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Thread: Texas Hold 'em

  1. #21
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoahFence View Post
    Love it love it love it. Typically do fairly well, until my interest flags...then I become very rash. Only played in "friendly" games and online so far...I dislike online play, I can't see the faces. I had a lot more 7-stud and 5-draw experience before WSOP started playing Hold 'em on prime-time and spread the game to the four corners of the earth.

    Where are you finding tournaments?

    "Poker face" is actually a hugely exaggerated popular media myth--any decent player simply doesn't have physical tells, or mixes them up randomly with no related pattern to his cards so that they're useless to opponents. No poker game of any real skill level has anything to do with staring your opponent down for 10 minutes straight until you notice his eye twitch and determine that's made a foolish bluff for all of his money--good players rarely bluff all in at all (except against very weak-tight opponents.)

    Hate to tell you but hand reading ability based on betting patterns and opponents' play tendencies is about 95% of the game--not seeing faces tends to only make a difference against very new/very bad players who have not yet even learned to consider that they might be giving off tells.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Grayscale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    "Poker face" is actually a hugely exaggerated popular media myth--any decent player simply doesn't have physical tells, or mixes them up randomly with no related pattern to his cards so that they're useless to opponents. No poker game of any real skill level has anything to do with staring your opponent down for 10 minutes straight until you notice his eye twitch and determine that's made a foolish bluff for all of his money--good players rarely bluff all in at all (except against very weak-tight opponents.)

    Hate to tell you but hand reading ability based on betting patterns and opponents' play tendencies is about 95% of the game--not seeing faces tends to only make a difference against very new/very bad players who have not yet even learned to consider that they might be giving off tells.
    i disagree... they do, but they're not nearly as obvious or universal as many amateurs would think. they aren't the "eye twitch", as you say... but a pattern of inadvertent body language. there definitely are things, they are a lot more subtle than many players would notice.

    a real "poker face" is a state of mind, of complete disconnection with the cards and the players around you... i imagine myself a corpse, thinking buried in the deep recesses of my mind. after strategic considerations, reading, probability and meta-game, i determine what "hand" i am playing (placing myself below or above what my opponent has) convincing myself that i have that, then make movements and betting accordingly.

  3. #23
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    All of those are parts of tournament strategy, yes, but it's not really accurate to say that tournament players in general make more mistakes than cash players. And when they do, you can only punish them for a relatively small number of chips compared to the blind, and those chips aren't even real cash value, so your victories are all for naught if you run into a bad streak toward the end.

    There may be more opportunities to exploit smaller stacks in tournaments, but in cash (especially NL cash) you can punish someone so brutally when they melt down and make a big mistake that cash is still the most profitable game for highly skilled players.
    All profit is determined by how much better you play than others... but this is why I prefer tournaments. Concepts like 'chips don't have actual value' isn't part of the tournament mentality - the chips are a weapon, not your profit. You use it to navigate through the waters of a tournament. Bad streaks happen no matter what the situation, it's simply the distribution that is different. Normal players have more of a normal distribution, while tournament players depend more on tail end events. To be an ok cash player, you need to be better than average - to even know if you are better than average in a tournament game, you need to play a *lot* of tournaments.

  4. #24
    Welcome to Sunnyside Mondo's Avatar
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    There was a time when I got pretty into playing Texas Hold 'Em.
    I want to start again once I have the time.
    At times, I will be a bluffing type- but that is to keep my opponents guessing.
    I don't want to be too cautious- only making bets when I have good hands because my opponents would figure that out and many will just fold anytime I place a bet, if I have a really good hand.
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  5. #25
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Ladypinkington and myself used to play Texas Hold'em a lot a couple of years ago. I won a tournament, but ladypinkington is better at it than I. She won a larger more competitive tournament, and she placed higher more consistently than I did.
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  6. #26
    Senior Member NoahFence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    "Poker face" is actually a hugely exaggerated popular media myth--any decent player simply doesn't have physical tells, or mixes them up randomly with no related pattern to his cards so that they're useless to opponents. No poker game of any real skill level has anything to do with staring your opponent down for 10 minutes straight until you notice his eye twitch and determine that's made a foolish bluff for all of his money--good players rarely bluff all in at all (except against very weak-tight opponents.)

    Hate to tell you but hand reading ability based on betting patterns and opponents' play tendencies is about 95% of the game--not seeing faces tends to only make a difference against very new/very bad players who have not yet even learned to consider that they might be giving off tells.
    I know it's not the face. Also aware of misinformation. But online you can't even tell if their hesitation is lag, playing four hands at once, watching TV, or actually considering. So far I've been decent at reading people in person.

    I'll take that 5%, thanks.
    "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." - Galileo

  7. #27
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    All profit is determined by how much better you play than others... but this is why I prefer tournaments. Concepts like 'chips don't have actual value' isn't part of the tournament mentality - the chips are a weapon, not your profit. You use it to navigate through the waters of a tournament. Bad streaks happen no matter what the situation, it's simply the distribution that is different. Normal players have more of a normal distribution, while tournament players depend more on tail end events. To be an ok cash player, you need to be better than average - to even know if you are better than average in a tournament game, you need to play a *lot* of tournaments.
    Concepts like "chips don't have actual value" are a HUGE part of tournament mentality because lots of plays that would be +EV in cash are actually mistakes in tournaments because the importance of minimizing variance to make it into the money increases so dramatically due to the fact that you can't rebuy. In cash, theoretically, if your opponent shoves open all in and shows you AKs, and you're looking down at 22, you should call because you are 50.1% to win (assuming you are properly bankrolled to be playing your stakes.)

