SIZING TELLS IN TOURNAMENTS

The topic of sizing tells is infinite and it is closely attached to psychology and levelling.

Obviously the higher stakes you play the less reliable these reads are.

However if your opponent is a basic folk, you may want to make significant adjustments in your strategy based on sizing tells. Here are some tips what to look for:

Above or below a certain treshold?

Let’s say a standard sizing in a spot is around 100.000 chips. If your opponent sizes to 98.000 chances are he wants to make his bet look cheaper, therefore he is weighted towards value bets. If in the same spot he sizes to 105.000 there is a bigger chance he is bluffing.
A similar rule applies for the remaining stack: if he has 127.000 chips and he makes a 28.000 3bet, the message is ’I have only a few chips left, i’m not bluffing –> in reality it’s a bit more likely he is actually bluffing’ if in the same spot he makes a 26.000 chip 3bet, leaving himself with more than hundred-thousand chips, it’s more likely he wants to make you think there is fold equity –> less likely he is on a bluff.

Rounded or not rounded

In my experience when someone makes a bluff they usually want to make it look perfect –> for whatever reason they often add some randomish 525/175 etc. chips to their bet. On the other hand when they simply have a hand they often just click a few on the slider and use a round betsize. (A round betsize can also be a sign of the lack of timebank, which again makes the bet more likely to be for value: you rush less to make a light 3bet than how much you rush not to time out a pair of aces.)
A special category of bets is what i call funny bet: sizings like 123456, 5555555, 898989 etc. In my experience these sizings are usually a sign of being liberated, loose, joyful, almost provocative, therefore i suggest weighting these bets strong.

Giant openraises (3x-5x)

if it’s from early position: generally indicates an extremely strong range, not necessarily capped (a fish may have had a bad experience with AA, so he wants to chase everybody out – in fact i’ve seen 40-50bb openjams with AA/KK)

if it’s from the Button/Cutoff: not necessarily strong! Some fish are just addicted to the feeling of winning pots and they experienced they can achieve this more frequently by using phucking huge sizings –> I’d be almost as agro with resteals as against a normal size open (I have somewhat less fold equity, but when i do make them fold I win more chips)

Clickback-3bets

e.g. 3betting to 3bb against a minraise
(it can be a misclick; if not a misclick it’s almost always the sign of being up against a whale)
–> it’s not impossible to be AA/KK, but more likely it’s just a hand that your opponent likes + he may have experienced more success by taking the initiative, so you will so a ton of Ax, broadways and strangely small pockets as well
Usually the flop cbet sizing will tell you more: if it’s an air/medium hand they will usually half-pot, if it’s a monster they usually full pot.

2,5x 3bets
RUN!!! I’ve been in poker for 13-14 years and i’m still waiting for the first low-midstakes hand history to see where a 2,5x 3bet was not AA-KK(QQ), really… 🙂

3x or <3x 3bet out of position
very scary, but a bit wider range than the 2,5x

 

Postflop

I’ll go into details later, but the most important guideline is easy: stay away from big bets! For most guys the bigger bet they make, the stronger hand they have (or they think it’s a strong enough hand, e.g. they pot with top par weak kicker) . This is especially shocking in multiway pots where you often see potsize cbets with overpairs 4way. How to exploit? Don’t give action with medium holdings, fastplay your monsters!

Check out the comments I made to dozens of hands in this tournament runcomments are only visible with login, registration is free!

Valdemar 'Luigi' Kwaysser

13 years as professional poker player 10 years experience as poker coach. Born Hungarian, living in Valencia, Spain. 36 yo, married, happy father of two. Founder of CheckDecide

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