Math vs Reads

dj11

dj11

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Something has been bugging me for a while, and this morning it took a new shape. It goes something like this;

The odds involved can't take affect until you have some reads (at minimum) of the tempo of the table, and the players at the table.

You may have a raising hand in early position according to all the books, but with no reads on the table, how can you justify a large bet without knowing that half the table will fold or re-raise. The math may favor you, but if, unbeknownst to you, have sat down at a table full of gamblers, and you get half the table calling your good raise (thus favoring those pesky drawing hands), then both your stack and your confidence may suffer a severe spanking. All because you have little or no read info from a table.

I'm not sure where this notion is going, it needs refinement obviously, and any thoughts posted here may help me clarify it, and indeed, might help others finding themselves with similar thoughts.

I have noticed I am relying on reads more and more, and it gives me a saner opportunity to apply odds to more specific situation.
 
beanaddict

beanaddict

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Are we talking ring or tourney/sng? Every now and then I'll have a pro sit down by me waiting to play.
Note: He doesn't always play right off. Sometimes I've seen em' wait clear up to a half hour before any action.
Datamining? Find a juicy looking table, sit down, before the table fills up, do the research, then decide what opponents they are up against.

But now that I re-read your post my post is probably way off base, sorry.
 
Boltneck

Boltneck

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Okay, I'm going to change the rules of Holdem (let's call it Boltneck Holdem). In Boltneck Holdem, there are 10 players at the table. Every player has 2 pocket cards (just like Texas Holden). Every player bets $5 preflop, or folds. There are no other betting rounds. Five cards are dealt face up, and whoever has the best hand (using the old fashioned Texas Holdem hand rankings) wins the pot.

You have AA pockets - do you bet? Sure as hell you do. You may have less chance of winning than if there were 2 players, but you sure as hell have a better chance that the bandit sittinf 72o.

My point is that you have to use all the information that you have. If that just amounts to knowing what your cards are, and the chances of anyone else having better, then that's what you base your judgement on.
 
pantin007

pantin007

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i think before u satrt playing seriously at the table u should servey the action
and a read is so much more inportant the math because of the fact that ur not always going to have the absolute nuts so u must rely on ur read on u opponent to know if ur good or not.
yes u will have bad reads but math too will not always show the outcome of the hand
 
F

fishfood

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This is why I play limit HE nearly exclusively. Math plays a much greater roll in Limit than in NL.:joyman:
 
aliengenius

aliengenius

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Without reads you just have to play a more patient/tight and card contingent (with position) style of poker. If you get four callers when you raise to 3xbb w KK or some other big hand, that's ok-- you will win more when you win, it's just going to be swingy-er.
 
zachvac

zachvac

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You simply cannot use math without making a read first. Poker's a game of missing information. You try to acquire all that you can with reads, mainly an accurate range of hands your opponent may have. Math is never wrong, but using the wrong math to support a flawed hypothesis (read) can mess you up big time. If you have your opponent on a premium hand PF and the flop comes 234 and then you find out he actually had 56, no math in the world will help you.

The point is, in poker, unless you are cheating, there is always missing information. If there is no way to acquire it, then math will help you. For example a person has yet to act, you know exactly what they are holding. They are holding a random hand. You can use math to see what the correct play to make against a random hand is. Now let's say a very tight player raises preflop. All of a sudden we're not up against a random hand anymore. A loose player from the button who likes to steal raises preflop. You raise and he raises back at you. At this point you have to figure out:
1. what range of hands he has
2. What kind of action you can expect on later streets
3. what hand do you have?

#3 is easy, first 2, not so much. Math is for filling in the blanks. It fills them in perfectly if they are really blanks. If they're not, and there's more information you could be getting, the math will be off. If you miss a tell and the odds of him bluffing are actually now much higher, but you use math that neglects that fact, you're throwing away money. Math is used to fill in when you don't have all the information. The better the poker player, the better you can narrow down their range and how they will play the hand later.

If you teach a beginner how to use math in poker, they're still going to suck. You teach a good player how to use it, they can use it to fill in what they don't have and determine the correct play to make based on their reads. See the point? Math comes after reads, and they work together. Reads gather information and math fills in missing information, because in the end, the odds (math) all even out.
 
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