Book Discussion: Theory of Poker, chapters 1-3.

F Paulsson

F Paulsson

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Starting us off with the first week's reading: Chapters 1, 2 and 3.

Concepts for discussion (feel free to add your own if I miss something you want to talk about):

Winning money; not pots - do you see the difference?

The concept of Expectation

The fundamental theory of poker - what does it mean?

These chapters are pretty short, and chapter one is mostly introductory, but there can be topics for discussion in them just the same. The fundamental theorem, in particular, has some very interesting implications, although many of them will not be clear until later on in the book.

Happy reading!

/FP


NOTE: Please do not quote the book. This thread is to help broaden the understanding of the book, not rip off the copyright of it. Feel free to discuss, but try doing so without infringing on David Sklansky's and 2+2 Publishing's intellectual property rights. Thank you.
 
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Honestly, i never thought about poker in the way the FTOP says to....i mean, it makes alot of sense really - so much so that i'll start using it in my decision making etc. I'm concerned with teh pot odds and stuff, and i know when my opponent makes a bad call.. i dunno...anyways... good book so far.
 
tenbob

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Still havnt gotten this one yet guys. No sign in any of my local book stores. So collect a few more FPP's (wish i hadnt wasted them now) on Stars and ill order one from there.
 
beardyian

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The most helpful sections in the book i found, as it really opened up a new view of why you place a bet, as well as how much you should call or fold to.

The idea of your opponent making mistakes when winning a pot (by calling to a bet of disproportionate size) has helped my game step up again :).

I already had a rough grasp on the pot odds theory, but just had this as a win/loss indicator, but now i can see although you may lose the pot it could be because your opponent has made a mistake by calling for way over the odds.
So in a perverse twist in losing the pot you have won by causing an error to occur.

It may read here as a little mad, but in the book it make sense lol :D:D


**Tenbob - i got mine from Amazon, no trouble, have you tried it??

IanT
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

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There's a popular term called "sklansky dollars" or "sklansky bucks" meaning that whenever an opponent makes a mistake in calling a bet, you've gained a proportional amount of "sklansky dollars". How much you actually gain in real dollars is of course another matter, and dependent on variance, but will converge in the long run.

Does everyone get the idea of expectation? There's an article about it in our own articles' section as well, but Sklansky explains it pretty well.
 
tenbob

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Just ordered off Amazon. Jesss there delivery charges are a little excessive. Nothing like an impulse buy to brighten up a morning.
 
joosebuck

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Sorry I'm such a slacker.. just ordered it with expidited shipping off of amazon dot com but it wont be here for 2 days or so.
 
Sammyv1

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Winning money; not pots - do you see the difference?

The way I see this is you have to fold to be able to win money in the long run. Don't just play hands to try and win every pot. Dont just play hands to save your blind. Small blind cases need to be folded (give up the money) with bad hands.

Money management here is also essential in winning money! Do not play over your limit. Set it and stick to it. Until you win for along time at one level then move up. Never be afraid to go back down a level. If you notice that you are the worst player at the table, LEAVE, no matter how much you are down. If you Know you are a top player at the table, STAY, for as long as you can. Careful, when you get tired at this table, then leave.

I have been trying to give my opinion on this for a couple of days but I haven't had the time. (working 80 hrs. a week) I'll try and give my opinion on:The concept of Expectation and The fundamental theory of poker - what does it mean? before FP goes on to the next section. After all we need to discuss these things, that's how I'll learn.
 
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The best way to describe it is this: Force your opponent to make incorrect calls or folds mathmatically...in other words if you hold

[10h][Jh] in the big blind Preflop and your opponent holds [As][Ad] on the button. you call his 2x bb bet (because you're getting extremely good potodds to do so.. lets say its 1/2 NL and there is now 24$ in the pot

The flop comes [Qh][Kh][Ac]

He flopped top set, and you flopped the nut straight, with redraw to a flush, and 2 outs to a Straight flush.

If your opponent knew your hand, he'd most likely fold his trip Aces, because he's now an underdog to the nut straight with redraws to the absolute nuts (ace of hearts would be absolutely devistating for him). His only wins are a King, a Queen, or a running pair on the turn and river... and we can probably discount some of his outs because the other people in the hand are somewhat tight players, and won't call a raise with any hands except suited connectors OR any two face cards.

