Why are the best poker players actually the best?
Every serious poker player wants to be successful and many of them have the right technical skills. However, the truth is that there are key mental factors that separate the big winners from everyone else.
Patricia Cardner is a psychology professor, licensed professional counselor and dedicated poker player. She interviewed a select group of professional poker players who share two key characteristics: ALL of them have been successful over many years and ALL of them have lifetime winnings of more than $1,000,000.
Patricia analyzed the results to determine exactly what psychological skills, techniques, and strategies they use. This book is the result of her studies.
Positive Poker outlines the mental skills that you need to develop if you want raise your game. Positive Poker will help you to:
* Optimize your brain for efficient learning* Increase motivation and stay positive* Use psychological skills to increase your win rate* Increase self-control and reduce tilt
Patricia is aided in her investigations by the highly successful poker pro Jonathan Little, author of the critically acclaimed series, Secrets of Professional Tournament Poker.
The entire concept of a “bull market in stocks” makes little sense. Sound crazy? These days, certainly, because we’re always hearing about a perpetual bull market in stocks. Valuations increasingly disconnected from economic reality, asset bubbles in one class or another, armies of speculators moving like zombie hoards descending on the next fad and blowing it up to infinity and beyond, Buzz Lightyear-like.Why is the whole concept of a bull market generally, nonsense? Because if the value of everything is going up simultaneously, then nothing is going up. If everyone is a superhero, nobody is. If, in an imaginary economy, absolutely everything costs, say, $5, (labor, land, capital whatever) and then the next day everything costs $10, then what’s changed? The answer is absolutely nothing.The only thing that matters is relative valuations between asset classes. Let’s divide them into three of the most basic ones. Equities (stocks), bonds (debt), and commodities (consumer goods). If all three are going up in tandem, then there is no “bull market” in anything. If commodities are going up faster than stocks and bonds, you have inflation, or even hyperinflation. Ask anyone in Venezuela whether they care that their stock market is doing great, nominally. They don’t. They’re looking for their next glop of gruel or morsel of moldy bread to survive the day.But if stocks and bonds are rising and consumer goods are static to falling, you have a bull market in financial assets. This is where we are now. And boy are we really hard and deep into it now. Below is the ratio of the S&P 500 to the CRB Commodities Index.And I’ve got news for everyone. This bull market in stocks relative to consumer goods in dollar terms is already over. It ended almost a year ago. On April 20, 2020 to be exact. Red circle blowoff top above. That was when oil crashed to negative $35 a barrel and we all lived in an alternative financial freakhouse universe. But I have more news than that. This entire “bull market” in stocks has been one gigantic illusion from the very beginning. Stocks aren’t going up. They haven’t gone up for 21 years. Money is going down. Here is the graph of stocks relative to the prime monetary commodity, gold, over the same timeframe above.We can see here that from 1990 to 2000, we had a real bull market in stocks. Equities rocketed in gold terms and in terms of consumer goods generally. Everyone felt richer. Portfolios up, expenses down. But since that time, money has been dying at an accelerated pace and the standard of living has fallen.The bull market in stocks over the last 21 years has been an illusion, a tiny echo of the bull that ended at the turn of the century. We have spent the last 21 years trying to reinflate it, but gold has exposed the lie. We are now at the point where the illusion is about to collapse completely. In my view, we have only a few months left until it all hits the fan. Until then, the bubbles will keep coming in staccato frenetic fashion, moving from one asset class to another faster and faster, until we all get so dizzy we can’t follow it anymore. Last week I speculated that maybe the next target for the zombie hoard will be in penny gaming stocks. I was close. It’s in Macau stocks. It may already have started two weeks ago. The frenzy has started over news about China opening up again. I mean, just look at this crazy chart of the Macau proxy ETF:That last surge higher is just since February 1. We could be at the beginning of a crazy but brief ride higher in Macau stocks right now. New all time highs again, and Macau isn’t even fully open yet. The latest full month statistics for December show a 78.6% drop in visitors year over year. And yet we’re at new all time highs in these stocks already. It’s just completely crazy. I can understand the Macau opening up again trade, but to argue that this factor is being priced in at these levels, at new all time highs? As if none of this full year shutdown hurt any of the casinos fundamentally at all? That’s just totally bonkers crazy. It’s a reflection of the value of the currency these stocks are priced in, not the stocks themselves.What’s happening is that the zombie hoard of bubble chasers is reading the headlines regarding China starting to open up again, and they’re slamming buy orders and call options like they’ve been doing with tech stocks and Gamestop and BTC and all the other fads. We just got news out of Bloomberg that China’s Imax had a face-ripping rally due to exploding ticket sales. China is, indeed opening up, and the zombie hoard of speculators is now going to spray their money hoses at anything Chinese. Macau might be at the center of it.How high can this Macau bubble go, if that’s what we just saw start two weeks ago? The truth is, it doesn’t matter. If you get into it, you’ll get hooked and keep levering yourself up, counting your paper gains, unable to separate from them until you get caught in a vortex. At some point, my view this year, it’s all going to come crashing down when all the damage from 2020 is finally revealed all over the world. You can’t paper it over forever. The damage to Macau casinos doesn’t just go away. It festers in the form of more and more debt, and a damaged consumer base that can no longer patronize casinos in the way it once could. Festering wounds need the paper bandage removed and they need to be operated on. That is painful. And it’s coming.When we think of the word “bubble”, what are we really talking about? A bubble is something that looks, from the outside, to be really big and stable. The shape of it, a sphere, is the most stable shape in the universe. It’s why planets, stars, moons, and possibly even the spacetime continuum itself, spontaneously shape themselves into spheres. The force of gravity equalizes at every point on the sphere, forming equilibrium. Nature always seeks equilibrium. And so bubbles take on the illusion of stability, but unlike a real sphere, there’s nothing inside them. When they pop, they are gone almost instantly. This one is about to pop. Macau appears to be the next victim sucked up by the bubble. Macau will survive and rebuild. The question is, in what form? I wouldn’t take a bet the depended on me getting the answer to that question right.
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In what is thought to be the first sign that Caesars is planning for a live World Series of Poker festival in 2021, the operator has put on a new free-to-enter sweepstakes promotion, the Ultimate Poker Champion Experience.
Running from February 15 through April 30, 2021, the contest offers anyone in the United States a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of the WSOP Main Event. One lucky person will not only get their entry into the Main Event paid in full, but they will also be treated to an elite experience during their stay. To enter, all you have to do is fill out the form.
With the coronavirus pandemic still causing mass disruption to live events and travel in the United States and around the world, the WSOP has yet to announce any schedule or plan for this year’s series. There is no information around the main event, for which the promotion is centered around.
The Normal Ramp Up to the WSOP
The WSOP is poker’s biggest event of the year. Tens of thousands of players descend on the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas for more than six weeks of poker. Action culminates in the $10,000 Main Event, the most prestigious tournament in the game. The winner is crowned the year’s champion, poker’s highest accolade.
