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Thibault de Vassal    (2008-06-02)
Poll : Texas hold'em Poker at FICGS ?

Hi all,

Still thinking about adding other games at FICGS. Of course, Xiangqi and Shogi are good candidates, a popular one (I quite like) would be poker texas hold'em. What do you think about such a [chancy] game played for fun at a correspondence time control at FICGS ?!

All opinions or advices are welcome.

Ulrich Imbeck    (2008-06-03 00:27:34)
yippie yeah

Good idea. You would be a serious offer.

Jason Repa    (2008-06-03 02:47:02)

Poker is not really poker without a monetary wager, similar to backgammon.
Unlike chess or snooker, where a brilliantly played game can be satisfaction enough, the entire point of poker is to win money (cash game) or accumulate chips (tournament) by hook or by crook. Achieving this in practice has much more to do with exploiting mistakes and emotional weaknesses in your opponents than doing anything "brilliant".

As for "Play money" poker, it's for bored housewives and people who have too much free time on their hands. These are the same people who kill time by playing solitaire.

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-06-03 02:59:46)
Internet poker

Hi Jason, that's an interesting view and I agree with that, particularly on internet poker. That's why I'm thinking about a typical "FICGS" way to play it, ie. tables with 2 players only, with a ELO rating system (without money, does this exist elsewhere ?), a championship, eventually E-Points (without entry fees) and so on... What do you think ?

Jason Repa    (2008-06-03 03:14:01)
Poker at FICGS

I've never heard of poker having an elo rating system. There is too much of a luck factor in order for that to be meaningful IMO. Obviously there is some skill in poker, but the fruits of this only manifest in the "long-run". Even top professionals have had losing periods in excess of a year in duration.

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-06-03 03:56:28)
Poker at FICGS

True. A year ? Huh, really long periods. I've read somewhere (maybe on this forum) that about 150,000 hands were necessary to 'forget' the chancy factor, and the rating differences would probably be much smaller than in chess. Hmmm

Don Groves    (2008-06-03 06:43:39)
Poker at FICGS

Skill in poker is in how you manage your money and knowing when to bluff and when not to. If the stakes are not large enough to make bluffing meaningful, then it becomes simply who gets the better cards -- a game of chance. Just my $0.02 worth ;-)

Jason Repa    (2008-06-03 08:06:37)

There's a bit more to the game than just knowing when to bluff. Poker is all about exploiting mistakes and minimizing both the frequency and magnitude of the mistakes that you make. Mistakes can take various forms, ranging from tells, to lack of or too much aggression, to letting your emotions get the better of you, making mathematical errors, etc.

Money management is meaningless if you're making -EV decisions.

Ulrich Imbeck    (2008-06-03 15:38:05)
Poker with ELO

Would Poker with ELO be a worldwide novelty? :-) Why not!

Benjamin Block    (2008-06-03 17:20:27)

I have not seen any site with corr poker it would be funny? Or do you mean live time?

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-06-03 18:00:59)
Correspondence Poker

Live time is easier, a problem is that correspondence poker may be very long : ~6 moves by hand by player, let's say from 10 or 20 hands to 100 hands and more in one game, so many moves :/ .. but it may be possible to limit the number of hands and calculate ratings also by taking account of what is left after ie. 100 hands - which is quite few anyway.

Benjamin Block    (2008-06-03 18:06:50)
Correspondence Poker

Only 30/games+1day. 40/10 is to slow.

Arnab Sengupta    (2008-06-03 19:43:09)

cool....i like the idea.....we can try it.....E-points can be awarded...

Michael Sharland    (2008-06-04 00:42:53)
Worth a try

It might be fun to give it a try but I don't think that you would get too much separation in ELO between the top and bottom players. I think it will be hard for anyone to win more than 65% of the time unless the blinds aren't increased too fast. Slower blind increases will increase the length of the average game and allow for a little more skill but will make it harder to come up with workable time controls. Maybe a 10-20 minute control with little or no increment would work best.

