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Old 08-22-2014, 12:32 PM   #1
Yadoula8
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How rare is it to be a level 4+ player?

For 3 years I have taken a comfortable 7bbs from the 200 games, (6 tabling), and never really desired to try playing any higher. Now though, I'm looking to concentrate on coaching, except, I don't really know how good I am in relation to other coaches/players.

Off the table, I understand exactly how my perceived range (level3) affects the villains range (level 2). I can calculate these ranges pretty accurately at the table for every decision. I can teach this stuff almost perfectly.

Over the last few months I have become capable of clearly understanding how to calculate level 4. (What our villain thinks that we think he has). Aswel as levels 5+. Unfortunately I havnt been tested in many games where this level of thought is required. Therefore Im not confident at the tables but I can still consider them when necessary. I can teach these levels but will have to consider it much longer before I could hope to teach it nearly perfectly.

So, in which games do we start seeing players capable of calculating level 4 at the tables? What sort of coaching fees should I charge?
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Old 08-22-2014, 06:06 PM   #2
ProRailbird
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Re: How rare is it to be a level 4+ player?

When it comes to leveling it almost becomes a lowest common denominator thing.

If you want to see your highest profit against a particular villain, you need to play exactly one level higher than them. If you start going deeper, you start leveling yourself and making bad plays because you start giving your opponent credit for moves that they couldn't possibly ever make.

Since everyone tries to bum hunt the weakest fish at the table, who is generally going to be a level 1 player, you rarely see or experience the need for players to go above level 3 thinking.
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Old 08-22-2014, 09:58 PM   #3
just_grindin
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Re: How rare is it to be a level 4+ player?

Imho there are only specific conditions that would require you to create plays that go beyond level 3 (I also find it laughable there are levels beyond 5 or maybe 6 Idk I get lost in how to describe levels beyond that, but that's not the reason I don't think there are levels beyond that).

The conditions required in my mind are:

1. Playing a villain that knows your range with a very high degree of accuracy based on playing together or the standard line you've taken in a standard scenario.

2. An opponent that understands his own perceived range in that scenario.

3. You being able to accurately think 1 level lower than the player.

4. An opponent that can predict with a high degree of certainty how you will react to non-standard lines range vs range in the scenario.

5. A point in time where 1-4 hasn't changed due to game conditions, shift in general poker knowledge and strategu, your growth as a player, etc.

So really going beyond level 3 probably happens less than 20% of the time anyway (if that) and due to the bumhunting thing brought up by ProRailbird probably more like less than 10%.
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Old 08-22-2014, 10:35 PM   #4
ProRailbird
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Re: How rare is it to be a level 4+ player?

I will add on occasion you will be in situations where you have to go several levels deep.

There's an invitational game I play in once a week that is generally just 100% bankrolled pros who are profitable at a range of stakes at the local B&Ms and have been for awhile. It's a really tough game and I play against those guys really hard to try to make myself better as a player.

But for the most part, if you're grinding a public casino table or ESPECIALLY if you are multi-tabling online you are only infrequently going to have to go more than 3 levels deep.
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Old 08-23-2014, 01:00 AM   #5
TakenItEasy
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Re: How rare is it to be a level 4+ player?

Leveling considerations must also take into account advanced strategies and each players understanding or lack thereof. If you try to level someone who has a better understanding of what you are basing your level of thinking on could lead to something similar to thinking on different levels which would go against you more often vs a more experienced player because that may be part of his level of thinking as in, they've probably seen others making the same mistake.

Beyond that, when it comes to levels of thinking, experience is going to be a very large factor in determining who has the edge perhaps even more that what you know because that experience is going to be able to identify your thinking more than you will be able to identify theirs.

Even level 1 thinking such as weak means strong is an example of new players attempting to level experienced players but fails never the less because of that experience.
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Old 08-24-2014, 09:53 AM   #6
Yadoula8
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Re: How rare is it to be a level 4+ player?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProRailbird View Post
Since everyone tries to bum hunt the weakest fish at the table, who is generally going to be a level 1 player, you rarely see or experience the need for players to go above level 3 thinking.
The other four people at the table are regs. I know that in the 400 games you see lots of advanced level 3 plays... Therefore, whenever we tangle with good regs we always have to go to level 4.

Last edited by Yadoula8; 08-24-2014 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 08-24-2014, 10:39 AM   #7
Yadoula8
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Re: How rare is it to be a level 4+ player?