However, last year, due to the coronavirus, the regular World Series of Poker 2020 was canceled for the first time in its 51-year history.
In its place was an online series held half in the United States—on the official WSOP Nevada and WSOP NJ online poker rooms—and half outside the US on global online poker room GGPoker.
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In the winter, WSOP and GGPoker joined forces again for a hybrid online-live Main Event where players competed in tournaments online, then met for a live final table. The two winners of these met in a special heads-up match in Las Vegas.
Normally by now, organization and marketing are in full flow. Online satellites are underway on official WSOP sites as well as partners internationally. Schedules are revealed, packages are offered and promotions are spread.
However, nothing has yet been revealed for this year—understandable, given how no one knows how the next few months will unfold. That makes this promotion even more intriguing.
Sweepstakes Package Details
The winner of the sweepstakes promotion will win entry into the $10,000 buy-in 2021 WSOP Main Event.
As noted, normally this is a multi-day tournament held live in the Rio; last year, it was mostly online. What it will be this year is unknown. The implication, however, is that Caesars wants to run this live in Las Vegas, given the other parts of the prize package.
The winner and their guest will be flown to Las Vegas from anywhere in the continental United States. Once in the city, they will be treated to a dinner for two at a Celebrity Chef restaurant, a three night stay in a suite at Caesars Palace, a whisky and cigar night at the hotel’s Montecristo Cigar Bar, and $1,000 in spending money.
The total prize package, including all the extra goodies, is worth $14,000.
Approximate Value (USD)
$10,000 Seat to 2021 WSOP Main Event
3-night stay in a Suite at Caesars Palace
Round-trip airfare for two (from continental US)
$1,000 VISA Gift Card
Whisky and cigars at Montecristo Cigar Bar
Dinner for two at Celebrity Chef’s restaurant
Hotel Stay at the Rio, a Hint of the WSOP Finally Moving?
Curiously, the stay is only for a three nights—which would normally not be long enough for a deep run of the WSOP Main Event. Last year, the tournament was spread over two weeks, with three Day 1s and two Day 2s then a Day 3, Day 4, and final table, with breaks gaps in-between.
Also of note, the hotel stay is in Caesars Palace, not the Rio. Whether this suggests an anticipated location move or not remains to be seen. The Rio was sold back in 2019 though Caesars agreed to manage the property for two years.
The 2020 event was scheduled to take place in the Rio, and the live Main event did go ahead in its convention center. However, no announcement has been made for the 2021 series—and with Caesars potentially coming to the end of its management contract, this could well be the first indication that WSOP plans to move it to another Caesars location in Las Vegas.
How to Enter the WSOP Ultimate Poker Champion Sweepstakes Promo
If you are a United States resident, just fill out this form. That’s it! You can read below for more details.
The contest is open to anyone over 21 years of age, with the exception of employees and family of Caesars Interactive Entertainment, Inc or Caesars Entertainment Services, LLC. The offer is only valid in the continental United States and void where prohibited.
Entries are open until midnight on April 30, 2021 and the winner will be randomly chosen on May 6, 2021 from all the entries received prior to the closing date.
In the event that the winner does not meet eligibility requirements, up to 5 alternate draws will be made to choose a winner. If no eligible winner is selected after the maximum 5 alternate draws, the prize will remain unawarded.
Prizes are non-transferable, and not subject to change except at the discretion of the contest Administrator. The Administrator reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value if the above prizes are not available for any reason, and winners are responsible for all taxes and fees which may be associated with receiving or using the prize. There is no cash equivalent for this prize.
The dates for the prize will be set once the Main Event is scheduled, but the trip must be taken before December 31, 2021. This gives the organizers a wide window to schedule the WSOP 2021 Main Event—whatever form it takes.
A title like Silver Trails offers a Wild West theme. Notwithstanding this well known theme, this present Novomatic’s slot has 5 reels, 3 rows and 243 different ways to win. In spite of these features, the game has various and interesting things on offer.The Wilds and Scatters are essential for the combination and they carry multipliers with them just as a Jackpot Feature which allows you to win one of 4 different bonanzas. A bet feature is likewise available.Betting and Prizes Much the same as in most slot games, you’ll need to match identical images to get prizes. You can get 3 images in a combo and win a prize. Be that as it may, you can likewise get 4 or 5 of them and improve prize. As said earlier, this game allows you to win one out of 4 bonanzas. They are the Mini, Minor, Major, and Grand bonanzas. Silver Trails has a lot to offer.Silver Trails’ Slot Features Since the royal card images are very famous you’ll see them in this title too. They are joined by the 10 image just as images that fit the theme. These are the revolver and bullet, the cowboy and others.Normally, there are some exceptional images in the combination. The Wild is the first and it seems stacked on reels 2 and 4. Other than this one, you additionally have the Silver Star image which is the Scatter one. At the point when it lands on reels 1, 3, or 5 you’ll get a multiplier that equals the sum on the stars that landed.Also, the Scatter is liable for another feature too. However, for that, you’ll need at least 6 Scatters to trigger this feature. When this occurs, the images that set off the feature remain and place, and you get 3 Bonus spins. The counter moves to 3 when you land another Scatter.On the off chance that you are able to cover the whole reels with the Silver Star image, you’ll get the Grand Jackpot. Then again, you can get any of the other 3. Strong multipliers are additionally important for this feature and they can get as high as 20x your stake.The last feature that allows you to increase your rewards is the Gamble feature. In any case, it’s a dangerous feature as you can lose them on the off chance that you don’t play it right.Theme and Design With Silver Trails slot fans are given another title that is motivated by the Wild West. The images and the background of the game look stunning and the game mechanics are impeccable. At long last, the game’s engineers didn’t mix out the opportunity to make this a mobile-friendly game too.ConclusionSilver Trails takes you to the Wild West and allows you to earn huge prizes. Because of the Jackpot feature you can leave with 1 out of 4 magnificent bonanzas. On the other hand, you can try our the bet feature and appreciate the multipliers that come with the Silver Stars. Wilds are in the combination too.