Don Groves    (2008-06-04 06:13:07)

--- Jason Repa wrote: "There's a bit more to the game than just knowing when to bluff. Poker is all about exploiting mistakes and minimizing both the frequency and magnitude of the mistakes that you make. Mistakes can take various forms, ranging from tells, to lack of or too much aggression, to letting your emotions get the better of you, making mathematical errors, etc." -------- I should have said my statement was about those who know the mechanics of the game. Once someone can play technically correct poker, as you would find in any high-level game, then bluffing and money management become paramount.

Jason Repa    (2008-06-04 06:48:23)

"I should have said my statement was about those who know the mechanics of the game"

Actually, you've just confirmed that you don't know anything at all about the game of poker. As is the case for you with chess. And you obviously didn't understand the expression "-EV" , so I'll explain it to you. EV means expected value. It is the sum of the probability of each possible outcome of the event multiplied by the outcome value (or payoff). Thus, it represents the average amount one "expects" as the outcome of the random trial when identical odds are repeated many times. Obviously if this value is a negative number, money-management is completely meaningless as you will lose money in the long run. Money management is actually the easiest thing to figure out. It's a no-brainer for anyone who knows anything about money gaming. It has to do with ensuring that you have enough cash on hand to keep the risk of ruin down to a comfortable level, to account for standard deviation (bad luck). If you're a losing poker player, ie, one in which the net result of all your decisions results in a negative expected value, money management is clearly totally meaningless. This simple concept is quite obvious to most people. I've never before met an adult who required it to be explained to them like this.

People who's minds go beyond the superficial understand that there is much more to poker than working out the simple arithmetic of the game, such as how many outs for a flush/straight.... pot odds, implied pot odds, etc, which is probably what you mean by "knowing the mechanics of the game". Playing that kind of mindless, one-dimensional game might work OK at microlimits, but beyond that you'll need to learn that poker is much more of a game of psychology than it is a game of math. A mathematician by the name of Barry Greenstein, who incidentally has won more than $10,000,000 playing poker, once said that also. I've got a feeling he knows a bit more about the game than you do, lol.

Don Groves    (2008-06-04 07:18:03)

As usual, Mr. Repa, you eventually turn every disagreement into a personal attack. I'm surprised you didn't mention how much higher your chess rating is than mine. You prove my point about bluffing when you say that poker is more a psychological game than a mathematical one. That is one thing we can agree on. Yes, I'm quite sure Barry Greenstein knows a bit more about the game than I do, and I'm just as sure he knows at least that much more about it than you.

Jason Repa    (2008-06-04 09:11:18)

As usual, Groves, you're returning to your trolling ways once again. You're the one who started with the personal attack here, not me. I simply stated that that there is more to poker than mere bluffing and money management, as you contended. You seriously don't know anything at all about the game of poker. That's not an attack, that's a fact. I was studying the value of inflection points and stack to pot ratios when you were struggling to learn the difference between a straight and a flush.

Just as you're a 1600 chess player, so you're showing your mediocrity where poker is concerned by grossly oversimplifying what the game is about. Saying that poker is more a game of psychology than math is hardly saying that all there is to poker is bluffing, as you repeatedly and mindlessly keep stating. For starters, bluffing is just one tool in a strong poker player's toolbox, and it is both a psychological, as well as a scientific/mathematical tool at that. In no limit poker, for example, sometimes a player will spend hours trying to create a certain image just to set up one single play in order to win a large pot. There are all kinds of relevant intangibles that are so far beyond your comprehension it's not funny.

And I really couldn't care less what you agree or disagree with. I know what I'm talking about. You don't. I have a proven track record over the last two decades as a winning player. I'd be surprised if you're not in the hole overall. And FYI, everything I've said is consistent with what guys like Greenstein, Skansky, Harrington, etc have been saying for years.

Do yourself a favour, Groves.....go read a poker book and learn some basics. Then perhaps you'll be able to make a contribution to a discussion about poker.

