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Poker Tells/Behavior, hosted by: Zachary Elwood Discussions about poker tells, behavior, and psychology, with a focus on live poker.

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Old 05-25-2018, 10:59 PM   #1
Shai Hulud
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Villain plays with phone and ignores other players after going all-in

What does it mean when someone makes a large bet (typically all-in) then quickly starts playing with their phone, typically ignoring you and any other players until a call or fold is made?

Most of what I've read says signs of relaxation indicate strength, and this seems like a sign of relaxation, but every time I've seen this behavior and the result, which granted has only been about five times, the guy was actually quite weak.

In three cases it was a semibluff, one case a guy overplaying TPWK, and another a guy overplaying TPTK.

The last may not seem weak but the hand went like this

2/5 game full ring live

I have AVillain plays with phone and ignores other players after going all-in:KVillain plays with phone and ignores other players after going all-in: in MP

UTG+1 25 I 75 LJ calls UTG+1 calls

Flop (225) AVillain plays with phone and ignores other players after going all-in:QVillain plays with phone and ignores other players after going all-in:4Villain plays with phone and ignores other players after going all-in

UTG+1 x I 100 both call

Turn (525) AVillain plays with phone and ignores other players after going all-in:QVillain plays with phone and ignores other players after going all-in:4Villain plays with phone and ignores other players after going all-in4Villain plays with phone and ignores other players after going all-in:

UTG+1 x. I intend to bet 200 but grab the wrong number of chips and 175. LJ ships 600. He immediately starts playing with his phone. UTG+1 folds. I think about 45s and call. LJ is still playing with his phone when I call. River is KVillain plays with phone and ignores other players after going all-in: and I chop vs. AVillain plays with phone and ignores other players after going all-in:KVillain plays with phone and ignores other players after going all-in

So with the 3-bet pre and my flop and turn bet AK is really one of the worst if not worst hands I expect to see here. I called because I thought no way he has AA or a 4, QQ probably flats the turn bet. The main hand that worried me was AQ as he might play it like this though I think a flat call would make more sense. What pushed me towards calling, knowing I was at best chopping, was that his shove was consistent with throwing me off a chop and I had seen this tell four times before--play with phone, ignore other players--and every time it had been pretty weak.

So what do you guys think? Is this behavior usually weak or is what I've seen aberrational?
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Old 06-06-2018, 06:16 AM   #2
SaveTheWhales
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Re: Villain plays with phone and ignores other players after going all-in

Something to consider with this is how to put the behavioral inconsistency in context.

For example, recently a player on my table deep in NLHE tournament raised and then conspicuously began studying the tournament stats up on the screen way over to his right (so he had to swing his head round nearly 90 degrees). This was something he had been doing on and off for the past few minutes, but only when he was out of a hand. So that is one inconsistency there. Then, once the action develops post flop he suddenly becomes re-interested in the hand. Somewhat comically, tbh. He held KK.

For your phone player, my read of the hand is he is looking for a call from a worse A or KK. He knows AQ and any 4 isn't folding, right? My suspicion is he has grabbed the phone to try to be inconspicuous, similar to my example above (he has been playing around with phone a lot in the game recently I suspect), but ended up messing that up royally.
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Old 07-07-2018, 01:14 PM   #3
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Re: Villain plays with phone and ignores other players after going all-in

If you saw the tell, and you saw the cards, can't you decide for yourself if it is a weakness tell or a strength tell?

Usually people don't turn AK into a bluff on an AQ44K run-out, but it totally depends on the players and the table dynamics.
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Old 07-07-2018, 01:18 PM   #4
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Re: Villain plays with phone and ignores other players after going all-in

Fwiw I'd probably consider it a "don't care if you do and don't care if you don't" tell, which means they are either on a draw or they think you are on a draw.
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Old 07-07-2018, 02:29 PM   #5
Shai Hulud
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Re: Villain plays with phone and ignores other players after going all-in

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Originally Posted by grant2 View Post
If you saw the tell, and you saw the cards, can't you decide for yourself if it is a weakness tell or a strength tell?

Usually people don't turn AK into a bluff on an AQ44K run-out, but it totally depends on the players and the table dynamics.
Sample size my friend. I've only seen this behavior a handful of times and also it seems to contradict the general notion that relaxation or aloofness is strong. For this specific player I think it's a sign of weakness but I've never run into him again so not very useful.

And the river K is meaningless as he shoved the AQ44 turn.
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Old 07-09-2018, 01:35 PM   #6
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Re: Villain plays with phone and ignores other players after going all-in

I think the most likely interpretation is that the player has already made his decision and is disinterested in what you decide to do. If he had a hand at one extreme or the other, he wouldn't be disinterested. Whether he's bluffing or has a monster, he will be interested in whether his bluff works or whether he wins a big pot when you call with worse. So I think this is most likely to be a hand in the middle, where he could either be ahead or behind and isn't sure whether he wants you to call or fold. Thus the indifference.
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:46 PM   #7
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Re: Villain plays with phone and ignores other players after going all-in

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Originally Posted by Shai Hulud View Post
Sample size my friend. I've only seen this behavior a handful of times and also it seems to contradict the general notion that relaxation or aloofness is strong. For this specific player I think it's a sign of weakness but I've never run into him again so not very useful.

And the river K is meaningless as he shoved the AQ44 turn.
I wasn't there but I personally don't think anyone with AK feels weak on an AQ44 board as played.

Especially when you don't snap-call, he knows he is not behind.

FWIW, relaxation vs. aloofness are different. Relaxation would be making chatter, leg tapping, leaning back.

