Tilt Tilt Tilt
Marc Rogers wrote...
> I have read dozens of poker books, ESPECIALLY including HFAP. My only
> problem is that I go on TILT after days of
bad beats in the lower limits.
> I used to play heads up almost exclusively, but couldn't beat the maniacs.
> I just can't stomach the fluctuations I guess.
So obviously people should play crap cards against you so that you go on tilt.
> The reason I CARE about whether or not cheating is occurring at the lower
> limits, is because I have noticed bizarre play that I could not understand.
This is as mysterious as grass growing. Many people play bad. For each one of these hands you see, the bizarre cards may have been
played and lost two or five or ten or one hundred times.
Windows - Mac
> From what I have learned, you are absolutely right. My own bad play is often
> dismissed because of the horrible play of others. It is much easier to go on
> tilt online, because it doesn't feel like real money leaving your finger tips. You
> can just click your anger away. Maniacs know this, and live for those 2 outers.
This may be true for you, and others, but it certainly is not true for everyone. Many people tilt in casinos because they are
personally challenged or pissed off by a human who is taunting, needling or even innocently winning. Online you seldom get people
laughing at you when you lose a hand.
> After reading some intelligent replies about cheating and collusion online,
> I realize there is much more poor players simply trying to
suck out than I
> originally thought possible. I must "Adapt to the conditions that prevail",
> or else I need to give up on the online sites for good.
You do need to adapt. You seem to pretty obviously need to work on your tilting when you lose to
bad players. When you do that, you become a
bad player by definition. Bad players play bad because that is what they do. Don't get mad at your money when they get
"Change the Deck"
Jonathan Kaplan wrote...
> Almost all poker players think they are better players than they
> actually are. Most players think they are above average at least.
> A great many of them are wrong.
I watched a game at the Bicycle Casino last night. Second hand after a player sits down, he's lost his $30 buy-in to the $3/6 Omaha
game with the mighty K743. He growls "change the deck." And then whines when another player objects because it is only the third hand
on that deck. (The game was ripping along at about 19 hands an hour....) I guess almost all these conspiracy posts are actually saying
the same thing: "change the deck."
Tom Weideman wrote...
> Seriously, when there is such a barrier to entry as the bankroll required by
> a game of this size, there is just no reason to believe that there aren't
> throngs of better players stuck on the outside looking in. There is no
> evidence whatsoever to contradict the possibility that the consistent
> winners in that game are decent-but-not-necessarily-great players that
> happen to have a big bankroll, while the losers are no different from the
> losers at any other limit except that they have the money to play bigger.
I'd say their are some differences in that among the losers playing bigger are a higher proportion of fundamentally dumber, more
reckless and arrogantly pigheaded people. If two people have the same ability to replace a poker bankroll, and one loses his entire
$500 bankroll in one session playing $3/6, and one
loses his entire $500,000 bankroll in one session playing $3000/6000, the second one has done something far more monumentally stupid
than the first. Maybe nobody actually goes from $500,000 to $0 in one session these days, but many of the "play bigger" losers behave
stupidly in that direction. Those losers are dumber than average losers.
Also, I think you agree that a significant number of the "play bigger" losers are different from the rest in that there is a bigger
disparity between their true ability and what they think their ability is.
Daniel Negreanu wrote...
> Just because the 8th best player in the world, routinely plays against
> the 7 who are better than him, doesn't change that player's 'rank' if you will.
> Sure he has bad game selection, but who cares?
How does that have
> anything to do with his playing ability.
Sure it does. Game selection is part of playing ability. That 8th best player has transformed himself into one of the worst players.
It doesn't matter at all if a guy can beat thousands of other players if he doesn't play those thousands, but instead only plays
against the people he will lose to. That makes him a terrible player, period. He could be a great player if he improved his game (by
using game selection) but until he does, he's a fish.
> Wrong. Game selection is an important part of becoming a successful player,
> but has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with playing ability:
I can't imagine what you think "playing ability" is.
> If say, the top 7 players were ineligible to play the aliens in a
> freezeout to save mother Earth, who would you rather have
> playing for you, the 8th best player in the world-who loses at poker
> -- or a 30-60 player who makes $100,000 a year playing poker?
Don't you see? In this context then that 8th player is who you want. But in the context of that 8th player *choosing* to play against
the better seven, he is much worse than literally thousands of other players. If the game to save mother earth was to tabulate the
monthly winnings of eight players, then that 8th best player losing his shirt each month would not be somebody any sane person would
want to team mother earth, because he is a losing player.
