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Joined: Oct 10, 2012
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July 10th, 2015 at 4:02:42 PM permalink
Quote: mansherman

I can anticipate the next question, which is basically isn't that what you do now? Yes, but not the same. Now I play a larger range of hands, and I sometimes bluff with nothing. So now I'll just play the top 5%, which will be about half the hands I call now, and I will do no bluffing. Just as an experiment, and see what happens to that five grand. I'll keep you all posted. I'm going to play AA-99, AK, AQs, AJs, KQs, and no more. I will only bet or raise on the flop if I hit at least an overpair. I will call on the flop with a 4 flush or openended straight. If I don't hit the striaght or flush by the turn it will depend on pot odds at that point to draw or not. No other plays. Those specific hands equal almost exactly 5% of starting combinations. Therefore, statistically, I will be startiing with the best hand on at least half the hands I play. Then since drawing odds are the same for all players we're all just as likely to improve. Since I started with the best half the time and only play sets or overhands, if I hit I must still be better. The hands where I lose my preflop bet should be made up for by the pots I take with no opposition post flop. Now, I fully realize that I could be dead wrong, but until I see mathematical proof I'll never know for sure, and neither will anybody else with an OPINION. Thanks again.

What about the pot odds on the flop? You Shouldn't auto call a flush and straight draw.

Don't forget implied odds that's very important.
♪♪Now you swear and kick and beg us That you're not a gamblin' man Then you find you're back in Vegas With a handle in your hand♪♪ Your black cards can make you money So you hide them when you're able In the land of casinos and money You must put them on the table♪♪ You go back Jack do it again roulette wheels turinin' 'round and 'round♪♪ You go back Jack do it again♪♪
Joined: Sep 26, 2010
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July 10th, 2015 at 4:16:32 PM permalink
Quote: mansherman

Against nine players with a big preflop raise you are rarely going to get more than one caller,and with one caller you are MILES ahead and won't lose anywhere NEAR 70%. Show me where that's wrong.

You're wrong because you aren't playing against nine players. You are only playing against n number of callers.

You are allowed to make a big pre-flop raise with any cards and rarely get more than one caller.

But your original "Math based playing strategy" didn't allow for raises anywhere. Once you start adding those into the equation it moves completely away from some math problem about what your winning percentage will be as you approach an infinite number of hands. It moves into what most of us simply call "Playing poker."

What about the strategy of never even looking at your cards, but once every 100 hands bet the table max? I'm pretty sure you could win well over 90% of hands that way
Joined: May 9, 2015
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July 10th, 2015 at 5:07:34 PM permalink
Very interesting answer. You know, I play 2/5 500 cap, so while a few guys are sitting with money, most of the players are in the 2-400 range. Maybe I've beeen wrong, but I LOVE to see the guys who sit there and keep buying in for 100 after 100 after 100. Mostly - maybe always - I see them playing it down to 20 or 35 bucks and then making a hail mary. NEVER see them recoup. Haven't noticed anybody playing that low stack theory, but think about this. If you try that and play only hands that are likely to win, that's maybe 10% of hands. That means at 35 hands an hour you're going to get 1.5 hands per hour, but you're going to pay 3.5 blinds for sure, that's $24 gone, first hour, and don't forget straddles. So if you sit down with 200 (minimum allowed most places, except california), your first exposure is $200. Go all in and lose that, THEN you can keep buying in for $100, and because of the blinds you'll never actually win 100 heads up, and will rarely win multi-way, but still are all in as if it's a heads up on all future levels. Also, the potential win over all is always going to be low. I'll tell you what. I'm just going to try my theory live with a 5000 bankroll and see how it works. Play only the top 5%, raise or call from any position preflop. If I get reraised preflop I'll have to judge the strength of my two and make a decision. I'll keep you all posted.
Joined: Jun 13, 2014
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July 10th, 2015 at 11:52:39 PM permalink
RE: "The guys who sit there and keep buying in for 100 after 100 after 100 after 100." Players who are steaming because they are stuck and are short stacked due to losing usually do exactly the opposite of what someone should be doing with an intentionally planned short stack tactic in NLHE. They tend to widen their range and gahmboool, chasing their losses with speculative hands trying to 'get lucky' without having a stack that's deep enough to offer enough post-flop implied odds to rationally do anything but turbo-muck those.

