A little over a year ago I tested SSNL and found out that they were weak-tight. Well, this month I tested uNL and found out that we're still weak-tight as a group.
What does weak-tight mean? In a nutshell, weak-tight means you have MUBS: (M)onsters (U)nder the (B)ed (S)yndrome. You give your opponents too much credit for hands and too much credit for hand-reading. I like to call it "Psychic Villain Syndrome," where you feel like your opponents can see into your soul. You know what? They really can't. They're just as lost as we are. Unfortunately, when we give them credit for being paranormally perceptive poker players we shoot ourselves in the foot, failing to make +EV moves because we fear that our plays will be obvious (no matter how far from the truth that might be).
Why do I accuse uNL of being weak-tight? Well, because I tricked you into telling me that you were. First, I gave you this thread where hero flops air:
I then asked you how often villain calls the bluff. The results as of right now:
Less than 25% of the time: 6 (15% of responders) Between 25% and 50% of the time: 11 (27.5% of responders) Between 50% and 75% of the time: 18 (45% of responders) More than 75% of the time: 5 (12.5% of responders)
After that thread died down, I had my sneaky moderator-accomplice make another post. It should look reasonably similar to you:
Poker Stars - No Limit Hold'em Cash Game - $0.10/$0.25 Blinds - 6 Players - (LegoPoker Hand History Converter)
NOTE WELL: stacks are the same. The flop and flop action are identical. The turn and turn action are identical. The river and river action are identical. The ONLY DIFFERENCE is that instead of air we've got the immortal nuts. We then asked you how often THIS river bet gets called, and you told us:
Less than 25% of the time: 7 (29.2% of responders) Between 25% and 50% of the time: 12 (50% of responders) Between 50% and 75% of the time: 4 (16.7% of responders) More than 75% of the time: 1 (4.2% of responders)
Bummer -- you're weak-tight. You've mistakenly assumed that an identical, unknown villain calls MUCH more often when we've got nothing than he would when we've got the nuts, even though every possible factor in the hand is otherwise identical. This makes no logical sense, it cannot be correct, but it's how we think as a group. That, my friends, is the very definition of weak-tight.
What are the consequences of being weak-tight? Well, the main consequence is that we make incorrect plays because we give our opponents too much credit. We bluff too little because we're just SURE that villain is calling, but in the same situation when we've got the nuts we bet small because we KNOW that villain won't call a big bet. I'm not saying that both of these statements are wrong, but at LEAST one of them MUST be. I honestly don't know where the truth lies. IF our villain will call our bluff-pushes too often for bluff-pushing to be profitable, then pushing with the nuts will be extremely +EV for us. On the other hand, IF our villain dumps most of his hands to a river push, then bluff-pushing will be extremely +EV for us. Only empirical evidence and reads will tell us which answer is correct for a particular villain, but believing that NEITHER pushing the nuts for value NOR pushing air as a bluff will be +EV cannot be correct -- if one doesn't work, the other will. My pure and uneducated guess is that at uNL, pushing for value is usually +EV and pushing as a bluff is usually -EV, but this will vary from villain to villain, and the formula will change as you move up in stakes.
How do we beat this weak-tight curse? Let's assume that we err on the side of overestimating our folding equity. If that's the case, then the next time you have the nuts on the river, ask yourself "if I had air, would pushing be +EV?" If your answer is no, then push. If your answer is yes then decide how large a bet you could make with air and still have it be +EV, reduce that amount by a couple BBs, and bet that much. This adjustment will reduce our predicted folding equity when we have the nuts. It might over-reduce it, but it's probably a move in the right direction.
Give it a try for a couple days and see how it works for you.
I don't point this out to insult you or try to make you feel stupid; rather, I point it out because it's an EXTRAORDINARILY common problem for poker players in general, at all stages of development. Let's try to get around our psychological stumbling blocks and start making rational decisions instead.