Sunday, January 27, 2008

What You Think Is Right Is Wrong With Your Poker Game

Egonomics 101---Overconfidence, Myopia and Hubris

The power of mind over money is rooted in mental bias . It is our own idiosyncratic way to distort our map of reality. Just as the menu is not the meal, this map is not the territory--because everyone experiences gambling differently. When your reality check bounces---change your map.

FLOUNDERS verses ROUNDERS -The difference in playing with the belief and intention of winning against just being social.

For the poker Balla, nothing is better than when that average Joe Player sits down at a poker table. Why? Because he just sat down with money he INTENDS to lose! There is no more +EV situation, and most tables in a live poker room are filled with players exactly like that. When you treat No Limit Hold em as only a game of chance instead of skill, it is not a law of probability, it's a fact for games with negative expectations: Risk of ruin is 100%.

A Joe plays when he "feels" like it, a Pro, all the time! Call them perpetual shortcuts JOES make when losing poker ASAP; and as any of the PROS will tell you, they don't need cards to win--that's for amateurs. Pro Players specialize in other people's biases! especially that malignant optimistic one that beats its chest and says, "I'm the best player at the table". Hotel Anyware considers himself an average player, except for the fact that he considers himself an average player!

Pros know the 60/40 end of a proposition--- when to hold em and when to fold em--- when you have some competitive advantage over somebody else. And you don't bet, you don't gamble, you don't invest, unless you have some competitive advantage.

Poker is a game of partial information, and when you have a competitive advantage you have to take into account this and, more important, behavioral factors. There is wise.... and there is otherwise:

Behavior Has Consequences

Irrational default modes of playing tend to show up in our game both when we win---the House Money Effect chip overload of playing loose with their money, and when we are getting on tilt with bad beats: That's when emotion and even confidence cloud our judgment and misguide our actions. The Volatility and Variance of NLH rewards patience, a clear mind, and, selective aggression.

American Airlines AA and the Concorde Effect—A True Story at the $100 Buy-In Bicycle Casino- Eating Dessert First.

I’m UTG, deep stacked with four limpers. I raise and get called by all four. I should muck right there but I don't. I’ve got pocket aces. The flop is low ball 3 4 7 rainbow. I bet big-a Dan Harrington "information" bet to see where I am at... and lose three players. The turn is a 5, a possible straight. I bet big again and get re-raised all in. I insta-call. The river is a blank. I flip over AA and Lift Ticket has Pocket 66. for the nuts.

The very next hand I get pocket kings--it was Dijon Vu, the same old mustard--My emotional return on investment however, my EROI, was saying "SEAT OPEN!" and the table could smell it and I got everyone calling, a family pot. I actually wanted to go home broke..and even though I tripped up, I lost to runner, runner, heart flush. I did. That's right,wanting to lose money. And that emotional return was more of a payoff than the financial one--when my black Kings got cracked by suited connectors (hearts, a baby flush!).

Granted, too much respect for money makes you a bad NLH player but I walked away from that session with knowledge: First, that my brain is the "most powerful computer." Second, when on tilt, my brain is the most powerful "broken computer ."

Tilt makes us sub-optimal for evaluating rewards, sizing up risks and calculating probabilities. It's like selling the car for gas money.

I walked away with a less broken computer, less sabotaging behavior, and more insight into the fact that self-delusion is more than possible in poker - it's highly likely!

Behavioral Finance ---The Black Box Flight Recorder has a name for my crash landing -- The Sunk Cost Fallacy --the refusal to get out of a losing position, because you've already written the money off -- resulting in losing even more money.

The British and French governments continued to fund the Concorde project long after it was determined that it was a loser---merely to justify past investment in it, rather than assessing the current rationality of investing.

You have an over pair on the flop and bet big. You get called. On the turn the texture of the board is dangerous. You bet out in the dark---suddenly you are stuck as your opponent straightens out.

We are in fact more sensitive to decreases in our chip count than we are to increases in them.

Doyle Brunson, a member of the MENSA Poker Club says: Great players lay down great hands. In fact, the ability to accept a loss and get away from a great hand is probably the most important (and difficult) skill to learn in poker. It's the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.

