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Tournament Poker >> MTT Strategy

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LearnedfromTV
Carpal \'Tunnel

Reged: 06/05/05
Posts: 5914
Loc: Coaching
Carpal Tunnel Essay: A Framework for Poker Study (x-post in MSNL)
#6482406 - 07/10/06 04:58 AM

Below is an essay I've written for my Carpal Tunnel post. It's long (> 2500 words for a 2500th post, I guess). I'm posting it in MTT, where I spent most of my time since joining 2p2, and in MSNL, where I have spent more time lately.

Introduction

Recently I have put some thought into strategies for studying poker, in particular NLHE. It is frequently said that there are too many variables involved in the play of a hand for anything resembling a formulaic, component-by-component analysis to be practical. I agree with this, and agree that in even the simplest cases (short-stack push/fold calculations, for example), there is a significant margin for error in the final result which is due to necessarily imprecise assumptions about an opponent’s ranges.

So even if a poker hand is one giant math problem, complete with game theoretic opponents who do a, b, and c x%, y%, and z% of the time, it’s an unsolvable problem. That said, I think a lot can be learned from thinking about poker hands in terms of their component variables, from thinking about the structure of that giant math problem and how it could be solved if it were solvable. This essay is my attempt to categorize and analyze those components. I call it a framework for poker study, because I think that one good approach to getting better is to spend time away from the table focused on these component variables one at a time, in order to be better prepared to think through all of the relevant information when faced with decisions at the table.

Core Ideas

There are three core ideas with which I assume everyone is familiar – the concepts of pot equity and Expected Value (EV), Sklansky’s Fundamental Theorem of Poker, and what I will call “hand range calculus.”

Pot equity and EV are functions of basic probability and govern every action in a poker game. Your hand has some % chance of winning the pot, the pot contains some amount of money, so you have a claim of some part of the pot. Every bet you make is an investment; you should bet when your expected return from the bet is larger than the cost of the bet. The FTOP formalizes how to maximize your return in the special case of complete information; every time you make a bet that maximizes expectation versus your opponent’s actual hand, you win, every time your opponent fails to maximize his expectation given your actual hand, you win. “Hand range calculus”, which is the form most analyses take on these forums, acknowledges that poker is actually a game of incomplete information, and attempts to define best actions in terms of maximizing expectation versus the range of possible hands your opponent could have, in light of the range of hands it is likely he thinks you have.

Because in every case, both you and your opponent have a specific hand, the FTOP is still the final theoretical measure of what is profitable or unprofitable action. In practice, however, we work with incomplete information; thus poker skill is a combination of the ability to make best decisions within the context of “hand range calculus” and the ability to read your opponents’ ranges better than they read yours.

Situational Factors

We all know that the proper play of a hand and the correct read on an opponent’s range depends on a lot of situational factors. I think we are accustomed to thinking about these factors in the context of whatever particular hand we are playing or analyzing, where many relatively small factors accumulate to a read and a decision. The framework for study that I suggest in this essay (and which I am following myself) is to separate the most important situational factors and analyze them individually. The factors I want to talk about are position, board texture, betting patterns, betting frequencies, pot size in relation to stack size (there are two others I’m not going to cover but that I want to mention – table image, and bet sizing, table image because it is obviously so important, and bet sizing because I find it interesting. Maybe another time, this will be long enough as is). All of these factors are interrelated, but by isolating them I hope to get a better sense of the role each plays in the core goal we're all seeking - to maximize EV versus an opponent’s range and know his range better than he knows yours.

Position

The most familiar, most analyzed, and easiest to understand situational factor is position. Hand ranges automatically widen with better position. Not only does someone in position have fewer people left to act and more information on that particular round, they and their out-of-position opponents have the knowledge that the player with position on this round will have position on future rounds. So CO and Button preflop raising ranges are much wider, and in-position bettors on the postflop streets usually have wider ranges. A 20/12 is 7/5 UTG and 40/25 on the button, or whatever; if you check the flop first to act in a three way pot, independent of any other knowledge, the Button is more likely to bet than the guy in the middle; etc. I don’t think much more needs to be said about this, as it is already built into every thought any of us has about the game. If position was all I had to talk about, this essay wouldn’t be very useful. Onward.

