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Old Dec 13, 2006, 12:20pm   #1
1idjack
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Default Prob/stat and game theory.

I was thinking of things i can read or exercises to do that would help me make better decisions at the table or help me be a better player. i never took prob/stat in high school but i see now that it can be a tool to use at the table. in your opinion, would picking up a few books of the subject, or that of game theory help or be a waste of time?
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 3:07pm   #2
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Depends on your goals. Even with an excellent background in statistics it is not practical to do complex calculations at the tables - these are instead done offline to analyze later what the correct decision was and then to try and internalize this situation so that you make a better decision next time. IMO, this offline analysis is the most valuable contribution of this forum. It is not necessary to be able to crunch through every calculation yourself since many of the posters here enjoy crunching these problems - plus tools such as the hand simulator make it easy to answer many questions with almost no knowledge of statistics.

So, if you are just looking to improve your play - I would suggest reading just enough theory so that you can internalize why certain statistical calculations turn out the way they do - this level of statistical analysis is included in most good poker books. Being able to count outs and turn this into a percentage is about deep enough understanding IMO to get the take away message from most of the more in depth analysis (even if you can't replicate it).
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 6:20pm   #3
KS_Perfection
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I think if your going to buy books to help you with poker theory it is better to get a poker book that address that issue (like theory of poker) than to get a non-poker book that just talks about it in general.
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 7:29pm   #4
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I want to support KS in what he said. I studied game theory very extensively (and still do, work related). However, I'd advise against studying general texts on game theory. I love GT, but I just have a feeling that human imperfections might limit its use in practical poker games against human opponents.

Maybe poker specific GT books are worth the time it takes to read, though. Would be interested myself.
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 7:51pm   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1idjack View Post
I was thinking of things i can read or exercises to do that would help me make better decisions at the table or help me be a better player. i never took prob/stat in high school but i see now that it can be a tool to use at the table. in your opinion, would picking up a few books of the subject, or that of game theory help or be a waste of time?
Read you opponents. Game theory is all fine and dandy but the $ is made by observing the play of your opponents and trading small mistakes for their stack.
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 8:29pm   #6
1idjack
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point taken guys. thanks.
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