The ability to take a small loss to avoid a big one is the hallmark of this poker genius.We all start out as geniuses, and then allow our emotions to de-genius us. If you put good players into bad situations they usually turn bad.

Secrets to Beating America's 92 Million Irrational Poker Players

Common sense is not so common, and these common flaws are often consistent, predictable, and can be exploited for profit.

Illusion of control - the tendency for players to believe they can control or at least influence outcomes which they clearly cannot. NLH is 100% luck and 100% chance. An opponent can (suck out) win one hand 100% of the time. NLH is too random to be left up to chance-yet good results will have you rejecting alternative ways to play--Nothing fails like success. Doing things right the first time is an obscenity--If your game isn't broke, don't just break it, break it before the competition does.

Loss aversion - The pain of chips lost generally is much greater than the pleasure of a chips gained. Playars strongly prefer avoiding losses over acquiring gains ( Quit early when winning and playing marathon sessions when stuck or chasing---see also sunk cost effects. To win money over the long haul, you’ve got to win big pots. And to win big pots, you can’t be held back by this thinking error. You can't play a safe tight- is -right solid game and expect to win. You can't avoid crisis, you must be in a perpetual one that you create...but selectively picking your spots).

Bias blind spot - The left side of the brain will do the math. But the right side will "tag" it with a story. That story usually doesn't compensate for one’s own cognitive biases.

Choice-supportive bias - It's called "anchoring" remember one’s choices as better than they actually were. (Using the past to predict the future). There is never a certain prescribed way to play a hand, just a way to think about them. I've had racks of chips only to be felted 14 hours later because instead of an attitude of gratitude, I had the Mick Jaggar Tumbling Dice "Anything worth doing is worth overdoing"soundtrack playing.

Endowment effect - When I own something, I will tend to value it more highly. If I have to sell it, I will probably want to ask more than it is really worth. (Not being able to let go of QQ,AA,KK---rookie moves, and over betting the pot) There's the expected result, based on analysis, and the actual result, based on events. Poker is a game of situations---I've learned to thrown away Kings, Queens, and with a four card flush on the board, even two red Aces!

Confirmation bias - The Indians Rain Dance worked because they never stopped dancing! The Jeane Dixon effect-of making a few right predictions, and overlooking the false ones. Searching for information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions. The delusions of reference--tells, lucky charms, hunches and coincidences.

Bandwagon effect - Do things because smart money people do or believe the same, like playing Helmeuth starting hands, or walking the painted line of Sklansky's Theory of Poker or Doyle's Super System. Related to groupthink, herd behaviour. That's what I find so cool about my game--being able to fire three barrels with squadush. (Thank you Poker Stars Sit and Go's)

Déformation professionnelle - the tendency to look at things according to the conventions of one’s own T.O.E., time on earth; assuming things that have similar traits are likely to be identical; forgetting any broader point of view. Past experience and feedback loops can make you Hola Lupe.

Disconfirmation bias -. We tend to use the information that is most handy when we make decisions/predictions. The path of least resistence mashed up with thin slicing.

Focusing effect - prediction bias occurring when players place too much importance on one aspect of an event; causes error in accurately predicting the utility of a future outcome.

Hyperbolic discounting - the tendency for players to have a stronger preference for more immediate payoffs relative to later payoffs, the closer to the present both payoffs are.

Impact bias -Our minds are suited for solving problems related to our survival, rather than being optimised for poker decisions. Players overestimate the length or the intensity of the impact of future feeling states.

Information bias - Seeking TMI, too much information, even when it cannot affect action. Try playing in the dark, or blind---With less information to be processed and filtered, the brain assigns higher priority to the information that it does receive.

Neglect of probability - the tendency to completely disregard probability when making a decision under uncertainty. Expected Value and Variance---weighing all the possible outcomes, weighting the more likely outcomes, and coming to a conclusion---play a big part in the decision process. There is therefore, never a certain prescribed way to play a hand, just a way to think about them

Mere exposure effect - the tendency for players to express undue liking for things merely because they are familiar with them. If it's not broke, break it!

