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  #1  
Old 12-21-2005, 11:55 PM
Degen Degen is offline
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Default TOP Re-Read Ch\'s 1-4

For anybody who missed the OP, for some of us a TOP Re-Read is in order for various reasons. Some TRUE slackers among us have never even read it, so we're going to be doing 4 chapters a week and hopefully we can get some good discussion going here on specifics, agree/disagree stuff, and especially how all of this applies to SNG's.

As for structure, I propose simply replying to this post and changing your subject title to whatever it is that you found interesting or discussion worthy, and everybody else replying directly to that post. Hopefully we can keep it nice and neat and easy to refer back to.


So for this week:

Ch 1. Beyond Beginning Poker
Ch 2. Expectation and Hourly Rate
Ch 3. The Fundamental Theorem of Poker
Ch 4. The Ante Structure


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  #2  
Old 12-22-2005, 12:10 AM
Degen Degen is offline
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Default Variance

Page 1:

A quote from Bobby Baldwin:

"If you are an excellent player people are going to draw out on you a lot more than you're going to draw out on them because they're simply going to have the worst hand against you a lot more times than you have the worst hand against them".

Great quote. We all *know* this (and most of the stuff in this chapter) but standing back from that and re-thinking it and letting it sink in (again) had great value for me.



Page 15: "Once you have decided what your hourly rate is, you should realize that what you are doing is earning. You are no longer gambling in the traditional sense. You should no longer be anxious to have a good day or upset when you have a bad day. If you play regularly, you should simply feel that it is better to be playing poker making $20 an hour, able to come and go as you please, than to be working an eight-hour shift making $15 an hour. To think of poker as glamorour is very bad. You must think that you are just working as a poker player and that you are not particularly anxious about making a big score."

Amazing amazing quote. Everytime I read this book it pulls me back into this mode. The longer it gets between re-reads, the more I revert back to the emotional swings that come with *need*ing to do well each session.
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  #3  
Old 12-22-2005, 12:13 AM
bluefeet bluefeet is offline
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Default Re: Variance

re: Bobby Baldwin quote - I'm glad I hit refresh before I started typing [img]/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] This has always been a personal favorite passage of mine.


Edit: Future additions will not include the likes of "yep, I like that one too!"
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  #4  
Old 12-22-2005, 11:29 AM
Degen Degen is offline
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Default Chapter 4 and Levels 1-3

When I played the 800 chip tourneys I was uber tight early. In the 1000's i'm a bit looser early on. Well if I am interpreting chapter 4 properly, sklansky is saying that this is not wise. In fact that I should be playing TIGHTER early on in the 1000 chip tourneys than in the 800 chip tourneys.

To recap the chapter, the higher the ante's (defind as ante's + blinds) the more hands you should play due to increased pot odds. The lower the ante's the fewer hands/tighter you should play due to the low pot odds.

There is a claue that you want to take advantage of bad play in low ante games so play more due to this, but if anything the 1000 chip games have FEWER bad players.


So what gives? Is this a clear place where SNG structure and TOP do not line up? Are those of us opening up early making a mistake?
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Old 12-22-2005, 11:53 AM
Copernicus Copernicus is offline
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Default Re: Chapter 4 and Levels 1-3

[ QUOTE ]
When I played the 800 chip tourneys I was uber tight early. In the 1000's i'm a bit looser early on. Well if I am interpreting chapter 4 properly, sklansky is saying that this is not wise. In fact that I should be playing TIGHTER early on in the 1000 chip tourneys than in the 800 chip tourneys.

To recap the chapter, the higher the ante's (defind as ante's + blinds) the more hands you should play due to increased pot odds. The lower the ante's the fewer hands/tighter you should play due to the low pot odds.

There is a claue that you want to take advantage of bad play in low ante games so play more due to this, but if anything the 1000 chip games have FEWER bad players.


So what gives? Is this a clear place where SNG structure and TOP do not line up? Are those of us opening up early making a mistake?

[/ QUOTE ]

He is talking about cash games, not tourneys in TOP. In the context of a small stack tournament there are conflicting influences. The lower stack/ante ratio would make your standards to enter the pot looser (ie you are starting with lower M), increasing blinds would make you more LAG, but lose one significant hand and you are way behind the rest of the pack and jeopardizes survival.

What is the most important of those influences? Since everyone faces the same constraints, survival should win out. That leads you to think in terms of the Gap Concept.

If we want to play looser and more aggressive, but still recognize survival, the conclusion would be to lower your raising standards.

What about calling standards? If everyone is lowering their raising standards shouldnt everyone be able to maintain a similar gap and lower their calling standards as well.

I think the answer is no, because if the entire table is leaning more toward LAG, your best style is to let them gun it out, and survive for your best hands.

