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Vikram Singh

Hello I am Vikram Singh and #ThereAreNoBluffsHere

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Hi everyone, my name is Vikram Singh and I go by thedead parrots on Stars. My previous sn was SenseiSingh. I have played online since 2008 and made close to 37K over that long period of 8 years but that's mainly because I was a recreational player with low volume and basically didn't play 14-15 because I broke my back. I play a lot more regularly now and poker is the primary source of my income.

How I lift a 440lb Deadlift after a broken back and why Stars closed my original account (created in America) and merged my FTP sn to Stars are stories of hard work an family trouble respectively. However I will speak about that some other time because they are subjects way too deep and personal for a first post.

In fact I want to talk about tough poker spots. After all, they are tactically the hardest to master.

Sets, two pairs, overpair on wet boards, even flushes etc. come into this category of hands where sometimes on the river you will face an unexpected strong raise or sometimes just the way action has unfolded, you know your Kings need to be mucked on the flop.

Yet performing the simple action of clicking that fold button is hard. It's like your decision making has done the hard work, your gut's 'intuition' (experience) is telling you one thing and you end up doing the opposite.

There is a big sticky note on my grind station that says #therearenobluffshere and it is to remind me of the broader picture, remind me of my edge in the tournament and bring good perspectives in my mind for example - "c'mon, it's just one hand. The future is bright."

I am not arguing that I am amazing at hero mucking, take the following example:

There is argument to fold flop, but ok, called a min raise and then rest of the board run-out is dry enough that I probe the river thinking perhaps a missed draw but TP, MP pays me off blah blah...basically justifying the outcome I want while experience in this spot is screaming at me to check behind.

Yes, 1/10 times you are ahead in the Hot $1.10.

My mind is trying to resolve the cognitive dissonance in my brain, akin to a chocolate cake on a diet. You know it's bad for your goals but ultimately hard to resist when in front of you.

Food habits are more fundamental and trying to resist eating something, although more primal, uses the same 'will power' or as it's called 'cognitive dissonance' mechanisms in your brain that are trying their hardest to resolve the problem because having two conflicting ideas in your head is not something that grey matter between your ears likes.

In poker, there is a emotional feeling of 'being played back at' or 'being bluffed' or 'folding the best hand'.

To be able to fold the top of your range in a spot where the villain is expressing his top range or a made hand that beats us requires practice. No amount of coaching can solve this problem. Yes, you can hear a valid logical argument and agree with it but pulling the trigger is just as hard the next time facing the same situation.

And I am not talking about high variance spots, coolers or marginal calls or folds, bad-runouts. I am strictly speaking of highly polarized range that is heavily capped at hands better than your relatively strong holding. Also, the deeper you are, the more imperative it is to fold. Shallower stacks allow for more of a gamble, but only in certain situations where you have some equity to improve or re-draw on your opponent.

The only solution is practice. The more you recognize these spots and then actually follow through with the correct action, the more easy it will be to do it the next time. Yes you'll be bluffed some times but remember the skill you are honing by practicing to fold these spots provides a far greater edge to you in poker than being bluffed here or there.

Therefore practice the right action in these spots (they already do not happen that often so each time they do, it's important). Untill and unless you start practicing courageous folds, you will remain susceptible to sub-optimal play and emotional decision making - which is erratic by nature devoid of objectivity.

Denying someone chips by folding with a strong hand when you have a read that they are stronger, is actually an exploitative play. You are supposed to give them value but instead you are mastering an exploit to save your tournament life, stack and preserve chips and most importantly - avoiding the tilt that may come along with making those calls, calling those shoves and realizing your strong hand is a deader.

A poker tournament is a marathon. I used the word master earlier in the post and the only way to master these difficult spots is not just to be aware of them, but handle the execution without emotional distress and only practice will make these spots as easy to handle, make you tilt less and improve your winrate upon realizing that #therearenobluffshere