It’s not easy trying to be a provider of illegal gambling activity in California. The Golden State has a history of digging up underground gambling houses and isn’t slowing down. Last week, police in Anaheim descended on a business they suspected was operating as a slaphouse, an illegal gambling site, and weren’t wrong. By the time the raid was over, around 70 people had been arrested, even as many tried to scatter like rats from a sinking ship.What was reportedly a furniture store was actually an illegal gambling property. Police spent two months gathering evidence and securing their case before moving in last Wednesday, serving a warrant that morning and confirming their suspicions. Inside, there were gambling machines, money and guns, as well as a number of gamblers. Some of those busted out windows as they tried to make a run for it, only to be met outside by more police, including members of the local SWAT team.The slaphouse was reportedly able to function undetected 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Police had received numerous complaints about the operation before they launched their investigation, and are becoming more familiar with the seedy underground gambling scene that continues to emerge across California. Most of these, in addition to offering a form of entertainment California lawmakers don’t want to address, involve illegal weapons and, on occasion, illegal drugs, making them a public risk that has to be contained. 2019 saw a number of slaphouses busted, most around the Los Angeles area. Other cities have to deal with them, as well, with Long Beach often a favorite go-to spot for criminals.This is the second time in five months that Anaheim police have intervened in an illegal gambling house. Last October, 70 people were arrested when they moved in on a supposed slaphouse, uncovering video gaming machines, electronic gaming tables and more. That raid apparently didn’t provide the example that it should have, as the raid last week occurred right next door to that October bust.Slaphouses get their names, according to the way the tale is told, from the sound made when a gambler slaps his or her hand on the controls of the gaming machine. If California continues its crackdown on the illegal operations, a more fitting description would be that the name comes from the sound of having the cuffs slapped on you at an underground gambling house.
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Steve at the WSOP Final Table. Image © PokerNews
This is a “Retro Blog” from 11/8/2010 discussing the time I spent coaching 2009 WSOP Main Event final table member, Steven Begleiter.
Back when I initially made this post, I was a terrible writer. I decided to clean up the grammar and fix the typos. Believe it or not, but I used to be (and still am to some extent) a sloppy writer.
I have endless problems proofreading my own writing. I constantly struggle to not overlook countless minor, but obvious, mistakes in all forms of writing including books, blogs, twitter posts, emails, and text messages. Perhaps my brain is broken. Please know I try my best!
Getting the Job
Ylon Schwartz and I have never revealed that we spent three months coaching Steven Begleiter through his preparation for the final table of the 2009 WSOP Main Event.
I was initially introduced to Steve through a 2+2 forum member, Ben Lambert, who knew me from back in my sit n’ go days, where I had a considerable amount of success. Of course, my live success also got me on the radar. Given all final tables are essentially sit n’ go tournaments with funny payouts and stack sizes, he thought I would be an excellent candidate to transform Steve into a player with a better than average shot at taking home the bracelet.
It is worth noting that Steve won his way into the 2009 Main Event through a fairly high stakes local league. Ben also participates in this league, which is how he knows Steve.
Ylon Schwartz. Image © PokerNews
I should mention now that Steve is an extremely intelligent guy. I now look up to him as a mentor. He possesses an important life ability that many lack. He is aware that there are many things he doesn’t know and he isn’t afraid to seek help when he thinks he can improve.
Steve knew he wanted to hire a coach so he interviewed lots poker professionals to find the best fit. He narrowed his search down to me and Ylon Schwartz, a chess master who final tabled the WSOP Main Event in 2008. I had no experience with Ylon but shortly after meeting him, it became clear he had a solid grasp of poker.
I was fairly sure Steve was going to pick Ylon, mainly because both he and Ylon live in New York. At the time, I lived across the country in Vegas. I did some negotiating and succeeded in getting the job split between the two of us, which worked out quite well.
I ended up flying to New York three times, once for our initial interview and two other times to spend long weekends coaching Steve. During these weekends, we discussed and played poker constantly. Steve is a super busy guy with a hectic job and a full family life. Despite that, he always spent our time together working hard and quickly absorbed everything I taught him.
Most people, especially when it comes to poker, are stuck in their ways. They refuse to believe they might actually be bad at poker. Steve was the opposite, realizing that Ylon and I were on a different level than he was. He learned a lot from us because he had an open mind and wanted to learn.
Our First Trip
After our initial interview, we decided it would be a good idea for Steve to fly to Vegas and drive with me to Los Angeles to play the WPT event at the Bicycle Casino. We discussed poker during the entire car ride. I think we both learned a ton. I ended up cashing in the event but Steve ended up taking 9th place, which was really impressive considering the field was tough and we had just started working on his game.
Steve with fellow WSOP final tablist Kevin Schaffel at the Legends of Poker WPT event. Image © PokerListings
He claimed the advice I gave him allowed him to avoid going broke twice in the tournament whereas before our lessons, he would have busted early on the first day. That is a good thing! A lot of what I taught him was to control the size of the pot with his good, but not amazing hands, such as top pair with a marginal kicker. You will find it is quite difficult for your bets to get called on three streets by hands worse than top pair with a bad kicker. This means you need to check them at some point. You will find that checking often induces your opponent to either over value his worse made hand or try to bluff you off your “obvious” weak holding. By checking, you extract additional value you would normally miss by betting.
I learned from Steve that most amateur players simply do not pay attention to stack sizes. The concept that each stack size requires a vastly different strategy isn’t something they are aware of. Poker requires a very different strategy when you have 20 big blinds than when you have 100 big blinds. We worked hard on these two concepts and I think he became a much better poker player almost overnight. Steve was sad to take 9th place, but at the same time, he realized it was a great accomplishment.
Working Hard at Home
Back in New York, we ran numerous simulations where we would set up stacks according to the final table stack sizes and try to match up each stack with a player whose playing styles were similar to those of the actual final table players. Steve did reasonably well in most of these sessions, so that was encouraging.
After our first full NYC weekend, Steve decided to play the WSOP Europe. He was one of the chip leaders early in the first day but ran into a few unavoidable situations and was eliminated. While going broke is rarely a good thing, the fact that he is clearly capable of gathering chips means he always has a chance to win. You would much rather have large swings than break even in a poker tournament because in order to win, you have to get all of the chips. Hanging out, waiting for premium hands, is usually not a good idea, especially if your opponents play well.
Before meeting Steve, I assumed I would have to work hard on getting him in good physical shape, as most poker players are not in shape at all. Luckily, Steve was already in excellent shape. There is nothing worse than being technically sound at poker but crashing late in a session due to poor fitness. Once he made the final table, he was frequently in the gym and worked out much harder than I expected. I was, and still am, incredibly proud of his preparation, both on and off the felt.
I also made a point to ensure he was on the proper sleep schedule. If you get tired at midnight but you happen to be required to play until 4am, the wheels could easily fall off. I believe getting Steve on the proper sleep schedule also helped set him up for success.
That’s enough talk about the preparation. On to the final table!
Tackling the WSOP Main Event Final Table
Steve had one of the worst seats at the table, having Eric Buchman, the only other “known” world class player with a ton of chips, on his left. Also to Steve’s left was Joe Cada, who we assumed would play his short stack well, given that he had a ton of online experience. We assumed Antonie Saout, Jeff Schulman, Kevin Schaffel, and Darvin Moon would play fairly tight. We thought James Akenhead, Phil Ivey, and Joe Cada would look to mix it up a bit and try to double their short stacks. We assumed Buchman would try to go after Steve, due to his position, with numerous light calls and reraises.
