Sofia Lovgren: Dealing with bad beats and using a HUD

888poker pro Sofia Lovgren is here to answer all of your poker problems. Email us at or Tweet @pokerplayer365 now!

No show

I was playing at my local casino and tried to bluff someone on the river. He called and I chucked my cards into the muck, but then he started having a go at me, saying that he’d paid to see my cards. The dealer had already scooped them up into the pile. The other players said I shouldn’t have done that, but it’s what I’ve always done. Surely it’s obvious I was bluffing and a bluff’s a bluff, so what does it matter what my cards were? What do you think?
C Parish

Casinos have different rules but personally I think that if you call someone down you have paid for the right to see his cards. This will give you valuable information for future hands. It’s, for example, very important information if a player bluffs with air or after missing a draw. The game is about collecting information about your opponents so I’m not surprised he wanted to see the cards. If you muck and the other player agree not to see your cards then it’s fine.

Bad beater

How do you deal with a really bad beat? It affects me and I find the best thing I can do is stop playing, but I’m not sure that’s the best way to deal with it.

In a tournament you obviously have to continue playing, so I assume we are talking about cash games here. The best thing is actually to take a short break if you feel tilted to make sure you don’t start playing bad.

Remember you will get more bad beats on the river than the fish. They will call without odds to hit their flush or straight all the time so you just have to accept that it’s going to happen if you play well.

If you know you have an edge then get back and play again, reminding yourself that you should be happy to get your money in right, even if you were unlucky, because you will win in the long run. If you are patient and play well you’ll be rewarded most of the time.

Hud help

Do you use a HUD when you’re playing online and have you got any simple tips to get me started? I’m playing cash online but don’t use any software at the moment.
Gary Bourke

I usually play with Hold’em Manager 2 and you can find a great article on the PokerPlayer website that talks you through the basics. Click here to check that out.

Ladies only

I read somewhere that you played in a ladies event and that there were several men playing in the tournament. How is that even possible and how did you feel about it?

You’re absolutely right Neill, I played the EPT Ladies Event in Deauville for the first time in January this year and 22 of the 83 entrants were men!

I couldn’t help laughing when I heard the announcement at the final when we were five girls and four men: ‘Congrats ladies you’ve all made the final table.’

It’s illegal to forbid men to join the ladies events but I still think this was stupid and incredibly embarrassing for them. More importantly, poker needs more female players since we make up less than 5% of all live players. One of the big benefits of Ladies Events is that some girls feels it’s less intimidating to start playing live poker with other female players. So I strongly feel that men should respect the idea of women-only events.

The long grind

I heard that some online grinders play extremely long sessions Which is your longest online session?

It was a cash game session where a player had challenged me to play 30 hours on four tables in front of the community without leaving the tables. It was quite exhausting and although I won some money I wouldn’t recommend this to others.

Don’t blink!

I’ve got a friend who plays in our home game and I’ve picked up a really good tell on him. Every time he bluffs he starts blinking. I’ve used it a couple of times to call him down but I haven’t told him I’ve got a tell on him. Should I? Or is it all part of the game? (We don’t play for high stakes!)

That’s funny – it’s made me think of a friend of mine who has a very clear tell. He often keeps the cards in his hand when it’s a bad hand, but always puts them down quickly on the table when he has good cards he wants to play.

I told him I had a read on him but not what it was, which was even more tilting for him! Since it was for small stakes it didn’t matter and was just fun.

It’s definitely part of poker to control your tells and to read other players. If you play with friends for bigger money I would probably tell him after a while. Personally I don’t like to win a lot of money from my friends.

Small ball

Do you play in any low stakes tourneys online? I’m a big fan and would love to play with you but I don’t have a big bankroll. Linda D

I don’t play regular low stakes tourneys online but I do create $10 Home Games on 888poker now and then. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you’ll get all the info you need.

Hand of the month

Here’s a nice bluff I pulled while I was playing $5/$10 NLHE…

The blinds were $5/$10 with a $20 straddle so it was playing quite big. I opened $70 with K-Q in mid position. An older gentleman in mid position called and the SB called too. The flop came down 2-5-7. I made a continuation bet of $110 and the gentleman called. At this point I put him on a middle pair or a draw.

The Ten on the turn was a good card for me so I decided to continue betting. I made it $275 and he called again.

The river brought a Six and I now bet big – $700, to represent an overpair or a set. I would make this size bet both as a bluff or when I had a monster hand.

He went into the tank. When he started to count up his chips and I saw that he was close to calling, I asked him, ‘Do you have Eights?’ He stared at me and seemed very disturbed. Then he checked his cards again and folded Eights face up… Sweet!

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