Omission bias - The tendency to judge harmful actions as worse, or less moral, than equally harmful omissions (inactions).

Outcome bias - the tendency to judge things on their outcome, and not on their process. Over weighing and overeacting to a bad beat-- the most recent information or circumstances.

Planning fallacy - the tendency to underestimate task-completion times. It has taken me ten years to become an overnight Holdem success!

Post-purchase rationalization - the tendency to persuade oneself through rational argument that a purchase was a good value.

Pseudocertainty effect - the tendency to make risk-averse choices if the expected outcome is positive, but make risk-seeking choices to avoid negative outcomes.

Selective perception - the tendency for expectations to affect perception. (Gamblers Fallacy)

Status quo bias - the tendency for players to like things to stay relatively the same.

Von Restorff effect - Purple Cows and items that “stands out like a sore thumb” have a tendency to be more likely to be remembered than other items.

Zero-risk bias - preference for reducing a small risk to zero over a greater reduction in a larger risk.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Get your BS in Holdem-"Pimp My Harvard"

The Oracle: Professor Charles-Kingsfield-Nesson's Mashed Up Pulp-Free Poker Chase--- Get your BS in Holdem-"Pimp My Harvard"

Harvard Law School, the West Point of capitalism, has a little creative destruction going on at Roscoe Pound 's new student-led Poker Strategic Thinking Society (GPSTS), led by the mad hatter-- Professor Chuckles Nesson , the Crimson's own human hangover.Here he is putting a spin on the Confucian Idea: Give a man a fish you teach him for a day; teach him how to play poker, you don't have to teach him anything! The devil's advocate advocating for the devil---online gambling! Yea baby... Oh behave Gnarles.
A great many people think they are thinking about poker when they are merely rearranging their bad habits. Part card sharks, part Mother Teresas’ it’s still nice to see the education outreach of legal elite F.O.P. Friend of Poker- Alan Dershowitz ; AND Charlie Nesson , a tweeds-to-riches—Crimson Prof high on silicon crack. The Alan and Charlie show are in a tag team steel cage smack down match against the “Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act”(UIGEA) and the powers that be. barring U.S. banks from transferring money to online gaming companies. Gaming Law is in Vogue-and they are ready to take a bite of the apple. a once forbidden fruit.
It's so pre 9/11: Committing jihad on our basic life, liberty and the pursuit of a fast buck--- The assumption that gambling is bad has outlived its usefulness. Now anyone can do it with complete ease, because it means nothing at all, thanks to the CNN effect of dealing with everywhere and everything at once-Props to Full Tilt, Poker Stars and Bodog! and the acronyms--WPT and WSOP and GSN. When you start to read about the evils of NLH, you have to give up only one thing--- reading. Get smart watch TV---Get your Ph.D. in No Limit From ESPN's WSOP coverage, Get your license to thrills with WPT and GSN's High Stakes Poker.
Few things are harder to put up with than a good example--- If it wasn't for pimps, prostitutes, hustlers, gangsters there wouldn't be any No Limit Poker as we know it today. There was a time when one could almost be afraid to call himself a poker player because it meant so much, now it means so little. You are not keeping up with the Joneses. You’re dragging them down to your level on the green felt jungle.
White Angry Holdem--Listen up---Poker is the new golf, the new dude sport, so, relax and lower your standards. Former Senator Alfonso D'Amato, now chairman and chief spokesperson/lobbyist for the Poker Player's Alliance (PPA), along with Florida State Representative Robert Wexler have!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Power Of Paradoxical Thinking in High Stakes Poker

I'm at Starbucks on a T-mobile hot spot, watching on Youtube, Season Four of High Stakes Poker. It's the nuts! By far, the best cash game ever recorded.

ESPN’s WSOP (World Series of Poker) Celebrity Poker on Bravo and the Travel Channel’s WPT (World Poker Tour) have done for poker what Jamba smoothies did for high fiber diets---it reinvented the often indigestible into an energizing and delicious experience that can no longer be ignored. This game has juice! Unfortunately our national poker id has A.D.D. With final cut, the monotony is edited out.

