Evolution of a poker player


"Growth over the past decade has been accompanied by a profound change in how poker is played. Mathematics branch concepts known as game theory have inspired new ideas for game strategy and new tips for their base players. Poker is still a game of reading to people, but capturing the meaning of their tics and movements is not nearly as important as being able to catalog their style of play and understand what their bets mean.

The first advanced concept that explains Chabris is the "Sklansky bucks", an idea from David Sklansky's work and which the author identifies as "the first attitude consistent with the underlying mathematical reality in poker."

They are called to the money that would correspond to you to win in a hand taking into account our expectation and not the final result of the hand. That is, an all-in of 10 with 77 against 66 we should consider it a profit of 8, as we should win about 80% of the time, although most of them win 10 and the rest lose 10.

That concept is what lies behind the famous line of EV that so much drama causes among users of statistical poker programs. But it is a somewhat obsolete idea.

"A few years ago, a young pro called Phil Galfond published a crucial refinement to Mr. Sklansky's idea. He proved that the correct way to analyze a decision in poker is to consider your opponent's rank, that is, the complete set of hands that would be plausible given the actions taken so far.
The "Galfond bucks" were very valuable

The "Galfond bucks" had a very different value to the Sklansky dollars, even starting from the same base. If we analyze the same example in which we went all-in with 77 and we have paid with 66, and we realize that this particular rival would only pay us with couples of 66 or better, a profit of 8 euros we go to a loss of 7.3, because 77 against that range only wins by 27% of occasions.

The need to hide those ranks, whose exact knowledge allows your rival to play almost perfectly against you, triggered a new step forward in strategy.

In practice, this means that you should not make a particular move, such as an all-in, only when you have a super-strong hand, because this makes an observer opponent deduce your rank and fold all but your best hands. If you sometimes make a strong play with weak hands - the old bluff art - your opponent will have more difficulty narrowing your rank.

This concept, known as "balancing or balancing ranges," complements the expert's intuition when it comes to knowing when to bluff with a logical explanation of how often and why a bluff becomes the right play to make in one hand.

But although these advances have several names associated with their theoretical expression, the evolution of the theory of poker is not a product of isolated individuals of special brilliance, but of the joint effort of a growing and enthusiastic community.

The growth of poker theory is a perfect example of how innovation accelerates within interactive communities ... collective progress comes from the application of collective intelligence: putting more minds to work on a problem makes it much more likely the emergence of new and better solutions to a problem.

In conclusion we constantly evolve in our game and study of poker, this will make the difference of an adult and a child.