    This would be a horrible mistake in a tournament because it's no longer profitable to take marginally advantageous odds at the risk of losing your stack (and therefore any chance at actually making money.)

    Most of what you said about tournaments applies equally to cash. Chips are your weapons in any poker format; I don't really see your point here.

    The same goes for your statement about needing to play a lot to really have a statistically valid idea of the quality of your play. It's true that tournaments (especially MTTs) have higher variance than cash, but you still need a LOT of data (thousands of hands) from a given game to ride out the enormous variance in NL holdem and get a realistic idea of your win (or loss) rate. I do agree that you need to play a lot of tournaments to get an idea of the quality of your play, but you also need to play a lot of cash games to do the same thing. There's a reason they recommend a bankroll of 20+ buy-ins for cash.

    I still don't see that you've provided any real argument for tournaments being "better for strategic play"--they're just an exercise in adapting to increasingly small stack sizes and changing conditions, which is definitely an interesting strategic skill unto itself that doesn't apply much to cash games. I'm not debating that tournaments have their own unique skill set, or that superior play wins out in the long run, but the fact remains that deeper stacks = more ability to communicate through bets about the quality of your hand and therefore more complex reads and decisions.

    You never get to a point in cash games where your mode of thinking becomes "ok next time I see K9 or better in an unopened pot I'm shoving! Whoo boy let's gamble!"

  8. #28
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoahFence View Post
    I know it's not the face. Also aware of misinformation. But online you can't even tell if their hesitation is lag, playing four hands at once, watching TV, or actually considering. So far I've been decent at reading people in person.

    I'll take that 5%, thanks.
    Fair point.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Grayscale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Concepts like "chips don't have actual value" are a HUGE part of tournament mentality because lots of plays that would be +EV in cash are actually mistakes in tournaments because the importance of minimizing variance to make it into the money increases so dramatically due to the fact that you can't rebuy. In cash, theoretically, if your opponent shoves open all in and shows you AKs, and you're looking down at 22, you should call because you are 50.1% to win (assuming you are properly bankrolled to be playing your stakes.)

    This would be a horrible mistake in a tournament because it's no longer profitable to take marginally advantageous odds at the risk of losing your stack (and therefore any chance at actually making money.)
    that depends... the chips themselves are valued implicitly through the prize places, and ultimately all decisions are weighed in terms of long-term survival. sure, you would never take a coinflip on day 1, but at the later stages in the tournament it is a requirement because the pressure of the increased blinds means survival is calling on a coinflip instead of running with your tail between your legs.

    tournament play is really no different than cash games except that you must adjust for this implied value, which is the watermark of an experienced tournament player. it is being able to crunch the evolving number of the blinds, time until next increase, remaining players, and your current stack.

    btw, 22 is only a favorite over AKs if one of them is the same suit, otherwise the AKs is a very slight favorite

  10. #30
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grayscale View Post
    that depends... the chips themselves are valued implicitly through the prize places, and ultimately all decisions are weighed in terms of long-term survival. sure, you would never take a coinflip on day 1, but at the later stages in the tournament it is a requirement because the pressure of the increased blinds means survival is calling on a coinflip instead of running with your tail between your legs.

    tournament play is really no different than cash games except that you must adjust for this implied value, which is the watermark of an experienced tournament player. it is being able to crunch the evolving number of the blinds, time until next increase, remaining players, and your current stack.

    btw, 22 is only a favorite over AKs if one of them is the same suit, otherwise the AKs is a very slight favorite
    Ok I realize this was like 2 months ago but I'd forgotten about this thread.

    Anyway, no, increased survival doesn't mean calling all in on a coin flip; it means being the one to make the last raise and force your opponent into that decision. Sometimes your aggressive plays may force you to call all in on a coin flip if you've pot committed yourself (depending on about 894363 factors), but the key to tournaments is that maximizing fold equity is vital. You want to be the one making the RAISE all in, not CALLING all in--that's a huge difference. It's never, ever correct to call all in with the worst hand, but in lots of situations it may be correct to raise all in with a weak hand because of the chance that your opponent will fold (fold equity.)

    And yeah I understand that there are lots of skills involved in being a good tournament player. For the 45th time I never denied that! It's just that the decisions rarely approach the complexity of cash decisions because cash is a "sterile environment." You're never going to win at a cash game with a bunch of preflop shoves, yet time and again we see donk tournament players on TV getting away with this crap and luckboxing their way to millions.

    You try to take that reckless, wild shoving into a skilled cash game, and it's over for you real quick. They don't play that shit there.

    Of course their expectation from the tournament is lower in the long run, but I'd love to see Jerry Yang sit down and try to play cash with the big pros. That would be comical
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

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