Board Texture

This one is more interesting, and might make clearer what I’m getting at with the “isolating situational factors” idea. Imagine a heads up raised pot with a dry ace-high flop, Axy rainbow. You’ve probably played hundreds of hands that fit this description, thousands, maybe. What percentage of the time does one of the two players have an ace? How often can one of them beat AK? How often does someone bet this flop with less than an ace? If you are called the raise and are in position, what percentage of the time should you expect an honest opponent to bet into you? How much more frequently than honest does he have to bet before you can exploit him by representing the ace? There’s a whole game theory problem right here, on this simple board where the only hands people “should” have to continue are TPTK-TPGK, sets, pocket pairs, and the rare two pair.

What about a medium two-tone flop, the kind with straight draws (T85 or 974). Now there are lots of draws, combo draws, still sets, there are always sets, but now if you get action that looks like a set, it might be a draw instead. What does a bet mean on this flop? How different is that from what a bet means on an A-high flop? How often does someone betting this flop have no pair? Compare a raiser betting this flop to the A-high flop – how often should he bet, how often should he get called, raised?

Raised pot again, now K-high. Raiser is going to rep the K a lot, but have it less often than he has the A on the A-high flop. How often should an “honest” raiser bet the flop, allowing for bluffing as long as it isn’t done too frequently? How frequently is that?

Paired board, like J88, or JJ8. Now there are only 5 cards that could have hit the board, instead of 9. Pocket pairs are stronger, the monsters are in plain sight. Same questions - how often should this flop be bet, by what hands, how easy or hard is it to push someone off a mediocre hand? Etc. etc.

How many flop textures are there? Dozens, hundreds even, and they all blend into each other, but questions like “how often should the preflop raiser bet the ace”, and “how fast should JJ play on a T85 two tone board” are things that are partly determined simply by the kinds and number of hands that can like a given flop.

Betting Patterns

Because NLHE is a game where you can bet any amount at any time, it could feel like there are a ton of ways to build a pot. In fact, especially among decent players, the same patterns repeat themselves over and over. Think about how often a hand plays out like this: preflop raise, call. Raiser bets, call. Raiser checks, caller bets, raiser folds. Or, raiser in position, checked to the raiser, bet/call, turn goes check/check, OOP bets, raiser folds. Or, raiser OOP, bet/call, check/check, bet/fold. Or bet/call, check/check, bet/call. Or bet/raise/call, check/bet/fold. Or, checked to raiser, raiser bets, check-raise, raiser folds.

It’s easiest to categorize headsup pots this way, but patterns repeat themselves in multiway pots also. Some patterns are more common than others. What I suggest is that thinking about these patterns and the frequency with which they occur is instructive, for two reasons. One, the patterns that occur most frequently are also the patterns that match the most frequently occurring situations (weak to moderately strong hands building and contesting a small to medium-sized pot). Two, the majority of profit comes from creating large pots with big hands, which is easiest to get away with if done quietly. Especially against good players, this can be very difficult.

Betting Frequencies

Under “betting patterns” I was talking about an observer’s view of all participants in a hand, here I’m referring to the frequency with which individuals bet, call, fold, and raise. There are big meta-theory questions here, like what % of the time should a preflop raiser bet the flop (or optimal frequencies for any action sequence), but I am more talking about things like “what % of the time do I (or this opponent, or that opponent) bet the turn after having bet the flop and being called? What % do I bet three streets in a row? What % do I bet two streets then check/fold? What % of the time do I check-raise the flop, then bet the turn? Do I ever check-raise the flop, then check the turn? How often do I call three barrels? How often do I follow up my turn bet with a river bet?

Clearly, the board often changes from flop to turn and turn to river. If the draw hits, and you know 100% that your opponent was drawing, you should check/fold, and no frequency mumbo-jumbo changes that. But since some of the time you should bet the flop with that obvious draw and some of the time your opponent is calling without it, then some of the time, you should follow up when it hits on the turn (whether you have it or not). Etc. These are the things you start thinking about when you think about action frequencies.