I have considered this stuff hard over the last few days.

It appears I learnt poker in a different way from most you guys... I hear that there are two roots to knowledge. One, is the scientific approach. Using a build up of knowledge to make your decision. I didn't study poker though, I didn't take this approach. I simply considered poker over years... I formulated a calculation for all poker decisions and then I calculate every decision at the tables by visualising ranges and balancing these ranges against profit/losses, and potential profit/losses.

What this means, is that the only thing a player really needs to learn is the how to make the calculation. This calculation changes depending on which level we play at. Therefore, for a player like me, being able to calculate a higher level is the only real way to see the strength of a player. While, for players who use knowledge to make their final decisions. Each piece of knowledge is valuable.

I understand that good knowledge based players do also understand the importance of the ranges. I think they even learn to make the proper calculations. Although, I think it takes much much longer to learn this knowledge based style and these players take a lot longer to adjust at the tables as they often resort to 'standard' plays which they have previously learnt.

Wasn't it Bruce lee who said that we don't need to learn a style. We must be like water. If water is placed in a jug it becomes the jug... This is how I see the difference in styles... I condition my mind, (like Bruce did his body), in order to be able to work out the best play real time. While knowledge based players spend all their time practicing specific moves or styles which they then reproduce at the tables.


Now, if you can accept that all I've written is true. Surely my calculation alone is worth lots of money?? It's a short route to being able to work out any play. I've never seen another calculation of its kind, but then, I have barely ever studied.
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Old 08-26-2014, 10:36 AM   #8
LongTimeNoSee
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Re: How rare is it to be a level 4+ player?

sorry to interrupt your speech, but the problem with your level X+ theory is that these levels are just circles in the end and therfor an illusion. Say you are on level 2 (thinking about your opponents cards) and your opponent is on level 4 (thinking about how you think about his thoughts about your cards) therfor he makes suboptimal decisions as these thoughts dont exist.

basically all holdem is about you want to put in the money first if you cant call and dont want to fold and surly you need to back this up with some valuehands.

there are no "levels"
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Old 08-26-2014, 10:51 AM   #9
Yadoula8
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Re: How rare is it to be a level 4+ player?

If the villain is playing at level 2, and you are playing with level 4 logic, you are making a mistake. You should only try to play one level higher than the villain.

If the villain is capable of playing at level 4 then he is usually capable of spotting a level 2 player. In which case you will find that you get destroyed by level 3 logic.

I have no idea what you meant by your explanation of poker. You didn't explain it clearly enough. Perhaps you should elaborate... Though I expect you should simply consider some of my posts in greater detail.
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Old 08-26-2014, 11:08 AM   #10
LongTimeNoSee
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Re: How rare is it to be a level 4+ player?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yadoula8 View Post
If the villain is playing at level 2, and you are playing with level 4 logic, you are making a mistake. You should only try to play one level higher than the villain.

If the villain is capable of playing at level 4 then he is usually capable of spotting a level 2 player. In which case you will find that you get destroyed by level 3 logic.

I have no idea what you meant by your explanation of poker. You didn't explain it clearly enough. Perhaps you should elaborate... Though I expect you should simply consider some of my posts in greater detail.
that means instead of playing one level higher than my opponent i could play 2 levels lower than him and have an edge as well? if that is true that means leveling is a pretty easy game. just think much less than your opponent and you shall win.
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Old 08-26-2014, 12:02 PM   #11
LongTimeNoSee
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Re: How rare is it to be a level 4+ player?

i read some of your post and i think you are a bit full of your level thing.

i think your thought process is flawed.

you dont get to level 5 or something after you sit down at the table, but you need to play at least 100 hands to have a chance to get some stats.

i would construct this level thing difrently.

1. level: being able to exploit an exploitable game
2. level: being able to exploit someone trying to exploit an exploitable game
etc...

so in praxis level 2 just comes into play if you observe that someone changes his gameplan. level 3 is it when you observe that people catch on you changed your game plan and change theirs.

that means its all about makeing observations fast and there is nothing like a level X thinker.
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Old 08-26-2014, 12:08 PM   #12
Yadoula8
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Re: How rare is it to be a level 4+ player?

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Originally Posted by LongTimeNoSee View Post
that means instead of playing one level higher than my opponent i could play 2 levels lower than him and have an edge as well? if that is true that means leveling is a pretty easy game. just think much less than your opponent and you shall win.

