Response to Comment on Rush Poker Part II: Stalling, Quickfolds and Math Whizzes...


To review I was opining on whether or not stalling is an angle shoot in live poker and or online poker (especially rush poker). Not that many of us really care because unless you get out of hand it is maybe dancing in a gray area or a tiny violation/infraction of poker ethics. Nothing that is really going to distract us all that much when it comes to decision making in Texas Hold'em or our next tournament of Pot Limit Omaha.

In live poker, by definition it kind of is because you are exploiting the rules of the game and maybe even worse exploiting people's politeness in letting you make a decision to affect the game outside the constraints of normal gameplay.
You could make the same argument, to a degree in online poker, but there is a set time that everyone is given to make a decision. Using it for anything you want (whether playing 10 tables at once and barely executing your play at time) or for extra thought or a bathroom break is at your discretion.

But in live poker, yes, even if you min-stall to force the guy to your left into a higher blind the next level is kind an angle-shoot. Admittedly, it's a minor one, maybe the most minor of all, and an impossible one to get caught doing, but at some level you are doing something outside of standard gameplay to impact the game.

As for the Quickfold strategy you mention, I think at times it's important and useful. I know if I'm short in a rush rebuy tournament when the rebuy level is about to come to a close and I'm going to rebuy or add on anyway, I'm going to bang that quick-fold button to look for a hand to play for a double-up. Others are in the same spot so shoving can garner a call or two. Even better you can speed through a lot of hands with the hope of finding one to go with and getting some action on it.

I wonder what the math genuises are doing in terms of figuring out the optimal situations to stall or quickfold in Rush. Surely, they've already figured out edges. You read about some of these young millionaires and the level of analysis they use to make decisions is off the charts. Talking about charts, I read about one, I forget who, that papered his "office" with charts about decisions based on stack-sizes and situations with hand-ranges about optimal plays.

That kind of studying is staggering. Just think about playing that kid who merely looks around his room to find a close approximation for the decision he is faced with, to either call or fold. What you actually have is irrelevant, that guy factors in what you could have, you likelhood of bluffing, your stack size, his hand and everything else into a flowchart and fires out a response in the form of call, fold or raise.

Can you imagine Doyle Brunson, Archie Karas, or Stu Unger walking into that kid's room. Even Phil Ivey would probably be aghast at the analysis done. Still, those feel players just kind of instrinsically know this stuff, but they'd have to be impressed with the methods a self-taught math whiz, can figure out the same things. Those guys could say goodbye to "edges" until they adjusted and they'd likely adjust quicker than the math guys with their Hold'em Manager programs.

To be continued... will I finally answer the question about poker coaches?

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