Sunday, August 19, 2007

How the hell are we oldies supposed to win against newbies like this?

An old university friend of mine has recently taken up online poker.

After a few months, he has consumed several of the well-known poker books. Here are some of his comments.

“I'm currently reading Snyder's book. It's most interesting. He promotes a very aggressive position based style. You should probably read it at some point for tournament play, even if you prefer the conservative style, so that you can better recognize some of the moves that the table bullies are making and react accordingly.”

(The Paper)… Hmm, seems like you’re getting the hang of all this.

“I've tried the basic approach a small number of times and it certainly seems to help chip building, particularly from positional plays.

Snyder talks of chips, cards, and position as being weapons. In general you can get a better hand to fold when you have position by making a bet that can not be called.

In fact, Snyder suggests that your cards are the weakest weapon since premium hands come around so infrequently.”

(The Paper)… Blimey.

“I've recently finished reading Sklansky's "Tournament Poker for advanced players". I don't much like Sklansky's books, writing style, or words of wisdom and so I don't know why I keep on buying them. Sklansky preaches a highly conservative playing style (one that The Paper might like I see from the reports on your blog). His wisdom is usually based upon the strength of a two-card, i.e. pre-flop, hand. This type of information doesn't suit my learning needs nor will it make anyone a winning player in my view.”

(The Paper)… Wow! Ruthless!

“Sklansky (and other conservative style authors) will tell us that A-Q suited is better than 7-5 off for example. Sklansky will tell us the theoretical mathematical expectation of one hand winning against another, and devote pages of formulae in doing so. But Sklansky has very little advice for post flop play. And yet the chances of winning a pot strongly shifts away from card play when the flop misses both hands, as indeed it does most of the time.”

(The Paper)… You seem quite a sharp cookie, university friend.

“Sklansky's "advanced" book contains nothing at all about positional plays, and very little to nothing about chip plays. There's also nothing about spotting weakness, player styles, playing the player, betting patterns, managing and exploiting your table image, hand reading, gear changes, situational opportunities, mid-tournament strategies, pre-bubble tournament strategies, and so on. All in all it's a very poor "advanced" book.”

(The Paper)… WTF??? I mean seriously, WTF?? When did you start playing???

“Incidentally, in Snyder's book he reckons that his final table chip stack is comprised of 40% card play, 40% positional play, and 20% blind steal. It's a good read and I can recommend it to you.”

(The Paper)… Er, OK.

“I've started to read Matt Lessinger "The book of bluffs". It also looks very useful. There are some interesting things about betting patterns that I'll study more deeply. I think that it will also be useful to make some of the bluffs suggested more often (I've only read the first few bluffs so far and it turns out that I'm using them already anyway).”

(The Paper)… I’m feeling sick now.

“Even if you don't plan on bluffing much then I think that the information in the book makes it easier to spot a bluff attempt, so that you can re-raise the bluffer as necessary.”

(The Paper) … Seriously? You’ve only just started playing, and you’re talking about bluff re-raising??

“Even a tight player needs to show the table that he can't be pushed around too often or else he'll become an easy target. I realise that you wrote in a previous e-mail that there's not very much bluffing in poker. You must have been speaking for yourself since other players, me included, will bluff quite often, particularly with position, bluff-able flops, if I spot weakness, and so on. In fact, I'm pretty much always looking for opportunities to steal a pot (although I probably don't exercise my rights to do so as often as I should). And so I can recommend this book to you anyway. This is an advanced book and not for beginners in my view.”

(The Paper) … I’m feeling about 2 inches tall now.

Anyway, the point of this e-mail is that I wanted your opinion on poker tracking software such as Poker Office or Poker Tracker. They seem to dynamically keep track of player styles, your success with certain hands, and the odds of winning a pot given you current hand and community cards.

(The Paper)… Er, yeah, well, er (cough), see ya then.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats the best blog entry i have ever read ..Keep it up you fkn funny fucker..Best wishes Al.

4:11 PM  
Blogger Ed Reif said...

I agree-- Great sense of humor

3:02 PM  

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