Despite its importance, timing is a concept that is rarely discussed in forums. It is probably because players don't know about it or underestimate its importance.
When you see a great player check-raise all-in on a flop of 3s 5d Jc holding As4s and win, the first thing that comes into your head is, “wow, he is a great player and he is currently playing great so that play must have some +EV attached to it.” Naturally, you try to implement it in your game, only when you do it, your stacks move themselves over to your opponent's side. The reason is your timing is off. You don't know when to make the play. In other words, you are right at the wrong time.
This is what a great player so great. He KNOWS when he should do it. A simple analysis such as, “he has been running me over. Therefore, I have to fight back somehow and this is a decent hand to do it with.” Using such logic is *kind of* correct. The problem is if your opponent is any good, he is anticipating such a play from you as well.
So what should one do to improve one's timing? The answer is experience. There is no guideline nor formula to improve one's timing. It is based on your instinct and your instinct is developed over the years by trusting your reads.
The point of this writing is to help you realize such a concept exists so you won't check-shoving with As4s on a 3s 5d Jc in any re-raise pots and wonder why certain players run so good.
By Tri "Slowhabit" Nguyen