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-   -   What is the link between poker and backgammon/chess/bridge? (http://archives2.twoplustwo.com/showthread.php?t=386664)

11-28-2005 07:06 AM

What is the link between poker and backgammon/chess/bridge?
 
To be more specific, why do so many good backgammon/chess/bridge players also make good poker players? I can see the game theory element, but poker seems to be different in that bluffing is a key part of the game, especially in NLHE. Maybe bluffing really isn't that big a part of the game ... maybe its just 15% of the game??? I was a really good backgammon player a couple of years ago (and to be honest I don't even know the rules anymore [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]) and I have transitioned into being a pretty decent poker player. The things I see in common are game theory concepts and thriving on competition. But on the face of it bluffing should make poker an almost entirely differnt game.

As I think about it this ties into my still unresolved thoughts on position. I use position well, which of course involves a lot of bluffing, but if my opponents know I am just "using" position not necessarily with a strong hand why do they respect it so much?

Apologize for the rambling thoughts. I look forward to hearing your comments.


Best,

Tex

BluffTHIS! 11-28-2005 07:53 AM

Re: What is the link between poker and backgammon/chess/bridge?
 
Situational equity.

11-28-2005 07:58 AM

Re: What is the link between poker and backgammon/chess/bridge?
 
[ QUOTE ]
Situational equity.

[/ QUOTE ]

Sounds about right, but I've never heard this term before. Could you define it?

11-28-2005 09:34 AM

Re: What is the link between poker and backgammon/chess/bridge?
 
[ QUOTE ]
To be more specific, why do so many good backgammon/chess/bridge players also make good poker players?

[/ QUOTE ]
Do they? (outside of a couple of TV "names")

[ QUOTE ]
I can see the game theory element, but poker seems to be different in that bluffing is a key part of the game

[/ QUOTE ]
But of course .... how would one bluff when all the information needed for the correct decision is in plain view?

[ QUOTE ]
The things I see in common are game theory concepts

[/ QUOTE ]
Like what?

Shandrax 11-28-2005 09:56 AM

Re: What is the link between poker and backgammon/chess/bridge?
 
Backgammon and Poker are more closely related than Chess and Poker.

Chess is all about complete information and pure strategies. The only thing it may have in common is thinking a couple of moves ahead and what to do against "best" defense.

Backgammon on the other hand has mathematical analysis of random events and making decisions based on percentages, so it is very close to Poker. Knowing when to go all-in in Poker and knowing when to double in Backgammon is not that different.

Arnfinn Madsen 11-28-2005 12:02 PM

Re: What is the link between poker and backgammon/chess/bridge?
 
I know many former backgammon and bridge-players that have become very good poker players, but I don't know anyone from chess.

Backgammon certainly have the equity element, even if it lacks much psychology; while high-level bridge, according to one bridge pro I discussed it with is very similar to poker (they assign players on hand ranges, they do deceiptive plays or pure bluffs etc.).

Chess on the other hand tends to appeal to very intelligent, systematic people. I don't think intelligence is among the most important traits to become a good poker player.

11-28-2005 01:39 PM

Re: What is the link between poker and backgammon/chess/bridge?
 
Ciaffone is an excellent Chess Player as well as a top poker pro and author

11-28-2005 04:15 PM

chess and poker
 
I canít speak for backgammon and bridge players, but I can speak from a chess playerís perspective. Iím a winning poker player (but not good enough to brag about,) and Iím a class A chess player (again, not good enough to brag about IMO.) I just enjoy playing and studying both games.

First, I havenít seen any real correlation between intelligence and chess ability. I know plenty of rocket scientists and math whizzes that study chess a lot and still canít play a decent game. School studies say that kids who play chess do better in school because of what they learn, but I think chess sharpens their critical thinking skills and isnít necessarily linked to intelligence. There are common traits of chess and poker that appeal to chess players. These are the traits that appeal to me:

1. Elements of the game. Chess players begin to learn chess by becoming familiar with certain patterns (piece movement, checkmating patterns, pawn formations, etc.) and tactics (forks, pins, skewers) that appear several times in games. Poker has similar recurrence of patterns (hitting a flop, reading a board) and tactics (checkraising, slowplaying, overcalling, etc.) that are used in various combinations to a playerís advantage.

2. Analytical nature of the game. Chess can be analyzed almost to infinity. Players identify strengths and weaknesses in their game by going over past games, preferably with someone of greater chess strength. Poker has a similar feature.

3. Learning from books. Most chess players I know read books and magazines to gain new insight into the game. Same with poker. When I started studying poker, reading a book was a natural way to begin the process. This is probably true for other board games, but maybe not for other endeavors.

As someone mentioned, Bob Ciaffone is an excellent poker and chess player. In one of his articles, Bob mentioned that Ken Smith (of Smith-Morra gambit fame) is also a good poker player. Dan Harrington is a chess master. Iíve seen GM Walter Browne playing 8-16 at Bellagio. A lot of my chess playing friends also play poker or have given up chess for poker.

ScottieK

threeonefour 11-28-2005 05:05 PM

Re: What is the link between poker and backgammon/chess/bridge?
 
[ QUOTE ]
Ciaffone is an excellent Chess Player as well as a top poker pro and author

[/ QUOTE ]

greg shahade (sp?) used to post on this forum a fair amount under his real name. from what i have heard he is a successful player in fairly high games. he is also an international master. maybe even a GM now.

Dan Harrington used to be an expert level chess player. he might have even been a USCF master.

RiverDood 11-28-2005 05:31 PM

Re: chess and poker
 
I'm a chess player from long ago, and your analysis rings true. Here are a couple other points to add.

Single-table SNGs remind me enormously of a serious chess game. They come in stages -- and you need to know how to transition between them.

1. Opening. Very formulaic. You can and should study what to do at the beginning. Play logically. Don't make mistakes. Be patient.

2. Middle game. Now you've got all your stuff in action and so does your opponent. It's parry-and-thrust time. You want to seize the initiative -- without being reckless. These are much more complex patterns, and we learn them by playing a lot and developing "intuitive" senses of when we're in command and when we need to back off.

3. End game. We're down to bare bones. Suddenly our risk tolerance changes. In chess, the king becomes an attacking piece. In poker, all sorts of hands that were insta-folds early on now ought to be pushed. . . . Tempo matters enormously, too. Zwischenzug and slow play are kindred concepts. Ditto for opposition and the gap concept.


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