“Did Solvers Ruin Poker?” – Agora Poker

Alec Torelli Asks: "Did Solvers Ruin Poker?"

Alec Torelli Asks: "Did Solvers Ruin Poker?"

Alec Torelli The following article is an unpaid op-ed contribution by poker pro Alec Torelli of Conscious Poker . His thoughts and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of PokerNews and its affiliates.

I first began playing no-limit Texas hold’em in 2003 in home games with friends. I was still in high school, and social media, blogs, training videos, and solvers didn’t exist. The best (only?) resource on how to learn poker was books. Eager to hold my own against my friends, I picked up a copy of Super System , and the simple exploits of continuation-betting when I was the preflop raiser, playing draws aggressively, and occasionally limping from early position to trap with big pairs was enough to win their lunch money.

I believe it was in Poker Wisdom of a Champion that I read an excerpt where Doyle Brunson shared one of his hustles. He’d bet naysayers that pocket deuces were a better hand than ace-king. Few believed him, so they’d simply bet even money and deal all five cards. My favorite part of the story was that Doyle learned this ‘secret’ by painstakingly dealing out thousands of scenarios by hand, and documenting who won.

Today, almost every poker amateur knows a pair is a slight favorite over two high cards. We’re reminded of this fact every time we watch poker on television, where a computer instantly computes the odds and reveals the percentages in real-time.

The great game of poker has changed exponentially since I first began playing it. When I was coming up, heads-up displays (HUDs) , (which give you real-time stats of your opponent’s online), equity calculators (which tell you the odds of any two hands or ranges), as well as solvers (which tell you the optimal play in any situation), did not exist. The lack of information available meant that those who had the best intuition for the game were the best players.

Moreover, the one way to hone one’s instincts was to put in thousands of hours of sweat equity into the game itself. Discovering the optimal line required being in a spot many times, making […]

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Author: wpadmin

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