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paranoia of being bluffed constantly, please help paranoia of being bluffed constantly, please help

11-08-2009 , 10:19 PM
I've been a poker player for seven years. I play all the games. I started with holdem and transitioned to mainly split pot games, omaha 8 and stud 8. Now I am back to holdem. I play small and microstakes. The most bankroll I ever had was about $1400.

I'm sure there are other players out there who experience the exact same feeling all the time. What I am talking about is the feeling that "the other guy" is bluffing more often than not. When he bets, you think "I don't believe him". When he raises, you consider factors which might make him think its a good situation to bluff. When he shoves all in, again, you don't believe him. It all gives you the tendency to call with weak hands or raise or even reraise with no hand.

My tendency derives from watching thousands of hands on TV. The amount of bluffing that is shown is immense. Crazy aggressive moves that I would never dream of. That is until I get to the poker table and start thinking "this guy is bluffing".

Some examples, nl holdem specific.

1) Blind on blind or button vs blind situations. When I am in the big blind, if the small blind raises after everyone folds to me, I'm compelled to feel he is stealing. The same with the button. Or when I have assumed the role of the thief. I raise on the button and a guy in the blinds 3 bets. Or I am in the small blind and raise and the BB 3 bets. In these situations I have started 4 betting with whatever I was raising with as opposed to what I used to do, call. I figure that he thinks i am stealing so he must be restealing. This play is all over the strategy forums.

2) On the flop with air/ace/king high - continuation betting. When i am the raiser and cbet, I get raised sometimes. I think they think I am cbetting so I reraise. If they are cbetting, I think they have nothing so I raise if I have nothing or I call a lot with weak hands like bottom pair. Say the flop is 67K and I have 56 suited. I hit a pair, each player has a 2 to 1 chance of hitting a pair or better. Its especially horrible when I am out of position. I call their cbet and the turn is a blank, i check to them, they bet and i think they are bluffing because i am showing weakness. Actually they have ace king or aces, they have me beat with whatever. So I call again and end up paying off a river bet assuming they are bluffing or folding because I get scared. This is all particularly the case when I am the blind and the button is the raiser.

3) When the other guy checks twice and then raises when i bet the turn. I always think this is a bluff because i believe someone who checks twice either does not have a hand or they dont understand they need to build the pot and bet if they want to get paid. Same for river. Say he checks flop, I bet, he calls. Turn he checks I check behind with a hand or not, if its a crappy pair or the turn was a bad card or i have nothing. Then say the board pairs and I got two pair. He checks again. I value bet my two pair and he mincheckraises?! I always call. He is bluffing i think. But never. They always have the trips or quads or full house etc.

So obviously i am spewing money thinking this way. Despite that, I continue to do it, perhaps to a lesser extent when i am concious of it. For example i just started folding bottom pair and not bothering with tough hands to play out of position postflop even though i am probably winning.

At the same time I am thinking "but i see them on TV, the pros, they make these great calls with hands like this" or "i hit a piece of the flop and now i fold because its not top pair or better, that is weak"

So my questions

1) how do i stop thinking this way
2) what do i do in my poker game to adjust
3) how do i adjust without being very weak postflop - how do i know when they are bluffing and its right to call with bottom pair on the flop, and how do i know when its right to fold.........

??????????
paranoia of being bluffed constantly, please help Quote
11-09-2009 , 04:15 AM
Quote:
1) how do i stop thinking this way
Well, first step is that you realize you have a problem.

Then there are a couple of other things. Too many players equate poker with cards. That is, "I have a better hand thus I should call". I would challenge you to expand your thinking to 'beyond' the cards to include bets and plays.

I was in a huge pot the other day with pocket Kings. Board was K 10 8, I bet and am called.

Turn was a 9. I bet, and am called.

River was a 7. I bet, and he raises all-in (triple the pot). Now, the player that did this was a little wild, but ,the board just got too scary. At this point, I'm not so much into my 'cards' as I am into the play. I had to respect the bet, in fact, I told myself that if he has the stones to hang around this pot just to push all in on the river, then he deserves this pot. I fold, he shows a bluff. Do I feel bad about folding? No.

Why? Various reasons. That sort of play only works for so long until the math catches up with him (which it did an hour later). I'll also eventually catch players like that which I got him later. And lastly, that is part of poker.

Basically, give yourself permission to be 'outplayed'. If you get outplayed, acknowledge it, respect it, fold and move on to the next hand. I know that sounds like horrid advice but IMO it is not. Too many players let their egos get the best of them and that is the start of all those 'hero' calls into gigantic negative EV situations.

Quote:
2) what do i do in my poker game to adjust
I think you may need to go back to poker fundamentals and ABC poker for a while. Also, you need to track your play. Map out all those situations in which you did those hero calls, bluffs, etc and understand the pattern so that you can prevent it next time.

