Good poker player = good trader?

Discussion in 'Trading' started by a529612, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. I know nothing about poker. Why do most top traders have a solid history in poker playing? Does the game keep your mind sharp or it has more to do with good money management to keep you in the game?
  2. There are a lot of threads about poker and trading on this site. Search and you'll find lots of info.
  3. bvam1


    It's all about probability.
  4. im really bad at poker but a trader trader. I dont know what that means but I dont think one has to do with another.
  5. For me, the only similarities have been related to the idea of not getting "shaken out" of good hands/trades.

    A big stack often dominates because he simply shakes players out of thier cards. Similar concepts apply in trading though they manifest themselves differently.

    A solid big stack player should always be playing at a table where the buy-in is nothing to him, but substantial to everyone else. He pushes them around, shakes them out of good hands, discourages chasing and hopefully nobody gets the balls to call him.

    All of that applies to trading except for the latter concept.
  6. Just do it!
  7. I worked in security and control department for a mayor online poker site. One of my dutties was to run over suspicious hands, where we thought fraud might have occured {I able to watch all player´s cards, but only 24 hours after the game, not on real time:mad: }
    Well the point is, that I needed to know a lot about the poker player psicology in order to tell fraud rings from idiots...

    Any way... I have a document that we distributed in the department to get to know the player´s psichology...
    It´ll let you guys compare between traders/poker players... and it could really give you a nice edge while playing cards with your friends on a saturday night.
  8. Basic Texas Hold'em Strategy

    There is a strategy that can beat any holdem poker game. Not all strategies will work interchangeably. Because you are just learning, the assumption is that you will be starting out at low limit texas hold'em poker games. This article is to help you form a strategy that will beat that game. As you move up in limits and find tougher opposition, your hold'em strategy will also have to evolve.

    Beating low limit texas holdem isn't easy. In many ways forming a strategy that consistently wins at middle limit is easier. To begin with, there are many books about texas holdem but most are aimed at the upper limits. Using the same strategy at lower limits often will result in a loss, not a win. Next when you are learning holdem at the low limits, there are rarely any good players to learn from so you get a warped view of how the game should be played correctly. If a player was really good and capable of winning, they would have progressed up the limit ladder to bigger games. You may run into a good player now and then but it is rare compared to the vast amount of poor uninformed players feeding the poker community. Lastly, when you are first starting out, you have no knowledge or bankroll to build upon. Your foundation is little or nothing since there isn't much out there to read or learn. Now with that all said, it is possible to beat low limit holdem and by no means should you think that you need to start higher. The learning curve may be sharp but once you get over the hump you'll find that moving up the ranks is easier then first starting out. You should find comfort in the fact that all the other players are facing the same challenges you are. Taking the step to learn strategy as opposed to just haphazardly playing gives you a major advantage. A study was performed on college students and their post graduate goals. Of those that actually set goals, more then 90% achieved them. Right now because you are reading this you are on your way to becoming a winning player. And as soon as you do win a few times and leave with other peoples money, I'm sure you'll be hooked!

    Why do some players win and others lose when everyone gets the same amount of cards? Luck plays a very small role when you start thinking about how many hands a player plays in the course of a year. And remember that each player has the same chance of getting lucky too, so even that isn't biased. Poker is almost exactly like investing in business. The best investor is a person who takes calculated risks and puts their money into ventures that they think have a good chance of succeeding. Have you ever seen a successful investor that put his money into every stock and continued to do so despite the fact that it has lost all chance of improving? That seems crazy right? But if you play cards you'll see people doing that every day in every hand. They will start out with a hand that would take a miracle to win. Then after seeing the flop with little or no help, they invest more into it either ignoring or oblivious to the fact that another player has a better hand. This continues until the showdown where the majority of the time a smarter player/investor gladly takes their money. Notice that I used the word "majority". What's great about poker is that occasionally their miracle happens and they win a pot in spite of their bad investing, in spite of the odds, and in spite of their lack of skill. The reason this is so great is because once they win a little here and there playing badly, they won't stop. In psychology the strongest type of conditioning is random reinforcement. The bad player getting lucky sometimes makes him a liner of the skilled players wallets for life. So as you have guessed, you can't be a winning player if you play every hand. A much more selective strategy is necessary. You need to "tighten" up, meaning playing fewer but better hands then your opponents. You need to take calculated risks and put your money behind them. Another analogy is a sniper. You wait for your cards, your mark, and when it makes itself visible you fire, kill, and take the pot. A bad players approach is like a soldier using a machine gun firing away into the distance. Sure something may hit but this isn't the movies, eventually you'll run out of ammo (chips) so you better take your shots more wisely.
  9. So what hands should you play? Is it just a matter of playing the right hands and avoiding others and a win is guaranteed? If it was only that easy! *smile* Poker strategy is purely situational. Always and never do not exist. The best player is the one that can adapt to different games, different players and even different hands. Because of this it is hard, if not impossible, to give exact rules that can be followed to win. That's the downside. The upside is that because it is so dynamic, the majority of people you will be playing against in your starting phases won't know what to do and will be playing completely wrong.