This makes no sense. If you were able to spot that he was playing at level 4, then decide to play a standard level 2 line, then you are actually playing at level 5..

It's not so much your advantage, it's just that he doesn't get his advantage.
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Old 08-26-2014, 12:17 PM   #13
Yadoula8
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Re: How rare is it to be a level 4+ player?

I didn't just make up this 'level thing' lol. Its been around a long time but it is often misunderstood by lower level players.

Through understanding the thought process involved in poker, I have become able to calculate any decision. This thought process progresses in levels. I have come to understand that process very clearly and so am passing on what I have learnt.
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Old 08-26-2014, 12:42 PM   #14
LongTimeNoSee
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Re: How rare is it to be a level 4+ player?

i already heard of this level thing befor yes, but i think you cant use it like that.

you win in poker if you find exploits in the game of your opponent, and you lose in poker if you dont (because of the rake), or if the exploit you try to use isnt working. it isnt working because a) your thought process is flawed or b) the exploit doesnt exist (anymore).

in praxis 2 players playing headsup exploit each other at the same time, but one exploit is stronger or the rake wins.

For instance one guy is barreling like a monkey and takeing one pot after the other, but cant fold and will lose a big pot more likely than he wins it. The winning player is which game has more ev.

Leveling is such a small part of poker, it isnt technically possible to vary your lines arbitrarly because haveing any hand at any time is just hugely -ev.

For instance if you are 3-bet oop and the board comes down 78QJA and you are faceing 3 barrels best hand you have on the river is AQ and very rarly a set and NEVER KT. so there is no mind game going on, you will simply have to c/f the river close to 100%.

leveling is just makeing your opponent exploitable by fakeing an exploit, which does not happen every hand but about 5% of hands. therfor you cant make poker to some sort of level game, it isnt, and if you play another pokervariant than holdem you will see that more clearly.

also sorting levels in numbers is nonsense really.it just doesnt work that way.
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Old 08-26-2014, 02:02 PM   #15
Yadoula8
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Re: How rare is it to be a level 4+ player?

This, for anybody interested, is a classic example of the mind rejecting the information. Longtimenosee will keep coming up with alternative arguments for this leveling to be irrelevant. Usually the mind will eventually turn to simple aggression.

I will explain the error in your logic this time but please don't be offended if I don't reply to you again, it's just that this can go on forever and I don't have the time.

What are these exploits based on? Profit, I suspect is what you will say. But where does that profit come from? In the end it all comes down to cards and the money in the pot... We don't know the villains cards so we create a range for him etc etc...

You are using past knowledge to make your decision, you simply learned how to play against people who barrel and don't fold. While I work out the plays as I go along by looking directly at the profit in relation to the cards... This makes you very formulaic with your plays, while I can adjust my plays to destroy you.

As for your examples, even as I consider it I translate it into ranges.
So, the villain is barreling and can't fold. He's taking a knowledge based approach and is paying no attention to our range, he is thinking of the game at level 1 currently, so we go to level 2 to destroy him. His range becomes weak when attacking, esp on later streets. So, we simply tighten up preflop against him, as most of our profit comes from pot equity. We can hold onto our weaker value for longer than usual too... Now what happens when he starts to notice we are tightening up. His logic is moving to level 2 as he starts considering which cards we are playing with. He will stop attacking so many boards which hit our range. So, we go to level 3. We mix in hands like T9 which hits boards that miss our range, he now folds to the A high boards and we win on the T high boards too... I didn't use any past knowledge about plays created by other people to work this out just now. I simply looked at the ranges, the money, and worked out the best play.

You say, he was exploitable, I say, he's attacking with a weak range... Yours makes very little sense in the end because you don't know where this knowledge has come from.

If I were you I would write one complete hand review in the thread called, yadis perfect thought process. Then I will assess it and explain to you the next level for you to work on. I suspect you are currently incapable of recognising or using level 3.
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Old 08-26-2014, 02:20 PM   #16
LongTimeNoSee
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Re: How rare is it to be a level 4+ player?

i rofled pretty hard when i began to read your post "he is rejecting arguments and will end up in pure aggression", but nvm buddy

lets discuss that on a real hand example:

http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/58...balls-1469747/

i was villian in this hand and had 35. i posted that hand because i noticed i barley had any bluffing range in this spot, so i wondered if i should start c/r a hand like TT here?

even if villian cant come up with any bluff he will propably call me down out of frustration as i have been so aggressive. dont count out the human factor.

just write your opinion in the thread.
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Old 08-26-2014, 03:08 PM   #17
LongTimeNoSee
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Re: How rare is it to be a level 4+ player?

edit: just posted the hand and my thought process in your "perfect thoughts process".

choose your battlefield mister
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Old 08-26-2014, 04:01 PM   #18
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Re: How rare is it to be a level 4+ player?

