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This is True #4

Let's start off with the wrap up from Monday's Which is True and then I'll share my interesting run in the Monkey Tourney, the zombie-like remains of the ole WWdn tournaments.

This is True #4

For the fourth version of Which is True, we took a look at the seeming conflict between these statements: (A) A great poker player must be able to adapt his style to the table conditionsl; and (B) To play poker optimally one must stay true to their own personal style of play and not imitate another person's style or another general style of play.

Not surprisingly, if there was a clearcut winner it was (A). I am a huge proponent of the idea that a great player can beat any table, regardless of the players sitting around. They may be MORE profitable with a loose or a tight table, but they can beat any table because they have the ability to adjust to the table conditions. I'm not alone in thinking that either.

So, let's go with the A Team, led by the first A-Team commentor, JamyHawk. While he explains why he thinks A is true, I find his analysis of B even better: "Statement B is False. Eventually someone will adjust their play to yours and find a way to beat you, no matter how successful your style of play is (or was)." Drizz agrees: "If you don't adapt, better players will pick "your style" apart.". I like the logic, but it assumes a regular game or at least regular players. I suppose that is a fair enough assumption though, especially with things like blogger tournaments and weekly homegames.

Jamy got Poker Slut Gadzooks64 to agree. She added, "Learning to adapt to and take advantage of all scenarios is the only way to become a truly winning player." But is adjusting really the "only" way to become a winning player? I would suggest, no, but the statement posed doesn't ask about becoming a "winning" player, but rather a "great" player. Hoy picked up on the distinction and stated that while B is a good point, A is "always true."

While Carmen sticks with (A), she makes a great point: "...when I am at a particulary agressive table, or at too tight of a table, I get up and move." This brings up the question, can't a great player be great at table selection rather than adjusting to the table conditions? Its definitely a great thought, and maybe the subject for another Which is True, but in the end, I think adjustability trumps table selection skills. There will be times that the juiciest games require adjustments, so table selection may get you to the best table for your style, but maybe not the best table for profit. Other (A) fans include Matt and NewinNov.

Now, if you want to be a "noncommital pussy", the line forms behind CzechRazor. I kid, Czech! The truth is, here at Which is True Central, we expect noncommital pussies. In fact, they are often right. In any of these apparent conflicts, you can find a way to resolve the two statements. And that's fine. I'm not here to tell you that one is true and the other is false, even though that may be what some conclude and it may even be the RIGHT conclusion (although not necessarily so with Which is True #4). So, let's examine some of those noncommital pussy answers, because there is a lot to their analyses.

Czech states: "While Statement A is definitely true if you want to maximize your possible expectation, Statement B is also true because your own personal style should have (and really needs to have) more than one gear." I don't agree entirely, to be honest. I think A is true to maximize the potential for profit, but not necessarily profit itself. It allows a player to play whatever is available, even if he may be more profitable in another game. He does, however, correctly hint that (B) is true IF a player's natural style has multiple gears.

I think 2DollarJack did a great job with his comment. Essentially, he states that one's personal style should be adaptable. Even though he is an aggressive player, he'll change how he uses that aggression, depending on table conditions. 2DJ is getting the This is True Star of Approval for this one, because this is essentially my belief. Your style SHOULD have multiple gears, akin to Czech's second statement, and you should use YOUR STYLE in different ways depending on the competition. In this way, a loose aggressive player may run over a tight table by playing lots of hands with lots of raising, whereas the same loose aggressive player will run over a loose table by playing lots of hands cheap and being aggressive post flop. They may appear to be different "styles" of play, but if your style consists of mixing it up with lots of hands and you have the ability to adjust to conditions, you can still remain in your wheelhouse while taking advantage of particular table conditions.

As an extrapolation of this idea, I would suggest that the best STYLE is one that is entirely adjustment dependent. As stated by Surflexus, "Optimal play from a "great player" encompasses the ability to adapt or change gears while remaining true to your "core style"." If you are able to effectively always adjust to table conditions, then this, in and of itself, may be the optimal style of play. Under this scenario, we satisfy (A) by adjusting to conditions, and (B) because, well, adjusting to conditions is the cornerstone of our style. Of course, that's the difference between being a master pianist and being a master musician who can play many instruments. Both are huge accomplishments, but once you become that master pianist, you still have a ways to go before you can add "master oboist" or "master trianglists" to the resume.

And finally, an honorable mention goes out to Schaubs for his choice of "Eh" (is that (A) in Canadian?), and Raveen and DP for constructing a response that just left me confused. I will give Raveen this, though. According to Raveen, "Statement A is more so true in tournaments, while Statement B is true with poker in general." Its an interesting angle, and I agree. After all, in tournaments, table selection is nullified.

So, in conclusion, MY opinion, and only MY opinion, is that one should have an adaptible personal style of play. If you can only play like a rock, then you will not be able to excel. However, if you play as a rock who can adjust his rockness (i.e., tighten up at loose tables, and see opportunities to use your rockness to steal pots in a tighter game), then you are essentially using your personal style while adjusting to table conditions. I would also argue that the BEST personal style is one that is completely adaptable. If you can easily adjust to any style of play, then you can have the best of all worlds. But this is not easy. Once again, its the difference between the master pianist and master musician. And right now, I can barely read sheetmusic.


So, if you made it this far, I'll just quickly recap last night's play. After convincing slb159 and GCox25 to play in the Monkey Tourney, I played all of one hand before busting. In the very first hand, I was dealt AA. A player in MP raised from 20 to 80. There was one caller. I raised from 80 to 180. He pushed all-in. I called. His KK vs. my AA, preflop. 6896K. After the rivered King, I was slightly miffed, but also a bit relieved. After all, you will eventually suffer suckouts, so its better to happen in a $10 tournament in the first hand than in a $300 max cash game for your whole stack.

After, I opened up Full Tilt and entered several SNGs for random non-Hold'em games. The first one to get started was a $10 HORSE single table tournament. After a long heads-up battle, I own the damn thing. So, in the end, I was able to recover for the night and win my first SNG in a while. I love them non-holdem games.

I'm off to Salami Club tonight with 23Skidoo. If you care to join, email me or leave a comment.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 9:20 AM,


At 1:43 PM, Blogger jamyhawk said...

Great recap of the responses. Thanks for the good reading.

At 1:52 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

90% of my tournament play is in blogger tourneys online, unfortunately I didn't take the randomness of the internet or being a tourist in Vegas into account.

At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nicely written.


Non-Commital Pussy


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