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  7-Jan-14, 15:07   #1
Math in poker 0 
Joined: Mar '09
Location: Portugal
Age: 50 (M)
Posts: 1504
Hey guys....I was just wondering about math in poker because I heard from some guys that the higher stakes pros like Phil Ivey and the new young fearless pros don't use math in poker and just have a good understanding and concept of the game...and play by feel and situation....this is referring to Texas Hold'em...So heres what im asking....is it pointless for all the people getting a math degree that are using it towards poker to even bother? And is math just an old thing now since people these days are 4betting and 5betting with hands like 84 off and going crazy so people don't know your range and their hiding it that way....Im just wondering since I do use math while playing poker and im wondering if its pointless in this day and age...I really want some feedback on this topic because it seems like math isn't being used it poker anymore and its pointless to even use it anymore!

  7-Jan-14, 15:20   #2

Joined: Nov '11
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 33 (M)
Posts: 744
yes the high stakes pros are fully aware of the maths involved in poker, im sure they dont think about it or or have to apply it because it is second nature to them, also the are rellying on there well trained reading skills, but if the odds of a draw cost more than the return they will NOT be making the call simples.

  7-Jan-14, 15:25   #3

Joined: Sep '10
Location: Netherlands
Age: 48 (M)
Posts: 1634
In online poker you do not have much else to go on besides math, do you?

I mean, if someone goes crazy and 5-bets 84o, that will show up in his statistics, and you can call him with a wider range, taking all of his stack, pretty soon.

Live poker has the additional skill of reading people/tells. But I imagine, even though Ivey may not be calculating the exact odds all the time, he will be aware of them. He'll be conscious that he is bluffing, when he does so, not because he thinks he has the odds...

Edit: seems takingdrugs beat me to it...

  7-Jan-14, 16:14   #4
Joined: Feb '13
Location: Slovenia
Age: 34 (M)
Posts: 526
hey. Marqis said everything in first line.
I play sngs and i know u cant beat lowest stakes if u dont understand math calculations as ICM and NASH pushing ranges. nowadays everybody uses software to calculate pushes with 10bb and for calling ranges.

  7-Jan-14, 16:16   #5

Joined: Mar '12
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 32 (M)
Posts: 1277
Fact is Ivey etc intuitively know the odds - thats not enough for them at that stage, they need to be able to change their game up and make instinctive plays, because ABC doesn't generally cut it when your opponents are so skilled at 'ranging' you.

Online players arguably rely on maths too much and will sometimes make the 'right' call mathematically despite the fact that the evidence strongly suggests they are beaten due to other factors such as bet sizing etc etc. That's the main flaw in the idea that if you make the same play in every situation and it is the right one mathematically you should always do it...sometimes you definitely shouldn't.

  7-Jan-14, 16:24   #6
Joined: Aug '10
Location: Germany
Age: 45 (M)
Posts: 1713
You can be sure, that the pros are know what they do and some tv Show it this: a show. You Need so much important Information for a good game: odds and outs, position, skills, reads and off course, a lot of luck. and a solid bankroll was also good Cool

  7-Jan-14, 18:08   #7
Joined: Mar '09
Location: Greece
Age: 39 (F)
Posts: 10240
I hope you are not really serious about it av1966. Math degree? In order to play poker?
The math used in poker is school's basic.
Not like you are using advanced mathematics for it.
Were you paying any attention at school at all ? Smile

  7-Jan-14, 18:27   #8

Joined: May '08
Location: Lithuania
Age: 32 (M)
Posts: 8790
i'd say if you want to use math in poker, then stick to FL Holdem (and all the remaining FL games).
pl and nl games are a tough beast to tame just relying on math. with drunk russian pro's ruling the tables nowadays (holding such monsters as 26o or 47s) math isn't exactly the most lethal weapon to have in your arsenal.

  7-Jan-14, 18:40   #9
Joined: Feb '08
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 28 (M)
Posts: 1881
The math is only really important to machines. (And when analysing the hand retrospectively) In reality no one is taking the time to count all the possibilities and calculate +/- expected value in the moment of making a decision. If you have two pair on an AKJ board you can't work out the odds of your opponent having trips and multiplying it by your outs and then the odds of your opponent having a straight multiplied by your outs and so on til you find a mathematical logical answer.

What really happens is (as said above) you develop an instinct for opponents hands. You get pretty good at guessing the likelihood of each hand and without doing any actual math you know if your hand is more or less likely to beat this particular type of opponent in this particular situation. It's only when you look back on it later do you know if your reasoning was mathematically sound.

The most math that you will ever need in practice is counting. You just count how many cards left in the deck you think are good cards and try and remember if that number of good cards usually gets you into trouble or wins more than it loses. And that number is different for all players and circumstances so again it comes back to experience/instinct.

Edited by awood88 (Tuesday, January 07, 2014 @ 18:46 GMT)

  8-Jan-14, 08:05   #10
Joined: Feb '11
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 52 (M)
Posts: 4982
The principle of maths ( or math if you prefer) is important, if for no other reason, than to protect your stack from you! If you understand the principle of maths in poker then tat (if nothing else) will help you to determine such decisions as to whether to commit some or all of your stack to a drawing hand.....in the absence of maths you wouldn't appreciate value and therefore you would (unless you are very lucky) lose a lot of the time.

  8-Jan-14, 08:27   #11
Joined: Oct '13
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 34 (M)
Posts: 175
Maths is definitely something you want to know.

Mainly for pot odds to hit draws and for equity when making/calling pre-flop shoves.

Plenty of tools out there that can help you with both these areas Smile

A lot of pro's probably learn / get a feel for the maths early in their poker careers and as such it becomes second nature to them.

  8-Jan-14, 11:14   #12
Joined: Jun '10
Location: Belgium
Age: 43 (M)
Posts: 1358
Well as online player maths and notes is the only help you have on the tables

The advantage of using maths at the pokertables becomes clear in your postflop, postturn play.

The maths wil tell you if you have to call/fold drawing hands. How much you have to raise/reraise when you have a set,double pair,toppair,...

But it does not give protection to donks who get lucky rivers,..

  8-Jan-14, 11:25   #13

Joined: Oct '09
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 50 (M)
Posts: 644
Posted by thefly131:

But it does not give protection to donks who get lucky rivers,..

Believe it or not,(those who have played poker with me), I use math to calculate pot odds and realistic chances of overbetting, calling, re-raising etc.

The quote given by the fly is so true, although I would say that at a lower blind levels a person is called a donk, at higher blind levels the same actions are called miraculous plays by young guns. Just a thought.

Take care all of you and bear in mind math may or may not work for you but be aware when others do not use it, that it does not necessarily make them super players or donks.

Gl all.........................
Big Smile Big Smile Big Smile

  8-Jan-14, 13:36   #14
Joined: Mar '11
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 47 (M)
Posts: 5675
I think that the math in poker is the most important thing to learn. If you havent got a clue about the math involved how can you make correct decisions? I always try to know what kind of odds i'm getting before making any call and you should all learn this

  9-Jan-14, 15:43   #15
Joined: Mar '09
Location: Portugal
Age: 50 (M)
Posts: 1504
As Owen Gaines points out in Poker Math that Matters, when people talk about poker pros "not using math" but playing "by feel," they're wrong. With experience, the math becomes second nature and you actually "feel" the math. The intuitive moves that pros make are rooted in subconscious math combined with situational factors like the player they're up against, reads, etc.
Do you agree?

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