology book and forcing hands to be shown

I've been playing a long time and have gotten sick of people saying something like "you're good" and getting you to show out of turn, then tabling the winner. So, several years ago, I started getting rather picky about showing my hand in-turn.

However, because of Mason's comments about forcing losers to show their hand, I'm beginning to question if this is right 100% of the time.

In a 2/5 NL hand I played recently, I called a guy down with AK (catching a K on the river) because I was convinced he was semi-bluffing from the flop. After I called, he said he missed and didn't want to show. However, I just sat there waiting.

Finally, he showed and I tabled immediately. He then left the game (and as a result, the game got tougher).

So, I am seriously considering showing out-of-turn sometimes (like when it's a bad player I want to keep in the game). However, I would like some input before I do.
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:29 AM   #2
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Mason's psychology book and forcing hands to be shown

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayKon View Post
I've been playing a long time and have gotten sick of people saying something like "you're good" and getting you to show out of turn, then tabling the winner. So, several years ago, I started getting rather picky about showing my hand in-turn.

However, because of Mason's comments about forcing losers to show their hand, I'm beginning to question if this is right 100% of the time.

In a 2/5 NL hand I played recently, I called a guy down with AK (catching a K on the river) because I was convinced he was semi-bluffing from the flop. After I called, he said he missed and didn't want to show. However, I just sat there waiting.

Finally, he showed and I tabled immediately. He then left the game (and as a result, the game got tougher).

So, I am seriously considering showing out-of-turn sometimes (like when it's a bad player I want to keep in the game). However, I would like some input before I do.
Hi JayKon:

One of reasons I put the word "Real" in the title of my book is that I wanted to cover some standard events that occur at the poker table and what you need to do to maximize your expectation relative to these events. Who should turn over their hand first is one example.

For others who have not bought the book, here is what it says starting on page 50:

Quote:
One form of needling, which is very popular among struggling professional players, is to ask to see their opponent’s cards when the hand is over. Perhaps our struggling pro will learn how his opponent plays. But in reality, all he may do is embarrass the live one into playing much better. I have seen many good games ruined when some “expert” forces all the live ones to play better simply because he shows the world how terrible they play and makes sure that they quit gambling. In reality, what happens is that the live one now feels that action is not the most important thing anymore, instead, he becomes more interested in winning and thus changes his play.
Notice that the above is mostly concerned with the quality of the losing player's game. Many of them are well aware how to play better but then it means they'll need to play tighter which is something they don't like. However, in extreme cases, as you found out, they'll sometimes quit the game which is often the best thing for them to do from an expectation perspective.

The downside is that you'll occasionally turn over the losing hand and then your opponent will table his. And while annoying, it's much better than to have this player start to play better, or even leave.

So my advice is to let him show first, but if he seems very hesitant to do so, and/or states that he has nothing, and he's a bad player, go ahead and turn your hand over. You should be the winner the large majority of the time.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:12 PM   #3
George Rice
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Re: Mason's psychology book and forcing hands to be shown

To avoid getting annoyed in situations like this, and other similar ones, I try to not to put any weight on what another player claims, and wait to see his or her hand (or it's mucked) before assuming I've won. I also don't let the cards out of my control until I see a better hand, even if the dealer claims I've lost.
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Old 05-16-2017, 05:25 PM   #4
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Re: Mason's psychology book and forcing hands to be shown

Thanks Mason,

I think I'll do as you suggested, with one modification. I'll show the minimum necessary to prove I have a hand. In this case, the K. I suppose I could show the A, but that would also be a needle. Then wait for him to show, or muck.
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Old 05-16-2017, 06:13 PM   #5
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Re: Mason's psychology book and forcing hands to be shown

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Thanks Mason,

I think I'll do as you suggested, with one modification. I'll show the minimum necessary to prove I have a hand. In this case, the K. I suppose I could show the A, but that would also be a needle. Then wait for him to show, or muck.
Hi Jay:

In the example you give, there shouldn't be any problem. But what will occasionally happen is that you'll call someone down with ace-high and they'll say "You got me," and then after you show your hand, they'll show a small pair which can be very annoying. But my advice is to just live with it and move on to the next hand knowing that you kept them playing poorly and in the game.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 05-17-2017, 02:20 AM   #6
Montrealcorp
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Re: Mason's psychology book and forcing hands to be shown

Hi mason, would you hold the same opinion vs good players tho, that used this trick purposely to see your cards without them showing theirs ?