You may be surprised that we did not assess Ivey as much of a threat, at least as the chips currently sat. Steve had position on Ivey, which automatically gave Steve a huge edge. Also, Ivey didn’t have many chips, meaning he would have to double up a few times before he got in contention. It is fairly difficult, even for Phil Ivey, to double up a few times. In all of the simulations we ran, I (playing in Phil Ivey’s seat) never really got too far off the ground. Starting with a small stack is a huge disadvantage.
It turned out we were generally correct in all of our assumptions except that Saout wasn’t too tight and Ivey was super tight. Early in the day, it looked like Schaffel was going to double through Buchman, which would have made the table much better for Steve because chips flow to the left and Steve had position on Schaffel, but his A-A couldn’t beat K-K.
This was the first crushing blow to our day that few people seemed to notice. It is really bad when a loose, aggressive player on your left gets lots of chips because he will use them to constantly apply pressure on you. That would have been fine if Steve could have made a strong trapping hand, but, if you have ever played poker, you will find you cannot rely on making strong hands.
A Few Minor Missteps
As for Steve’s play at the final table, I was completely satisfied with all of his decisions except two that came up near the end of the day.
In the first one, he raised with 8c-7c and Saout, who was certainly playing the best out of anyone else at the table, reraised from the big blind. Saout had been going after Steve a little, although not too much. I don’t recall the exact stack sizes but I think Steve had 44,000,000 and Saout had 23,000,000. The blinds were 250,000/500,000. Steve raised to 1,500,000 and Saout reraised to 4,500,000. Steve elected to call, which is fairly loose and likely bad given Saout’s relatively short effective stack size. Saout checked on the 9h-8h-3c flop and Steve bet 5,250,000. I really dislike this bet because if Saout decided to go all-in, Steve would be getting decent odds to call with a fairly marginal hand. In general, you do not want to bet an amount that makes your decision difficult. You want to set yourself up to have easy decisions. A smaller bet or a check from Steve would have been much better. Anyway, Saout did push all-in and Steve made what was likely a “correct” call. Saout turned over a flush draw and won when a heart came on the turn.
It worked out pretty well for Joe Cada. Image © PokerNews
If you watched the coverage of this event prior to the final table, you likely know that Steve loves calling reraises with suited connectors. We worked hard to cut that out of his game, especially against good players who will not blindly stack off to you or when you are not getting large implied odds, but he still decided to take a flop in this situation. Despite that “error”, he got his money in with about 50% equity, so I suppose it wasn’t too bad. It is rarely a bad thing to be in a flipping spot where if you lose, you will still have a decent stack and if you win, you will have a gigantic chip lead. Losing this hand was the second major thing that went wrong for Steve.
The next hand Steve lost may appear to be fairly minor, but it had huge consequences, as it helped determine the champion. Joe Cada raised to 2.5 big blinds out of his 20 big blind stack from first position and Steve called from the small blind with As-3s. The flop came Ah-Jc-2s. Steve elected to be bet into Joe, a move which I despise. Cada decided to call the lead. They checked down the turn and the river, giving Steve a tiny pot. I would have much preferred to see him check-call with the intention of inducing Cada to bluff off his stack. Instead of having a realistic chance of inducing Cada to bluff by showing weakness, Steve won almost nothing.
The final bad thing that happened to Steve was actually a standard bad beat. Steve raised to 2.5 big blinds out of his 35 big blind stack from middle position with Q-Q and Darvin Moon pushed all-in from one of the blinds with A-Q. Steve, of course, called instantly. The flop came X-X-X-X-A and Steve was out. He busted in 6th place, collecting $1,587,160.
Life Goes On
Steve giving an exit interview. Image © PokerNews
Steve took his loss exceptionally well and gave a few excellent exit interviews. I do not know if I would have maintained my composure after running fairly bad during the entire final table. He is a strong man.
Steve was an absolute joy to work with. I don’t think anyone else at the final table would have been a better student. Even though he made a few mistakes, none of which turned out to be too costly in terms of equity, I firmly believe he made significantly fewer mistakes than he would have without coaching. If Steve had a desire to make it on the professional poker circuit, I am confident he could. That being said, he has an awesome job and life, which he has no desire to leave, so he will remain a world class weekend warrior.
When I first got the job to coach Steve, I was happy simply to get the job but I am now honored to have a friend for life. Hopefully someone decides to take the plunge with me again next year. I loved the experience. Better yet, I will try to make the final table myself.
If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends. Thank you for reading.
สวัสดีสถานการณ์ที่น่าสนใจเกิดขึ้นเมื่อเร็ว ๆ นี้ในเกม 5/5 และฉันไม่พบว่ามันผิดปกติที่พบว่าตัวเองอยู่ในสถานการณ์เช่นนี้ดังนั้นแนวคิดบางอย่างเกี่ยวกับวิธีที่ฉันควรเล่นสถานการณ์เหล่านี้อาจเป็นประโยชน์ ฉันเป็นมือใหม่ดังนั้นอย่าลังเลที่จะขุดฉันใหม่หากฉันเล่นผิดพลาดในทุกขั้นตอน ในเกมเงินสดสำหรับผู้เล่น 8 คนฉันอยู่บนปุ่มด้วยเงินประมาณ 280 เหรียญพร้อมชุดป้องกัน A-10 ไฮแจ็คเปิดสูงถึง $ 20 โดยใช้เวลาเพียงหนึ่งชั่วโมงที่โต๊ะ แต่แสดงให้เห็นชัดเจนว่าเขาเล่นมือส่วนใหญ่ที่แจกไพ่และพร้อมที่จะเล่น เมื่อมองย้อนกลับไปฉันคิดว่าฉันควรจะเลี้ยง แต่ฉันตัดสินใจที่จะโทร SB ตัดสินใจอย่างแปลกประหลาดที่จะลดการเพิ่มขึ้นเป็น $ 40 เขาเล่นค่อนข้างตรงไปตรงมาตลอดทั้งเซสชั่นดังนั้นฉันไม่รู้ว่าจะตีความอย่างไร อย่างไรก็ตาม High Jack โทรมาและฉันก็โทรไป หม้อ: $ 120 Flop: AJ-8 แจ็คกับแปดโพดำฉันมีเอซ SB เดิมพันอีก $ 40 ไฮแจ็คโทรและฉันโทร ฉันคิดว่านี่เป็นมาตรฐานที่ดี แต่อย่าลังเลที่จะแก้ไขโซลูชันของคุณอีกครั้ง หม้อ: $ 240 เทิร์น: การตรวจสอบ SB 5 มิติและเขาเล่นได้ค่อนข้างตรงไปตรงมาจนถึงตอนนี้ดังนั้นฉันคิดว่าช่วงของเขาในขณะนี้เต็มไปด้วยอากาศจนถึงเอซด้วยนักเตะที่อ่อนแอ สวัสดีแจ็คตรวจสอบและตอนนี้ฉันแค่เดาว่าเขากำลังพยายามจับฉลาก นี่คือที่ที่ฉันต้องการความช่วยเหลือจริงๆ ฉันมีเงินเดิมพันน้อยกว่าเงินกองกลางเล็กน้อย การจับรางวัลส่วนใหญ่จะมีโอกาสเรียกได้ว่าฉันเดิมพันเพียงเล็กน้อยและอะไรก็ตามที่ใหญ่กว่าขนาดเล็กทำให้ฉันตกอยู่ในสถานการณ์ SPR ที่แปลกมากในแม่น้ำซึ่งคู่ต่อสู้ของฉันจะตัดสินใจได้ง่ายพอสมควร ฉันสามารถตรวจสอบได้ แต่ฉันรู้สึกเหมือนกำลังให้การ์ดฟรีโดยไม่จำเป็นเมื่อฉันมีมือที่ดีที่สุดในสถานการณ์นี้ ฉันตัดสินใจที่จะผลักมัน SB เล่นก่อนที่เขาจะตัดสินใจพับในท้ายที่สุดและไฮแจ็คก็เรียกด้วยโพดำ 3-4 โพดำทันที แม่น้ำ 2 โพดำฮีแจ็คก็เลยไปถึงที่นั่น ฉันไม่กังวลเกี่ยวกับผลลัพธ์ แต่บางครั้งฉันก็พบว่าตัวเองอยู่ในสถานการณ์ที่ฉันมีคู่อันดับต้น ๆ ที่อ่อนแอและ SPR ใกล้เคียงกับ 1 และฉันไม่แน่ใจว่าอะไรคือสิ่งที่ดีที่สุดที่ควรทำ เกี่ยวกับสคริปต์ประเภทนี้ ข้อเสนอแนะใด ๆ ที่ชื่นชม!
