The Power Of Suggestion: The Luckiest Tourist In Vegas

September 9, 2008

One of the advantages I have when playing in Vegas is that almost nobody knows who I am.  I don’t play there enough to be a “regular” and I don’t volunteer my name at the table so it’s unlikely anyone would connect me with CardSharp.

At first look, this might actually seem to be a disadvantage.  While my opponents generally know little to nothing about me, the reverse is also true.  I know little to nothing about them.  If we assume I’m a better player than the majority of my opponents, then it stands to reason that I would make more effective use of information about how they play than they would of information about how I play.  So the mutual lack of information would in theory puts me at a disadvantage.  I believe that effect is real, and does hurt me slightly.

However, there’s a more dramatic effect at work that I believe gives me a huge edge.  There is a basic principle of psychology that it’s easier to deceive people on a subject they’re trying to gather information than it is to deceive them on a subject they’ve already made up their minds about. Read the rest of this entry »

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I’m Back, Some Updates, And Thoughts On The Poker Economy

Poker Economy
September 8, 2008

OK, it’s been WAY too long since I’ve posted.  Sometimes I just go through periods where poker doesn’t interest me much.  That said, I’ve got a burst of motivation so I’m going to get some new content up here.  Here’s what’s on the agenda for the next few weeks:

  • A bunch of “CardSharp Mailbag” features based on all the mail I got and didn’t answer the last few months
  • Some more postflop material for NL holdem
  • Beginner strategy articles for limit holdem and Omaha 8
  • A review of Cogert’s Play Razz Poker To Win – he was nice enough to send me a copy, so I should get my ass in gear and review it.

All that aside, I want to comment on the poker economy a bit.  It’s pretty clearly going through a bit of a downturn at this point, at least in terms of cash game availability (I haven’t been watching the tournament circuit too closely).  There’s probably a lot of reasons for this – the NL holdem fad is beginning to wear off, for starters.  The slower economy also means there’s not as much loose cash being dropped by the tourists.  Therefore we can expect the standards of play to rise somewhat at the midstakes and higher as the ratio of pros to fish changes for the worse.  Over time things will even back out as some of the pros quit or move down, but for now, things are IMO a bit ugly out there.  One thing worth noting is that as the NL holdem boom cools off, it’s good to know other games.  These games have the virtue that there was no boom, so there isn’t as much shrinkage when the boom ends.  Also, the average quality of play tends to be worse at the midstakes.

To help CardSharp’s readers cope with this, I’m going to add more content that isn’t NL holdem.  For now I’m going to start with limit holdem and Omaha 8, but PLO is a likely addition in the near future. Hopefully everyone enjoys the new articles.

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