Why won’t they fix poker tournaments?
At least the World Series of Poker–the pinnacle poker showcase–has a few shootout and heads-up events that are logically structured. But the great majority of public poker events are silly. Stupid, in fact.
They don’t test poker skills and they prove nothing. Today’s self-interview explores that undeniable truth.
Question 1: Okay, so we get it–you don’t like poker tournaments. You seldom play in them. You’re annoyed because your results keep getting compared to people who do play. We’ve heard all that from you before. But is it fair to belittle poker tournaments, just because you personally don’t like them?
In this self-interview, I’ll visit a highly profitable poker concept that we discussed years ago. We’ll examine it in a new light.So far in this recent series of columns, which looks back on powerful tactics and tips previously presented and adds new insight, we’ve used up the words “modern,” “review,” and “reviewed.” Today, we’ll simply “visit” advice I presented eight years ago.
Don’t worry; this series will end way before I run out of title words. Let’s get started...
Question 1: In poker, your decisions are different, depending on whether you act first or your opponent does. But what if there are three players? And what if you act in the middle?
by Mike Caro The MAD GENIUS of Poker
Never let a good suffix go to waste. This is the third consecutive column in which we revisit concepts I presented years ago, examining them in new ways.
Previously, the accompanying key words were Modern and Review. Today, it’s Reviewing. As you can see, I’ve simply added “ing.” Suffix magic.
So let’s get started. Today’s review continues my series of self-interviews.
Question 1: What hold ’em hands can you play profitably from early positions?
by Mike Caro "The MAD GENIUS" of Poker
Let’s continue our review of tips and concepts presented in my first 199 columns. As we walk this poker path, we’ll reflect what we’ve learned, expand some advice, and add new insights. We began last time (column 200 in the modern Poker Player Newspaper era) with the word “Modern.”
Now we continue the review (today’s word) in this series of self-interviews...
This is my 200th column in this modern Poker Player Newspaper series.
I say “modern,” because I was editor-in-chief of the same-named publication founded by Stanley Sludikoff—also the current publisher and founder— during the 1980s. I wrote many early columns for that pioneering newspaper, before this series began. In fact, the newspaper you’re holding is a revival of the original Poker Player that helped put poker on the map.
Enough history. In today’s self-interview, the interviewer has decided to ask for clarifications about poker tips that I’ve provided in my previous 199 columns. And I’m fine with that.
Question 1: In your first modern column, today’s word was “Idiots.” And you called people idiots who devalued psychology in poker. Could you elaborate?
In poker, bluffing can be glamorous. It can build bankrolls. Or it can be a costly mistake. Today’s word just happens to be “bluff,” and here’s my self interview about it.
Question 1: Do you need to bluff in order to beat poker games?
We’re focusing on the word “predict.”
Fine. But I’m not going to speculate about stuff. In fact, there will be no predictions whatsoever. Instead, this is a column about succeeding at playing poker, at practicing medicine, at influencing people, at running a business, at being the best possible you.
It’s about victory in just about everything. And it all filters down to throwing away your crystal ball and learning how to really predict. Let’s jump into today’s self-interview and you’ll see what I mean.
Question 1: If you aren’t going to predict anything, what’s the point of today’s word?
by Mike 'The Mad Genius of Poker' Caro
“I wouldn’t have played ace-seven if it hadn’t been suited,” Bill explained to me. He had just raked in a huge pot with the nut flush. “I see,” said I. But I really didn’t see, not at all. He had jumped into my hold’em pot, calling a huge raise before the flop. Measured in the long term, his ace-seven was unprofitable, whether the cards shared the same suit or not. For readers who don’t understand the terminology, when two-card starting hold’em hands contain different suits, we typically refer to them as “unsuited” or having “mixed suits.” When the suits match, we call them “suited.” The concept of suited starting cards in hold’em is misunderstood. So we’ll investigate it in today’s self-interview.
Question 1: Isn’t being suited in hold’em a big advantage?
It can be when you need a flush to win. But the mathematics of being suited isn’t what most players think.
by Mike Caro - The Mad Genius of Poker
We hear it in sports frequently—an announcer telling us which team has the momentum. Momentum can apply in poker, too. But does the concept really make sense? Let’s use today’s self-interview to investigate.
Question 1: Is momentum as important in poker as it is in sports? Wait! Stop assuming things with your questions. Sometimes momentum isn’t even important in sports.
Often it’s an illusion. A sequence of coin flips can seem to show momentum. But there is no momentum whatsoever. There’s only the observation that, recently, either heads or tails landed at a pace considerably greater than the expected 50 percent. You can call that momentum, so go ahead. But actually it isn’t. That’s simply because the previous series of outcomes has no bearing whatsoever on whether the next coin flip will be heads or tails. Assuming a perfectly balanced coin and a fair toss, it’s exactly 50 percent likely that the next toss will bring tails. Same for heads.