คาสิโน ออนไลน์ มือถือ
คาสิโนtrue wallet ไม่มีขั้นต่ำ
This article was written by blackrain79.com contributor Fran Ferlan.
Playing the river optimally is what makes or breaks your winrate.
It’s the biggest money street and you often have to make a decision for your
whole stack. The amount of money in the pot by the river often paralyzes
players, because they are overly focused on the pot size, which affects their
decision making process.
So what should you do versus a big river bet? Well, when you ask a broad
question, you tend to get a broad answer, so here it is: it depends.
There’s a lot of factors to consider here: your opponent type, previous
action, board runout, pot odds, your relative hand strength, just to name a
Not a huge help, so let’s try to break it down in this article.
1. Try to Bluff Catch Versus Loose and Aggressive Players
Let’s start with the type of player we are up against. Most players will
primarily bet for value when they fire off a big river bet, especially at the
The only exception would be loose and aggressive players. This is true for
both regulars and aggrofish. You can generally call wider against aggrofish
than you would against LAG regulars. The looser and more aggressive the
player, the wider you should call them down.
This is an advanced poker strategy that works extremely well in today’s small stakes games. BlackRain79 discusses it in more detail in this video:
So in practice, this means that sometimes you should call them down with hands
you wouldn’t be comfortable calling with otherwise, like top pair weak kicker,
second pair, two pair on a wet board and such.
It’s important to trust your judgment in these situations, otherwise you’re
better off folding earlier if you suspect you’re going to get barrelled and
pushed out of the pot.
However, just because someone is loose and aggressive, doesn’t mean they will
have only bluffs in their range, especially on the river.
The board runout is an important factor when deciding how wide you should
call. Generally speaking, the drier the board, the wider you can bluff
Because your opponent sees the same community cards you see, and if they bet
huge on the river, they’re basically saying that the board doesn’t scare them
and they don’t care what you are holding.
On the other hand, if the river bricks (i.e. a river card doesn’t change
anything significantly, because it fails to complete any straight or flush
draws, for example), your more observant opponents might put you on a busted
draw and try to bluff you out of the pot.
They can also have a busted draw of their own, as decently winning LAGs know
the power of semibluffing on earlier streets, and know a large majority of
their opponents won’t have the heart to call down their triple barrel without
a monster hand.
In this situation, you should look for an opportunity to bluff catch with your
top pair or second pair, for example. Bear in mind that this isn’t something
you should try to do often, as these kinds of situations are more of an
exception than the rule, but who doesn’t love a good hero call from time to
If you’re able to pick off a huge pot with a mediocre hand, it can do wonders
to your bottom line, as most players wouldn’t have the nerve to pull it
It will also make it more difficult to play against you, because you’ll show
that you are able to call down in less than ideal circumstances, and won’t be
Just a disclaimer:
Know that it’s a high-risk, high reward play, and should be attempted only in
specific circumstances, against specific opponents, on specific boards and
against specific previous action.
You should base it on sound information and tells you’ve picked up on, not
just the feeling that this guy is bluffing, I’m gonna call him down with my
Big River Bet Example Hand #1
Effective stack size: 100BB.
You are dealt A♦8♦ in the BB.
A LAG reg open-raises to 3x from the BU.
SB folds, you call.
You check. Villain bets 3BB. You call.
You check. Villain bets 6BB. You call.
You check. Villain bets 16BB.
You should call.
This is a great spot to bluff catch based on our opponent type, previous
action, and the board runout. Let’s break it down.
A loose and aggressive reg open raises from the button. We assume their range
is very wide here, probably close to 50% of all hands. We have a decent
speculative hand. We can even opt to 3-bet light from time to time, but we
decide to flat call.
We flop a gutshot straight draw, and we expect the villain to fire off a c-bet
with pretty much a 100% of their range, which he does.
The turn doesn’t change much for us, except it puts a possible flush draw on
the board. The villain double barrels, but since not much has changed for us
from flop to turn, and are getting about 3:1 odds on a call, we decide to
The river doesn’t complete our gutshot, but we do end up improving to a top
pair. Is it good enough for a call? Let’s look at it from the villain’s
We didn’t give him any reason to assume we are holding an Ace. In fact, we
checked three times, so if they had to put us on a range, they would assume we
have a Tx hand, a busted straight or a flush draw.
Conveniently, that’s a part of their perceived range as well. The river comes
with a scare card, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if they tried to buy the pot
Are we going to be good a hundred percent of the time? Of course not, but we
don’t need to be. This is something that BlackRain79 talks about in Modern Small Stakes.
They have a significant amount of bluffs in their range for our call to be
+EV, considering their player type, their open-raising position, our passive
lines, non-coordinated board and so on.
When we take all of that into consideration, we can infer that we can call
As for the aggrofish, aka complete maniacs, you can widen your river calling
ranges considerably. It is also a high risk, high reward play, but these
players are the only ones that will have a significant amount of bluffs on the
Because their ranges are already extremely wide on previous streets, so it’s
fair to assume they will get to the river with all kinds of busted draws,
Ace-high hands, fourth pair etc.
While their aggression can certainly be profitable in the short term, as even
they can occasionally catch a monster hand, they will be the most significant
long term losers.
