This is a discussion on The Mathematics of Poker anyone read? within the online poker forums, in the Cash Games section; Hey all. I was wondering if any of you CCers have read The Mathematics of Poker? I have it and am about 100 pages deep. 


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The Mathematics of Poker anyone read?
Hey all. I was wondering if any of you CCers have read The Mathematics of Poker? I have it and am about 100 pages deep. It seems VERY indepth and has great coverage of game theory. I was just wondering if anyone could tell me what they have gained from the book. I'm thinking that I will need to read it, play a LOT, and then reread it to get the most out of it.

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I read it a few years ago and found it to be very helpful although tough reading.I think I managed a couple of pages a day and would let it sink in.I also would reread some parts a few times just to grasp what he was trying to get across. I think Bill Chen and this book gave me a consistant way to look at the game and a foundation for my play that still exist today. I have thought about rereading it ,but just havn't taken it on. Hope you enjoy it and that it does as much for your game as it did mine. Snow 
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I've tried reading it but never managed to get past the chapters on the AKQ game. It will probably take several readings and close examination of the theory and equations (which requires some calculus knowledge) to fully understand and get everything out of it. There is a lot of excess that you don't need to know (the proofs, etc.) but even some of the basic things take time to digest.
For me, (from what I have read) I have gained a stronger ability to determine the correct choice in close allin coin flip scenarios and to bluff with a more optimal frequency and in better situations. You won't get a ton out of reading it and then playing. I suggest you read it and have a pencil/paper with you to work out some of the math so you can learn to process some of the more useful equations in your head quicker. Although it can be difficult to tell what is useful and what isn't, if I remember correctly, Chen often points out what is more and less applicable to practical poker situations. 
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re: Poker & The Mathematics of Poker anyone read?
Hey dude.
Havent read it and was looking for some books to get my pops started into the game seriously because he just plays for fun. I gave him harrington and phil gordons green book but he was asking for the maths side of things afterwards. I told him about two books ive read about heremoshman sng book and killer poker by the numbers. who wrote this one so i can let him know. thanks bud 
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I wouldn't recommend as a beginners book.
It introduces game theory in a 'pokerish manor'; like the AKQ game. It presents you with a whole host of game theory ideas, what it doesn't even attempt to do is to tell you how you go about incorporating these ideas into your own game. I was reading something by Ed Killer today and it talked about an optimal strategy and then went off at a tangent as to why optimal strategies at low stakes are not the strategies obtained through game theory. His argument boiled down to this. In order for a game theory optimal strategy to work, it requires your opponent to make correct and consistent game theory decisions. So rather than setting out to play a GT optimal game, instead two players will constantly adjust their play because of their opponents behaviour until eventually an Nash equilibrium is reached. However as only the best players are capable of making these kind of subtle adjustments, the reality is that your opponent is unlikely to make correct adjustments to your plays, and then adjustments to your adjustments and so on. Therefore a Nash equilibrium is never reached. Therefore if you completely understood the mathematics behind game theory, you are still very unlikely to be against an opponent who you could use a GT approach on. And more importantly, if you understand the maths AND are against a sufficiently skilled opponent, are you at a point where you can identify what his adjustments are? With that in mind, is it an important aspect of study at your current level?? If you are taking poker seriously you need to build a solid ABC game and then develop that game rather than trying to build a GT optimal game and then work backwards. 
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re: Poker & The Mathematics of Poker anyone read?
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or is it as phil ivey says: learn everything you can about the game but when you sit at the table leave it behind and just play your gameget a feel for the table and just try and make better decisions than everyone else. 