Are there optimal frequencies for all of these? Maybe, sort of, in a game-theoretic, perfectly-playing opponent sense. Pots grow exponentially, so maybe in theory we should bet the flop 75% of the time we raise, bet the turn 25% of the times we’re called and 50% of the time the flop checks through, and bet the river 10% of the time the turn is called and 20% of the time the turn checks through, all with appropriate bluffs mixed in. In practice, we set these frequencies to exploit specific opponents, but I think analyzing these questions in general can help us understand how to do that.

Pot Size/Stack Size Dynamic

100xBB stacks. Limpy McLimper limps in front of you. He does this with 20% of his hands and he never raises. You have two cards and raise. He calls and you see a flop with 9 BB in the pot. How strong a hand do you need to play for 100BB? For 50? For 25? Too broad a question? Dependent on too many other factors? Yes, of course. But contrast: Same 100xBB stacks. Raisy McRaiser raises in front of you. He does this with 20% of his hands and he never limps. You reraise with the same two cards, he calls (he calls raises as often as Limpy). 27 BB in the pot. Now how strong do you have to be to play for it all? What size pot should you play, on average, with one pair? With a big draw?

The only difference is that the pot is a bigger percentage of the stack. With more to fight for, people’s ranges for postflop actions necessarily should change toward being more aggressive. If your opponents don’t make this adjustment, exploit them – reraise a lot, then play aggressively, let them fold too much. If they do make this adjustment, you have to adjust with them in reraised pots. Go broke with AA against Limpy, you’re usually a fish, against Raisy, probably not.

The point is not that there is a formula for proper size pot with xx on flop abc in terms of preflop pot size “AA is worth 3x preflop pot size”. Clearly there isn’t. There may be times to fold a set in a reraised pot and times to felt middle pair in a limped pot. But on every flop, you should be able to look at the pot size, look at the stack sizes, and have some general idea of what kind of hands should be willing to play for how much. Sure, that general idea has to be adjusted based on all of the other situational factors, but it plays its role too.

Obviously, in MTT’s, pot/stack dynamic is always present because of increasing blinds and variance in the size of opponent’s stacks. I find the 30-40xBB range particularly interesting, because it is a time when raisers with one pair have a hard time folding, but callers with speculative hands still have odds to call and try to outflop (also because allin reraises are too overaggressive in this stage and easily exploitable). This generates a cat-and-mouse game where you have to accompany the raising hands you do plan to go broke with hands you don’t plan to go broke with in order to deny implied odds to speculative hands. But do too much of this, and you become vulnerable to preflop reraises. Also, in MTT's, a significant shift in pot size/stack size ratio happens when antes are introduced. There is more to fight for, so ranges change and more aggressive play is rewarded. In cash games, where stacks are usually 100x and there aren't antes, this dynamic shows up more in the differences between limped pots, raised pots, and reraised pots.

All this theory in practice

A short, simple example. Someone raises UTG+1, Button calls, you call in the BB with 55. The flop contains a 5. Before you say “lead” or “check,” you have to consider

-the range the raiser raises from that position
-how likely the particular flop is to have hit that range (AQ5? T85? 522?)
-what betting pattern is most likely to create a large pot without tipping anyone off that you want a large pot
-how likely the raiser is bet the flop if checked to, raise if bet into, how likely the other caller is to be trapped with a marginal hand, how often the raiser will follow up on the turn with a marginal hand, how often he’ll give up the lead if you show flop aggression, etc., etc.
-what the stack sizes are and how likely your opponents are to have a hand that is willing to play a large pot.

All I am arguing in this essay is you will be better prepared to make the best decisions if you have thought independently about how different board textures play, about the amount of strength different betting patterns represent, about how to play versus different betting frequencies, about how ranges and betting frequencies change in vs out of position, and so on.

