Thinking is a requirement at the table, as well as away from the table. How would players view some certain hand matchups pre flop or post flop when it comes to making a hand changing decision in the moment? Would the decision made be dependent on the ability of the player(s) or would this be as some describe as luck? Are the player(s) trying to understand what the person is holding or are they looking at the %’s only? Perhaps the %’s are to help support a decision, but is the decision ultimately the player(s)?
Having played during the time of Pokerstars
before black Friday, the PSO was the first part of the journey and those questions had different meanings about how I made decisions then and now. As time went forward the meanings have changed because of what I have taught myself, the thoughts the ideas of others, what I have read as some examples, but the information is now understood in a better way. However, the original meaning of how those questions were viewed is not forgotten but a point of reference to compare and contrast thoughts, ideas.
When playing TA or LA the point for my game at the moment, what is being worked on, and what is thought about is match ups, player(s) vs. player(s), hand vs. hand. What am I looking for to counter my opponent? What does my opponent hold? Are the opponent(s) thinking about these two questions? Do they think I think about them thinking about these two questions? Prior play, bet sizing, these are some of the determining factors to take into consideration when assessing these questions.
Hands prior, observing my opponents playing prior, in the moment against others while I am not in the hand, in the hand, how do they handle table dynamic changes pre and post, polarizing moments that come unexpected by how they react?
All of what was typed is taken into consideration about how players put themselves into situations and how it could be determined at least in theory about what is considered skill, luck, or the importance of timing? However, for arguments sake, does this change the price of eggs?
By assessing in this manner, I am trying to stay neutral in what is being discussed in this post, the same way I am reading the hand in the moment based on as much information, facts of what I know because of the importance of not being biased by what I hold or what I think they hold. This exercise is not a the exercise of a NIT but rather as I become better at an overall non bias account of a situation it is about match ups, and abilities vs. the situation. This helps not to justify my actions but rather objectively look at my play with honesty without spinning the outcome to fit my narrative.
Players analyzing results, can a line be drawn to how much they understood the situation leading up to a random result by how much of the story they can recall when analyzing the situation? Because people can rattle off the facts about the match up post results but how much of the story does the player recall correctly, can they narrate a story about the situation as they could the % of the hand after the fact, while in the moment? Could now a line between luck, skill be drawn about how a player narrates the moment, or does the play only get discussed after the fact but not in the moment?
Hard one to answer because this is about hearts and minds, and it is hard to define what is in the heart and mind of a random player; however, this could be a moment to compare and contrast plays to help understand how peoples actions define themselves by their decisions. The last question, could the abilities or countering other players abilities a better way for players to assess what each person may determine what is luck, skill, or timing by what they could explain, define, about their abilities, tendencies, the abilities, and the tendencies of their opponents?
Here are some variables that are tagged in my thought process for defense and offense, analyze at and away from the table, while playing or getting ready to play.
• When playing micro’s, players have tendencies that would seem on the surface that would eliminate the need for advanced play, fancy play, however, knowing this; the illusion of action has to be put in place for players to define their skill set for me that would eliminate some of the bias against how little or how deep the micro players pay attention in a session, in the moment.
• This helps to separate the good and bad players in a first stage assessment until further evaluation with more information to help trust small edges my opponent(s) chooses to reveal. This assessment starts with two to my left and right then reaching out across the table as the session moves forward.
• When playing LA the first bullet point is for assessing match ups while looking for those who pull back against aggressive dynamics, others who will embrace what I am doing. The need for X amount of chips is taken into consideration when applying information against opponent(s).
• When playing TA assessing by observing more than playing allows for the same process as above just as if I was giving the illusion of action for them to define their skill at a quicker rate, this allows for more facts to come out slower but at a more reliable rate. Since this approach does not have a more defined chip model, the need to acquire chips more slowly but looking for places to double up becomes a more progressive approach rather than a LA polarizing quick strike approach.
• Playing a limit poker approach by taking free cards for floating purposes, that will allow the opponent(s) to define moments post flop. This helps to assess how much bluffing potential they have by how they react in and out of position. Also how they are reacting to why I would float? This helps to see how they apply their mechanics to make movements that are a direct reaction to purpose plays for reaction or the lack of reaction. Also taken into consideration in these many different situations are my image and the image of my opponent(s) at the time of the assessment and then compared to priors hands leading up to this moment for example. Note taking is required in some cases.
• Narrowing down tendencies of micro players are moving targets just like my “A” game, the reliability is dependent on how much I can recall properly in the moment because of how erratic the players are with their decisions consistently. This challenge helps my mental game to further eliminate bias decisions, and to better trust reads.
• Even though, this is quite a laundry list from which to think, the movements of my game are quite simple because these are micro players. The amount of tools needed to compete, prove myself each day is necessary to create, then use because of how poker is unpredictable with certain table dynamics.
• The brain has three hours for a player to compete with their “A” game that is determined by how the player is playing that day, how this plays out for three hours is how a player would assess how they are playing compared to how they view their “A” game before setting down in a session for example. After this period the tendency for making quality decisions will erode, how long a player can play consistently beyond the three hour mark depends on how or if they start making mistakes because their game erodes or do they have the ability to play consistently beyond three hours. This is something I pay attention for my game as well as observing the games of others.
• The question then becomes how quality are their decisions while in that sweet spot compared to what is observed after this time? My R/A game will run from 9 a.m. until around 2 p.m. depending on the field. The 2 hour late registration game lasts around the same time give or take depending on the field.
• Choosing games are important that assess mood, skill sets for certain tournaments, the type of players who play the same tournaments, and tournament structure. All of this allows for non-biased decisions about how my game is playing that day, in the moment, and whether I am assessing information properly prior to choosing my games that day or feel the need to pick a better day for which to play.