Quote:
3) how do i adjust without being very weak postflop - how do i know when they are bluffing and its right to call with bottom pair on the flop, and how do i know when its right to fold.........
Very complex question, but the short answer is to look at player history. If the player in question is wild and donkey like, then there is a good chance he will be bluffing, conversely, if the player is solid, then there is a good chance he is not bluffing.

If the board has a 'draw' and the turn/river doesn't really improve the board and a player that was weak throughout the action bets strong on the river, then there is a good chance he is bluffing. Anyways, entire books have been written on this subject.

Overall, you ask some very complex questions that would take a long time to answer.

Go back to ABC poker for a while, map out your wins/loses, look for patterns, and stop hero calling until you have a better grasp of what you are doing wrong and WHY.

One thing I've done this year which has DRAMATICALLY improved my positive trend was to reduce my hero calls-- that is, calling with really weak hands that can only beat a bluff. Similarly, I'm very selective of when and WHO i bluff. (usually) You can only bluff out good players that respect your table image or weak mouse players that fold at the first sign of trouble.

good luck

Last edited by dgiharris; 11-09-2009 at 04:22 AM.
paranoia of being bluffed constantly, please help Quote
11-11-2009 , 03:38 AM
run some filters in hem to see exactly how much you're losing, say, when you get raised on the turn or river. i guarantee its a lot, perhaps enough to trigger something in your mind that says "hey i better cut this **** out".
paranoia of being bluffed constantly, please help Quote
11-12-2009 , 08:14 PM
The other thing to think about is that the pros that you see making bluffs all the time on tv are really not making bluffs all the time. First, watch the cash games and not the tournaments. You will see bluffs, of course, but more often when big money goes in there is a big hand.

But most televised poker shows probably no more than 1 out of every 10 hands that are dealt - probably less than that (I don't know the number, but I know it isn't high). So what hands do they show? Interesting hands. Those with big pots, and those with big bluffs. They don't show hands where everyone folds to a preflop raise, or where a C-bet takes it down.

The pros know that when someone shows strength in the face of an opponent who has shown strength, they most likely do have a big hand. And you will find in online poker, that when someone goes big, the majority of the time they have a big hand. Yes, sometimes they will be bluffing, but unless you have a monster yourself, it is better to just let it go.
paranoia of being bluffed constantly, please help Quote
11-12-2009 , 11:34 PM
people are bluffing you less than you think, just to answer you thread title.
paranoia of being bluffed constantly, please help Quote
11-13-2009 , 06:14 AM
Answer the question

What could he have that i beat?

ANd the answer is not usually 'bluff, or a busted flush draw'
paranoia of being bluffed constantly, please help Quote
11-15-2009 , 02:59 AM
Play HU hold'em. Your paranoia will become an asset.
paranoia of being bluffed constantly, please help Quote
11-17-2009 , 08:25 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by omaha
Answer the question

What could he have that i beat?

ANd the answer is not usually 'bluff, or a busted flush draw'
what if villian is capable of making thin vbets?
paranoia of being bluffed constantly, please help Quote
11-18-2009 , 04:01 PM
If you're right that the villain is bluffing a lot then eventually you'll catch him with his hand in the cookie jar when you HAVE a hand and make him pay.

I think you're misunderstanding one of the most important reasons why bluffing is good in NLHE. Bluffing is good because when you bluff someone and get caught the following thought goes into their mind "That guy is completely full of ****". This is a good thought for them to have.

Next time you're taking an identical line to the one you used with your bluff you turn over a set/straight/flush. Booom.

Bluffing gets villains to play like you. It doesn't just get people to fold better hands- it also gets them to make ******ed call downs when you have the nuts.

In the future try to not make very many heroic call downs unless you've personally seen your villain behave in a completely donkish full of **** manner.
paranoia of being bluffed constantly, please help Quote
11-19-2009 , 03:50 PM
i guess theres a difference between cashgame poker and tournamentpoker. especially for the problem u describe u have. I ve been playin many many years, and come to realize im an average ok type of tournament player and a bad cashgameplayer. Why is that? Because ive noticed i had best results in tournaments playing a very Tight agressivestyle. This way u try to keep pots small (or just fold), when u are not sure u have the best hand and try to make the pots very big when u are 90% sure or more that u have the best hand. The only thing u need to do then is run good and see good spots to steal blinds or isolate shortstacks or weak players, who u know have wide ranges.
U dont care about bein bluffed that way, because u know ull get ur spots.
Ofcourse this tactic works best at lowest stakes, the higher u get the harder it gets.
With cashgames i cannot help u out at all because i suck at them. Only thing i noticed is that when all money goes in, people are very rarely bluffin, especially on flop or river. I think people will bluff the most on flops and on turns, and almost never for their whole stack.
See u and good luck.
paranoia of being bluffed constantly, please help Quote
11-20-2009 , 09:49 AM
[QUOTE=dgiharris;14423517]Well, first step is that you realize you have a problem.


