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Old 08-02-2017, 01:37 AM   #1
bdc
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My mental leak is annoyance of players with big stacks who are constantly making good hands

I wish I could hide the big stacks (post-it note on screen?). It's even worse when the big stack is on a "rush" getting great hand after great hand.

I know things even out in the long-term, but it still annoys me, especially if it's an arrogant, rather than humble, player.

In the worst case I will seek out a confrontation with such a player to 'put him in his place'. For example I was in 25th place in a 400 person $55 buy-in $50,000 PKO tournament (progressive knockout), and another big-stack player's cockiness was starting to annoy me. So I confronted him with a shove of middle-set on a dry flop. The board paired the high card on the turn, he got a better boat, and I was finished.

Had I played rationally and 'emotionaly detached', I probably would have won ~$1000-$5000.

I think I'll re-read "The Tao of Poker" by Phillips (not the Zen one) ..it's very practical and helps me a lot.
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Old 08-02-2017, 03:31 AM   #2
Elrazor
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Re: My mental leak is annoyance of players with big stacks who are constantly making good hands

Quote:
Originally Posted by bdc View Post
I know things even out in the long-term, but it still annoys me, especially if it's an arrogant, rather than humble, player.
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Old 08-02-2017, 03:55 AM   #3
Mason Malmuth
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Re: My mental leak is annoyance of players with big stacks who are constantly making good hands

Quote:
Originally Posted by bdc View Post
I wish I could hide the big stacks (post-it note on screen?). It's even worse when the big stack is on a "rush" getting great hand after great hand.

I know things even out in the long-term, but it still annoys me, especially if it's an arrogant, rather than humble, player.
Hi bdc:

This is one of the misconceptions as to how probability theory really works. Things do not even out in the long run. All you can say is that from this point in time on your expectation is to get the same number of good hands as anyone else. That's very different from evening out.

Quote:
In the worst case I will seek out a confrontation with such a player to 'put him in his place'. For example I was in 25th place in a 400 person $55 buy-in $50,000 PKO tournament (progressive knockout), and another big-stack player's cockiness was starting to annoy me. So I confronted him with a shove of middle-set on a dry flop. The board paired the high card on the turn, he got a better boat, and I was finished.
First, it seems to me that you got your opponent to put all his money in when he only had a few outs. That seems like a good play to me.

Second, your desire to target a particular player is rational play. This is one of the psychological errors that the poker mental coaches whom I'm so critical of often point out as they want to show that tilt comes in many forms and you need their help to fix it.

In poker, the best way to play is to try to maximize your expectation. But here you have made the rational decision to go after the person who annoys you as being more important than maximizing your expectation. I call this "pseudo tilt" which is very different from tilt. The following is from our book Poker and More: Unique Ideas and Concepts which I co-wrote with David Sklansky:

Quote:
From Poker and More: Unique Ideas and Concepts: Idea No. 2: A more general definition of “pseudo tilt.” In Real Poker Psychology, pseudo tilt is defined as, when losing in a session, playing in such a way so that the probability of finishing a winner is higher than it would be if you just played your standard game in the remaining time you have available. What this means is that by playing in a way that increases the already large short term luck factor (that’s present in poker) the probability of finishing a winner goes up, and this usually means playing additional hands than normal and sometimes playing them much more aggressively. However, when doing this, it’s almost always the case that you’re also lowering your long term expectation which means that if pseudo tilt is something that you do a lot, expect your long term results to be poor even though you also can expect more winning sessions. In addition, notice that this is not standard tilt since the player has made a rational decision, though one that’s incorrect from an expectation perspective, to play in this manner.

However, since writing the book, I began to realize that the definition of pseudo tilt should really be more general. So let’s redefine it here as pseudo tilt is when the player has decided that something else is more important than maximizing expectation (which is something that expert players try to do all the time.) Let me give two other examples.

The first is what is known as “money management,” and this is a topic that I’ve addressed before. Basically, money management is a set of contrived rules that helps you preserve a win once you have gotten ahead in a session. This can include things like a stop loss, playing tighter, and playing more passively. And yes, money management will assure that you’ll leave the table a winner more often. But it’ll also assure that your overall expectation is lower.