You can’t outrun math. So when playing against them, you should be making more
hero calls than you would usually be inclined.
Be aware that their maniacal ways are usually short-lived, so you should try
to get them to donate their stacks to you before the next guy.
And you usually won’t have the luxury of waiting around for the monster hand
to try and trap them.
So next time you find yourself facing a huge river bet against them, go with
your gut, take a deep breath and call them down. Your winrate will thank you
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2. Look for Possible Completed Draws
As far as all the other player types are concerned, like fish who aren’t of
the aggro persuasion (which is most of them) and TAGs, you should be very
careful when calling big river bets. This is especially the case if they donk
bet big into you. (A donk bet is a bet made against the previous streets’
Look for possible completed draws and ask yourself if their previous action
makes sense that way. If the answer is yes, your overpair or top two pair
probably isn’t good enough anymore.
Think of it this way: would you bet big out of position on the river against
someone’s previous incessant aggression without a really strong hand? You
probably wouldn’t. And neither would the majority of the player pool at the
Big River Bet Example Hand #2
Effective stack size: 100BB.
You are dealt A♠Q♠ on the BU.
You open-raise to 3x.
SB folds, a loose passive fish calls in the BB.
Fish checks. You bet 5BB. Fish calls.
Fish checks. You bet 16.5BB. Fish calls.
Fish bets 40BB.
You should fold.
Let’s break down the action street by street.
There’s not much to say about preflop. We’re dealt a great hand on the button,
and we can assume the recreational player will call us down pretty wide in the
We flop top two pair and should start building the pot as soon as possible. We
expect to get called by a bunch of Ax hands, gutshot straight draws, flush
draws, you name it.
The turn doesn’t change much, but it does add a couple of gutshot draws if our
opponent called the flop with hands like JT, J9, or T9, for example.
We’re still miles ahead of villain’s range, so we decide to charge them a
premium for their drawing hands. We can even consider overbettting, but we go
for a pot sized bet.
And we get one of the worst river cards possible. The fish fires off a huge
donk bet. There is nothing left for us to do but bemoan our luck and fold
The Jack on the river completes a number of straight draws and a flush draw.
If we go back to preflop, we should expect this particular opponent to have
practically all suited junk in their range.
Fish love chasing draws, and they love playing suited junk. Nevermind the fact
that the chances of flopping a flush are only 0.8%.
Now, we could argue that it’s a fish, they don’t know what they’re doing, they
could be bluffing. Or they could have any number of two pair hands we’re ahead
of. Fair enough.
But if they did have a two pair hand, for example, wouldn’t they go for a
check-call option, considering such a scary board?
Even fish can see three diamonds on a board. And yes, they could be bluffing,
but there is nothing in their previous history that would suggest that.
You should always be on the lookout for disrupting patterns when playing
If an otherwise weak and timid opponent suddenly starts blasting off big bets,
they didn’t just randomly decide to mix it up a little. They are politely
letting you know they have the nuts.
As a rule of thumb in poker in general, calling should be the last option you
consider. As the old adage goes, if your hand is good enough for a call, it’s
good enough for a raise.
3. Check Your HUD Stats to Make an Informed Decision
But how do you know what type of player you’re up against? Well, the most
accurate way would be to check their VPIP (voluntarily put money in pot), PFR
(preflop raise) and AF (aggression factor) in your poker tracking software HUD.These are statistics which are placed right on your online poker table, beside each of your opponents, which tell you what type of player you are up against. This is highly useful information to have especially in the fast paced, multi-tabling, world of online poker.
These three poker HUD stats alone can give you a pretty good idea of the type of player you’re
facing, and only after a hundred hands or so. Of course, the bigger the sample
size, the better, but you can draw some general conclusions pretty
However, as we all know, most hands don’t get to showdown, and while we can
make some wide generalizations about some player types, it’s better to have
more info than less. If you are using a HUD, you might want to consider adding
stats like WWSF, WTSD, and W$SD to accurately assess your opponent’s postflop
By the way, if you aren’t using a poker HUD yet, BlackRain79 shows you how to set up your HUD in less than 5 minutes in this video:
So, WWSF stands for Won When Saw Flop, and is a percentage of times a player won
the pot after seeing the flop. The lower the WWSF, the weaker the player,
meaning they play aggressively with very strong hands only, and conversely,
the higher the WWSF, the more they bluff and fight for the pot post flop.
Here is a rough estimation of the spectrum.Use These Specific HUD Stats to Make Optimal Decisions Versus a Big River Bet
If their WWSF is less than 42%, they are weak and give up too much post flop. They don’t bluff enough, and if they give you action, especially on the big
money streets (turn and river) they have a very strong hand.
WWSF between 42% and 52% is the average. Of course, the higher the number, the
more often they bluff.
If their WWSF is bigger than 52%, they bluff way too often. You can call them
down widely and use their aggression against them.
WTSD stands for Went to Showdown, and shows the % of times a player, well,
went to showdown.
A player with a WTSD below 20% is an extreme nit, and goes to showdown with
very strong hands only.
A WTSD between about 24% and 27% is the norm for most winning players. Players with a WTSD above 30% are huge calling stations, and you should value
bet them relentlessly.
W$SD or Won Money at Showdown (or WSD) indicates the % of times a player won
the pot after the showdown. It’s inversely proportional to the WTSD, i.e. a
player with a low WTSD will have a big W$SD because they only see the showdown
with very strong hands, and huge calling stations will have a low W$SD because
they call down with a bunch of garbage hands.
Nitty players will have a W$SD of about 60% or more, fishy players about 40%
or less. Solid winning players will therefore be right in the middle with
One very important caveat, these stats require a huge sample size in order to
You will need 500 hands at the bare minimum to make any informed assumptions.
1000 hands is a decent sample size, but they get really accurate only after
5000 hands or so.
Needless to say, the more they tend towards the extremes of the spectrum, the
less hands you need to be sure, and the more you can exploit them by either
overbluffing or betting for value, depending on which side they fall.
If you want to learn much more about all these HUD stats make sure you check out BlackRain79’s popular optimal HUD setup guide.
In order to play the river effectively, you need to take into account a number
of factors, including, but not limited to: the pot odds, your relative hand
strength, board runout, type of opponent you’re up against, previous action
and so on.
You basically have to apply all of your theoretical knowledge at the same
time. While it may seem daunting at first, the more you practice, the more
automatic the process will become, and after a while you’ll be able to put
your opponents on correct ranges, maybe even zero in on their exact hand.
It will certainly take a great deal of practice, because as we know, most
hands don’t even get to showdown, and river spots are so rare and unique that
it’s hard to even try to answer what to do in these spots in a single article.
However, there are some general guidelines you should adhere to:
First of all, big river bets usually indicate a strong made hand, especially
at the micros. Most players will bet for value, and aren’t really inclined to
risk a significant portion of their stack without something to back it up.