Calling poker a sport is like calling bald a hair color. Yet our male pattern madness--- an 800 lb gorilla known as Texas No Limit Hold em (a.k.a. NLH) has replaced baseball not only as the national pastime, but also America’s bellybutton. It’s not a sport, it’s a concussion!

GSN's-High Stakes Poker Looney-tuned tension gets its storyline from the Cartoon Network. In a New York minute, an ACME anvil pancakes you, and then a split second later, you’re expanded - accordion-style - back to normal, like some tempurpedic mattress. It’s a formula of ins and outs, need and speed, aggravation and acceleration.

Makes me think on: The Sweet Spot--- where your passion meets your purpose. Everyone's got one, but not everyone has a relationship to it. It is the doorway to your most authentic voice, and everyone's is different. Mine is NLH.
The casino is the ultimate playground of Free Agency. The plug-and-play low entry point is one that anyone from waitress moms to NASCAR dads can move into and put together a poker life.

Poker is for the ages--the ages of 18 to 99!The assumption that gambling is bad has outlived its usefulness.Now anyone can do it with complete ease, because it means nothing at all, thanks to the CNN effect of dealing with everywhere and everything at once, including GSN's High Stakes Poker. When you start to read about the evils of NLH, you have to give up only one thing--- reading.

NLH is a game of domination. It rewards (selective) aggression. Infinite patience, however, brings immediate results to your game. The game has gotten faster, yet the faster you go, the longer it takes to beat the game. You spell success in NLH, T_I._M_.E_. Tournamnet play is about trapping with the best hand; cash games, putting your opponents on Tilt by sucking out. Here is an unlikely outdraw- two miracle cards---From worst to first:

This experience- A Poker Mini-Satori- really opened up my game to the big shrug and OMG WTF: Making the "right" mistake!

The number #1 thing I hate about the game I love--The surest way to win a huge pot in NLH is to spot 'em the nuts and suck out! When this happens: Hate the win, not the winner. The winner has crazy delicious poker courage-heart, if he only had a brain...
Last month I was heads up--all in-- at the Bellagio! Getting my money in bad with Anna Kournikova-AK against Pocket Rockets AA-Getting a miracle runner runner King King on the turn and river for trips - I even called it, saying I was the favorite. Sure , NLH is a game of high cards. but sometimes you can put the sin back in sincere-

“Let there be flop"

It was a dramatic and startling experience that completely altered my understanding of the game, making me into new playah It was so overwhelming, it is as if I had shifted into a new dimension, as if my mind had expanded by a Power of 10.

The power of new, something always new and surprising in the game. Poker is too random to be left up to chance. It's better to be skillful than lucky; Yet, I sent that guy home broke, getting lucky with trip KKK's-the three wise men.

They had to put the cross on me and got the Floor Man over to calm me down while I did my Texas Chainsaw NLH shock and awe Dracula stichk.... Hate the Win, not the Winner!

"Don't leave, Get Your Balls Out of Your Purse! And start wearing them like a man." trying to keep him on tilt for a re-buy.

"Jihad is fun" I felt like some suicide bomber , a cool cat kamakazi with nine lives "When I get old" I said in my best So Damn Insane accent, " I wanna blow up just like daddy!" No dice, lift ticket checked out--no more positive expectation for the game or this playah.

When you think of it--Pocket Aces, winning---getting what you expect is boring.The TABLE is the green felt jungle-- and it loves home runs, slam dunks, touchdowns and holes-in-one and putting a bad beat on someone. opening up a can of whoop ass, raining down on Charlie. Preflop, a pocket pair only has 2 outs to improve, overcards have 6 to draw to the nuts.This is not even taking into account straight and flush draws! That means over cards are at least a 3:1 favorite to improve and win the hand.

The meaning of a poker life, is not Get One! The Meaning of a poker life is simple--Don't die. The Wages Of Wins--of "sucking out" is poker death. When your third eye and your turd eye become one, and you start believing your own bull S$%T. Shift happens--- and you can get reckless thinking you are bullet proof, splashing the pot, playing too many starting hands.

