Saturday, May 14, 2005

In the late months of 1941, the Soviet Union was facing a critical shortage of manpower. This defies our understanding of the Russians, but the fact is a number of factors contributed to a shortage of Red Army soldiers in the Fall of 1941, to such an extent that only the Russian Winter saved Moscow from falling.

Where did all the troops go? They were wasted by their commanders. Russian tactics consisted of every man charging at the enemy, even if troops didn’t have rifles. German Tanks? – No problem, Comrade – try to throw yourself in to the gears and slow it down – This was the extent of Russian tactics in 1941. The Human Wave, with enemies in front, and officers with submachines in back gunning down anyone who retreated contributed to a much shorter lifespan for the average Russian soldier. With winter came reinforcements and Siberian reserves, as well as the new T-34 tank would contribute to a change in tactics in 1942. Now the Russians could attack like the Germans. They could launch Armored Spearheads, or they could retreat till the Germans advanced so far their reserves/supplies were strained and troops could be sealed off in urban areas. In the case of Stalingrad, they sealed off an entire German Army.

In the same way, one can read thru the 2+2 boards on any given day and read about how someone discusses how someone else has failed to play properly because he didn’t bet/raise at every stage of the game. Some pros (Chris Ferguson, for one) completely advise against any open-limping ever, in ring or tourney games. But I think the fully realized player would use varying tactics against different opponents, just as he would on a battlefield.

Or to give another example, if we were playing Rock, Paper, Scissors, the forums would be full of people saying that one cannot truly win at poker unless he plays Rock, and Rock will crush your opponents and furthermore, they made $50000 last month on Partypoker playing Rock  - but in this case, I think they’ve fallen prey to the “One size fits all” syndrome.

Opponent limping too much? - Raise –
Opponent betting too much? – Raise
Opponent raising too much? - Reraise – (ooh….something different – not really) –

The expert poker player realizes that there is a no one-size fits all solution. (much to the dismay of those hundreds of people who focused on David Sklansky’s “System” to the exclusion of all the other wisdom in TPFAP) – He knows when to raise/bet, and he knows when to limp in anticipation of winning a big pot if he hits, and he knows how to trap, esp. vs. characters are more concerned with their PFR statistic in Pokertracker then they are concerned with the stat that shows what they’ve won.

Poker isn’t a game of perfect strategy – this is good, because if it were, everyone would use it and no one would ever win. Without a doubt, a good game of Tight/Aggressive play will work against the majority of your opponents, but recognize situations when it won’t work as well. Poker is like war – Parry, Feint, Trap, and Defend – One tactic is the better choice depending what your opponent does, and it’s not always hitting the raise button. –

In fact, anytime anyone ever tells you there’s an absolute in poker (besides not mucking your cards till you see the winning hand turned over) – think twice before buying his book.



At 1:01 PM, Blogger TripJax said...

Good post man...I'm gonna have to link you up.

See you on the felt...

Poker In Arrears

At 8:32 PM, Blogger whiskeytown said...

ty for the kind words -

let's see if Mason/David over at 2+2 magazine like it - LOL



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