You can't set-mine with small pocket pairs or sensibly play suited-connectors in a cash game when short-stacked, or when head-up against someone who is. Much of the potential value of those comes from the prospect of taking someone's large stack who can't fold their AA, KK, QQ, AK, etc. as doing this assumes that the contesting stacks are deep enough to build a post-flop pot that's many times more than the initial pre-flop cost. When you see someone showing down 4c4d or 6s7s while short stacked, they are not playing a rationally planned intentional short-stacking strategy, or are not aware of the underlying math of it, or just suck at it.

I'm not necessarily wanting to advocate short-stacking to you in what I posted earlier. Just saying that given your stated intentions it is the approach that emphasizes relative starting hand values the most, due to the underlying math, and therefore rewards tight (but hyper-aggressive) play of only premium top 10% starting hands relatively more than other approaches, partly by eliminating much or nearly all of the implied odds value of others' more speculative hands that are derived from their expectation of much more post-flop play against deep stacks.

If the starting min-max buy-in of your game is $200-$500, you can't really short-stack in this way. You will still be making decisions for most of the chips post-flop. Eliminating that is most of the point of intentional short-stacking.

Quote: mansherman

...and play only hands that are likely to win, that's maybe 10% of hands. That means at 35 hands an hour you're going to get 1.5 hands per hour, but you're going to pay 3.5 blinds for sure, that's $24 gone, first hour, and...

This is an error. Contesting pots with only top 10% hands results in playing an average of once per orbit at a ten-handed table, or 3.5 hands at 35 hands per hour, not 1.5 out of 35.

EDIT to add:

If you really want to get a grounding in the math of the game, here you go:

King Yao - Weighing the Odds in...
Mathew Hilger - Texas Hold 'em Odds and...
Bill Chen - The Mathematics of...

If I understand correctly what you're planning on doing, I think the result you'll get is to win small pots, and lose big ones. Which is about what others have said in different ways. Good luck.
"I'm against stuff like crack and math" --AxelWolf
Joined: Jul 3, 2015
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July 11th, 2015 at 8:24:49 AM permalink
OP, the biggest problem with your strategy is that they'll figure you out and then only bet/call when they're beating you. They'll never try to bluff you, and if you bet, they'll never call with a hand you're beating. So you'll lose all the big pots and win the small ones. If you play passive it's even worse because then they'll just check for free cards when behind, but they'll shove when ahead. At least if you bet your hand you'll get more equity.

Preflop, unless you raise real big or are shortstacked, they'll have easy implied odds to setmine with 22. They hit they get your stack piece of cake, they miss they fold and lose the one preflop bet. If you do raise big pre, they'll only battle you with AA or whatever is beating your range. So you'll either pick up 1.5bb or get it in as a 20-80 dog. Meanwhile you'll be losing most of your blinds when they come around to you.

Postflop, if you miss with a premium unpaired hand, there are boards where you're actually losing to a random hand. Depending on the pot odds it would be bad to call a shove even if you know the guy is betting any two cards. Your preflop equity is no longer relevant.