The only exception would be loose and aggressive players, and maybe some solid
tight and aggressive players who know what they’re doing, and know that a well
timed aggression can go a long way.
But again, these are quite rare at the micros.
So against LAGs, you should try to bluff catch from time to time if you
believe they have a significant amount of bluffs in their range.
Just bear in mind that it’s a high variance play, so be prepared to take it in
stride when they actually had the nuts all along.
Against aggrofish (aka maniac fish) you should widen your river calling ranges
significantly, and be prepared to call them down with less than ideal
Don’t wait around for a monster hand, because these don’t come along as often,
and try to take their stack before the next guy.
Lastly, if an otherwise weak and timid player starts making huge bets, your
top pair hand probably isn’t good enough anymore.
Look for completed draws and assume they have it. Make a disciplined laydown
and live to fight another day.
One bonus tip, be sure to practice hand history review off the felt. Filter
for the hands that went to showdown, and try to narrow your opponent’s range
street by street.
Talk to yourself out loud and tell yourself all the information you have. This
will sharpen your decision-making skills in-game, and you’ll be able to
accurately assess your opponent’s ranges in no time.
You’ll be able to read souls, make all kinds of huge laydowns and hero calls
like a pro. Just remember, practice makes perfect.
I constantly hear immature poker players talk about how they hate poker and how they think it is intrinsically a bad game. In reality, poker is an outstanding game for numerous reasons.
I read very few weekly columns, but one I never miss is Mark Rosewater’s “Making Magic”. Although his articles are about Magic: the Gathering, a card game that is somewhat a mix between poker and chess, if you have any interest in game design, I strongly suggest you check it out as he is the premier game designer in the world.
One of his articles, “Ten Things Every Game Needs”, discussing the 10 aspects of a successful game, really hit home because, while there are aspects of poker I do not particularly enjoy, such as getting unlucky for huge amounts of money, I realize they are necessary for the game to thrive and survive in the long run.
In this blog post, I am going to go through his list and outline why I think poker is a superb game. My hope is that you see the game in a new light and appreciate it for the various nuances that make it amazing.
Before I get started, it is worth noting that Rosewater initially had 10 aspects of a successful game in his article. I will only be discussing nine of them because one of his aspects deals with selling a game to consumers. Seeing how poker is not sold in the traditional sense, I do not think it is worth discussion. Also, Rosewater mentions that in order to be successful, a game can be missing one of the 10 aspects. Interestingly enough, poker, in my mind, seems to be blatantly missing one of them although I bet quite a few people, particularly amateurs, would disagree.
I am going to briefly discuss a tic-tac-toe at the end of each section to contrast how poker, a good game, and tic-tac-toe, a bad game, differ. It is important to be able to look at all games and see why they work or why they do not. While those points will have nothing to do with poker, I think they are worth considering.
All good games must have a goal. If the players have nothing to work towards, they will lose interest and stop playing. The goal of poker is to win money. Tournaments are a particularly engaging form of poker because you often have multiple goals, such as getting your first double up, getting in the money, making the final table, getting heads up and winning the whole thing. Poker also allows for other non-game related goals, such as socializing with your friends or getting a gambling high. Poker definitely succeeds in this category.
The goal of tic-tac-toe is to get three of your symbol in a row. This is clearly defined and concise.
A Clear Set of Rules
The basic rules to poker are easy to learn and understand. Pretty much everyone who plays even small stakes poker understands 95% of the rules. The learning of the basic, and even advanced, rules is not a terribly difficult task. If the rules to a game are too difficult, people will not want to learn to play. I believe one of the reasons Texas Hold’em is the most popular variant of poker is due to its simple rules. If you compare Hold’em to other poker variants, you will see the rules of the other games are much more complicated. While I do not think the rules of any poker game are enough to stop a hardcore gamer from playing, I can see how a novice would not want to learn Pot Limit Omaha 8 or Baducey.
Quite a few players do not know around 5% of the rules of poker, such as the “oversize chip rule” and the somewhat new “first card off the deck” rule. There are various rules in place to deal with a player who acts out of turn or slow the game down. The Tournament Directors Association has done an excellent job in outlining these rules and implementing a progressive series of penalties for breaking the rules. They actually have a rules booklet that is 15 pages long. You can download it here.
When something happens at the table that is not covered in the rule book, which is extraordinarily infrequent, the floor man, who oversees each game, is given permission to use his judgment and make a rational ruling. While some less experienced floor men get some of these tricky decisions wrong, the best floor men in the world are almost always 100% correct and fair with their decisions. I think poker succeeds wonderfully in the “Rules” section.
The rules of tic-tac-toe take around 30 seconds to learn, allowing anyone to play with no prior experience. While having simple rules can be a good thing, the rules are so simple that the game quickly becomes stale.
For contrast, Chess and Magic: the Gathering both have fairly difficult rules to understand and master. Despite this, both games have a huge following because the price you pay by spending time learning the rules is more than paid back in the form of a lifetime of enjoyment. For example, the Magic rule book is currently a whopping 207 pages long. You can download it here.
That being said, almost no one actually “knows” all of the rules of Magic. The game is designed in a way such at most of the tricky rules are explained as the game progresses, allowing for clean, progressive accumulation of knowledge.
Poker is filled with interaction. Since both players have the same goal in poker, winning each other’s money, both players must fight hard to make sure they have a reasonable chance to win. You must adjust your strategy to beat whatever strategy your opponent is currently or expected to be implementing. When you have the nuts, you have to figure out how to make your opponent put in his money with a lesser holding. When you have nothing, you have to either fold or figure out how to make your opponent fold a superior hand. This can be done in numerous ways, such as talking to your opponent, throwing your chips into the pot in a particular way, or simply remaining stoic, using your overall game plan and bet sizing to force your opponent to make an error. Poker clearly succeeds in this category.
There is very little interaction in tic-tac-toe. There is nothing you can say or do to influence your opponent’s decision to play fundamentally sound. You simply make your move and hope your opponent makes an error. That being said, you usually converse with your opponent, mostly due to the game being so boring, which I suppose is a minor redeeming factor.
A Catch-Up Feature
Anyone who has been brutally bad beat can attest to the fact that poker has an excellent catch-up feature build into it. A game will quickly become unplayable when weak players think they have no chance to win. The saying “a chip and a chair” has become famous because you always have some equity as long as you have some money in front of you at the poker table. I have personally watched a guy go from one ante chip with 18 players left in a WPT event to taking home the title. I have gone from having half of the chips at a final table to out in 7th place. Anything can happen in poker, which is one of the reasons people keep coming back to play.
Tic-tac-toe has no catch up feature. If you somehow find yourself behind, you will quickly lose unless your opponent makes an error.
Inertia refers to something that drives a game towards completion. In tournaments, the constantly rising blinds ensure the game will end at a scheduled time. While everyone may start deep stacked and be able to play lots of hands after the flop, as the blinds increase, the game eventually evolves into a short stacked game dominated by preflop poker. Interestingly enough, deep stacked poker and short stacked poker require vastly different strategies.