So, What do you want your opponent to do on the flop betting? You want him to make a mistake that he wouldn't normally make if he knew your hand, in otherwords, you want him to call (or even better yet, raise) your nut straight with the second best hand of a set of aces. Every time he does, you gain..even if a miricle running pair, or the [Kd] shows up on the turn or river, you still have gained on this play. Compare this concept to pot odds. You know that you're a 11-1 underdog to make your gutshot straight, but if the pot is offering you 22-1 odds, you are actually making money if you call in that situation each time. If there is 22$ in the pot, and you have ot call a single dollar to see the next card you're going to lose 10 times and win once. You're going to lose 1 dollar 10 times and win 22 dollars once, for a net gain of 12 dollars. This is the same thing in the Fundemental therom of Poker. The money your opponent looses by making the incorrect call has to go somewhere...and that somewhere is you...while you may lose the pot, you've stilled gained anywyas. Here's why..

You have [2d][2s] on the button. There are 3 limpers to you, you limp, the small blind folds and the big blind checks. The same 1/2 NL game you were in before. 10$ pot (the smallblind is taken out for hte progressive badbeat jackpot) The flop comes [2h][7h][ks] Checks to a guy in Middle position who bets 5$. The guy to your right folds and you put in a raise to 35$ hoping to win the pot right there. it folds around to the original better who you have correctly put on a flush draw. He now faces the dilimma to call 30$ to win 50, or 3:5 pot odds for his flush he's roughly going to make 1 in 4 trys. His odds aren't good enough to call, but he may do it anyways (and you want him to call you). For simplicity lets assume that bet put him all in,as to discontinue any further betting, and for easier math on my part, assume that the pot is now 100$ (160 after his call) He's going to lose 60$ 3 times and win 100$ once. For a net loss of 80$. So, even if the river is a heart, you can be sure that in the same situation, given the same opponent, if he makes that call it will eventually be a 80 profit to you.
 
F Paulsson

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Sammy,

Given that this is the first thread in the series, I'll let this one continue on for more than a week before moving on. I want to give people a chance to get their Amazon deliveries and stuff. :)

About the fundamental theorem, specifically: How does it apply to preflop hold'em/omaha play?
 
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Its a bit tougher with pre-flop play, but its basically the same thing. Each tmie your opponent makes a poor call, say KK against AA, you gain. IN fact, i played a live 1/2 NL game and picked up Aces and a guy across the table picked up kings.

I raised to make it 15 straight, 1 caller, then around to the kings. He reraised me 50$ more. Back to me, "all in" caller folds, back to the kings, and he flat out said "I know you have aces, but i have to call" and calls (after about 5 minutes of thinking about it) and flips over his kings, and I flip my aces over. So, He made that mistake, and I took down the pot (which was well over 400$)

There's not alot of math that can go into preflop play.... 45s is just as likely to flop two pair as 89s. Obviously 89 is better because they're overs, but its not enough to really make a differnece.
 
F Paulsson

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Calling with live cards can be okay, if you think you have the implied odds for it. But the mistake you force someone to make with a dominated hand is huge - they're usually drawing to only 3 outs. Makes you feel better about raising AK preflop, doesn't it?
 
Bill_Hollorian

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Whenever someone makes a play that they would have played differently if all cards are face up, you gain expectation. You also keep track of these mistakes as that is what you can figure to be your edge in the game.
I make notes for example..

Player in seat 3 open raised with KQ offsuit from UTG. This is an exploitable leak worth $12 dollars an hour.
Player in seat 6 overvalues weak aces, exploitable leak. Worth $10 an hour.
etc.

Compunding the two by isolation I will look to play suited medium aces against both opponents simultaneoulsy.
So I constantly calculate errors made by opponents and specific situations to watch out for to exploit these errors.

Bill
 
Xandit

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I know ToP is written for limit/cash players and all concepts can be tweaked to tourney play. Lots of players on CC are tourney only.
With that said in regards to expectation. Would you lay down a positive expectation to further your chances of winning the tourney?