I dont see any inconsistency with TOP.
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Old 12-22-2005, 11:56 AM
RobGW RobGW is offline
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Default Re: Chapter 4 and Levels 1-3

As far as antes go, in a game with antes it adds much more to the intitial pot which increase your pot odds to get involved. SNG's (at least at PP) have no ante, only blinds. So the pot odds are lower. However, in NL SNG's you should be looking at implied odds anyways. So with 1000 starting chips the implied odds are higher than in the 800 limits. So theoretically, we could see a few more hands on the chance we can stack someone. I believe Sklansky said something like in NL you can see more flops if you can get in cheaply because of the implied odds. Of course, this would assume you are good at post flop play. And thern there is the debate between those that play uber tight to make the bubble and then go into push bot mode and those that try to take advantage of the fishies before someone else does. So I guess there are several competing philosophies that seem to counteract each other.
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  #7  
Old 12-22-2005, 12:14 PM
Pokey Pokey is offline
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Default Math and poker.

Page 5:

"However, mathematics is only a small part of poker logic, and while it is important, it is far less important than understanding and using the underlying concepts of poker."

This quote really threw me for a loop. In light of MLG's evolution post, does this just mean that Sklansky is so deep into level 4-5 that he forgets those of us at levels 2 and 3 who are just starting down the math path in poker? It seems that a more accurate description of math's importance in poker is "math is the absolute fundamental be-all and end-all of poker until you get it, and then it becomes nothing more than the undercurrent to all your more interesting decisions." Or am I just confuzzled again?
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Old 12-22-2005, 12:27 PM
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Default Re: Math and poker.

[ QUOTE ]
Page 5:

"However, mathematics is only a small part of poker logic, and while it is important, it is far less important than understanding and using the underlying concepts of poker."

This quote really threw me for a loop. In light of MLG's evolution post, does this just mean that Sklansky is so deep into level 4-5 that he forgets those of us at levels 2 and 3 who are just starting down the math path in poker? It seems that a more accurate description of math's importance in poker is "math is the absolute fundamental be-all and end-all of poker until you get it, and then it becomes nothing more than the undercurrent to all your more interesting decisions." Or am I just confuzzled again?

[/ QUOTE ]

I think we need to define 'the underlying concepts of poker' before we can answer those questions. [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

Math is very important in poker. If you knew everybody's hole cards AND everybody's thought processes/psychology, the hole game would be a bunch of calculations. But since the game of poker is a game of incomplete information and many variables, we can't possibly calculate everything that we need to know.
The only thing we can do is learn about the necessary calculations and the important variables, and then gain experience until we have developed a 'feel' for the game, where we 'just know' what is right and what is not. In a way you're doing most of the calculations subconciously I think. (Or you are doing everything from memory.)
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  #9  
Old 12-22-2005, 12:30 PM
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Default Re: Math and poker.

I think that you may be correct in your assumption that he is talking about the 'end game' here, not necessarily the 'beginning game'.

I really think that 'math poker' is the same thing as ABC poker, basically you are making all your decisions based on what you actually know (being your hand, the cards on the board, and the pot size). When poker gets more complicated you have to start factoring in all the unknowns (player reading, card reading, etc.).

So the question then becomes, can you win with ABC poker? I think that the answer is us, up to a certain level. Based on what I have read I think that the following is the level of ABC poker, 5/10 Limit (online), 10/20 Limit (live game), 200 NL (online), and 50+5 SnGs (online). However keep in mind that the % of the player base that is learning ABC poker is greatly increasing and as this happens these limits will lower.

So if you want to play in the 100/200 Limit game (either live or online) math will be a small part of the skills that are needed to win at this level.

Margon
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Old 12-22-2005, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: Chapter 4 and Levels 1-3

[ QUOTE ]
I think the answer is no, because if the entire table is leaning more toward LAG, your best style is to let them gun it out, and survive for your best hands.


[/ QUOTE ]

I think that this is even more true when the table is a bunch of TAGs.

One thing to realize is the changing nature of the game. It seems that the large % of good players will go from being TAGs to LAGs as the game progresses. Therefore, if you are going to go up against a TAG with anything other than a very premium hand, one of two things is going to happen, one you steal, or two you get called, in which case you are likely going to be behind.

In the 800 chip Party SnG, your starting stack doesn't have enough girth to withstand more than one or two failed bluff attempts. Also with a full ring of people the chances that someone has a good hand are much high against 10 players in levels 1 and 2 than at levels 5 or 6 with 5 players. Therefore, for that reason alone your bluffs are better left for later, also the risk / reward is much greater due to the bigger blinds, and lastly that as you get closer to the bubble players will tighten up a lot to a raise, so there is more fold equity.

Based on this I do think that the TAG style is correct for early on if the game is full of LAG or TAG. The only time that it would not be (imho) is when the game is full of loose passive opponents who will lay down to a flop or turn raise with anything less than top pair....pretty rare, and becoming increasingly rare as time goes on.

Margon
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