> Game selection is important, but not at all when evaluating
> a players' actual playing ability.
"Actual ability"? What the heck is that and who gives a crap about that? Game selection has everything to do with playing ability. You
seem to think that a person who *could* play well is better than a person who *does* play well. If that 8th best player constantly
plays against the best seven, and loses millions (from an inheritance or the lottery or something) there is no way he is somehow
mystically "better" than the 9th best player who makes millions because he has the sense to play against the rest of the universe, and
not against *only* the people better than him.
People can define "best" in some obscure, useless way, but getting the money is how poker is measured. Somebody who loses millions
when he could be winning millions is simply an awful player, regardless of the fact that he may have a lot of ability in some areas.
He totally sucks in others. Applying your poker
skills in a sensible way is fundamental to playing
your best. If you could be winning millions playing Razz but instead lose millions because you choose to play Holdem, you are a
terrible poker player, even though you shouldn't be.
What Makes the "Best"?
Darryl Parsons wrote...
> As one's wealth increases, money for the sake of money becomes
> less and less important and other goals, like ego for example, become
> more important. The need for money for the sake of money itself is
> closely tied with our security needs which, in turn, is closely tied to risk
> aversion which leads to non-optimal EV. My post compares very good
> players who play profitably to the top players who (nearly) optimize
> their results. Yours talks about bad players.
Sorry, you can postulate all you want, but my post merely points out the fact that all poker decisions have a pure
mathematical answer. The next fact that we usually don't
know what the exact answer is doesn't mean it doesn't exist. As long as poker is played for units/chips that have monetary
denominations on them, and not chips with "ego points" on them, monetary expectation or
expected value is what denotes proper play. People who
play with expectation in mind, and not ego, are the players playing the best.
Poker played properly for monetary chips is:
2) Influencing the math
Jonathan Kaplan wrote...
> Although I am not an extreme view on this topic, I do think there is a
> contradiction here, and for one specific reason. Poker play is "scored"
> with chips and money. This factor means that the best
> players are those who make the most money.
I think you are missing the point of the scoring. If Bill Gates plays one hand and bets a billion dollars on AK versus 22 before the
flop (essentially, he bets a billion dollars on a coin flip), and he wins, he'll win the most poker money for that year. Did he play
the best? Hell no. Playing the best is betting the "scoring units"/money with a better edge than anybody else. If Steve Case plays one
hand and bets 900 million dollars on AsKs on a flop of QsJsTs, he'll make less money, but he played much better. Gates' expectation
was zero, Case's was 900 million. Expectation is what counts. The fact that we can't ever really know who bets with the best
expectation best leads us to look at some of the data to give us hints to the truth... making the most money is simply a result that
offers some data, but it is certainly not the final truth.
> I had a lot of trouble with Steve Badger's latest card player article,
> Trouble Bound. He writes..."A faint
heart never filled a flush."
> No, Steve, a moron always (tries) to fill a flush or never fills a flush.
> A prudent player may or may not try to fill a flush - it certainly depends
> on a plethora of factors.
The line is actually a quote from a movie, but I don't understand why it bothers you. What you say doesn't address the concept of a
timid player never drawing to a hand, even with the pot odds to do so. A "faint heart" player isn't prudent.
> "One thing lots of mediocre poker players do is fixate on avoiding trouble."
> Taken out of context, the sentence is outrageous.
> Taken in context, it isn't much better. Steve, what does "trouble" mean?
> Trouble to me is when I don't have the best of it and my opponent does...
I think that's a weird definition. And, the thrust of the article is to belabor the same point: that difficult situations when you
have the best of it should not be avoided.
> trouble to me is when I have a good chance to make a hand
> and then it's second best. Trouble to me is when I choose to
> pick fights with players during very marginal/break even EV scenarios...
> Why? because these situations seem more often than not to blow up
> my variance and likewise my bankroll swings.
Trouble is a pretty common word so I don't see why you would want to reinvent it, but the context of the article is clear... QQ in a
loose Holdem game is "trouble".
> Then he says the following " In poker, the 'trouble' situations to avoid are
> those in which you are in trouble, but your opponents are not. These are
> rare." Bullshit!! These are not rare, Steve, they are in fact very common.
If it is not rare for you to be drawing dead then I don't know what to say.
> Danger is exactly what good players should avoid.
