pirana, on Sunday, September 11th, 2005, 10:44 PM, said:
Please explain how Hansen's approach is mathematically optimal. I thought Sklansky utilizes mathematical and game theory, while Hansen puts more value in aggression. Don't you have a higher expected value in waiting for good hole cards instead of raising on such low cards?
A few people have answered this question with: "Well, if you take his great reading abilities and add it with his ability to calculate outs, then of course his strategy is mathematically-based!"I'm sorry to burst the big bubble here, but those are fundamentals
that EVERY poker player employs. I think the mindset of Gus' strategy can best be illustrated through some of these specific examples.First, Gus' own words, taken off of an instructional DVD he did (sorry, I don't remember which DVD it was ... and it's paraphrased - I don't remember the exact quote
):"If I lead out at 10 pots in a row, and let's say 6 of the 10 times I was bluffing, and 4 out of the 10 I had a strong hand, it's difficult for my opponents to tell which times I actually had a hand or not. It leaves my opponents guessing."
Gus has also been known to regularly say: "My aggressive style tends to minimize the advantages of position that an opponent can have on me."
You also hear players like Phil Hellmuth make regular (playful) barbs at Gus, usually along the lines of, "Well, crazy players like Gus LIKE to play out-of-position so that they can be the first ones to bet at the pot, but not me."
Also read Gus' excellent 'Tips From the Pros' article at FullTiltPoker.com about betting out-of-position on the flop against a pre-flop raiser:http://www.fulltiltp...h...nsen&tip=87
Now that you've seen some of these specific examples into Gus' thinking and reasoning behind the way he plays, does it kind of start to make sense?Addressing the original question (quoted at the beginning of this post) more directly: Gus' aggressive betting patterns almost make the value of high or low cards irrelevant because you can never really tell what he has. It becomes much less about the cards and more about controlling your opponents. By doing this at your typical 9/10-player tournament table, Gus picks up lots of dead money, keeps all the other players on their heels, and wins really big pots when he gets big hands.Someone else earlier in the thread also mentioned implied odds. Since Gus plays so many big drawing hands, he has HUGE implied odds on pots because of other players' willingness to call him. This allows him to draw at many more hands, and thus, hit more often and win HUGE pots.Gus may seem really reckless and out-of-control at the table, but if you look at the examples above where he explains his thinking in those specific situations, you can see that there is a lot of smart, logical reasoning that goes behind those plays. I think this is what Daniel meant about "mathematically optimal." Poker is a game of incomplete information, so robbing your opponents of that precious information while taking in more
information yourself (by forcing your opponents to react when you take the initiative) sounds pretty mathematically optimal to me, even from a game theory point-of-view.Now someone warn me if I've gone way over my head here (because I am a novice player), but this is my basic understanding of the reasoning that goes behind Gus' game. Actually, if I'm not mistaken, all this is pretty much the basic framework for your "average" super-aggressive play. Harrington even goes through it in his book, and basically lists the same points I've touched on here. Gus has pretty much taken winning, aggressive poker strategy, and amped it up and exploited out every advantage to its fullest.Again, anyone feel free to comment or correct me on my points because I am a newer player and I'm just trying to contribute to the topic to the best of my ability.
Everyone be on the lookout for Gus' new book! He apparently recorded EVERY single hand of his win at the Aussie Millions
event on some sort of tape recorder device (although HOW he did it is beyond me) and is in the process of writing a book that analyzes EVERY hand. It will be awesome to see how he thought through each hand and how he worked the tables throughout the tournament.