Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Micro-Edges = Why I Play Poker = Profit

So why do we play poker? I think there are five basic categories that drives the majority of us to play this crazy game (excluding gambling addictions, that is):

Social Interaction, Entertainment, Mental Stimulation, Competition.... ah, but the bottom line item in this list is, of course, Profit. Everyone who plays the game wants to make money. But how is money made at poker? Long-time readers of this blog will know that I'm a fan of Roy Cooke's definition of Profit in poker:

Profit = Volume x Edge. Said another way, if you play a lot of poker against weaker players, you will eventually take all of their money. The Guru used to say in his beginning poker class that if he could play every day against an amateur on a slow boat to China, by the time the ship docked in Asia, he'd have all the money on his side of the table. Why is this? Answer: he would be able to get in a lot of volume in a situation where he had substantial edge. But what do we mean by Edge? Again, long-time readers of this blog will know that I think Edge falls into three basic macro categories:

Three basic edges in poker: a) Preparation and Study; b) Technical Skills & Tactics; and c) Emotional Control. More importantly, I think these three categories can be subdivided into nine smaller subcategories:

And each of these nine categories can be further divided into a series of individual, learnable "Micro-Edges." Some of these micro-edges (like Hand Selection and Position) are quite succinct and be covered in just a couple of lessons taught to a beginner. Other topics (like Reads) are ultimately complex, with a lot of nuance and levels of complexity. And yet others (like Tilt Control and Discipline) are very non-linear and, frankly, non-intuitive to master....

...but each of the nine edges can in fact be taught to a student of the game. This can be done in steps that are correlated to the traditional "levels of thought" in poker (Level-1, -2, etc...)

Stay tuned over the coming months as I attempt to tackle many of these Micro-Edges here in this blog. Why take this on? Because it will ultimately help improve my own game, and hopefully will result in:

Because, after all, profit is ultimately why I play the game of poker.

All-in for now...

1 comment:

  1. High five with your points! Poker can be so addicting because when profit starts to come in, there is no turning back! :) Agree?