Absolutely not. AKo versus QJs is 60/40 just taking the hands to a showdown. And it is a troublesome situation, but if you muck AKo on
the button when QJs is in the big blind, you played bad. Same with the reverse, getting 3.5 to 1 on your call.
> Your point is that average players focus on avoiding difficulty even
> though some difficult situations are profitable. This is better stated, yes?
No, not at all. That is not my point. Average players should not avoid difficulty. It is simply an absurd idea. If an average player
has AA on the button and everybody has limped in, this is a difficult/dangerous/troublesome situation and folding is ridiculous. You
welcome this situation because (almost always) YOUR OPPONENTS ARE IN MORE TROUBLE THAN YOU.
> To any reasonable person, danger is when you don't have good
> chances for a positive outcome.
No way. That certainly is not how the dictionary defines it, but the point is unimportant since I define what I'm talking about three
times in the article:
1) "The point is to make your opponent's trouble more troublesome and more costly than your trouble."
2) "having AQo or QQ in loose Holdem games... You often lose, but your hand has a positive expectation. Mucking it because you often
'don't know where you are' is simply terrible poker."
3) "In Omaha8, KKQQ with two suits is the sort of hand that loves as many opponents as possible. When it wins it will scoop a very
high percentage of the time. Itís a great hand, but... lots of trouble. It would be completely foolish to fold it when facing eight
loose opponents, but when you continue past the flop," and "The hand can be easy sometimes, but it often will make you more money in
the more difficult situations."
I guess I didn't think that anyone who has played poker could not understand positive expectation situations that are dangerous. Most
obviously KsKc in Holdem is in danger from Ah7d but you should gladly go many pre-flop bets. You should not fold just because Ax
happens to be a hand that can give your trouble. Sure it would be *better* if Qh7d went a bunch of preflop bets with you, but you
should gladly welcome the more troubling situation too.
> So are you saying that danger is what good players should seek?
No. I said "Iím not suggesting that people should throw rocks at pit bulls just to get in trouble".
> It may not be your point that average players should focus on
> avoiding difficulty even though some difficult situations are
> profitable, but it is a good one.
Nope. It's a losing mentality. You should avoid losing difficulty and *pointless* difficulty (many bets for 50/50 type hands). You
should welcome winning difficulty like getting tons of loose action when you have QQ or KKQQ.
> I never said any player should avoid positive EV situations or plays.
That is the point of the article.... even if situations are difficult/troublesome, you should play if the expectation is positive. We
get threads here on RGP all the time about people complaining about "not knowing where they are" or about losing with AA (or whatever)
in loose games. Instead of moaning about AA getting snapped off against seven opponents, people should say "once more into the breach"
and love the action. No-brainers don't make as much money.
"Why Are California Games So Crazy?"
loc chor wrote...
> Why California games so crazy? Can anyone explain this?
> Are people there just plain crazy or they don't know how to
> play poker. Or they got too much money to burn. I was at commerce,
> bicycle, and Hollywood Park last week for vacation and found myself
> played in a 6-12 and 9-18 game, the game is unlike online.. online
> is so tight everyone fold and most of the time only 2-3 players in a hand.
> But California games live is different. Always 5-6 players call. could you
> really make a living playing poker at California? I love the action, but
> couldn't win. Anyone been to Commerce or Bicycle or Hollywood lately?
> Am I right or wrong?
Higher rake makes "better"/looser/livelier games (as do
nine-handed compared to ten handed games). The high LA rake does one thing fairly quickly... gets more people stuck. It's not true of
everybody of course, but the difference in playing quality between a person who is three big bets ahead and one who is four big bets
behind is very, very large. Players tilt and steam and chase when behind. Also, collection is taken equally, whereas online it is
raked, making sitting like a rock more sensible.
Additionally, sitting among the bad players are more solid, aggressive players than you'll find elsewhere. There even are a
significant number of players who play very good 90% of the time but have major leaks (like tilting like madmen) other times so they
never rise up the ranks. These players can play rings around
weak-tight players (90% of the time).
Many people can't get past the obvious and don't understand how high rake games can be very profitable to well above average players.
The house take is always a consideration, but the level of your opposition matters more. If the vast majority of them are playing
simply dreadful (in large part because of the rake) then it will often be the case that a higher rake game can be more profitable. The
6 and 9 games in LA are very beatable despite extreme rake because there is a huge pool of godawful players throwing their money away.