re: Poker & Level 4 thinking
Poker being abstract and peoples understanding of their own abilities as well as the other peopleís abilities at the table makes an explanation subjective. Recognition of peopleís strengths, weaknesses, and their abilities in any random situation is still linked to each personís ability to perform under pressure or recognize under pressure.
What each person has mastered from what they have learned, experienced from poker based on what is valued by each person, then the ability to recognize, perform that are linked to repeated situations from learned information that may or may not need cards to out play an random opponent. This gives the advantage to whoever can go one level above or below the other opponent knowing the person will blink, make a mistake, or any example that would clearly put my ability a level above my opponent in any random situation. When cards matter for my opponent knowing they are card dependent to hit their hand, fold when they do not make a hand, card dependent to give the illusion of hitting their hand and will eventually blink because they are afraid that I have already made a better hand, just made my hand, then would fold on later streets because of what I recognize about my opponent, that my opponent does not know that I recognize a specific weakness about them as a couple of examples.
When the first two levels are mastered to the point of unconscious competence, the next two levels are just the first two levels repeating themselves; with additional knowledge from what each person has learned from basic understanding, and then adding their own specific advanced information. Because most of who I play against will shove their hands mostly when they get excited, what they have taught themselves to do in situations of card dependent play, what others have taught them to do in card dependent situations where getting value out of their hand is most important as a few examples.
A specific example, when a person in early position limps, min-raise, three big blind raise and I am in late position with no other opponents and the blinds will fold to my play (I have to understand this as well) in the hand I will three bet them pre-flop with information prior to this situation knowing the only will four bet or shove four bet because of the cards they are holding and not the dynamic change the opponent is reading from what I am applying in this situation. Otherwise they call or fold with lesser hands because of being card dependent. Post flop play weakens for them because of being reactive on the flop because of the pre-flop action. The next two levels of information will now be more valuable against this type of opponent. Because I understand my opponents abilities based on strengths, weakness of their abilities, I know the next level and they are either unwilling to play without cards or they do not have the ability to play back at me without cards. Doubt will create mistakes or doubt will cause me to make mistakes.
When the first basic example of rearising or shoving pre-flop from the cards they hold, and this is a big part of this style for a person levels three and four go down in value, to give a person an edge or additional value that would change the mind of the opponent, the opponent will have to choose to stop taking this line of play less frequently, this is subjective, but the person with additional knowledge, experience, ability, willingness to slow this style can give themselves an advantage over time. I also read the example given by another that is correct by what they are seeing at the table in their realm of play. ďI do not need anywhere near that level of thinking in my gamesĒ, this is a great example of understanding the opponent in their level of play. Applying additional levels against them could be a mistake because the opponent would only be confused, then their opponent may make plays that would give the illusion of more skill because of the confusion that was created then directed towards the opponent at the wrong time.
The differences of abilities, the variance of each personís abilities, learning how to talk the language of the others at the table; that requires only recognizing what level each person has for their ability to perform, recognize, then recognize each opponentís individual strengths and weakness that is compared to your own abilities, strengths, and weakness; this will help to know which level to use 1-4. A person only needs to go up one level or go down one level with most opponents. I would believe that going up in stakes to nose bleed or any example that would require more ability to play against better opponents then third and fourth levels would be used regularly. For example, high stakes poker where pros are playing other pros, and they know each personís abilities inside and out, or regulars against regulars that would represent knowing each otherís abilities that parallel the first example. In these situations third and fourth levels would have additional value.
Knowing four levels of poker will be useful in situations that other opponents are using four levels otherwise talking fourth grade poker to a first grade poker player who does not understand fourth grade poker would be a mistake. When all you need to do is talk second grade poker, or talk kindergarten poker because first grade poker player understands kindergarten poker too as some more examples. I keep this simple because this helps to recognize abilities of my opponents, this will give a clearer understanding of how to go one level above or below my opponent based on my abilities to counter their abilities in any random situation from the mental model that has been built.