Clearly, there are plenty of other factors that I didn’t discuss, like table image, what various bet sizes mean, how sure you are that you're ahead (or behind), how easily you can improve, how vulnerable your hand is to the type of hands that are willing to play with you, how likely you are to end up paying off a second best hand if someone catches you. I don’t pretend this covers everything it could cover, or even close, but this is what I’m thinking about right now.

I hope this is useful/thought-provoking to some of you, and that some of the many of you who are better than me will take the time to comment.

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Ansky

Reged: 04/09/04
Posts: 13541
Loc: pokersavvyplus.com!
Re: Carpal Tunnel Essay: A Framework for Poker Study (x-post in MSNL) [Re: LearnedfromTV]
#6482814 - 07/10/06 07:05 AM

LFT,

Clearly you are a sick writer when it comes to these general theory posts, and everyone should read this post.

I'll try my best to address most of this, but I'm not 100% sure what exactly there is to say or respond to.

For what it's worth, I often try to conceptualize the way I think about the game in real terms. Like, when I say in a post, "you call in x situation because player y has a range of z" this is a gross simplification of what I would likely be thinking about in a given situation.

To give an example, early in a ub 215 I open raise with 2 cards and an unknown min raises behind me. Folds around and I call, and I check/fold the flop with top pair to a pot bet and he shows AA when I fold (hahahaha). I immediatly make a mental note of this, and of the player.

Several hands later, someone open raises, and the same villain now makes a pot sized reraise and his hand gets to showdown and it's JJ. So now, based on previous hands I have been able to assess some way that the player thinks about the game and about hands. He views AA as invincible and will make a small raise, he views JJ as vulnerable so he makes a pot sized raise to protect his hand. A solid player would likely mix in raise sizes if he mixed raise sizes at all, so that he couldn't be so exploitable, but clearly not all players have a regard for that.

Later I open raise 99 from the sb, and he insta shoves in the bb for roughly 100x the bb. I almost immediatly fold but then I realize that he has already given me such a ridiculous amount of information, that I can actually call here against this player. I think about his likely range, and how he can easily have any over pair or AK, making me slightly ahead or way behind. But then I start to weigh his likely hands in my mind. I don't have pokerstove in my head, so I calculate my equity based on speculation, and my experience in dealing with ranges based on my own weighing of hands within those ranges. He likely does not have AA given what we have seen on how he plays AA, so I discount that almost 90%. I feel as though he may treat KK similarly, and would still like to get action. However, he also could be a psycho and think "I don't want an ace to flop, ok, shove" so I count it for more than AA, maybe 50%. I think what I am getting at here is clear though, without expanding further. Hand range analysis is not cut and dried, it is not merely he has xx-yy 100% of the time, but rather xx some X% of the time, and YY some other % of the time. Clearly players do not react in inexploitable ways, so to use a pure pokerstove type hand range in any given situation (preflop or post flop) is inadequate.

So while I use hand ranges, I tend to use them intuitively, ("can he have x? yes, but not likely, can he have y? yes and it is very likely. thus his range is 25%x, 90%y.) Note that I am aware that does not add up to 100%. I am merely saying that if he has x he will take such an action 25% of the time, if he has y he will take that action 90% of the time.

Quote:

Position

The most familiar, most analyzed, and easiest to understand situational factor is position. Hand ranges automatically widen with better position. Not only does someone in position have fewer people left to act and more information on that particular round, they and their out-of-position opponents have the knowledge that the player with position on this round will have position on future rounds. So CO and Button preflop raising ranges are much wider, and in-position bettors on the postflop streets usually have wider ranges. A 20/12 is 7/5 UTG and 40/25 on the button, or whatever; if you check the flop first to act in a three way pot, independent of any other knowledge, the Button is more likely to bet than the guy in the middle; etc. I don’t think much more needs to be said about this, as it is already built into every thought any of us has about the game. If position was all I had to talk about, this essay wouldn’t be very useful.

