09-12-07 - 1

It was really a pleasure watching the Colts offense last Thursday. When they're operating well there's nothing like it. Nobody else even tries to run the Colts offense, it's entirely unique in the NFL. Everyone else has lots of fancy motion schemes, weird bunch patterns, trick plays, substitutions, formations, etc. to try to confuse the defense and get an edge. The Colts almost never do any of that. They just line up with their 3 wides and a running back and say to the defense "look, we're either going to run with our RB, or we're going to pass to one of the wideouts, now you just try and stop us". The thing that makes it work against even the best defenses is the adjustment. If you overload against the pass, Peyton will call for a run, if you double cover Marvin, Peyton will throw to Reggie. You show your hand, and he just makes the totally basic level 1 adjustment and beats you.

Of course this reminds me of poker because it's exactly how you should play poker. All the other NFL teams are like bad poker players, trying to come up with all these fancy moves and tricks in order to win. Yeah, that stuff can kind of work, but it can also backfire because you can wind up tricking yourself. Because the Colts are always running basically the same formation and the same plays they are incredibly familiar with those plays and they know how to respond to every kind of defensive reaction against those plays. If you're running some weird trick play, you probably haven't run it very often and certainly haven't seen 20 different defenses respond against it.

The best way to play poker is the same way, totally simple, but with the right adjustments. You just come out firing a totally basic "solid" style. I'm gonna raise & bet my good hands and also some semibluff hands. If you don't do anything to make me change that style then I just stay in that style. Now if you show me some weird defensive move, I'll call an audible. Like if you start check-raising my cbets all the time, okay that's like some crazy defense so I make an adjustment, I cbet a little less so I have the good more often, I felt slightly weaker hands, and I'll 3bet bluff some big draws. It's a totally basic "level 1" adjustment. I'm not trying to trick you or get inside your head. I see what you're doing and I make the adjustment, and I challenge you to beat me now. I'm going to execute the basic plays better because I've studied more, and since I'm always in basic solid mode I'm very familiar with these situations.

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