    This article is going to approach winning at low limit hold'em with a number of angles. The first of which is to break poker hands down into a few main categories so you can get a conceptual perspective. The second angle will be to give some specific scenarios to solidify what the categories. The third will be a list of hands. The next angle will be to talk about different games and how tight or loose to play in them so you know how to adapt your style to each game. We will finish up by talking about different types of players, how they play, how you should play against them and how you can learn from them.

    The low limit hold'em hand categories are: Big Pairs, Draws, and Milking Hands. Every hand you play can fall into one of these categories and this will decide how you'll play it after that flop.

    Big Pairs: A big pair is how you guessed it, top pair or an over pair. For example a big pair would be when you have AK, and the flop is AQ6. Notice that you have top pair. Another example would be having QQ and the flop is T63. When other people with lessor hands are trying to beat you, you are in a way defending your position. You want to make it as costly as possible to try to draw out on you. If you have the best hand now, everyone is drawing against you. Some people may have legitimate draws, others may be long shots but either way, you have the winner now and want to keep it that way. "Big Pair" hands work best when there are few people against you. The more people in against you, the weaker they become because you have more people drawing and there will be less safe cards that won't help them improve. So when you have this type of hand, you want to play in such a way that will reduce the competition. For example if you have AA or KK preflop, the reason that you raise in a low limit game is to lower the amount of people in.

    Key Point: Big Pair hands don't like lots of opponents. They win most when there are few players against them.

    Draws: A drawing hand is a that still needs cards to improve to the winner. Some legitimate draws you will run into are: open ended straights, flush draws, small pairs, etc. An open ended straight is a hand where either end can hit and you will complete your straight. An example of this would be having KJ and the flop is QT4. Notice that if you hit either a 9 or an A, you will have the straight. An example of a flush draw would be having 9Tclubs and the flop is AcQc4d. Notice that it only takes one more club to make the flush for you. The last draw mentioned was a small pair. These are really draw hands because they need to hit to win usually. For example having 55 and the flop being A53. You would have hit your draw. You'll want to read the section on things to stay away from if you are tempted to go for gutshot straights, backdoor flushes, and catching your pocket pair after the flop.

    Key Point: Draws favor lots of opponents since they hit infrequently. Because of this, to make them profitable, lots of players need to be in the hand (or lots of money).

    Milking Hands: You would like to see these hands as often as possible but they are rarer then having top pair. A milking hand is any hand that you have the nuts, two pair or better. The "nuts" is the best possible hand. For example, let's say that you have Ad5d and the flop is Qd9d2d. You now have the best possible hand and for someone to beat you, they would have to pair the board or get very lucky. Your goal now is to extract the most money from them you can. Often this will be best accomplished by not giving away your hand too early and reducing the number of opponents. Instead you can "slow play", meaning not raising until later betting rounds where the bet size doubles. Another example would be if you have 88 and the flop is A84. Notice that there is no immediate danger in letting people draw cheaply against you so you can just call. Then on later rounds a raise or check raise is used to get as much from them as you can. You'll find that hitting sets like the 8s above makes a lot of money since the hand is so well disguised. The flush, straights, fullhouses, etc will still win but the set is the hardest to read if you are on the other end.

    Key Point: You want to make the most money on these hands that you can. The specific hand will dictate how you will want to play it.

    Now let's go over some specific hands and how you would play them this way and why:

    You pick up American Airlines/Pocket Rockets/Pocket Aces: AdAc You are in middle position with a couple callers in front of you. You raise. The reason you raise is because this falls into the Big Pair category and it doesn't do well against lots of opponents. If someone raised before you preflop, reraise them. There is nothing to fear yet.

    One more person calls in back of you and the other players call making it four of you. The flop comes back: QdJd4h

    The first person bets, on person calls and it is now your turn. The best move here is to raise and try to continue to limit the compeition. They could have anything at this point and reading hands is very hard at low limit. Most likely they either have a Q or a draw (straight or flush). If they do have a draw you want to make them pay as much as possible for it. You raise, the person in back of you folds and the other two people just call.

    The turn is: 5h making it QdJd4h5h

    They check to you, you bet again and they call.

    The river is a 6h making it QdJd4h5h6h

    They check to you, you bet and they both call, you win.

    Using this example, there are other legitimate hands that could have been in there with you. For example if someone had KT they would have an open ended straight draw. If a 9 or an A came, you could be in trouble. Another good hand here would be having two diamonds like Kd9d. Notice that if another diamond came you would also be in trouble. If you had either of those hands, you would be drawing and trying to improve. You wouldn't want to pay too much money to see the next cards and you would hope everyone would stay in the hand.
    #10     Jun 10, 2006