Basically, give yourself permission to be 'outplayed'. If you get outplayed, acknowledge it, respect it, fold and move on to the next hand. I know that sounds like horrid advice but IMO it is not. Too many players let their egos get the best of them and that is the start of all those 'hero' calls into gigantic negative EV situations.

This is criticial IMHO. You need to admit to yourself that you will sometimes be outplayed and move on to the next hand. Trying to catch out bluffs too often will lead to big losses in the long run and you will run into more hands that beat you than you will catch those bluffs.
Ask villain the question with a re-raise on the flop or turn and if he plays back at you then realise that more often than not he's strong.
From a psychological aspect I would ask whether this paranoia stems from subconcscious introspection of your own game. Perhaps you are a player who bluffs too much and attempts too many tricky moves yourself and therefore when players are showing strength you are convinced that they are playing like you are and bluffing too much?
Hope this helps.
paranoia of being bluffed constantly, please help Quote
11-20-2009 , 09:51 AM
Somehow screwed up the quote function. Was quoting 'dgiharris' above.
paranoia of being bluffed constantly, please help Quote
11-21-2009 , 12:40 PM
Quote:
I was in a huge pot the other day with pocket Kings. Board was K 10 8, I bet and am called.

Turn was a 9. I bet, and am called.

River was a 7. I bet, and he raises all-in (triple the pot). Now, the player that did this was a little wild, but ,the board just got too scary. At this point, I'm not so much into my 'cards' as I am into the play. I had to respect the bet, in fact, I told myself that if he has the stones to hang around this pot just to push all in on the river, then he deserves this pot. I fold, he shows a bluff. Do I feel bad about folding? No.

Why? Various reasons. That sort of play only works for so long until the math catches up with him (which it did an hour later). I'll also eventually catch players like that which I got him later. And lastly, that is part of poker.

Basically, give yourself permission to be 'outplayed'. If you get outplayed, acknowledge it, respect it, fold and move on to the next hand. I know that sounds like horrid advice but IMO it is not. Too many players let their egos get the best of them and that is the start of all those 'hero' calls into gigantic negative EV situations.
This was my biggest problem before. You can't catch all the bluffs. My mantra is to always minimize variance, and trying to catch all bluffs certainly does not help this.
paranoia of being bluffed constantly, please help Quote
11-22-2009 , 07:13 AM
maybe you could take a little time out and just observe games until you get a better read. figure out the percentage of the time, for instance, the small blind is raising, compared to how much they should be calling if they have the cards.

play much lower limit games, to the point that you don't really mind losing a few buy ins, and just call any time you think you're being bluffed, until you get a good handle on how often it's actually happening.

also, realize that psychologically, we tend to suspect other people of what we're guilty of. if you tend to bluff a lot from the small blind, you'll probably be more suspicious of small blind bluffs.
paranoia of being bluffed constantly, please help Quote
11-22-2009 , 08:34 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by tubasteve
run some filters in hem to see exactly how much you're losing, say, when you get raised on the turn or river. i guarantee its a lot, perhaps enough to trigger something in your mind that says "hey i better cut this **** out".
i did this for the turn in poker tracker

at 5c/10c in 13.4k hands i was raised on the turn 28 times. almost every single time i called and called the river when they bet i was no good

i think i read this thing called the baluga theorem, which says the vast majority of the time you get raised on the turn you do not have the best hand

also i have been listening to deuce plays on deucescracked. bart hanson talked about the importance of bet/folding a lot and thats helped me. the strategy is simply to bet any reasonable hand until you get raised and then strongly consider folding for the simple fact is that the majority of your opponents are weak tight or loose passive or nitty and wont raise without a monster hand
paranoia of being bluffed constantly, please help Quote
11-22-2009 , 10:52 AM
If you are playing micro and small stakes then it's not a big mistake to think they are NEVER bluffing. In the micros and small stakes a 3bet pf is almost always a strong hand. A raise is almost always a strong hand. A reraise is almost always a monster hand. It's best to assume everyone is a nit until they show you otherwise. The low stakes are infested with nits so you wont be too far wrong.
paranoia of being bluffed constantly, please help Quote
11-25-2009 , 12:04 AM
Im just gonna say that considering your playing split pot games, your paranoia might just be calling station-esque to get half the pot. You might have to just review your entire split pot game/theory.

As for NLHE, you must look at betting ranges. I mean thats what poker is about.
Look for every factor possible, but the most important is bluffing frequency and value betting range. Keep those 2 things in mind at all time.
paranoia of being bluffed constantly, please help Quote
06-22-2022 , 03:02 PM
I've been reading 2+2 for years but never once posted.
I signed up so I can say thank you for this post and its contributors.
It has made me very introspective about the game of poker and my life.
paranoia of being bluffed constantly, please help Quote
06-22-2022 , 03:03 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayo Owen
I've been reading 2+2 for years but never once posted.
I signed up so I can say thank you for this post and its contributors.
It has made me very introspective about the game of poker and my life.
Although it's likely none of you are even on this forum anymore.
paranoia of being bluffed constantly, please help Quote

      
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