Tackling Tendencies

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|

Let your opponents work for you: how to protect your check

“In formal logic, a contradiction is the signal of defeat, but in the evolution of real knowledge it marks the first step in progress toward a victory.”
Alfred North Whitehead

The best thing about doing research in an area with a huge game space that is largely unexplored is that one’s initial ‘best guesses’ at a strategy often turn out to be definitively bad. Online poker research provides very fast access to large samples of empirical data with which to test a theory before one gets too attached to it. When the evidence contradicts that theory we know we are about to learn something…

Most of you are comfortable with the idea of C-betting a lot on Ace-high boards as the 3-bettor and not C-betting so much on 876 duochrome. On boards like Q75r and 983d your decision metric likely consists of checking your opponent’s fold/raise/call versus a flop C-bet and little else. Construction of your checking range is usually an artefact of your C-bet construction rather than a conscious choice.

In this article I’m going to prove that, in principle, we need to protect our checking range in 3-bet pots when out of position. I’m going to explore the circumstances under which protection is especially important and when we can profitably deviate from ‘correct’ strategy. (more…)

By | 2017-04-10T13:22:59+00:00 May 1st, 2014|

Make Peace with the Poker Puzzle

“The greatest friend of truth is time, her greatest enemy is prejudice, and her constant companion is humility.”
Charles Caleb Colton

You’re not alone. If you sometimes feel completely lost in this game, adrift in a sea of confusion about bet sizes, check-raises and cold 4-bets then take a minute to relax. Pot-Limit Omaha is a vast game, and any one of us is standing on only a small fragment of the poker puzzle. With so much still to learn it is worth being reminded that:

What you know doesn’t matter as much as what you don’t know.

By | 2017-04-10T13:23:02+00:00 January 9th, 2014|
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New for 2014: Small Stakes Solutions!

The mathematics of in-position play in Pot-Limit Omaha from pre-flop to river explained in 5 interactive lectures.
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