Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Keynotes and A Thought

First, Apple iPhone - wow, more on this later. Now if only they can drop the phone, camera, and iPod (and all its DRM), it'd be a kickass music/video player and Internet device. Second, Apple TV - will be next to my TV if it supports non-iTunes video (looks like it does mpeg-4).

Next - Daniel Negreanu's latest blog post had some interesting high-level ideas towards the end. This quote struck me:

"In the meantime, spend some time thinking about all of this. Look in a mirror and ask yourself if you spend enough time experimenting with new things? Are YOU stuck thinking inside a box? Do you play poker thinking in terms of hard fast rules? If so, maybe it's time to think about improving your play in some more unconventional ways... for example, have you ever gone to the mall and just watched people interact? "

I think it's something a lot of the poker blogger world could think about. I see a lot of non-adaptive, immutable play out there. Reads I've put on some players months ago still hold true today. I'm sure I'm guilty of not changing as much as I should, and I know I've got holes in my game, but I generally try out new strategies on a regular basis. Some work, some don't, and some just don't have the numbers to back them up, but if I don't try them, then I'll never know how I feel about them.

5 years ago, it's probably safe to say that most poker players were casual, home-game types who played 5 card, 2 draw poker and had maybe dallied in some Texas Hold 'em but weren't sure how to play anything other than pocket pairs and would chase a flush until it killed them. They're the true donkeys today. Since then, there's been a proliferation of books, and I'd imagine Doyle Brunson's made more of the 2 System books in that time frame than all the years before. The problem with this is that it's created an swarm of players that take these books like their Bible. You can peg the Brunson followers, the Harringtonites, the Gordonologists... heck, there's probably even a few Hellmuthians. Kidpoker himself has books coming out, which will undoubtedly grow the number of Negreanists. This does, however, make it easier to play against those who are hung up on one system, since we all have access to these books.

In the end, you have to find the right mix of styles that suit you. There's an even an argument to be made for playing "terrible" poker to win... I mean, if you can scare out the Harringtonites with a raise, the Gordonologists when they're out of position, or the Hellmuthians if they don't have 1 of 10 hands... then why even look at your cards? Or use the theory that online sites are rigged and go all-in when you're short-stacked and have the worst hand. The fact that you're not following a "proper" system will freak out a large number of players. Of course, that's -EV in the long run :).

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