The second example is something that poker mental coach Jared Tendler calls “Revenge tilt.” And it’s exactly what you think it is. That is, it’s adjusting your play so that you can target a particular player who for some reason has become someone you want to get revenge against. However, while revenge tilt does exist, the ability to target an opponent is a rational decision, so it’s not standard tilt. However, it’s certainly pseudo tilt since the targeting of an opponent clearly should lower your expectation if it causes you to play a hand differently from the way you would normally play it.
Quote:
Had I played rationally and 'emotionaly detached', I probably would have won ~$1000-$5000.

I think I'll re-read "The Tao of Poker" by Phillips (not the Zen one) ..it's very practical and helps me a lot.
I haven't read this book so I don't want to comment on it. But are you sure it helps you or just makes you feel better?

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 08-02-2017, 05:16 AM   #4
bdc
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Re: My mental leak is annoyance of players with big stacks who are constantly making good hands

Thanks Mason.

Your reply was really great. Maybe I did play correctly in that specific hand, but sometimes my emotions get the better of me because I'm a very emotional 'hyper' person.

As for for "The Tao of Poker" book, no conclusions yet if it will help me.

Regards.
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Old 08-03-2017, 11:27 AM   #5
coon74
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Re: My mental leak is annoyance of players with big stacks who are constantly making good hands

Quote:
Originally Posted by bdc View Post
In the worst case I will seek out a confrontation with such a player to 'put him in his place'. For example I was in 25th place in a 400 person $55 buy-in $50,000 PKO tournament (progressive knockout), and another big-stack player's cockiness was starting to annoy me. So I confronted him with a shove of middle-set on a dry flop. The board paired the high card on the turn, he got a better boat, and I was finished.
You didn't tell how big the bounties were relatively to the players' expected shares of the regular prize pool; I assume that the bounties were rather insignificant, as they usually are in the late stage of a PKO.

But anyway, specifically in a PKO, it's correct for big stacks to be more loose-aggressive than they'd be in a conventional MTT with the same stack size distribution. That's because the KO rewards make it more valuable for big stacks to win all-in pots, and the minimum equity that they need for an all-in race to be +EV to them is lower than in a usual MTT. Hence the 'cocky' plays by your opponent were likely correct.

Also, the correct strategy with a short stack in a PKO is more tight-aggressive than in a usual MTT, as a response to big stacks' natural loose play, as if the big stacks were recreational (even if they're in fact winning regulars, the stack sizes and the bounties force them to play loose anyway). In particular, your shove with a set on a dry flop was correct (+EV), or at least, you had to shove on one of the streets - there was no need to control the pot vs the big stack as they'd be willing to call you with a wide, weak range (having pretty any connection with the flop) and would have lost part of the interest in the pot if they had lost the hope for getting your whole stack into the middle in that hand and having a shot at your bounty.

On the other hand, if you had a marginal hand like a middle pair, it would usually be +EV for you to check/fold because that would allow you to save your stack for a while and, in a future hand, put it in with a large equity vs a loose big stack. This 'wait for a better spot' heuristic is explained by the fact that rake is paid once per tournament entry and you need to make the most $EV out of your entry before you're out and have pay the rake for another entry / tourney; but don't take this heuristic to the extreme - it applies to spots with marginal (close to 0) EV only, and you still have to take every opportunity that is significantly +EV like that middle set spot even if you have to risk your entire stack for that.

For the above reasons, you definitely shouldn't hide the opponents' stack sizes. On the contrary, in a PKO and in the early stage of a super-KO, I prefer to have the opponents' precise stack sizes at the start of the hand displayed boldly by my HUD, because whether my initial stack is bigger (even by 1 chip) than theirs matters a lot for my strategy for the current hand.

Speaking of, the current issue of the 2+2 magazine has an article about KO tourney strategy by Andrew Brokos.

Last edited by coon74; 08-03-2017 at 11:51 AM.
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