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Old 11-25-2007, 12:32 PM
steamboatin steamboatin is offline
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Here I am, brain the size of a planet and I can\'t beat the 2 cent O/8 game on UB. Depressing, isn\'t it?
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Default Re: Review, Advanced Limit Holdem Strategy (Tanenbaum)

Barry argues that the Illusion of Action keeps the payoffs coming your way.

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I haven't read the book (even though I have a copy sitting on my desk and hope to get to it soon), but this concerns me. It has always been my belief that an illusion or action, or just a loose image, is precisely the way you don't want to play limit hold 'em. I have written extensively about this before -- see my Poker Essays books.

However, that's not exactly my concern. I've seen some stuff recently where the author (not Tanebaum) advocates an illusion of action but then proceeds to give many plays that are predicated on a tight image. So when you write:

By far, the most important discussion in the concepts section is what Barry calls The Illusion of Action, which basically means playing in a way that makes you look like a “crazy” action player, when in fact, you’re really playing solid selective-aggressive poker.

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I can't help but think the book is going this way. In the higher limits, especially if the game is short handed, you need to make all sorts of semi-bluffing type plays and plays that your opponent fears. This is not compatible with the illusion of action.

However, I'm not saying that creating a loose image is definitely wrong, even though I believe it is. But what I am saying is that if you go ahead and create a loose image, you then need to use an appropriate strategy consistent with that image. This would include much less semi-bluffing, value betting very weak hands, and going for extra bets and raises with hands that don't normally deserve this. Notice that is different from [ QUOTE ]
playing solid selective-aggressive poker.

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Anyway, when I do finally get to read this book, I'll make sure to address this topic.

Best wishes,

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I am really interested in your review. I have read the boook twice, studied it a little and I like it a lot. It is one of the few non-2+2 books that I would recommend.

His definition of an Illusion of Action play is basically how to mix up your play without spewing chips. Like occasionally raising in posistion with hands you normally limp. Showing a bluff from time to time and pushing a premium draw so that your opponents don't automatically know to fold when you bet because you only bet a made hand, etc.

I really liked the section about Illusion of Action plays and he mentions them throughout the book. He also states numerous times, that if they are calling your raises anyway, then don't make any Illusion of Action plays, just keep playing tight. Illusion of Action plays are for mixing up your game when your raises get too much respect.

Mason, I think after you read the book, you won't have any problem with Barry's Illusion of Action plays. I think the entire book makes a lot of sense.
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