Card Lust-Making the right mistake:That's the sex of poker. Rooted in pleasure, you become a victim of your own magical orgasms, giving you an exaggerated opinion of your luck. You feel like some black market wheeler dealer getting somehting for nothing-what's so ethical about the poker ethic---Doesn't money cost too much, isn't all work the result of struggle?---No.

God may play dice with the universe,, but this ain’t no metaphysical crapshoot, it’s NLH. If you want to have “fun” then spin the wheel of fortune, phone a friend, buy a vowel, and get voted off the island. If you want an “experience”, play NLH.

Poker is a game of situations. Winning poker is about making good decisions Feeling lucky and going to a casino is like feeling athletic and going to a sports bar. It’s a bad decision. It is the in to your sane, a kind of voluntary madness. The surest way of getting nothing from something. The road less traveled-the psycho path! Therefore hate the win, not the winner---Suckouts. That kind of reality check will surely bounce.

Good NLH poker is not a "A-ha" experience, it is more of a "holy-shit" experience. Most playahs are experience rich and technique poor. Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again. Someday, this post will start to read like one long typographical error, and you come away thinking, “From now on, I'll connect the dots my own way”. It was a beautiful day for a night time of poker.

It's nice to see the the full power of paradoxical thinking in no limit holdem ---NLH on the Game Show Network. Eating what you kill is so money. You can't spell manslaughter , without laughter: so when these pros eat what they kill, they make sure the starngerhood- neighbors are having a good time. It’s not some felony conviction; more of a firm belief in magic, the process of putting the con back in confidence and creating community.

You are not keeping up with the Joneses. You’re dragging them down to your level on the green felt jungle. It’s not how good you are. It’s how bad you want it. The quest is in the question of not, “ Who is going to let me?” Rather, “Who is going to stop me?” Power is never given. Power is taken.

If you want to perform optimally at NLH, then you have to be paradoxical . In NLH you have to have your cake and eat it too. This is not either or duals and duality. Welcome to the world of “and”. Doing two things at the same time that apparently negate each other.

NLH is 100% skill and 100% luck. The language of "and" is the language of NLH. The language of "and" is the language of passive and active, optimystical and materialistic, hard and soft. There’s a yang for every yin. It’s Fuzzy logic, and everything is a matter of degree and the player is fuzzy wuzzy to the nth degree. Get a clear, sharp view of the fuzzy.

The best way to protect yourself in a high stakes game is to be as fluid and formless as water. High Stakes poker is mostly not about cards, it’s about people. and people who need people, well here are three of the luckiest:

Leading off, the greatest playah on the planet, a legend in his own mind--Helmuth. I like the way Phil ---Controls The Options: Get Others To Play With The Cards You Menally Deal Them. I like to call his style of play, "Boiling the frog" His infinite patience brings immediate results. He's Mr. Science. He puts the odds back into God--- a Megalomaniac who not only must confuse his thoughts with gods, but gets you to believe in his thoughts. His reality check bounced a few times but he played well.

A close second is "Raisy Daisey"Sammy Farha. He is Generation Terrorist- Keep Others In Suspended Terror: Cultivate An Air Of Unpredictability. 7 deuce etc. I love his card lust. He's driving the bus, and throwing the three C's-guys with cars, cash and condo's(the tourists) under it: Like Seat 6, Brandon Adams, who teaches "Behavioral Finance at Harvard. He suffers from a kind of yuppie version of bulimia-- He wants to leave a mark on GSN, but he'll probably leave a stain. ! He wrote a poker novel called Broke---need I say anything more.

Sammy plays a one-handed game of "Good Cop, Bad Cop" with different people. Stirring the pot, triangulating and pitting one against another. Gossip may be false intimacy but Torture is the ultimate act of his perverted intimacy. A kind of Traumatic bonding", akin to the Stockholm Syndrome, takes place. Farha's in too many pots, however, and I can see him getting stuck with KJ veses AK etc. Yet with so much money behind each player, the implied odds of winning another players stack for say a $1,200 call with 7 Deuce unsuited--the price is right. Sammy, however, will be his own Judge Judy and executioner this season. Wake up and smell the opportunity Sammy ---this isn't brain surgery, it's rocket science.