Clearly all of this is true, but it's important to realize the degree to which being close minded about position can be so exploited. For example, say in a 10 handed nl cash game, utg nit raises 4x w/ AA and only the bb calls. Flop is 2 Q K rainbow. BB checks and the utg player bets 8x, bb raises to 24x. In a 5/10 or 10/20 game, this would be a fairly standard and easy fold for the player with AA. The reason being, that BB is super unlikely to be check/raising a worse hand for value, (for example, the next best hand here is AK, and if AK check raises, what worse hand does he expect to call? none of course, thus it is essentially turning the AK into a bluff). So we go back to what I was talking about before. If we are BB we know that UTG is likely c-betting with almost anything he raised UTG with. He of course cannot have 22 or KQ because he is a nit. So thus the hands he should likely be playing for stacks with on this board, are only QQ and KK. However, such hands are much less likely than hands such as AA or AK (because of the Q and K onboard, they are discounted). Thus, if we assume that UTG will raise and c-bet with AA KK QQ AK, (say we assume he chekcs behind with JJ or TT, both assumptions are fairly standard in most nl 1k games), clearly a check raise with any 2 cards on such a board is profitable if we think UTG will fold with AK and AA. Now one might say "oh, well if you are UTG then, you clearly shouldn't be bet/folding with AA/AK, because that is highly exploitable." Yes, it is highly exploitable, but you need to be able to react to your opponents most likely tendencies, not his optimal tendencies. While it would be a good play to raise here with a lot of nothing, chances are when facing a check raise here with AA you are beat, by KQs, or by 22, or by QQ, or the occasional KK.

This of course does not mean you should check/raise the pfr every time HU, because you expect him to fold everything that can't beat top pair. If you follow a specific pattern too often, you will be exploited by even the least perceptive of players. But it does mean, that in terms of game theory, and your attempt at a formulaic approach to EV, that the occasional bluff raise needs to be mixed in, in situations like these.

If you are UTG and you are facing a check raise from a very predictable and bad opponent, this becomes an easy fold because you wouldn't suspect him of being capable of bluff raising here. If however, you know him to be a thinking, aggressive player, you now have a tough decision- and will certainly be playing for stacks (or at least a large pot) a non-zero % of the time. Now you are in a significantly weaker position, because you are left to guess what % of the time he is check/raising you with air, and what % of time he has a set.

Ok, so all that is obviously not solely a situation created by position, it is also based around the other factors that you discussed. You may think "oh, well if a player would be correct to check raise me with air on KQ2, I should thus not fold AA." But you need to recognize that most players simply aren't check raising to get you off of AA here. Against an unknown, you just don't expect him to bluff raise enough of a % of the time for it to be profitable to take a stand with marginal hands. Thus we move on to frequency.

Quote:

Betting Frequencies

Under “betting patterns” I was talking about an observer’s view of all participants in a hand, here I’m referring to the frequency with which individuals bet, call, fold, and raise. There are big meta-theory questions here, like what % of the time should a preflop raiser bet the flop (or optimal frequencies for any action sequence), but I am more talking about things like “what % of the time do I (or this opponent, or that opponent) bet the turn after having bet the flop and being called? What % do I bet three streets in a row? What % do I bet two streets then check/fold? What % of the time do I check-raise the flop, then bet the turn? Do I ever check-raise the flop, then check the turn? How often do I call three barrels? How often do I follow up my turn bet with a river bet?

Clearly, the board often changes from flop to turn and turn to river. If the draw hits, and you know 100% that your opponent was drawing, you should check/fold, and no frequency mumbo-jumbo changes that. But since some of the time you should bet the flop with that obvious draw and some of the time your opponent is calling without it, then some of the time, you should follow up when it hits on the turn (whether you have it or not). Etc. These are the things you start thinking about when you think about action frequencies.

Are there optimal frequencies for all of these? Maybe, sort of, in a game-theoretic, perfectly-playing opponent sense. Pots grow exponentially, so maybe in theory we should bet the flop 75% of the time we raise, bet the turn 25% of the times we’re called and 50% of the time the flop checks through, and bet the river 10% of the time the turn is called and 20% of the time the turn checks through, all with appropriate bluffs mixed in. In practice, we set these frequencies to exploit specific opponents, but I think analyzing these questions in general can help us understand how to do that.