Don Groves    (2008-06-04 09:34:33)

How do figure I started the personal attacks? My first two posts were about poker, I said nothing at all about you personally. You also pretend to know things about me that you never could know, given that we've never met, and never played a game of any sort against each other. You just like to blow your own horn at the expense of others, and never miss an opportunity to do so. That has been proven by your insults of myself and others in this forum even though no one here has ever insulted you, only disagreed with you. Possibly you consider disagreement to be an insult. If so, that says far more about you than anything I could add.

Jason Repa    (2008-06-04 10:02:42)

Groves, it's pretty sad if you aren't capable of understanding what you did. But in your case I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

And I don't need to meet you in person to know what you're all about. Your words speak volumes. And FYI chess ratings aren't obtained by flipping coins. You're a mere 1600 and change player. It's not the result of "bad luck".

You equate the stating of facts with "insulting". The problem is when I'm dealing with a very modest individual like you, every objective fact I state is interpreted as an insult.

As I said, read a poker book, or get someone to read one to you so that you can learn the basics of the game. Perhaps then you'll understand that there is more to the game than simply managing your money and knowing when to bluff.

Rodolfo d Ettorre    (2008-06-04 13:05:05)
Poker ...

Poker is a great game, but I am not sure it is a board game, like chess or go. Maybe we should consider Monopoly or even Jumanji.

Don Groves    (2008-06-04 18:58:24)

Repa, there you go again, bringing my Chess rating into something it has nothing to do with. I haven't played Chess in over two years but you still keep bringing it up. You do that so often it could make others think you define yourself in terms of ratings. Look up "argumentum ad hominem." You're very good at it -- so good you should consider going into politics.

Jason Repa    (2008-06-04 19:21:48)

As was just explained to you, groves, you're not a 1600 chess player as the result of "bad luck". You have the rating you do for a reason. The fact that you're not intelligent enough to get your chess rating up to even a modest level does indeed relate to your inability to understand concepts in other areas. Go back to your original post and try to understand what this "discussion" is all about. It's about the fact that you can't comprehend my statement that poker is a game which involves more than just knowing when to bluff and managing your money. I even went so far as to try to explain the concept of EV to you as I wasn't confident you would figure out how to look that up on your own.

What's very telling here is that all of my posts contain discussion of poker whereas your just keep trying to be offensive and whining about how you feel "insulted" when I've done nothing but state objective facts about you. I suppose referring to you as a 1600 chess player is also an "insult" Your last two posts are completely devoid of any discussion of poker whatsoever.

I'd tell you to grow up, groves, but at your age I think it's a bit too late for you.

Don Groves    (2008-06-04 19:59:07)

Your definition of "objective facts" is a bit weak, Repa. You state that I'm not intelligent enough to get my Chess rating higher yet I just told you I don't play Chess anymore. Besides that, my meager rating was achieved without the use of computers. One of the reasons I switched to Go is because Go is not yet dominated by computer programs. Why don't you try Go yourself and see how high a rating you can achieve without the aid of a computer? Also, in my second post, I agreed with you there is more to poker than just bluffing, etc. I said my comments were meant for players who already had mastered the mechanics and mathematics of the game. Rather than acknowledging this, you commenced with an ad hominem attack so typical of you. I stand by my original statement that the stakes in poker must be high enough to make bluffing possible or the game becomes nothing but chance where the best hand wins every pot. The best psychological game of poker is five-card draw with pot-limit and table-stakes. Playing with cards dealt face-up as in stud or hold-em (which is a form of 7-card stud) is for those who can't handle the uncertainty of not knowing for sure when they have a lock or at least that the odds are heavily in their favor.

Jason Repa    (2008-06-04 20:22:20)

No, your ability to understand simple concepts is what is weak here groves. You keep whining that your paltry 1600 chess rating shouldn't matter because you haven't played chess in a couple of years, but what difference does that make? Are elo points easier to obtain now? And what about Go? You play that game regularly, yet you have a pathetic 1300 rating at that as well. You better open a window before you think up another lame excuse....I wouldn't want you to die from smoke inhalation.

