6 Thoughts on Poker News I Ran Into This Week
University Interview with an everyday poker player
Pretty cool competition and I agree that it’s naïve to give too much attention to physical “tells.” While they undoubtedly exist, you really have to have an extraordinary talent to be able to pick them up fast, or have to play with someone for a long time. Even the most obvious of tells aren’t indicative of anything if you don’t know a person.
I mean, someone could be sitting across from you, smiling at you, and you have no idea if it is a taunting smile, nervous smile, or something else.
Patterns, on the other hand, can be picked up much quicker. Even if unconsciously, people will often use certain bet sizing when bluffing and different sizing when going for a value or when uncertain.
A good, observing poker player can pick up on this quickly, especially when playing amateurs or less experienced players.
When human poker players could still beat an AI
This was no surprise, Claudico wasn’t ready just yet.
And, although the ‘statistical tie’ claims seemed a bit ridiculous at the time, judging by the recent results of human players against Libratus, it’s possible scientists were telling the truth, and the computer was much closer to winning than it appeared at a first glance.
However, I’ve followed the match as much as I could, and Claudico had some faults that Polk and the rest of the crew really took advantage of. The computer wasn’t quick enough in adjusting, and that was its demise.
Libratus was much better in this aspect and that’s why it was able to win.
Even the four players that played him admitted they couldn’t find a leak they’d be able to take advantage of for any significant period.
Fascinating interview with PokerStars insider
PokerStars has had a tumultuous history, no doubt about that. I must say I don’t envy Hollreiser for his job.
I mean, whatever happens, it’s almost always something that a certain segment of players or investors isn’t going to like, and dealing with players can be a nightmare.
At the same time, PokerStars has made some dubious decisions and the backlash has often been justified in my opinion. So, it can’t be a lot of fun to be “that guy”.
People often identify the messenger with the message, and use arguments like “nobody forces him to do it.” And he’s probably just trying to do his job the best he can, even if he personally believes that a certain decision isn’t fair or whatever.
Not an easy job, but someone has to do it.
WSOP Champion Talks About His Supplement Sponsor
No doubt concentration and endurance help at the tables, but catching good cards help as well. Overall, though, mental stamina does play a critical role, especially during grueling, multi-day tournaments like WSOP Main Event.
The thing is, you can play almost perfect for hours and then you make one mistake and it was all for nothing.
I think many players underestimate the importance of mental preparation. If you aren’t mentally ready for the challenge ahead of you, you’re that much more likely to just give up your stack in a spot where you’d never do it if you felt rested and were playing your A game.
I think that when you are tired, there is the “whatever” moment that can easily creep up on you without you even realizing it, and then all your chips are gone. So, mental endurance is a must for anyone wanting to play long sessions, cash or tournaments.
Another Early Poker AI Attempt Fell Short
I’ve followed this challenge closely, and it was really interesting to see the computer struggle to find a good way to play against some of the best heads-up players out there.
However, the result was as expected – the machine couldn’t overcome humans at that point in time. But, it also provided the Claudico team with some very important information moving forward.
Another similar challenge has ended recently, and this time around, the AI ran human players into the ground. It was the same team of scientists more or less, and they used the information from the Claudcio match to improve their new poker playing computer. They made huge progress in less than two years.
Google “Libratus poker” if you haven’t seen that one, the results are rather surprising.
A poker book blast from the past
Back when this book was first written, it may have been useful to some, as the whole concept of internet poker was relatively new. Perhaps people really needed help with downloading and installing online poker software on their computers and getting started.
As for everything else, Online Poker by Doyle Brunson, without taking anything from him as a player, will not teach you a lot about the game strategy. It could help you if you are just starting out and have no idea about poker, but then there are better books out there.
In fact, you could read Brunson’s Super System, which contains many ideas and concepts still valid and useful today. As for Online Poker, probably only worth it if you are into collecting poker books.