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Phil Rocquemore

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So far Phil Rocquemore has created 13 blog entries.

The Equity Delusion: How much does chasing cost you?

“The future influences the present just as much as the past.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

Take a look at the picture above and ask yourself, “Why are these men running?”

We can’t be sure, but the chances are that they aren’t running from some rabid beast. In fact they likely aren’t running from anything at all. We can infer this from the fact that not only are these gentlemen wearing inappropriate beast-fleeing attire but that the lead character is looking at his watch. All rather mundane, so why, dear reader, have I bothered bringing this to your attention?

For those of you hoping for a surprise beast-chomps-man denouement complete with a graphic YouTube video this blog post will be something of a disappointment. My readers with a poker-focused disposition will have a lot more fun and should read on.

The point is that these gentlemen are roused to action by anticipatory anxiety: the threat of something bad happening in the future. In this case our heroes are presumably at risk of missing a connection or event. We routinely account for future events in our life decisions yet it seems harder to do in poker. Why? (more…)

By | 2017-04-10T13:22:53+00:00 April 20th, 2015|

Omaha Money Traps: The rundown on overcalling a 3-bet

“Those skilled at making the enemy move do so by creating a situation to which he must conform; they entice him with something he is certain to take, and with lures of ostensible profit they await him in strength.”
Sun Tzu, The Art of War

This article discusses a common spot in which there is no clear consensus on the correct course of action. I have regulars in my database overcalling a 3-bet with as tight a range as 2% and as wide as 10% of their starting hands. For the purpose of this article we are going to focus on the situation where a player opens from UTG/MP with a tight range, faces a 3-bet from an aggressive BT and we are contemplating a cold-flat in the blinds

1. The reason this situation is particularly interesting is because both of our opponent’s ranges are quite well-defined, which makes for some interesting behavior in the relative strength of our pre-flop hands.

A concept that seems to elude many players is that hand strength is fluid pre-flop in PLO.


Show 1 footnote

  1. We neglect the cold-flat OTB situation because it occurs less frequently. The most common spot, where the BT steals, SB 3-bets wide and BB is contemplating a call is also worthy of investigation.
By | 2017-04-10T13:22:54+00:00 February 24th, 2015|

Poker Habits: The False Security of Conventional Strategies

“The nervous system and the automatic machine are fundamentally alike in that they are devices, which make decisions on the basis of decisions they made in the past.”
Norbert Wiener, originator of cybernetics

When we think of habits what first come to mind are physical actions: brushing our teeth, writing in our journal, going to the gym… or perhaps eating a bag of Cheetos, checking email, mindlessly surfing the internet(!) Yet we all have a far wider set of mental habits- thought patterns which we revert to either under conditions of stress or simply as our daily default mental states. In fact our physical habits are themselves grounded in these habits of thinking.

It should come as no surprise then, that in a game where we make thousands of decisions an hour, we soon develop patterns of thinking that help us automate decision-making. These patterns of thinking manifest themselves in patterns of our play at the table. They become our poker habits.

One of the greatest gifts of poker is that it rewards sincere introspection. To make any progress in your game you must first become aware of the reasoning behind your decisions. This is often an uncomfortable process, since chains of reasoning which once seemed secure are found to have weak links. A ‘standard’ betting line appears, upon closer inspection, as simply a bad habit. (more…)

By | 2017-04-10T13:22:56+00:00 October 20th, 2014|