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Q&A: Short On Poker Time, Winners & Losers and Player Tendencies


Sky Matsuhashi

on November 10, 2021

I answer 5 questions from Poker Forge Members about what to do if you’re short on poker time, the difference between winners and losers and I show you how to run a population tendency report in PokerTracker 4 and how to interpret the results.

Listen to this podcast episode:

Question #1: Preflop & Post-flop Tendency Correlation

Playing on GGPoker I am limited to their built-in HUD, which has only VPIP, PFR, ATS, 3B.

It's enough for the basic player prototyping: Nits, Fish, TAGs, LAGs.

Are these preflop stats strongly correlated with postflop behavior?

So in “vacuum”, not seeing enough showdowns with this particular V, can I really count on “well he's a LAG, so he's gonna be a little more sticky vs flop bets”?

And is there a way I can I confirm it using population analysis in PT4?


My Answer:

In general, preflop tendencies correlate to post-flop tendencies.

  • Fish love calling to see flops to hit draws, they love to hit draws so they continue to call.
  • TAG’s fold a ton preflop because they want that positional and range advantage, so they fold a ton post-flop as well when they have a sub-par hand or draw or are out of position. They also know the benefits of preflop aggression, so they use aggression post-flop as well.
  • LAG’s play lots of hands and raise/steal a lot pre, so they’ll continue this at least on the flop most often. They can slow down on turns.

With good preflop reads, you should be able to put your hand reading skills to use: Assign a range and narrow it through the streets.

Pay attention to their actions and bet sizes and always ask/answer Poker’s Ultimate Question, “What are they doing this with?”

I think population tendency reports show that preflop play correlates to post-flop play. But you have to consider how they got to post-flop.

Fish PT4 report: Hands > 500, VPIP > 30 and PFR < 10

TAG PT4 report: Hands > 500, VPIP < 22 and PFR > 15

Compare Results:

Two big takeaways:

  1. Fish call 4x more often than TAG players, but fold on the flop and turn about the same amount. With wider and weaker calling ranges, they continue post-flop with weaker hands (pairs and draws) than TAG players.
  2. TAG’s raise more than 4x more often and cbet the flop about the same. So, TAG’s have more bluffs in their range. But, they double barrel much less often, so they’re one-and-done. Fish have tighter raising ranges, so they cbet with more value combos than TAG’s do.


Watch me build this population tendencies report and analyze the results:


Question #2: Skills Difference Between Winners

What would be the main differences (maybe skill sets) of players who having winning results such as 0-5bb/100, 10-15bb/100 and 20+bb/100hands?


My Answer:

The best players do these things better than slightly winning players:

  • Play the Player – they know who they’re up against and their tendencies, and the best players actively try to exploit them at every opportunity.
  • Hand Reading – they put their opponent on a range, gauge how it interacts with the flop, then narrow it through the streets.
  • Gaining Value – when their hand is ahead of their opponent’s range, they aren’t shy about value betting.
  • Earning Pots with Bluffing – when they sense weakness, they’re not afraid to bluff at the pot.
  • Finding the Fold – when they know they’re beat, they’re quick to fold. They don’t have to call to verify their read.


Question #3: To River Value Bet or Not

I'm having trouble pulling the trigger on River bets after C-Betting the flop and turn when the villain continues to call. This is in position or out of position. Unless I have the Nuts or something super strong, I feel many times I'm “value owning” myself and many times that's been the case. How might I narrow down the villain's range to more clearly know when to triple barrel? I hand read often but may be too liberal with ranging opponents through the streets.


My Answer:

First, run a filter in your database for making the river cbet. If you’re profitable, Great! (mine is +1,972bb/100 hands) If not, review loads of these losing hands to figure out why you’re not winning with river cbets. Are you bluffing too much? Are you NOT value betting enough? Are you just betting your hand strength and not considering your opponent’s range strength? Are all of your 1 pair hands losing but you’re winning with 2p+?

Commit to pulling the trigger with river value cbets when you can name worse hands in his range that can call you.

  • Start with the 2nd best hand after yours. Does he have this hand and if so, will he call?
  • Does he have similarly weak hands in his range and will he call with those?

For example, you hold AK on the AT943 board. You’ve bet for value on the flop and turn already. Does he have AQ in his range and will he call? Will he call with AJ or A8? Can he call with JJ (if he even has it in his range)?

Lastly, continue doing hand reading exercises during your studies and try to do it as you play.


Question #4: Small Winning but Big Losing Sessions

Based on all the database reviews and coaching you have done, why do players have smaller winning sessions when they win compared to the size of their losing sessions when they lose? Is it a mental game issue? Or is it a hallmark of a particular style of player? Or a common result from specific types of leak?

Even with a stop loss, it seems like I will lose 3 buy ins in 100-200 hands when I'm losing. But will win 1-2 buy-ins in 400 hands when I'm winning. So positive BB/100 session is almost always smaller than the negative BB/100 of a losing session.


My Answer:

I’ve never looked at this for my students, so I dove into my own numbers:

Filtered through my sessions:

  • Worst single session loss was -193.5bb; average session loss was -20bb
  • Average BB Loss Per Hour was -62
  • Best single session win was +217.8bb, average session win was +27bb
  • Average BB Won Per Hour +72

My wins outweigh my losses, so it’s opposite of Graeme’s question.

My guess, it’s mental game related. Anger and tilt and losing money unnecessarily.

Also, strategy: not finding the fold, calling too often, failing to value bet enough.


Question #5: When You Only Have 30 Minutes for Poker

What's a better use of the 30 minutes I have for poker every day? Studying for 10 minutes and then playing for 20, or should I just do one or the other for 30 minutes?


My Answer:

It’s better to alternate between playing and studying if you only have 30 minutes per day.

I recommend playing for two 30-minute sessions in a row, then study for one 30-minute session.

33% of your time will be studying.

Here’s an example 3 days of this:

  • Monday – watch 10 minutes of a training video, take notes and create two action steps to practice. Then review hands and do a hand reading exercise in relation to the strategies you’re studying for 20 minutes.
  • Tuesday – play 30 minutes while you do your first action step.
  • Wednesday – play 30 minutes with your second action step.

You’ll benefit from this 3-day, 30 minutes/day structure


Sky Matsuhashi

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