When the timing mark on the damper is at the 'TDC' mark on the pointer, the piston is always UP at TOP DEAD CENTER, .. BUT..
1) the piston might be UP on Compression (which is the one that counts for timing), OR
2) it might be up on Exhaust (in which case the exhaust port will be open).
Just pull the LH valve cover and observe the rockers as you rotate the engine thru the 4 'strokes' (intake, compression, power, and exhaust). If you've never done that before, it will give you a new appreciation for the engine operation..
.. and don't forget that the crankshaft is rotating twice per rotation of the cam, and that makes ONE cycle of the engine.