If he muck them i dont mind, but when they say your good and wait to see your cards before they muck them, that bugs me.
I would tend to ask them to muck before i show my cards or i would ask them to show first, but only vs good players.

I see a lot of good players abuse that trick vs fish, making them show first.

Would you make an exception when you see good players abuse this vs you or vs others ( tho if i am not in the hand i just let it go) ?
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Old 05-17-2017, 02:24 AM   #7
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Mason's psychology book and forcing hands to be shown

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Hi mason, would you hold the same opinion vs good players tho, that used this trick purposely to see your cards without them showing theirs ?
Hi Montrealcorp:

No.

Quote:
If he muck them i dont mind, but when they say your good and wait to see your cards before they muck them, that bugs me.
I would tend to ask them to muck before i show my cards or i would ask them to show first, but only vs good players.
Sounds reasonable to me.

Quote:
I see a lot of good players abuse that trick vs fish, making them show first.
I believe this is a mistake that these people are making and I've watched it for many, many years.

Quote:
Would you make an exception when you see good players abuse this vs you or vs others ( tho if i am not in the hand i just let it go) ?
This depends. But if a good player does it enough, telling him to stop is fine with me. However, a really good player will know not to do this.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 05-17-2017, 02:29 AM   #8
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Re: Mason's psychology book and forcing hands to be shown

Thx mason
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:37 AM   #9
George Rice
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Re: Mason's psychology book and forcing hands to be shown

Another way to deal with this situation, if you call down a weak player with something like AK unimproved, simply announce your hand while calling. Even do this if you think you've won with a better hand. You don't really need to see his bluff, and it speeds up the game a little.
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Old 05-26-2017, 06:28 AM   #10
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Mason's psychology book and forcing hands to be shown

Hi Everyone:

I played briefly in a $20-$40 limit hold 'em game at The Bellagio earlier this evening and this exact sort of thing came up. On the river, I was last to act in a fairly large pot. My holding was king-jack, the high card on board was a king, and I had been leading the betting. And with three of us still in the pot, a third suited card hit and there was no bet.

The first person to act, who was in the big blind, was someone who didn't play well, was recently new to this game, and has been playing a lot lately, said "King." I quickly turned my hand over so that this person would not have to show the kicker to the king assuming my hand was good.

Now if it turns out that I get to see a queen or an ace kicker, it'll be annoying and I will have given some information away about how I play. But in this spot, in my opinion, the idea of not embarrassing someone was more important.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 05-26-2017, 09:40 PM   #11
JayKon
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Re: Mason's psychology book and forcing hands to be shown

Yea, I'm still feeling my way into doing this, however, I agree that this keeps the poorer players happier and in the game longer.
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Old 05-27-2017, 05:31 PM   #12
George Rice
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Re: Mason's psychology book and forcing hands to be shown

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
Hi Everyone:

I played briefly in a $20-$40 limit hold 'em game at The Bellagio earlier this evening and this exact sort of thing came up. On the river, I was last to act in a fairly large pot. My holding was king-jack, the high card on board was a king, and I had been leading the betting. And with three of us still in the pot, a third suited card hit and there was no bet.

The first person to act, who was in the big blind, was someone who didn't play well, was recently new to this game, and has been playing a lot lately, said "King." I quickly turned my hand over so that this person would not have to show the kicker to the king assuming my hand was good.

Now if it turns out that I get to see a queen or an ace kicker, it'll be annoying and I will have given some information away about how I play. But in this spot, in my opinion, the idea of not embarrassing someone was more important.

Best wishes,
Mason
Reminds me of a funny hand with two friends remaining in the hand at the river. Player 1 bets and Player 2 calls. While calling, player 2 announces "king". Player 1 questions, "Kickerrrrrrrrr"? Player 2 immediately flips over AK for top pair top kicker, happy to have won the hand. Player 2 proceeds to flip over a flush.

Good thing they were old friends.
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