You are Sammy's “Supply” he is your change agent—He find you; gets you,to love him; make you eventually hate him. That’s fine with him---He love to be hated and he hate to be loved The Playah uses use up other people like candy bars, and when he’s finished eating , he throw away the wrappers. Disposable relationships. No deposit. No return.

Finally, Jamie Gold. A placebo is ---Latin for "I shall please" Jamie is a master of the Placebo's Evil Twin--The Nocebo response---making you feel worse. Gold's information presented with a counterfeit of openness, trust and candor can be disinformation. It helps him to be at two with the NLH universe, going postal, going plural. He sees both sides because he is both sides.

Gold's Wal-Mart table presence-- huge (chip stack plus 20006WSOP war chest), hard to avoid, superficially friendly---he's a money faucet! Last season, I thought he was drinking the koolaid fromt he cult of the amateur. His Money couldn't buy happiness, but it could buy more chips, which for Jamie, was kinda the same thing.

In poker, "the nuts" refers to not only an unbeatable hand, It is also an unbeatable style of Gold's play, a raisey-crazy one -man asylum., whose default mode of betting suffers from Jim Carey’s “advanced delusionary schizophrenia with involuntary narcissistic rage." Eli Elezra thinks he's crazy. The crime and punishment for playing with Jamie is a malignant optimism. You think you got his number. You'll get him next time.

Makes me think paradoxically --- the seven habits of highly effective poker players.
1.Desperation leads to your deepest capacity for loving.
2.Goofing off leads to inspiration, creativity and genius.
3.Dread and fear will heal you from leading a life of trivial pursuits.
4.Healthy shame will signal when you are at the razor’s edge of your life’s destiny.
5.Fragility and brittleness leads to fluidity and magnetic attraction of others.
6.Confusion leads to an experience of the mysterious.
7.Feelings of power will help you plow through fears and obstacles to fulfilling your life’s destiny

The Oracle: Professor Charles Kingsfield's mashed up Poker Chase--- Get your BS in Holdem-"Pimp My Harvard"

Harvard Law School, the West Point of capitalism, has a little creative destruction going on at Roscoe Pound 's new student-led Poker Strategic Thinking Society (GPSTS), led by the mad hatter-- Professor Chuckles Nesson . They have scheduled a series of lectures and conferences to examine the role of poker in the law and educamacation (sic) . WPT's host Mike Sexton and Full Tilt's Professor Howard Lederer held court.
The devil's advocates advocating for the devil---online poker! Yea baby.

1. Poker is a great teacher
2. Poker improves your study habits.
3. Poker develops your math skills.
4. Poker develops your logical thinking.
5. Poker develops your concentration.
6. Poker develops your patience.
7. Poker develops your discipline.
8. Poker teaches you to focus on the long term.
9. Poker teaches you that forgoing a profit equals taking a loss (and vice versa).
10. Poker develops your realism.
11. Poker teaches you to adjust to changing situations.
12. Poker teaches you to adjust to diverse people.
13. Poker teaches you to avoid racial, sexual and other prejudices.
14. Poker teaches you how to handle losses.
15. Poker teaches you to depersonalize conflict.
16. Poker teaches you how to plan.
17. Poker teaches you how to handle deceptive people.
18. Poker teaches you how to choose the best “game.”
19. Poker teaches you the benefits of acting last.
20. Poker teaches you to focus on the important subjects.
21. Poker teaches you how to apply probability theory.
22. Poker teaches you how to conduct risk-reward analyses.
23. Poker teaches you to put things in context and evaluate all variables.
24. Poker teaches you how to “get into people’s heads.”

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Lights Out Poker: POW- Pearls Of Wisdom

Ed Reif Online Poker Quotes Sponsored by his badbeats taken at Riverstars (Poker Stars) and Full Tilt.

Pain For Sale: Too much respect for money makes you a bad NLH player:"When you lose, you lose money, when you win; you lose the value of money."

