Monday, April 09, 2007

Super System

There's a thread on rgp about slow-playing quads where somebody is quoting Doyle Brunson.

> If you read what Mr. Brunson has to say about slowplaying flopped
> quads in Super System 2, (see page 574, 4th paragraph), it would seem
> that you are reducing your EV (to virtually zero) by betting out on
> the flop. That is Doyle's whole point: Despite the fact that you have
> flopped such a powerful hand, it is not a very profitable hand due to
> the fact that the deck is crippled. Mr. Brunson states (probably
> correctly) that the only way you can reasonably hope to make any money
> on flopped quads is to check both the flop (and turn) and only bet a
> small amount on the end.

(The no-limit section written by Brunson in the Second Edition is the same as that in the Original Edition)

He's close to right about maximizing his chances to win something. But that's not the most profitable, it's not the same as maximizing EV.

He's close to right about maximizing his chances to win something. But that's not the most profitable, it's not the same as maximizing EV.

There's a trade off between getting small wins frequently and getting big wins infrequently. Which one you should pursue right now depends on the relative likelihoods of players having various hands.

If the flop is AAA and there's a good chance (based on pre-flop action) that someone has a big pair then maybe you should represent a pocket pair yourself on the flop. If not, then maybe not.

For some reason players are more likely to chase over-cards even if the board is 777. Pairing a 6 won't really help them any more than pairing an 8 but psychologically they're more likely to chase with an 89 than with a 56. So with small quads you should almost always bet the flop.

Doyle makes a lot of mistakes in that book, it has a good reputation because it was hyped in newspaper sports page advertising country wide, he did a really good job of promoting the book and there just weren't that many poker books with original thought in them, and he had competing thoughts from various original thinkers.

Guys like Caro, Sklansky, Baldwin, Reese, Hawthorne, and Brunson all thought about the games in different ways. That's what makes the book so rich, not that it covers different games, but it covers different ways of thinking. The richness of Brunson's ideas were that he was the first to advocate semi-bluffing in a major way.

He didn't call it that, I think he probably called it bluffing with outs, and it wasn't a new idea. But he was the first to advocate actually building a playing strategy around it. It was a powerful thought.

His details about things like psychic powers and slow-playing quads are wrong.

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