Level 4 is opponent thinking what u think he has? Any fish represents hands, though not that we can say its math, but i dont much think math at limit poker and plo as i remember it or i wont need it.

To me the levels are simply the level of opponents one plays with. There is the fish, u beat him with technique, then there is the lag of some type, u beat him with adjusted technique, and then there is the reg, nit or not, u beat him by adjusting, exploiting his weaknesses like his non balanced and less experienced play. The reg is not playing all correctly, there being too many technique and lack of experience mistakes to lift him higher than level two.

The third level opponent is the one playing correct technique, though not that there is only one technique but thats about it from most part. Being able to read the others technique is useful only if it isnt balanced enough, and there are spots where it might not be, and that opens the possibility for some profits and advanced plays.

Most of poker is experience, profiling players in situations, adjusting. The main difference vs. level two and level three here isnt the exploitive work one needs to do but in the fact that the level three player knows what ur doing, eliminating ur edge over him.
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Old 08-26-2014, 05:39 PM   #19
Yadoula8
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Re: How rare is it to be a level 4+ player?

Great post number guy!

A level 4 player would be aware that his opponent is aware of his own range.

You gave a very good explanation of how a good knowledge based player would think to play. I have never seen it explained so clearly.

-A knowledge based player will always be working on 'his game'. This is what he calls his accumulation of knowledge!
- A range game player will just look at the ranges and work out each move.
-When knowledge based players adjust, they adjust their 'game' to match the villain.
-When range game players adjust, they adjust the ranges/range-changes.

As I can see the complete range game I am able to see that the knowledge route could teach a player perfect poker. Only, all you would find at the end of the tunnel is Yadi laughing.
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Old 08-26-2014, 05:58 PM   #20
Rei Ayanami
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Re: How rare is it to be a level 4+ player?

LongTimeNoSee,

Good posts. I agree.
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Old 08-26-2014, 06:42 PM   #21
LongTimeNoSee
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Re: How rare is it to be a level 4+ player?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rei Ayanami View Post
LongTimeNoSee,

Good posts. I agree.
thanks for the flowers, so we say in germany.

as a funfact: i remember some pokerhands with Phil Laak against durrrr. in each one (about 5 hands) Laak is in a huge pot mostly deciding about calling or folding with some marginal hand and speaks about his 'leveling' thought process.

Everytime he ends up with the wrong decision.

You might even think people beginning such a leveling thought process show that they lost the connection to the game and leveling is some sort of tilt filling your head with nonsense instead of makeing a good decision.

If you look at it mathematically, the leveling idea would result in a very complex formula (he thinks that i think that he thinks... means a non linear model)and we just have shaky evidence to fill this formula with numbers. Perhaps the chaostheory is able to make something out of this mess.
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Old 08-26-2014, 10:17 PM   #22
Hercules Rockefell
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Re: How rare is it to be a level 4+ player?

Level 4+ is no big deal. This guy's operating on level 10 and up...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_eZmEiyTo0

Seriously though, I think there are diminishing returns every time you move up a level. Sooner or later you're just thinking yourself into circles.
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Old 08-26-2014, 11:02 PM   #23
Handsumm
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Re: How rare is it to be a level 4+ player?

When it comes down to it, you can play on levels, or you can just outwit your opponents and punish their flaws by knowing what they'll do. Or how to manipulate their actions to do what you want them to do.

If you are in a hand mutli-way, then it becomes a system of equations, either linear or nonlinear functions. There will be an optimal "level" or more like frequency or even probability function.
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Old 08-26-2014, 11:22 PM   #24
Yadoula8
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Re: How rare is it to be a level 4+ player?

It's not circles, it's spirals.. You sound like a level 3 player to me.
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Old 08-26-2014, 11:30 PM   #25
Yadoula8
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Re: How rare is it to be a level 4+ player?

Handsome, you actual explain the essence of levels 2 and 3 in your logic there. Your logic does leave out levels 4+ though.
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