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Old 12-22-2005, 11:57 PM
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Default Technical analysis of poker charts -> any value?

I know many players that chart their poker winnings, generally with Time on the X-axis and BB/100 or $$ on the Y-axis.

After reading Mason's "Gambling Theory and Other Topics", I was intrigued with the idea of non-self weighting
strategies. Buy the book if you are unaware of this concept [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

If trends can be identified in a chart of your poker play, you may choose to pursue a non-self weighting strategy and alter your play based on your chart.

For example, you may elect to limit play when your poker chart is negative ("bearish"), and increase play when your chart is positive ("bullish"), just as a technical analyst may choose to increase his investment in a stock with a bullish stock chart.

A bullish chart may be one that is in a strong established uptrend, or has powered through previous resistance levels.

A bearish chart may be in a strongly negative downtrend, or one that crashed through previous support levels.

Many other definitions of bullish/bearish charts can be defined.

I am curious to ask those who chart your poker play: Does your poker play follow a "Random Walk" model, or a trending model?

A. Random Walk model

Random walk theory gained popularity in 1973 when Burton Malkiel wrote "A Random Walk Down Wall Street", a book that is now regarded as an investment classic. Random walk is a stock market theory that states that the past movement or direction of the price of a stock or overall market cannot be used to predict its future movement. Originally examined by Maurice Kendall in 1953, the theory states that stock price fluctuations are independent of each other and have the same probability distribution, but that over a period of time, prices maintain an upward trend.

In short, random walk says that stocks take a random and unpredictable path. The chance of a stock's future price going up is the same as it going down. A follower of random walk believes it is impossible to outperform the market without assuming additional risk. In his book, Malkiel preaches that both technical analysis and fundamental analysis are largely a waste of time and are still unproven in outperforming the markets.

More info:

B. Trending model

Personally, I'm a believer that stock prices do not trade in a random manner. Reason: Human emotion. Buyers were greedy
in 1999/early 2000 sending the NASDAQ to new highs. Fear took hold after 9/11 as stocks crashed to new lows, then recovered as buyers became less fearful.

Extreme confidence and fear should also be observable when examining a chart of one's poker play.

I suspect a poker playing bot would likely produce charts that show much more random fluctuations, where a human player's chart would show trends based on his state of mind. Trends should be found in a bot's chart but much stronger uptrends and downtrends should be found in a human's chart. Tilt, agressiveness, passivity, and tired play may cause trends to continue longer than what may be considered typical by standard variance.

The question I am pondering if you can alter your winrate by following a non-self weighting strategy based on your poker chart.

Anyway, check out your poker playing charts. Anyone care to discuss:

1. Are there defined levels of support and resistance in a chart of one's poker play? A stock chart may indicate strong resistence at say $50, bouncing off that level several times, falling back each time as sellers sell at that limit. In poker, it's possible similar resistance points may be
visible. For example, it is possible a player may have long term trouble pushing their bankroll past $1000, or $10000, as a "mental barrier" may exist at that level.

2. How strong are the uptrends and downtrends? How long can they last, and what happens when the trends end?

3. Are classic technical formations (triangles, wedges, head and shoulders, pennants, etc) visible in charts of poker play? Do these patterns have any predictive abilities?

4. Are the above items seen in the same frequency when charts of a poker playing bot are examined?
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