I don't know how many times I need to keep repeating myself in order for the point to penetrate your skull, but your comment about "mastering the mechanics" of the game is pure nonsense. You speak as if the entirety of poker theory can be equated to memorizing basic strategy in blackjack. You seem to think the discussion of calculating EV is based purely on figuring out pot-odds and how that relates to the number of outs, etc, but if you had the incipience of a clue about the game you'd realize that there is much MORE involved than that. Poker is an information game and all the information you have at your disposal, such as the temperament and mood of your opponent(s), your perceived table image (or at least your interpretation of it), the history of the action that has occurred so far, the tells that you pick up and the false tells that you may be sending to your opponents, etc, goes into the calculation of the EV on any given play. The better a player is able to conduct these evaluations and convert them into value, at least intuitively....the better a poker player they are. Even online poker has some tell/false-tell action as the response time can be varied.

Re-read my previous post where I mentioned that mistakes can take various forms. I clearly state, and in simple terms such that even you should be able to grasp, that there is more to the game than straightforward arithmetic calculations.

And I realize that you don't work, but geez, can you not find something better to do with your time than try to provoke people on the internet? Why don't you use all that free time you have on your hands to learn how to play Chess or Go beyond the level of a rank beginner?

Don Groves    (2008-06-04 20:50:02)

Yada, yada, more of the same from Repa. If you think 1300 is such a poor Go rating, let's see what you can do. We know you're great at computer-aided Chess, maybe that will translate well to Go. We really do need more good Go players here. There are Go programs that play at or above my current level. You could use one and get a head start.

Jason Repa    (2008-06-04 20:56:31)

I don't "think" 1300 is a mediocre Go rating, any more than I "think" 1600 is a mediocre chess rating. But a guy like you is used to being below average at the things you do, so I guess you're comfortable with that.

I've proven myself for years at live OTB chess with no computer assistance whatsoever little guy. You're only making a fool of yourself with such comments. I'm in the top 1% of all tournament chess players in my province at slow chess. And I'm a several time provincial champion at blitz chess.

Did I use any words too complex for you to understand in my previous post? I tried to explain to you what goes into making poker decisions, in the way a 4 year old should be able to understand. Was I overly optimistic?

Don Groves    (2008-06-04 21:17:58)

Like I said before, you're terrific at insults! You've clearly had plenty of practice. Either that or you're just a natural born insulter. Maybe I just bring out the best in you, eh?

Jason Repa    (2008-06-04 21:22:00)

Here we go again eh groves? You're a bored old man with no purpose in life other than to harass and annoy people on the internet.

Ah, I get it, you couldnít cut it in chess, so you ran to Go, lol. But you canít play that game either, so whatís it going to be next....tic tac toe? Unlike you, groves, I donít have all day to sit around and play games. My gaming time is limited to chess and poker.

Perhaps itís true what has been said about how people of a very advanced age start to become like children again. Itís especially sad when youíre dealing with someone who was less than impressive, even at their peak.

William Taylor    (2008-06-04 23:09:47)
Don't like the idea

My initial reaction is that I don't like the idea. Whilst I do enjoy playing poker, I think it would be out of place here. As others have pointed out, there's a lot of luck involved, and (so far anyway) this website is for skill-based abstract strategy games. I also think it would be unsuited to a correspondence time control. Shogi or xiang-qi on the other hand... I'm in favour of introducing them.

Ulrich Imbeck    (2008-06-05 00:32:30)
Here I would enjoy it.

Poker is very popular. Only 1 luck game would be o.k. for ficgs. Here I would enjoy Poker.

Don Groves    (2008-06-05 00:49:18)

Thibault -- How many players per "table?" As for length of games, you could set a start time and end time, with a duration of one or two hours. When time is up, the game is over. That way everyone knows in advance the time commitment and can schedule accordingly.

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-06-05 01:35:52)
FICGS poker

It would be 2 players only per table. Thanks to all, I'll have to think about it. To be continued.





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