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From Listen to What They’re Telling You


Sky Matsuhashi

on July 9, 2020

The audio from this episode is taken from a video called “Listen to What They're Telling You” in the Finding the Fold Course within the Poker Forge.

I truly believe that your opponent's actions tell you what they have 99% of the time. This video teaches you to pay attention to what their actions say about their range of hands. If you listen to what they're telling you, you're more able to make exploitative plays to earn more pots from them.

I'm so appreciative of these incredible Forge members who have reached their 1 year anniversary: Thanks to Torsten R, Brad Hunt, Philippe Verhelst, Greg Thompson, Chris, Dave and Jean-Pierre LeBeuf for being the most incredible of incredible Forge members!

If you enjoy what you hear in this episode, the Poker Forge is the place for you.

Listen to this podcast episode #299:

You have a leak… You don't listen to your opponents

The truth is you DON'T:

  • Consider their ranges
  • Pay attention to the action
  • Notice their player type
  • Analyze their stats

However, you ARE:

  • Putting them on bluffs too often
  • Hoping your hand is good
  • Fighting the truth

I'm a lover of what is, not because I'm a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality. – Byron Katie

Let's Plug This Leak

The Goal: Train yourself to use all the information available to put them on a range and make +EV decisions

99% of their actions tell you what they have >>> so start listening

  • Bets or raises = strength
  • Later streets = strength
  • Large bet > small bet

You MUST: Ask and Answer the Ultimate Question before EVERY decision:

“What are they doing this with?”

Use All Available Information

Player type (VPIP/PFR) and history

  • Anything against player type is a blinking yellow light >>> CAUTION

Preflop range and board interaction

Play-related stats

  • They raise, look at raising stat.  Call, use calling stat.

Action and sizing

Pot size and stack size

  • If they appear “pot committed” with their bet/raise, they are.

Think back to how you arrived here

  • Remember the preflop and prior street actions (hand reading)

The Last Consideration: Your hand >>> “Can they be doing this with worse than my hand?”

Train Yourself

We do things off-the-felt so we can do them on-the-felt

  • Develop an intuition for proper responses
  • Turn it into a habit


  • Review losing calls made
  • At least one full hand reading exercise daily
  • Ask/answer the Ultimate Question before every decision
  • Force yourself to use ALL the info available (take your time)


  • Remove hand from mouse for big decisions
  • Ask/answer the Ultimate Q and use ALL info available
  • Unsure?  Fold (0EV)
  • Tag hands for later review

Use This Tool

“99% of their actions tell you what they have”

The HUD tells you their prior actions.

  • Tendencies in certain situations
  • Infer what their current play means
  • Take into account prior actions

“What are they doing this with?”

What could they be bluffing with?

  1. Look at their play-related stat
  2. Look at player notes
  3. Gauge range/board interaction
  4.  Return hand to mouse and decide

Sticky Note

Mantra: I will learn to listen to what they’re telling me with the actions they take.

“What are they doing this with?”

Important Information:

  • Player type (VPIP/PFR) and history
  • Preflop range and board interaction
  • Play-related stats
  • Action and sizing
  • Pot size and stack size
  • Think back to how you arrived here
  • LAST: Your hand

Take Action

Study With Purpose #1: Hand Read a Losing Call Daily

Everyday this month, make up for lost days

Study With Purpose #2: Review 10 Losing Calls Daily per Position

Filter for losing calls (calling the river, river raise, 3bet, cbet, cbet raise, etc.)

Ask/answer before every decision point: “What are they doing this with?”

Use all info available

Find mistakes, take note, work to NOT repeat

Play With Purpose: Train the Q&A Habit

When you face a bet or raise, ask and answer the Ultimate Question BEFORE every button click.

Cut down on tables as necessary, tag hands for review

Take the Quiz



Sky Matsuhashi

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