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Comment: What goes through the mind of a poker player (Score 2, Informative) 104

by craigmarq (#31868108) Attached to: Revised Mass. Gambling Bill Won't Criminalize Online Poker
Poker is a game of incomplete information. You use the information that you do have to draw conclusions and then you make bets based on those conclusions. Good poker players tend to think about poker hands in terms of hand ranges. A hand range is every poker hand that an opponent will take a certain action with. Ideally you'd like to narrow your opponents range down to a single hand because you can then play perfectly against him (it would be very easy to play perfectly against someone who showed you their cards). Unfortunately thats not possible very often as there are 169 non-equivalent poker hands and our opponent is going to play many of them similarly. Each different piece of information that we get from our opponent however allows us to narrow his range and make a better decision. For example if I'm playing in a 9 handed game and someone raises from UTG(stand for under the gun or the first player to act) he is acting with the least amount of information. Therefore he has to player a tighter(better) range of hands. He is more likely to have a premium holding because he made a bet with very little information. If someone were to raise from the button (the last player to act on every street) his range of hands is considerably wider because he has more information with which to make his decisions and can therefore play more hands profitably. Thats a very basic description of hand analysis, but some other information we take into account is our opponents past tendancies, their position, what they perceive our range to be based on the actions that we've taken, and obviously what cards we have and what cards end up coming out of the deck on the flop turn and river.

Comment: Re:Oh teh noes. (Score 1) 104

by craigmarq (#31867866) Attached to: Revised Mass. Gambling Bill Won't Criminalize Online Poker

Considering that the biggest gripe of the WSP old-hands is that young players are ruining the game by relying too much on aggressive betting, I would like to argue that it is not nearly as much a game of skill as a lot of people think.

Tournament play is heavily influenced by luck. One bad beat and you're out. End of story.

Cash play, however, is a game of skill. A skilled player brushes off a bad beat, waits out the cold cards, and makes money in the long run. The overly aggressive risk-taker who just won a tournament will lose every penny of his winnings, and then some, if he chooses to sit down at a cash table and see how his playing style works for him in the long run.

You should really stop responding to peoples posts because its pretty clear that you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. Luck is going to influence just about any game over a small sample size, thats why you have upsets in sports. However when you have a statistically relevant sample (in online poker this would be ~100k hands)you can fairly easily deduce who the skilled players are. I've been playing as my sole means of income since 2007, and have played well over a million poker hands(I played 5k in about 4 hours this evening) so I'm not just talking out of my ass.

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk

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