Well there is obviously some theoretical optimal frequency for different decisions in any given situation. e.g., you raise preflop with 88, flop is 892 2 tone. Against almost all opponents, you should lead again here in a cash game a majority of the time, and you should also mix in a check-raise here. I would check/call here a VERY small % of the time, most likely 0%. So what is the optimal frequency for check/raising and leading here? Naturally it is dependant on images, as well as stack sizes. However, even if we were to assign some constant value or answer to the outside dynamics, I do not have the ability, nor the desire, to attempt to establish some magical formula for the % of time with which you should take each line.

The important thing with regards to mixing up your play, and attempting to be as inexploitable as possible, is not to attempt to form some sort of absolute answer for any given situation, but rather to know what factors at hand should alter those lines. For example, if previous history indicates that I always c-bet and never check raise for value, clearly it becomes +EV to check/raise here. And when you begin to open up and take multiple lines with the same hand, you become much tougher to play against. For example, if you very rarely check raise here, and decide to not cbet with a marginal hand like AQ or KQ, you will never see the turn card against a smart player, becuase he will always take a stab- knowing you are likely giving up with whiffed overcards. Now if he thinks you could be attempting a check raise, his attempt to take a stab will become less profitable.

So while there is value to attempting to quantify optimal line frequencies, it is your approach that is most important, not finding the actual number itself.

Obviously I do not think that you are attempting to find a definite answer in this post, but I do think you are attempting to think about these factors in all the right ways. When people say "it depends" in any given spot, it is dependant on all of these things. Thinking about what factors should be weighed, and how heavy they should be weighed in any given situation, is what playing situations is all about. The best players know not just what factors are contributing to any given decision, but just how much each factor needs to be weighed and valued. Some are more easily defined, like you said regarding position, it is likely the easiest element of a situation to factor in- e.g., someone from LP will likely have a wider range than someone from EP, period.

Betting frequencies, table image, bet sizing, betting patterns, are not nearly as easily defined, and a lot rely on accurate perception of your opponents perceptions (x levels of thinking, knowing what level your opponent is on). This is why consistency and meta-game can be SO important against thinking players.

If for example I raise 77 in lp and get called by a blind, flop is K72, he checks and knows that I almost never slowplay and never "trap" and all that [censored], clearly it can be profitable some x% of the time to check behind and attempt to induce a bet on the turn. Now if the turn is a 3 and I raise his bet, he will likely think I am bluff raising, or I am trapping with a monster. Thus, he is now the one who needs to attempt to find an accurate range for my hands. If I know he's a total moron and will always assume I am bluffing, clearly I should be bluffing at a very small frequency, and "trapping" at a relatively higher frequency. Once again, there is no defined % of the time with which I should check behind with air or a monster, but understanding how any given action will be perceived is crucial to defining your frequencies.

To give an example of mixing up your betting pattern and frequency, I played a sort of interesting hand at 10/20 nl against Bill Ivey the other day. I posted it as a whine because I lost on a 2 outer, but the decision process behind the hand was interesting IMO. Me and Bill had really been going at it the past few days at 10/20, and I had been caught bluffing multiple times, and overall had been real aggressive against him. 10/20 nl, 8 handed, bill opens to 80 utg, with around 3.7k behind and I cover. 1 cold caller and I raise to 360 in the BB with KK. Bill calls and the caller folds. flop is 27T 2 tone. I check. bill bets 670, and I raise all in for another 2k or so. I posted the hand, and several people IMed me and said "dude why did you check there?" The reason, is essentially described above. I have a decent history against Bill, so I need to think about how my bets and raises will be perceived. Bill knows I am certainly capable of squeezing with air there preflop, and on the flop, what does my hand really look like? The most obvious answer, is basically a draw of some sort. Going back to your part about stack size/pot size dynamic- I made a decision that would create a situation where I was the one putting in the last raise against on a draw heavy board. If I had 1 pot sized bet left on the flop, surely I would shove, or if we were deeper, I may have check/called or lead/folded (or lead/3 bet depending on stuff). When you manipulate the action so that you put in the last bet on a draw heavy board, very often your hand is a draw. This is because with a big draw, or a marginal one, you are trying to maximize your folding equity against marginal hands- which if you took other lines, that would not happen against. This is why very often it is reccomended in a standard 100x nl cash game if you call a raise OOP with a hand like 9h 8h, flop is 5h 7h 2x, people will reccomend you lead/ 3 bet all in. Well in my given situation, I knew that bill would likely perceive such a line in that way, and thus I mixed up my frequencies in such a way that my hand range would be misread. This is also very important for metagame, because now in the future when I lead/3bet with a draw, Bill will know that made hands are in my range as well, not just draws. In the hand, Bill called with QQ and thus I got the exact result I was looking for-- I was attempting to get lower pocket pairs to call my all in on the flop.