Example: Heads up in a winner take all tourney. You have the nut flush draw(for the sake of argument you saw your oppents hold cards and know they have 2 pair) the pot is laying the right odds to call. 3-1 on your bet. Your bet however is all of your chips, knocking you out of the tourney. Hense, no money won.
Now folding your hand goes against the ToP, you would be making a mistake to fold your hand knowing what your oppent has your getting "the best of it" at this point. Now if you call and lose your out-call and win you get the money. What is the correct play?
 
F Paulsson

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The expectation in a tourney should be calculated in regards to equity in the prize pool; not tournament chips. Does that answer your question?

I suspect we shall arrive at Tournament Poker for Advanced Players later on in this read-along series. :)
 
Sammyv1

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Bill_Hollorian said:
I make notes for example..

Player in seat 3 open raised with KQ offsuit from UTG. This is an exploitable leak worth $12 dollars an hour.
Player in seat 6 overvalues weak aces, exploitable leak. Worth $10 an hour.Bill

O.K. How do you figure the amount these are worth? I understand Whenever someone makes a play that they would have played differently if all cards are face up, you gain expectation. But how do you figure what these mistakes are worth exactly?
 
Xandit

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Fpaul, thanks for the clearing that up, didn't mean to jump the gun to tourney's.
 
F Paulsson

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No problem - it's an interesting question, and it's a healthy sign that you asked it. :)

Any other questions on chapter 1-3? Any comments?
 
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Sammyv1 said:
O.K. How do you figure the amount these are worth? I understand Whenever someone makes a play that they would have played differently if all cards are face up, you gain expectation. But how do you figure what these mistakes are worth exactly?


Its usually just an estimate. Knowing that they are making bad plays, and how often the cards they make bad plays with come, you can get a rough estimate. for example:

A person that will raise with KQo UTG is most likely going to PLAY (maybe even raise utg) with KJ KT QJ and QT maybe even TJ, and probably every ace from AK-A2. and will always play suited aces. Even in a limit game they are playing far too many hands and this will add up. If they are merely calling utg, it will cost them 1bb every time they get one of these hands, which could be 5 or 6 times an hour. We understand that they will win occasionally, but these mistakes will undoubtedly come from their chipstacks.

I should explain that the exploitable leaks bill talked about won't all be going to you though. If there are two poor players, 5 average players, and 2 good players, the 10 adn 12 dollar leaks are going to be split up. Lets say that the average players are break-even types (they beat the rake so that is good) and you and one other are not pros, but you're solid adn the same skill level. the fish just want to give away all their money, and they do. The 10 and 12 dollar leaks are going to be split up...22$ among 7 players. Its probably something like 2$ an hour for the average players and 6$ for the two expert players by exploiting these two players.
 
F Paulsson

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Before we move on to the next chunk (was going to do that tomorrow, and those of you who are still waiting for the book can of course keep posting in this thread):

Is it clear to everyone that it's wrong to think of poker pot-by-pot or even session-by-session? Does everyone understand the importance of not letting the results of a single night influence your overall strategy, and why poker is such a counterintuitive game to learn (where we may be punished even if we play it perfectly)?

Is it clear that you make money off of other peoples' mistakes, and that they make money off of yours? Do you understand the implication?
 
Kenzie 96

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Like several others I am still waiting on the book, but looks like this is going to be very beneficial. Great idea.
 
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Yeah this is a great idea. I hope we keep it going after this book as well. FPaulsson, whats your backround? Do you play for a living or is poker just a hobby for you? What kind of game and what stakes do you usually play at? You seem to have a lot of knowledge and I'm curious as to where it comes from.
 
F Paulsson

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smd173, was that supposed to be sarcasm? He entered three tournaments last year and finished 6th, 15th and 16th, grossing $90k. That looks pretty okay to me.

Threesixes, I work fulltime as an engineer/test developer at a major production company. I've played poker for 10 or so years, and I currently play at $2/$4 limit online. I had taken a break from online poker for a year and a half until September 2005. Then I decided to buy-in for $100, and work myself up from the microlimits. What I know, I've mostly learned from books.
 
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