Eating What You Kill Is So Money but it's not personal:"We’re not playing together, but we're not playing against each other either."
Get Your Freak-onomics On: When you don' have good cards, somebody else probably does:
"You can't lose what you don't put into the pot."
I wasn’t born with the math gene, in fact, I am a math atheist: but after "beasting out" both on The Theory Of Poker and The Mathematics of Poker, I realize that poker is less an exploitive strategy, and more an optimal one. Once having said that, we don't need to deify poker math and won't bring its math to the game ---we bring strategy to it, an optimal strategy, independent of opponents actions and tells. Online players "Get it", but the 2008 cash game specialist is no miraculous exception to the Power of ,not only NOW, but also the Power of NEW, New Americon Poker.

It's Ready, Fire, Aim---unloading three bullets--- flop, turn AND river, into a pot, holding Squadush-"nothing", “zilch” or “zero" and taking it down.

It's blink---the power of thin slicing, of thinking without thinking, the wisdomm of crowds and the abilty to mind read. It's the ambassodor of NLH's Mike Sexton's adage "You think long, you think wrong" Jamming the pot 10X with selective aggression.

It's last in, not first in money.The Power of New Americon Poker is about being the last in the pot. It too can be an extremely effective way of accumulating chips in spite of your hole cards, not because of them. Lights Out Poker is about playing 'in the dark': betting that your opponents DON'T have the cards rather than that they do.

The "NEW" way to lose NLH ASAP is the OLD way heated up in a microwave instead of a crock pot. No boiling the frog here.

Although mathematical formulas are unexploitable with optimal play, Big Stack vs. Short Short Stack, for instance does't give you a mathematical privilege---it's a psychological strategy of smashmouth leverage--- making small(ish) bets and using the threat of future bets to take pots down without actually risking a lot of your own chips, and, more importantly, Big hands for big pots--not committing your big stack with weak small hands. This is in the spirit of the Small Ball Strategy of Daniel Negreanu.

This has forced online players to re-think the assumption that "Cards are there for bad players" and more than that, it is has rocked the tournamnet world regarding the mantra that "NLH is about playing the person more than the cards" and "taking advantage of their mistakes".

An Aggressive game is a game of strategy and deception. A passive game is one where money flows from bad to good players. A loose game is a game of money and odds; a tight one is a battle for the antes.

Opinions are like...well This is a fact: The really powerful starting hands---High card value, suitedness and connectedness---have multiple ways to win.

Making the right mistakes— If you are a good player and you get it in good, bad players are going to draw out on you more than your hands are going to hold up because they are more often than not putting their money in with the worst of it.. Shuffle up and deal with it.

You play a hand only if it has a positive expectation- Probability is the chance of a favorable outcome. Odds are probabilities restated as a ratio of favorable to unfavorable outcomes.

Make probability based decisions--How many outs do you have? What are the immediate odds-pre flop, flop, turn and river? What are the long shot odds for you and your opponent, once you put him on a range of hands?

Preflop, a pocket pair only has 2 outs to improve, overcards have 6 to draw to the nuts.This is not even taking into account straight and flush draws! That means over cards are at least a 3:1 favorite to improve and win the hand. There's wise: If you are going to be on a draw---draw always to the nuts! and otherwise: you could be drawing dead if the board is paired and you're on a straight or flush draw, but your opponent's already filled up.

Any Rounder knows--No Lmit Holdem is 100% Skill and 100% luck. Any Flounder can get lucky once 100% of the time. When you treat No Limit Holdem as only a game of chance instead of skill, it is not a law of probability, it's a fact for games with negative expectations: Risk of ruin is 100%!

NLH is too random to be left up to chance--Expected Value and Variance---weighing all the possible outcomes, weighting the more likely outcomes, and coming to a conclusion---play a big part in the decision process. There is therefore, never a certain prescribed way to play a hand, just a way to think about them. There's the expected result, based on analysis, and the actual result, based on events.

Playahs vs. Ballas

For the poker Balla, nothing is better than when that average Joe Playah sits down at a poker table. Why? Because he just sat down with money he INTENDS to lose! There is no more +EV situation, and most tables in a live poker room are filled with players exactly like that. That’s what makes live poker so profitable, guys who got their POKER Ph. D. from ESPN’s WSOP coverage.