In short, there's nothing mathematical about your strategy. Real-life opponents aren't betting completely at random and they do adjust to you.
Joined: Jul 22, 2014
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July 14th, 2015 at 1:24:32 PM permalink
Quote: mansherman

What I'm trying to point out is that in this situation I should be treated as a new player at the table who is only there for 90 minutes, playing only 1.5 hands an hour, average. Tell me how, without a crystal ball, they'll get a read on me in that period of time. I keep my mouth shut at the table, wear different clothing all the time, and don't repeat casinos for around three weeks, since I dont' go ever single day. So take the getting a read on me factor out. This is just a thought exercise. In reality I play a tight aggressive game, with false moves here and there to keep them guessing. In the long run I have always been moderately ahead. Never had a losing year. However, I will tell you this: If you watch Poker After Dark reruns, or any of the shows where you can see their hole cards, experts fold winning hands all the time BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN WRONG in putting a player on a hand or range of hands. THEY ARE WRONG MORE THAN THEY ARE RIGHT. If you don't believe me, do what I did. Bet a friend a hundred bucks and then sit in front of the TV, watch and count. WRONG WAY more times thant they are right, and I certainly am not as good a player as they are. I put much more stock in the relative value of MY hand, that I DEFINITELY HAVE, than what the other guy MIGHT have. Poker is a game of bluffs, mistakes and incorrect play. I have lost TONS of big hands I WOULD have one if the guy on the other side only did what HE should have done.

1) You neglected my example... Say you sit down to start a fresh 90 minute session. Say you get AA first hand, AK second hand, and KK 3rd hand, betting and winning all 3. Your table image for the next 80+ minutes is LOOSE because you've been betting since you sat down. Poor players, which I think we all agree there's an abundance of, make snapshot table images like that. Regardless if you think you're 'unreadable' that doesn't stop people from branding you based off of your current SITUATIONAL events.

2) Pro's are right and wrong all the time, yeah, so what is your point? They're quite often right more than they're wrong. That's why they're the pro's. You also are joking about watching Poker After Dark, right? There's been wild conspiracies that it's not even real, let alone it's a ton of big named players with bottomless checkbooks looking to make good TV. They're not playing their 'absolute best' and perhaps not wanting to even show some of their real moves. Saying you watched this show so you can now draw a conclusion is the EXACT SAME as someone putting a table image on you when they have little to no data. You're proof that people do this.

3) So you're saying you'd never play 9d-8d (with your proposed 'strategy')? How do you think people like Daniel Negranu, whom to them this is a STAR hand, became pro's? If you want to look at any kind of evidence I'd say look at the average hands people play. ABC poker does fine and well against amateurs, but you would get murdered with this strategy against pro's, and yes, they WOULD figure you out in under 90 minutes.

4) It's quite evident that you're a semi-educated player... but that you clearly have a lot to learn. Just from your posts alone I can make a read about your level of play and understanding of the game. I'd be willing to bet a very, very, large sum of money that in a "best of 100 series" heads up games I would best you, and I haven't even see you play a hand. Like the motto of the game says: Poker takes a second to learn, but a lifetime to master. The more you learn the more you see how far along the path others are. I remember when I would have made the same arguments as you, but then I learned more about the game and why your "math theory" (which neglects tons and tons of variables) is incorrect.

Lastly, you keep saying "prove my math wrong." In any science/math community it's not our duty to prove you wrong until you've given some kind of mathematical proof for us to review and check your work. You've proven nothing yourself. All you've given is a hypothesis (because you can't account for all of the variables to do the math proof yourself). I hope I'm not coming off too harsh, just trying to give you some advice from experience; I hope you can learn from it.
Playing it correctly means you've already won.
Joined: Aug 18, 2014
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July 18th, 2015 at 12:20:48 AM permalink
He's not trying to be the next Daniel N. though. He's basically wondering if a simple, robotic, ultra-tight approach would win at a decent rate. I think it would do fine. I think he'll beat minimum wage. Especially if he's only on a given table for an hour and a half.

Being an older guy hurts the cause a bit as people will assume you will play tight. If a twenties DB in a hoody and headphones did this, it would fare better.
Joined: Jul 3, 2015
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July 20th, 2015 at 3:05:25 AM permalink
He's talking about never folding K high, or Q8 in a heads-up pot, and always calling down 3 streets with it for his entire stack no matter the board. I don't see that profiting regardless of his age, appearance or time spent at each table. To do worse than this strategy, you'd have to be trying to lose.

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