3/08/2006

03-08-06 [poker] - 1

03-08-06 [poker]

It's a huge mistake to overthink in poker. You need to figure out what level your opponent is on, and then just think one step past him. eg. if he's on level N you need to be on level N+1. If you try to act on level N+2 or N+3, you can do very badly. It's because of this that mediocre players can actually do really well against donks, while very good players who are stuck on higher level thinking will do very badly.

One example that I run into a lot is thinking that someone is "setting me up". Here's an example from a few days ago :

I open raise in the CO with 87o. I have a very tight image, so I like to put in some raises to take down some pots. The button calls. The flop came something like QT3, a total whiff for me. I continuation bet like normal, and the button raised to 3X my bet. I folded, and the button showed K8o - pure garbage. Ok, so the button raised my cbet and showed it.

A few hands later I get 99. I open raise in early position, and the same player who was button in the previous hand calls. Flop comes all rags, like 367. I continuation bet again, about pot size. Aggressive Player raises to 3X my bet again. Now what? My hand is actually really weak, he can have a set, a straight, two pair, even against two overs I'm not that far ahead. Then I start thinking, he knows that he just showed me a bluff and I must think he's a bluffer - he wouldn't do this again on a pure bluff, he must've set me up and now he actually has the goods !? Then I realized I was being too tricky, I could tell from this guy's play that he was just really bad and I didn't think he was on that level of thinking. His level was more like "this guys is a tight/weaky, he folded before, I'll make him fold again!". So, on that level my hand is good. I pushed all in, and he called with just two overcards, and my hand held up.

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