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Analyze extremely tight decisions is a waste of time
Several decisions in poker are close to one another. In mathematical terms, you could say that several decisions in poker have the same value in the long term (EV). Moreover, several analyses focus on the study of decisions very closely one another to determine what decision is the most profitable in the long term. Here's a little secret: these analyses are a waste of time.
If a decision is tight, by definition, it doesn't matter much to know what game you adopt and why. Friends to me, Jerrod Ankenman and Andrew Prock, have introduced me to this logic and more I think, most I agree with it. Some authors have devoted pages and pages of analyses in certain difficult situations, but in my head, a difficult situation is also a tight decision and in this case, I don't really care to know which will give me a better EV. When a decision is tight, I think that what is to be considered is how I play this hand to know how it will affect the profits of my upcoming hands.
For example, as I have already mentioned in a previous article, if you have a tight decision between caller and you bedroom, you should obviously caller. You more information on how your opponents play and you will have the image of someone who does not sleep not all his hands. But the point here is that your decision to caller is not based on the EV of this specific hand (which is the same as you calliez or that you lie) but on your EV in general as a poker player. All the work requires the analysis of the different EV in a tight decision is not worthwhile. Someone recently told me about the term "rational ignorance" and that is what you need to use here. It is more beneficial here to stay ignorant of the best game to do, than to focus on considerations of metapoker.
Tight decisions are perfect to study poker in general. They allow players to study "how to play poker in general" and not "how to play this hand in particular". I'll give you a personal example to clarify this point.
There are 19 players in a tournament no limit hold'em to $ 5,000. It's the Trump Classic in the Taj; 18 players are paid. My friend, Chris Bell, an extremely talented professional poker player, is to my right with a respectable stack. At another table, there is a short stack that does everything it can to avoid finishing on the bubble. (As readers probably know, I don't care of the bubble as much as to win the tournament).
Everyone folds to Chris button, with 800$-1600$ blinds and antes of $ 200. Chris opens with a bet to $ 4,800. I had a stack of $ 64,000 and Chris had about double me. I get As4s on the small blind. Should I caller, sleep or reraiser? Some players here misfit, but this is not a choice that I really consider (perhaps we can discuss this in another article). It remains caller or reraiser. If I reraise here to something like $ 15,000, perhaps I can win the pot immediately, but if Chris raises me all-in, I'll be in a very bad position. I'll probably have to sleep, but it would be tight given the price of the pot and also because Chris is an aggressive player. If I call, I'll probably have a flop to play out of position against a great player. Each choice has a good and a bad side. In other words, the decision is tight. So, I decide to caller. I made this game because I know that a reraise puts me at an EV of 0 in the future (for example, if Chris puts me in all I will have no other option that to bed, after losing 25% of my stack without seeing the flop). I try to never put myself in situations where I am EV-. It is in this way I want to play poker. I am not convinced that a call has here a greater EV a reraise, but I will not continually expose me to the danger of losing my hands preflop. Meta-considerations beyond considerations about the game that has the highest EV, I think in my opinion.
The big blind folds and the flop falls 8-2-3 with two Spades - a great flop for my hand. But how should I play it? It is therefore here $ 12,000 in the pot and I have $ 59,000 before me. I have the kind of hand with which we want to go all-in, preferably if you are one who raise, with two cards to come. But I believe that it is better to check - raiser in all. But if Chris check behind me, this puts me in a bad situation if I miss the turn. I have to bet and going to bed later or check - raiser in all, but I have less equity if I call, given that there will remain only a future map.
Fearing that all players pass, I decided to take the lead by betting $ 9,000, hoping that Chris reminder me so that I can go all-in. Unfortunately, Chris took a good decision in was as caller my layout. He told me later that he had a pair of 10 and that he expected a safe turn before being aggressive. The turn brought a 10 offsuit, and I had reason to think that it was a bad situation for me. Check-folder, update-folder and check - raiser seemed all be rotten situations. But it was the only thing I could do, bet $ 27,000. Chris my plaça all-in and I had just the sides for caller (I know, I should have). I went to bed.
I am not sure that the direction taken in this hand was worse that check - raiser all-in on the flop in terms of EV, especially if we consider that to survive added me value by hand since I fell in scholarships. But I know I want to play a style of aggressive poker, and when decisions are tight, I'll opt for going all-in. Obviously, the flop could be check, check, but I realized that Chris could simply caller my putting on the flop and never raiser me or reraiser me so that I can go in all according to my plans.
This hand has left me with a bad taste in the mouth for some time and not just because I'm out on the bubble a little later. She gave me a bad taste because I eventually do exactly what I wanted to avoid when I flat-caller raise it of Chris to the preflop: I put myself in a situation of EV-zero (a situation of call or fold). In the future, my way of playing hold' no limit will include more all in and less updates previous a fold - especially when decisions will be tight.