You-Read-It-Here-First Forum Index You-Read-It-Here-First
A collection of textual novelties
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
If you want to read the articles here, go ahead, just click on a forum and find a thread that interests you...no need to register! If you want to post something... either new or in response to someone here, then click the Register link above. It's free... and it's fun to write your ideas here. You can even create a "blog" by starting a personal thread in the Daily Life Every Thread A Diary section...

Avoiding Irrationals

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    You-Read-It-Here-First Forum Index -> Poker as metaphor
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:38 pm    Post subject: Avoiding Irrationals Reply with quote

In any poker game, where there is a low buy-in, especially, but not exclusively in tournament play, there are many players who go all in on early rounds. These players figure they have to make money fast to keep up with subsequent rounds. They may also figure, that if they get a quick all in win, they will take down the hands of 3 or 4 (similar minded players) and have an early advantage. If they can do this two or three times more, they may find themselves well on the way to final rounds.

I tend to play a tight game in big tournaments, waiting for the best hand and waiting for a table that is as small as possible (so a good hand has the best odds of winning). However, this strategy can often lead me into the final rounds only to face players with larger chipstacks and I have to make up time there to stay in against them.

Those players who simply give up their chips on a off chance that they will win big are irrational within the context of the tournament. But they are rational within the context of multiple tournaments where they figure that winning in one out of ten can lead to them winning more than their buy-ins for all their failed tournaments.

However, in the context of the individual tournament, for someone who is trying to win just that tournament, they are essentially irrational. They are demolition drivers on the highway of gaming.

In life, we see this as well. There is the person who "works hard" or the person who "plays by the rules" and then there is the guy who wins the lottery who may be termed good, bad, indifferent or simply...lucky. In American, we look with approval to the wild card, the guy who beats the system, the humble schmo who goes from rags to riches...although we prefer that he continue to be humble and in "those sorts of movies" he tends to lose it all once he becomes arrogant (Steve Martin...The Jerk).

The effort for those who want to exercise rational but mildly aggressive behavior, that is, playing by the rules, but putting in extra effort to gain on competitors, is to avoid the irrationals. The irrational can at best cause a loss of focus or at worse some damage to your own strategy by impacting you or putting some other obstacle in your way in the form of a stronger competitor who he loses to.

A strategy for eliminating the irrational might be to play against him when you understand that he is being a fool with his money. This neutralizes both the irrational and his effect in creating a bigger competitor. The downside is the irrational will make the big bet in the hope that his low odds win comes up...and if it does, it takes you down with it!

Another strategy is the one I described, of playing a tight game, but being aggressive enough to have enough chips to play into the final rounds and yet not be overwhelmed by the cascading effects of irrationals losing to each other.

You don't want to be a ballerina at a square dance.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Visit the Instant Postcard Collection @ http://instant-postcard-collection.com
Looking for postcards of that favorite place? Family origins? Or that perfect vacation, except for the photos?
Researching your dissertation? Serious collector? Just looking for something neat?
You've found the right place to add to your existing collection, or to start a new one.
brian-hansen
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 712
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My experience in this area comes from playing many play money
hold'em tournaments on fulltiltpoker.net. I generally play in the
lowest buy-in level of 250 play chips, but sometimes in higher value
games as well.

In these games, I see much of what you describe. On a typical
first table, 5 of 9 players will go "all in". Half the players (45 out of
90) are often knocked out after 3 or 4 hands. Then play generally
settles down to playing something like real poker.

In these tournaments, I find myself actively hoping that I will not
have a good hand pre-flop, so I won't be tempted to bet and be
drawn into the "all in" vortex. There is good reason for this. I forget
the exact circumstances, but against 9 players, having AA pre-flop
leads to winning about 25% of hands. In other words, even with
the best possible starting hand, you lose 3/4ths of the time.
This is better than losing 8/9ths of the time, but not much.

The key to playing in these kinds of tournaments, in my view, is
in recognizing that for every non-optimal strategy there is a way
that another player can turn that to their advantage. You mentioned
a few of these, there are a few more that might apply.

In the meantime, your 1 in 10 demolition player is not rational
either. They would need to come in 3rd place or better in their
one win to break even overall. In these games it most
usually takes an hour of play, with increasing blinds, in order
to make the final table. Coming in 3rd or better takes longer.
That is a lot of poker. Someone who goes all in during the
first few rounds, with poor hands, hoping to get to an overall
win is going to be up against players with superior strategies
for an hour of play before being in position for a payoff. That
player is going to need a lot more luck.

In my experience, you are so right about these irrationals drawing
you into play where you are both crushed by a later player.
In early rounds, it is hardly ever the player that goes all in
before your chance to bet who is likely to have a good hand
and to beat you, it is the player(s) that come in after you are
committed.

There is a second trait to many players of these games. At
Fulltilt, everyone in a tournament often starts with 1500 game
chips. When they go below 1100-1200, most players panic and
play wildly, even with blinds of 15 and 30. again, this can
be exploited.