NLH math nuances are probabilities and odds. Playahs look for opportunities that the money paid off is greater than the odds of winning the hand. It's a $400 pot and a $50 call with your flush draw - that's 8-1 for a 4.5-1 call. Of course you stay in here.

The key is that it doesn't matter if you get paid off now or later. As long as you make this play each and every time, you will make money. On the other hand, if the pot is offering you a 2-1 call on your flush draw, you should be folding this hand every time. Each time you call with these odds, you’re losing money even if you hit your hand right now.
Know Percentages. There is approximately a 1 in 8 chance of hitting a set when holding a pocket pair. The chance of completing a flush draw at the flow is around 33%.

Know Outs. They are un-dealt cards that will improve your hand. Keep track of how many cards can help your hand and think of them in terms of a percentage. To calculate the odds, count the number of outs, multiply by two, add two, and the answer will show the percentage change of hitting one of the outs to improve your hand.

Know Pot odds. They go hand-in-hand with outs. Unless outs are converted into intelligent betting that considers the financial return versus the risk of decisions, they don't mean anything.

I met David Sklansky’s (then) Russian girlfriend at the Hustler Casino in Garden Grove, CA in 2000 something, when I first started playing holdem back in the Chris Moneymaker era.
Ivana Playpoka'alot told me some cool stuff David told her —that “Ace rag is poison”. You will rarely be able to create a large pot playing A9 unless you are beaten. (and the unwillingness for novice players to throw away a poker hand that contains ace high to their peril); and Never play “Suited Garbage”... I went to the book store and read TOP, and Sklansky’s assertion: “Every time you play your hand the way you would if you could see your opponent's cards, you gain, and every time your opponent plays his cards differently from the way he would play them if he could see your cards, you gain”. It made sense then, but it doesn’t now.

The Fundamental Theory of Poker is a theory which is not about poker. Instead it is a theory about the results of poker. In other words, you cannot use the Fundamental Theorem of Poker to solve any actual poker problems. It’s good for finding out whether I was lucky enough or not to be holding any two cards against an opponent.

I wrote about this in my last post: The Power OF NeW-Americon Poker.

The Secret is about the law of attraction and results—the secret of poker is the complete opposite! And opposites attract!

The way to get better is to think about process not results—focus on better decision making and ignoring short term results.

ABC players are by the book- This is your brain on French fries-- Especially when it comes to Aces:AA,AK,AQ,AJ. It's dead information, like milk with an expiration date stamped right on the carton.
Got Milk? TJ and Doyle do...and what an utter delight for FISH , the last ones to know they are swimming in its waters.
Aces are the only hand big enough to go broke with in the early stages of a tournament-T J Cloutier

When an ace comes on the flop...unless the board is paired, the next card can always make a straight.... No other card has this flexibility that the ace has..- Doyle Brunson
The TOP book says AQ is better than 7 2 off suit and yet the chances of winning a pot strongly shifts away from card play when the flop misses both hands, as it does 60% of the time.
Game theory is the more ‘down-to-earth’ approach dealing with one case at a time, especially when Lift Ticket plays with ATC, any two cards- if they don’t know what they’re doing how can you!
The hand that has the highest potential must be a hand that gets played in different ways and in different situations. It's going to be somewhere between the hands that are rarely folded, and the hands that are rarely played. Aces are almost never folded before the flop, so we know they cannot be the most profitable hand.
Therefore:Stop Waiting For “Better Spots” To Get Your Money In! Pick a favorite hand--commit to it and play it strong.

New Year's Resolution---NOTES TO SELF: Never complain; never explain….Analysis is paralysis...Raise more than call…Never Limp, Never Call…Fold more than raise.

On Bluffing: I have the habit of showing my cards. My bad...
Keep players in the dark so that when you spike the bluff, they have that deer in the headlights look---frozen disbelief.

Heads or tails? In the dark both are correct. If I turn on the light, I "collapse" the superposition, and force the coin to be either heads or tails by measuring it. Never show your cards. Why lose bluff equity? My secret is I keep secrets.

On Tells: I'm too obvious-

I bet my chips fast when I have a hand, and slow when I don’t have one. Duh!
I look at my cards before it’s my turn.
I am not consistent with my movements.