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 07-20-2012, 09:27 PM #2 Pooh-Bah     Join Date: Sep 2009 Posts: 4,059 Re: COTW -- Bluffing good post, but just out of interest, where are you pulling these "theorems" from? i have never heard anyone mention these concepts before, let alone propagate them as being true.
07-20-2012, 10:40 PM   #3

Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 931
Re: COTW -- Bluffing

Quote:
 Originally Posted by bleffo19 good post, but just out of interest, where are you pulling these "theorems" from? i have never heard anyone mention these concepts before, let alone propagate them as being true.
Well most of them are just provable by math. But I'll do a quick breakdown in case people want to look at my assumptions. Fwiw, I'm unable to do back algebra, so most of this stuff is provable if you have the time.

Misconception 1:
It is provable by a nash equilibrium which states that a game theoretically equilibrium is when both players cannot gain anything by making any adjustment. So there is no theoretical reason for a player to make -EV play, since he could always make an adjustment which is higher EV. And John Nash won a nobel prize for his game theory writings and they made a movie of his life, A Beautiful Mind.

Misconception 2:
This can be proven in a similar manner to Misconception number 1. We know that you should only bluff if it's +EV from misconception number 1. If you can profitably bluff the very bottom of your range, then one of two things needs to be true. Either you should be able to bluff your entire range OR the Villain is doing something wrong. So let's for now assume that the Villain is doing something wrong, since it's a fine assumption to assume that you shouldn't be able to profitably bluff your entire range. In other words, the bottom of your BETTING RANGE should be 0 EV to bet, therefore any weaker hand then this one, by definition, will be negative.

I could show why having a polarized range is better than having a depolarized range with some long math, but it more or less comes down to the fact that a polarized range realizes its equity better. This is because the value hands are for value and the bluff hands are clearly bluffs. However, it's important to remember that you want to use the top of your non-check-calling range as your bluffs... (This last part might seem confusing, but I don't have any other better way of putting it... not to mention that a made hand should sometimes be in your bluffing range, and some unmade hands should be in your check-calling range... maybe I'll try and explain this later if someone is interested).

MISCONCEPTION #4:
This is also provable based on a nash equilibrium. A nash equilibrium tells us that we should always take the highest EV line with all hands at all points. So while it might be +EV to bluff the bottom of your range now, it's also very likely that it can be HIGHER EV to bluff later. This makes logical sense because when you check and the Villain checks back, his range on the turn will be weaker than his range on the flop. Therefore, the EV of your bluff against his turn range will be higher than the EV of your bluff against his flop range. Hope this makes sense. This is actually pretty advanced concept that is not often played correctly at the micros or small stakes. Almost all players who are able to make a +EV bluff will take it as soon as possible. This is why it's often a problem when someone checks behind as the pre flop raiser on a Kxx board because his range is almost always a weak made hand because he bluffs all his air.

MISCONCEPTION 3
This was proven in the mathematics of poker. Now if all our made hands had 100% equity and all our bluffs had 0% equity, it would be easy to find out game theoretically optimal frequencies for bluffing for a particular bet size. However, since our value hands will get drawn our sometimes and our bluffs will sometimes out draw the opponents bluff catchers, the math is a little more complicated and can't be completely solved. However, it is possible to come up with a close number if you can make some assumptions on the equity of our value and bluff hands (which Matthew Janda has shown in a video... and I could show here if people care). But the point to remember is that you're not supposed to be betting 100% of your range on the river to make the Villain indifferent to call on the flop. Therefore, there is no reason for you to be betting 100% of your range when the scare card comes in UNLESS it hits your range so much harder than your opponents that the highest EV line for all your hands is to bet.

Last edited by lunatic fringe; 07-20-2012 at 10:46 PM.

 07-21-2012, 04:53 PM #4 adept   Join Date: Apr 2012 Posts: 931 Re: COTW -- Bluffing bump for afternoon crowd
 07-22-2012, 05:54 AM #5 Carpal \'Tunnel     Join Date: Dec 2008 Posts: 9,612 Re: COTW -- Bluffing Very nice break-down sir.
07-22-2012, 01:59 PM   #6
grinder

Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: London town
Posts: 609
Re: COTW -- Bluffing

Great post. Also....

Quote:
 Originally Posted by lunatic fringe Misconception 1: It is provable by a nash equilibrium which states that a game theoretically equilibrium is when both players cannot gain anything by making any adjustment. So there is no theoretical reason for a player to make -EV play, since he could always make an adjustment which is higher EV. And John Nash won a nobel prize for his game theory writings and they made a movie of his life, A Beautiful Mind.
Only ever heard of the Nash Equilibrium after looking in to heads up Nash poker charts....but had no idea it was linked John Nash...love that movie.

07-23-2012, 03:06 AM   #7
Carpal \'Tunnel

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The Circus
Posts: 12,383
Re: COTW -- Bluffing

Quote:
 Originally Posted by bull699 Great post. Also.... Only ever heard of the Nash Equilibrium after looking in to heads up Nash poker charts....but had no idea it was linked John Nash...love that movie.
The "one brilliant idea" he's after in the film is the concept of a game-theoretical equilibrium.