To play well in these tournaments, one must be prepared to
spend time in last place (last place amongst the survivors,
that is). The problem with having a small chip stack in a
tournament is not so much that you need to "make up time"
in order to compete, but is much more that you will not be
able to survive even one "bad beat". Of course, that is almost
always a factor, even if you have a large chipstack. With a
small chipstack, fewer strategies are available to you, of
course, but there are also some advantages. For one thing,
it is pretty easy to double, triple, or quadruple up in just one
deal. I've come in first in many such tournaments after
spending a long time in the basement. Of course, hitting that
nice easy win at the start can be a whole lot more fun, and
a lot less work. Its good to know how to play in both situations.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread on real estate illustrates a real life example of trying to be rational in a room full of irrational people:

Quote:

Not rich or dumb enough to compete

..with all the idiots out there buying homes. This post is completely useless but I just needed to vent. After all Iíve realized that all the logic, all the numbers, and all the news/reality canít change the one obvious factÖ.that in the bay area, there are too many stupid people with way too much stupid money.


http://patrick.net/forum/?p=689162
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Survival Of The Stupidest

Quote:

To get a grip on the mechanism behind the effectiveness of abundant stupidity, we go back to 1997. In that year Andy Morton, a poker-playing molecular biologist posted a poker strategy article on the internet that can be summarized as:

"beware of the power of stupidity"

[...]

In his poker strategy posting Morton effectively demonstrates that also in zero-sum games like poker the damaging effect of a stupidity can extend well beyond the person acting stupidly. Morton describes a realistic poker scenario in which you can only hope that your opponents make the right play, as a stupid move by one of them will hurt you. What happens in this scenario is that the stupid move by one of your opponents harms the opponent's monetary expectation as well as yours, and causes an opposing (positive) effect on the expectations of the other players. Note that this 'Morton effect' (a stupid move of your opponent hurting you) can not be present in a two-player zero-sum game. For the Morton effect to occur in a zero-sum game, you need to be facing multiple opponents.


http://www.science20.com/hammock_physicist/survival_stupidest-77846?source=patrick.net
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Visit the Instant Postcard Collection @ http://instant-postcard-collection.com
Looking for postcards of that favorite place? Family origins? Or that perfect vacation, except for the photos?
Researching your dissertation? Serious collector? Just looking for something neat?
You've found the right place to add to your existing collection, or to start a new one.
brian-hansen
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 712
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This happens often.

It's the sequential nature of the game that causes this problem. Someone with a poor strategy overbets before play turns to you. If you behave otherwise rationally, you might stay in with a marginal hand, or re-raise with a pretty good hand. Meanwhile, mister really good hand to your left can take your money in a variety of different ways.

In this case, the first player's stupidity didn't let him survive (though some lucky cards might do this). Typically he loses too.

"Exploiting stupidity can be dangerous", might be a more accurate, though admittedly less striking, subject title.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

brian-hansen wrote:
It's the sequential nature of the game that causes this problem.


Makes me wonder what a non-sequential poker game would be like.

For example, how about if everyone simply places bets simultaneously (put down your bet in a covered chip stack, then uncover it).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
brian-hansen
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 712
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes. I've been working on this too.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Visit the Instant Postcard Collection @ http://instant-postcard-collection.com
Looking for postcards of that favorite place? Family origins? Or that perfect vacation, except for the photos?
Researching your dissertation? Serious collector? Just looking for something neat?
You've found the right place to add to your existing collection, or to start a new one.
jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be a blend of Blackjack and Poker, where you are playing your cards against the dealer and the others, but betting occurs in advance.

You might not even have to cover it up.

For example, you simply place chips on the table up to some specified time when the dealer says "Are we good?"...up until then you can put money on or off the table.

The Flop-River-Turn sequence would still occur.

I guess a Texam Hold 'Em apologist might argue that since the dealer rotates, everyone gets a fair shake at position -- however, the relative positions are the same and in some cases the "irrational" person still has a chance to lose all his money randomly before the positions rotate.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
brian-hansen
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 712
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's good.

The other thing to do in poker is to learn to take advantage of the "irrational effect". Wait for the other guy to get caught up in the situation you describe, and then pounce. Play lightly until the advantage turns to you. Convert what you might otherwise complain about (their irrational behavior) into an extra advantage for yourself. I hardly ever complain about others' poor play.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see what you're saying...if he is using routine play, that for a streak happens to win, you should counter bet that strategy because you see what is coming.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Visit the Instant Postcard Collection @ http://instant-postcard-collection.com
Looking for postcards of that favorite place? Family origins? Or that perfect vacation, except for the photos?
Researching your dissertation? Serious collector? Just looking for something neat?
You've found the right place to add to your existing collection, or to start a new one.
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    You-Read-It-Here-First Forum Index -> Poker as metaphor All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group