Pauly summed up my thoughts on poker, accidentally I think, in his essay comparing poker and spanking it. Check it out.
"nothing beats playing live poker and nothing
is better than having sex with someone else"
Here's my feedback:
overall pretty well written. I think you contradict yourself in a few places though. The most obvious example of this is when you make the following claims:
"I fear that online poker will eventually become an information war, where the best-armed shark will win - and skill becomes a secondary factor."
"Suppose I share my online account with a friend. That's the ultimate and most simple way to throw off the online poker information warlords... The statistics are rendered moot."
Which is it? If there's a simple way to throw off the data-miners, then the game should not turn into a purely mathematical exercise and players will be forced to watch the individual hands and figure out who they are playing.
I also disagree with some of the points you are making, although your arguments for them are well written. Fundamentally, this statement:
"THOUGHT and REASONING are being removed from the game and being replaced with pure data, math and statistics. Finesse is being replaced with force: data force."
You seem to argue that as players get more information, the game becomes purely a mathematical exercise, and this is bad. I would argue though that poker IS FUNDAMENTALLY a mathematical exercise, and that this trend online, far from being some kind of not-real-poker degenerate case, is simply revealing poker for what it truly is. As you get better at poker, you see it more and more as a solvable problem, just like blackjack, one where a good player must study game theory rather than starting hands.
Further, I would argue that this more mathematical and studied game takes more skill to beat, not less. The next level of skills are of a different kind than you may be used to in low limit B&M play, and perhaps you don't find them fun. Then again, what would you say if one of the fish in your game said to you "you know, in MY home game, everybody plays everything. I don't like this trend toward TIGHT play where guys are folding A5 UTG and stuff. It makes the game more mechanical. In MY game, we play everything, and that gets in more interesting spots. The PS 10/20 is not true poker." You'd laugh him out of the room.
The more information you have, the closer the game becomes to poker at
If you saw the ESPN circuit event from lake tahoe, on the first hand they show jeff lisandro raise with TT and ivey call with 99. The flop comes 444, lisandro bets and is called. The turn is a 5, lisandro bets, ivey goes all-in, and lisandro folds.There is not one chance in a million lisandro held TT on that hand.1) When lisandro looks at his hand only one card is visible, the ten of spades. When calling the action norman chad actually says "I had trouble seeing those. Did you see those?" Then they make some lame joke about laser surgery. It's almost like they're winking at the audience about the fabrication.2) Lisandro was chip leader and had ivey covered by over 100K, and had already put a ton of money in the pot after the turn bet. Ivey didn't re-raise him preflop. Some guys might figure to have a bigger pair than TT given the action to that point but lisandro knows perfectly well that ivey is not that guy.3) On a later hand lisandro seriously considers OVERCALLING in an unraised 3-way pot with J7 on a JT4 board, in a spot where he would have gone broke if he lost. On the flop pham checked, ivey bet, lisandro called, pham check-raised all-in, and ivey called! They give him quite a lot of camera time to agonize over the fold. The idea that he would fold TT on a 4445 board heads-up with phil ivey when he's the chip leader but then consider an overcall with top pair no kicker in a 3-way pot where it's win or go broke is about as likely as that he commutes to work in a yugo but would refuse a gift ferrari because he doesn't like the body styling.The way it played AT is the most likely holding, but it could have been T-anything where X is neither 4 nor T.-KD
My take on WPT: I watched a few episodes but don't know when it's on and the
Travel Channel isn't part of my regular channel rotation. If I stopped watching,
so did most casual fans. Poker pros and amateurs are just an unappealing bunch.
And finally the WPT slice is diluted by ever other (identical in format) poker
show. Have you tried to wade through an episode of Boston vs NY Poker?Are
revenues up? Is viewership? Are they in good standing with the SEC?(I can give
you some hints) Rating: SELL (but I was a seller on the IPO, so who knows. I own