 07-23-2012, 03:22 AM #8 Carpal \'Tunnel     Join Date: Apr 2008 Location: The Circus Posts: 12,383 Re: COTW -- Bluffing Many of these misconceptions stem from the fact that some theoretical analysis doesn't properly account for multi-street games with dynamic equities, i.e., draws. Other problems arise from mixing optimal play and exploitative play. Edit: Concept #2 is correct for river play. On earlier streets even Doyle Brunson advocated "bluffing with an out", i.e., semi-bluffing.
07-23-2012, 08:15 AM   #9
grinder

Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: London town
Posts: 609
Re: COTW -- Bluffing

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Cangurino The "one brilliant idea" he's after in the film is the concept of a game-theoretical equilibrium.
Didn't know that. It's been a while since I've seen the film (probably before i even started playing poker). I just remember loving Paul Bettany's character....

Spoiler:

Quote:
 Originally Posted by lunatic fringe In fact, your pre flop range is the only range where you should never theoretically have a polarized range... you should only ever raise the top of your range.
I don't really understand this. So are you saying that we shouldn't have a bluffing range pre at all? Not even in an exploitative sense. Or am i just reading it incorrectly?

07-23-2012, 08:44 AM   #10
Carpal \'Tunnel

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The Circus
Posts: 12,383
Re: COTW -- Bluffing

Quote:
 Originally Posted by bull699 I don't really understand this. So are you saying that we shouldn't have a bluffing range pre at all? Not even in an exploitative sense. Or am i just reading it incorrectly?
The way I understand it, if you decide not to open-limp, it doesn't make sense to fold the middle of your range and raise (bluff) the bottom of your range; it would always be better to fold the bottom part and raise the middle part. Hence, polarisation comes into play if you have a passive option (checking or calling) for your middling hands. Of course if limping or cold-calling is an option then our raising/3-betting range will be polarised. Again this is muddled by the fact that the equity isn't static, so we're talking semi-bluffs here.

07-23-2012, 08:54 AM   #11
Carpal \'Tunnel

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The Circus
Posts: 12,383
Re: COTW -- Bluffing

Quote:
 Originally Posted by lunatic fringe MISCONCEPTION CLAIM: You don't care if you get raised
I always understood this as: When I get raised I'm not put in a tough spot since I have an easy fold. So I'd rather raise a c-bet with a gutshot or middle pair than with a non-nut flush draw as I can easily fold to a 3-bet.

07-23-2012, 09:30 AM   #12
grinder

Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: London town
Posts: 609
Re: COTW -- Bluffing

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Cangurino The way I understand it, if you decide not to open-limp, it doesn't make sense to fold the middle of your range and raise (bluff) the bottom of your range; it would always be better to fold the bottom part and raise the middle part. Hence, polarisation comes into play if you have a passive option (checking or calling) for your middling hands. Of course if limping or cold-calling is an option then our raising/3-betting range will be polarised. Again this is muddled by the fact that the equity isn't static, so we're talking semi-bluffs here.
Ahhh, that makes a lot of sense. When he said 'pre flop range' i was thinking more of a 3betting range and getting confused.

07-23-2012, 02:08 PM   #13
journeyman

Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 314
Re: COTW -- Bluffing

Quote:
 Originally Posted by lunatic fringe I could show why having a polarized range is better than having a depolarized range with some long math, but it more or less comes down to the fact that a polarized range realizes its equity better. This is because the value hands are for value and the bluff hands are clearly bluffs. However, it's important to remember that you want to use the top of your non-check-calling range as your bluffs... (This last part might seem confusing, but I don't have any other better way of putting it... not to mention that a made hand should sometimes be in your bluffing range, and some unmade hands should be in your check-calling range... maybe I'll try and explain this later if someone is interested).

I for one am definitely interested. Nice thread. I've revisited the Rainbow Bright "Roshambo" thread over and over the past few months and have been patiently waiting for the sequel. Love to read (and attempt to absorb) your stuff.

07-27-2012, 07:30 PM   #14
centurion

Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 137
Re: COTW -- Bluffing

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Cangurino The way I understand it, if you decide not to open-limp, it doesn't make sense to fold the middle of your range and raise (bluff) the bottom of your range; it would always be better to fold the bottom part and raise the middle part. Hence, polarisation comes into play if you have a passive option (checking or calling) for your middling hands. Of course if limping or cold-calling is an option then our raising/3-betting range will be polarised. Again this is muddled by the fact that the equity isn't static, so we're talking semi-bluffs here.
I have been looking for an excuse to open pre with every pair. Is this it?

 07-27-2012, 08:16 PM #15 grinder   Join Date: Jun 2010 Location: Vancouver Posts: 474 Re: COTW -- Bluffing Bluff if you think they're gonna with X% frequency of the range of hands on that street. X%= 42% if you bet 2/3. 33% if you bet 1/2. 50% if you pot it. I think having a balanced bluffing range is going to cause greater harm than good at micros. It's almost impossible to determine villain's range well enough. Whole idea of having a balanced is to disguise actual hand strength. In theory balanced poker= break-even poker= unexploited poker= losing to rake poker. The pros of disguising hand strength by polarizing hand strength by position, is heavily outweighed by the cons of having to play a weak range OOP.

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