I realize that a fair bit of this post was a tangent, and maybe was not exactly what you were looking for, but I hope I addressed enough of those points. I am without poker here, and soon I will likely be without 2+2 for 6 weeks, so I am clutching on to it like a true addict .

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mattmcegg

Reged: 01/01/06
Posts: 463
Loc: getting back
Re: Carpal Tunnel Essay: A Framework for Poker Study (x-post in MSNL [Re: Ansky]
#6483974 - 07/10/06 10:51 AM

LFT,

Great post man. I love reading these longer insightful posts. I think your whole essay plays on the creative side of poker. How are you able to instinctively apply hundreds of variables, patterns, percentages, and options, into one “line” of playing a hand. I think the more creative a person can be, and I don’t really mean tricky or fancy when I say creative, the more value you have.

One aspect of FTOP that plays into your essay is essentially making your opponent play his or her hand OPPOSITE form the way he or she would play it if they could see your hand. So, in the case of the last hand example, if your opponent calls more than leads, you should lead out. If he raises more than calls, you should do the same. I think this is the art of poker. Making your opponent play in your favor, and creative ways of doing so make poker fun and rewarding.

Thanks again for the post.
Matt

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NHFunkii
Flipament Champion

Reged: 07/25/05
Posts: 5268
Re: Carpal Tunnel Essay: A Framework for Poker Study (x-post in MSNL [Re: LearnedfromTV]
#6484715 - 07/10/06 11:54 AM

great posts, both of you.

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NoahSD
Carpal \'Tunnel

Reged: 08/13/05
Posts: 8925
Re: Carpal Tunnel Essay: A Framework for Poker Study (x-post in MSNL [Re: LearnedfromTV]
#6489771 - 07/10/06 05:59 PM

Quote:

Pot Size/Stack Size Dynamic

IMHO, this takes center stage in tournaments, and tons of mediocre players completely ignore it.

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JohnFR

Reged: 02/16/05
Posts: 642
Re: Carpal Tunnel Essay: A Framework for Poker Study (x-post in MSNL [Re: NoahSD]
#6490975 - 07/10/06 07:38 PM

If this doesn't belong in the Anthology I guess I don't know what does. Great posts guys, this really got me thinking which is what a thread in the Anthology should do.

Cheers!
John

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Re: Carpal Tunnel Essay: A Framework for Poker Study (x-post in MSNL [Re: JohnFR]
#6491114 - 07/10/06 07:52 PM

I've never played a multitable tourney and clicked here accidentally; hell, I haven't even read any content in the thread.

But after seeing the length of those first two posts I must say.

Nh.

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Re: Carpal Tunnel Essay: A Framework for Poker Study (x-post in MSNL [Re: NHFunkii]
#6491812 - 07/10/06 09:04 PM

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great posts, both of you.

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Re: Carpal Tunnel Essay: A Framework for Poker Study (x-post in MSNL [Re: Exitonly]
#6492480 - 07/10/06 10:09 PM

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great posts, both of you.

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Re: Carpal Tunnel Essay: A Framework for Poker Study (x-post in MSNL) [Re: LearnedfromTV]
#6493320 - 07/10/06 11:19 PM

I know people tend to gloat over these long theoretical milestone posts, but I really think this is one of the best posts I've seen on 2+2, and the addition of Ansky's response makes it one of the best threads I've seen.

Very nice job and thanks to both of you.

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