Cash games are a bit different because they never end, assuming you are not playing fairly high stakes or at a casino that closes each night. High stakes games often break when the weak players quit. This unique dynamic often induces the good players to play way too many hands, hoping to win the weak player’s money before he quits for the day. Some players sit at the cash game tables until they are too tired to stay awake.
The best players are able to find a balance between always playing with weak players and playing while alert and focused. Sometimes the game is simply too good to pass up, forcing good players to play when they are overly tired and not playing their “A” game. This is a sacrifice they are willing to make. I think the total lack of completion is something that drives hardcore gamers to cash games because they can play as long as they want.
I think tournaments do an excellent job of bringing the game to a halt whereas cash games do a fairly poor job of it. For this reason, some poker players play exclusively cash games or exclusively tournaments. I believe this is a smart decision for the vast majority of amateurs as the games are totally different and appeal to different player types. There is no point in playing one variant of poker you don’t like as much as another, especially if you think you will have the same win (or loss) rate in both games.
Tic-tac-toe ends when someone gets three symbols in a row or there is a tie. This usually takes around one minute per game. Tic-tac-toe does a good job of ending the game quickly, although it likely ends the game too quickly.
Believe it or not, people enjoy not knowing what is going to happen next. Why do you think poker television shows spend time displaying how the flop, turn and river run out after two players get all-in? Most people want to see who wins. You will find very few professionals actually care who wins once the money gets all-in. They simply care about who has the most equity and if both players played their hands in a fundamentally sound manner.
Poker offers a huge level of surprise to someone who thinks they lost a huge pot only to find out they won. On numerous occasions, I have witnessed someone get up from a table, thinking they lost a huge pot, cursing and screaming, only to be told they actually won the hand. Poker makes some people lose their minds.
I personally enjoy the surprise of playing a hand and getting an unexpected turn or river card when playing deep stacked. It is extremely exciting to me to have a well thought out plan for a hand that is forced to change because I did not factor something into my thought process. This forces me to rethink my plan and reminds me to think of all possible outcomes on future betting rounds, which is quite difficult to do all of the time. Poker excels in the surprise category.
The only surprising thing that can occur in tic-tac-toe is when your opponent makes a huge blunder.
While there seems to always be a “luck vs. skill” debate raging in the government, I think everyone who has ever played poker for more than an hour realizes there is a huge amount of strategy involved. There must be a built in feature of a game that allows players to define and redefine their strategy as they become more experienced at the game. You must be able to use your experience from the past to learn to play better in the future. Poker allows for this perfectly.
When someone first starts playing poker, they typically learn some basic strategy, such as “only put money in the pot when you have a strong hand.” Clearly, this does not require much actual strategy or thought. Later, those same players have their eyes opened to the fact that they can bluff, which leads them to think about what cards their opponent is holding. From there, they start thinking about how their hand appears to their opponent. This proceeds until the player learns a somewhat game theory optimal strategy. From there, they learn to think one level ahead of their opponents, adjusting their strategy as they see fit. The layers of strategy built into the game are limitless.
There are mounds of tools available on the internet that you can use to improve your game. There are lots of articles and books available on all subjects pertaining to poker that can help you improve. Some of the best players in the world produce training videos, exposing the plays they make that weaker players do not. If you cannot find excellent poker training material, you are not trying hard enough.
Poker is an engaging game because, at the table, you have to figure out your opponent’s strategy then adjust your strategy to beat their strategy. This means you cannot have a default strategy that will win a huge amount all of the time. The best you can do is develop some sort of game theory optimal strategy, but this will always win significantly less than if you varied your play based on your specific opponent’s tendencies. While you can spend as much time as you want to study the game away from the table, you must be able to think soundly and implement your flexible strategy at the table if you want to make money in the long run. Poker is dense. Dense games require a huge amount of strategy.
Tic-tac-toe has an easily discoverable basic strategy that requires only a few brain cells to figure out. Once you master this strategy, you will be unbeatable.
“Fun” is a difficult thing to define because different people enjoy different things. While some people enjoy wild fluctuations of the money in front of them, others have no desire to have any swings at all. Some people despise losing money. Some people love even the opportunity to win money. According to Rosewater, the real way to figure out if a game is fun is to ask the players at the end of a game if they would play again. I have seen numerous players play marathon sessions of poker because they thoroughly enjoy it. I have seen players show up to their local casino at the same time every day to play a small, almost inconsequential, tournament. People love the act of playing poker.
Poker offers numerous avenues of enjoyment besides the act of playing poker. Some players enjoy conversing with other players at the table. Others like to get away from their “real” life and use poker to relax. Some people love to gamble and use poker as their game of choice. Others like to develop strategies and plays that allow them to push the boundaries of what is thought to be possible in the game, figuring out ways to run insane bluffs and make huge folds. While people use poker in different ways to have fun, they all keep coming back, at least until they are broke.
When you play tic-tac-toe, you frequently play for around five minutes then stop. This is because it is not a fun game.
Flavor refers to the theme or story of a game. Candy Land, for example, is a race between players to find King Kandy. In reality, players are rolling random dice and moving through a grid of squares with no skill involved whatsoever, but kids love the game. The flavor of Candy Land is sweet!
In my opinion, poker completely lacks flavor although I think most amateurs would disagree. I do not think many people think in terms of the pocket cowboys drowning the two red Aces when their brother rides into town to save them at the river. However, in the past, poker was played in the backs of bars and pool halls. Poker games would frequently get robbed or raided by the police. Fights would break out over bad beats.
While this is not the case in today’s casinos, some players think they are doing something risky by playing poker. Other players associate poker with the Wild West, thinking they are like the old cowboys who could win or lose the farm, given the right amount of luck. I think these people associate poker with being macho. Lots of kids watch their dads go off to play poker and think that if you play poker, you must be a real man.
For those who did not know, the best poker players are overly intelligent people who spend countless hours studying the intricacies of the game, not the guys who show up in muscle shirts and try to beat people up. In my eyes, poker is a math game where you have to make adjustments based on the mistakes you think your opponents are likely to make. I do not think of back rooms, cowboys, or proving my masculinity while playing. I simply show up and do my best to make the best decisions possible. However, I realize I see the game much differently than most people because I have played it for so long. Overall, I think poker fails in this category once players become the least bit seasoned but initially, the game has gushes with flavor.
To continue hating on tic-tac-toe, it has no flavor at all.
As you can see, I think poker passes these nine criteria with flying colors. While cash games may have a bit of problem with inertia and I believe the game lacks flavor, the other aspects of the game more than make up for these minuscule flaws. Seeing how poker continues to grow at a staggering rate, especially in locations where the game has recently been officially and legally introduced, you can bet on it being around for a very long time.
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