Aloofness is directing attention away from the action. (like in this case). That's what suggests a feeling "i made the right decision based on my estimation of the odds, I'm ok with any response from opponent".
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:31 AM   #8
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Re: Villain plays with phone and ignores other players after going all-in

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I wasn't there but I personally don't think anyone with AK feels weak on an AQ44 board as played.

Especially when you don't snap-call, he knows he is not behind.

FWIW, relaxation vs. aloofness are different. Relaxation would be making chatter, leg tapping, leaning back.

Aloofness is directing attention away from the action. (like in this case). That's what suggests a feeling "i made the right decision based on my estimation of the odds, I'm ok with any response from opponent".
It's a 3 bet pot where I'm the 3 bettor. How is AK not weak after I bet twice? AK is literally the worst hand I can have here. I am uncapped. I'm never betting KK twice 3 ways. I'm not double barreling this texture multiway (not sure what I would even bluff with but supposing I 3 bet light with like 76s). From villain's perspective I can have 1 combo AA 3 combos QQ 6 combos AQ and 8 combos AK. He may assume I have no AQ in which case he's turning his hand into a bluff trying to blow me off a chop. Of course he may not realize any of this and just thinks "I has TPTK AI".

So he may not be aware his hand is rather weak but he should be.

Did you miss where I said he immediately started playing with his phone? No chance for me to snap call and the only hand I would super snap call before he can grab his phone (less than 1s) is aces. His decision about what to do after shoving was made already. He wasn't waiting on me to call then decided to mess with his phone. All in. Immediately grabs phone plays with it does not pay any more attention to me as I tank.

And I'm aware relaxation and aloofness are not the same thing. This guy was displaying both. Is aloofness not generally considered strong? Like a guy goes all in and turns to watch the TV. You're suggesting it indicates indifference. Seems possible but I'm not sure.
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Old 07-11-2018, 12:08 PM   #9
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Re: Villain plays with phone and ignores other players after going all-in

I’ll do this (play with my phone) when bluffing or value betting. I do this when the villain tanks and I’m tired of being stoic.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:02 PM   #10
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Re: Villain plays with phone and ignores other players after going all-in

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shai Hulud View Post
AK is literally the worst hand I can have here.
So YOU think.

But this isn't a forum about what YOU think. This is a forum about what the VILLAIN thinks, and how he expresses it via tells.

You seem certain that Villain's thought process was:

"My TPTK is probably dominated. Therefore I am going to bluff $400 into this $875 pot, hoping villain will fold a dominant hand despite getting 3:1 odds to call."

a muuuuuuuuch more likely thought process is:

"I might be winning, I might be losing. However, I have decided that I'm putting my entire stack in this hand, no matter what. I think shipping it now gives me the greatest advantage."


Quote:
So he may not be aware his hand is rather weak but he should be.
Operating on the assumption that villains "should" do something is a mistake. The whole purpose of poker is to do the opposite of what your opponents want.

Quote:
And I'm aware relaxation and aloofness are not the same thing. This guy was displaying both. Is aloofness not generally considered strong? Like a guy goes all in and turns to watch the TV. You're suggesting it indicates indifference. Seems possible but I'm not sure.
I don't think aloof correlates with strength.

I think aloof correlates with indifference, specifically, "indifference in attempting to analyze or influence the remaining action".

Darth_Maul already explained why, I agree with him.
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:06 AM   #11
Shai Hulud
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Re: Villain plays with phone and ignores other players after going all-in

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Originally Posted by grant2 View Post
So YOU think.

But this isn't a forum about what YOU think. This is a forum about what the VILLAIN thinks, and how he expresses it via tells.
And this is why tells are problematic. Maybe villain does see AK as strong here. In a 3 bet pot. Where the 3 bettor has bet twice already. Even if he does think it's strong just calling makes a lot more sense. There are no rivers that really change anything. So I might read villain as thinking he's strong but he's actually just clueless. In which case the tell is not useful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grant2 View Post
You seem certain that Villain's thought process was:

"My TPTK is probably dominated. Therefore I am going to bluff $400 into this $875 pot, hoping villain will fold a dominant hand despite getting 3:1 odds to call."

a muuuuuuuuch more likely thought process is:

"I might be winning, I might be losing. However, I have decided that I'm putting my entire stack in this hand, no matter what. I think shipping it now gives me the greatest advantage."
I'm not certain about anything or I wouldn't have made a thread about it right? But at the time my thinking was he just jammed 600 into 700 with a hand that chops with the weakest part of my range. It seemed bluffy to me, and it was bluffy from my perspective as I did consider folding. Maybe based on me accidentally betting small OTT he thought I was weak. IDK.

Your second explanation might be what was going on. I don't know why he wouldn't flat in position though if he views his hand as strong and thinks I have JJ or something. The decision to shove makes little sense to me. I think in retrospect he's just a level 0 player who decided to GII with TPTK. Either that or a level 2 player trying to get me off a chop.

Indifference here might as well be weakness. AQ QQ or 4x would expect to be usually ahead and want a call. So indifference to my action would seem to make these hands less likely.
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Old 07-16-2018, 12:35 PM   #12
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Re: Villain plays with phone and ignores other players after going all-in

I will sometimes immerse myself in my phone when Villain is tanking BOTH when I have the nuts and when Iím bluffing

So, for me, it shouldnít tell you which it is. Maybe your phone user is the same, maybe not - try to build up a database for him on this

In both cases Iím just not wanting to give off a tell ... and using the phone, or watching TV, or thinking deeply about some non poker issue (maybe what to have for dinner) is a good tool. Using the phone is likely the best tool
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