2019 Christmas Poker Q&A: Finding the Fold | Podcast #271

Merry Christmas, poker peeps!

2019 was a great year for Smart Poker Study and I couldn’t have done it without you.  Thank you so much for your support and I’m working hard to make 2020 even better for you and for me.

Listen to this episode:

Christmas Question #1: Exploiting with River Statistics

If a villain has reasonable HUD stats and his bet river stat is 50, is there a way to determine i.e. add a pop-up stat to see his WR when betting the river, for example. This month I have an 82% win rate when betting the river, but 54% win rate when calling. If I could see the same info on opponents, I could make pretty easy decisions. Is it possible or do I just have to look in the database and include it in my notes?

-Dale S.

There are two PokerTracker 4 stats related rivers that you might find helpful.

1. Cbet River Success

Definition: Percentage of the time that a player’s river continuation bet won the pot without any resistance.

I don’t use this to exploit opponents, but you might find it useful.  One exploit is to look at the % but also look at the number of instances. If it doesn’t occur frequently but the % is high, like 80% with 8/10 but you have 1,000 hands on them, they’ve only cbet the river 1% of the time (10/1000). They’re successful at 80% because they don’t do it often and others respect their cbets. Also with river cbets being so infrequent, they likely don’t bluff but only value cbet. So, you can make easy river folds when you don’t hold the goods.

2. WSD % After Call River

Definition: Percentage of the time that a player won at showdown given that he called a bet or raise on the river.

If this is very high, they make good calls.  This means they’re likely folding a lot so you may be able to pull off bluffs against them.

If this is very low, like 20%, they make terrible calls.  Value bet them big because they don’t put a lot of thought into their calls.  But, don’t bluff them because “if they ain’t folding, you ain’t bluffing.”


Pull up reg players (1,000+ hands) who you suspect are either good or bad at river betting and calling.

Filter for Bet River, Raise River or Call River.

Review their showdown hands to learn their mistakes and tendencies.  Take player notes so you can exploit them in the future.

Christmas Question #2: He might have AK… I call

One skill I need to work on is making “hero” folds. I feel like I have great hand reading skills but I always call river bets when I know I’m beat “because he could have AK”.

-Chris L.

Do not call them “hero folds” any more.  Drop this term from your vocabulary and thought process.  Folding AA or a set is nothing special… when you know you’re beat, you fold.

You must train yourself to “find the fold”. This is going to be tough because for years now you’ve trained yourself to make bad calls when you know you’re beat.


On-the-felt, ask and answer, “What are they doing this with?”  Better than your hand?  Don’t call.  Fold or bluff raise if THEY can find a fold versus your raise.

Tag and review every river call where you lost the hand. Do a full hand reading exercise to determine what their final river betting range is.

On the river, ask “Why did I call?” You want to learn the mental game lapses that are causing you to call when you know you shouldn’t.

Take player notes on what they bet with and size


Review 60 river calls made.  Don’t do full hand reading exercises, just go through the action quickly to see what they bet on the river.

Filter for “Call Any Bet” or “Call Any Raise”.

Go through all 60 quickly and track the number of bluffs versus value bets.

I’m sure you’ll find 80% or more were value bets.  This will help you find folds in the future because you’ll finally learn players mostly bet or raise rivers with great hands.


Thank you so much for your support through 2019!  Cheers to you and yours, and let’s make 2020 even better.

Sky Matsuhashi
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