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Re: Feds target online poker sites

Postby GiantsFan14 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:59 pm

both of those players have played such a small sample of hands online that it's impossible to know who is better. you can try to guess based on what you see on tv or whatever, but even if they have differing play styles, both of them are probably doing similar EV plays and the variance they'll deal with will be pretty much the same.

i'm talking to my poker pro friend right now about your idea of minimizing variance and he said this:

"you cannot control variance at all
once you start playing against anyone other than complete total retards
minimizing variance is so lol"

here's a graph of his:

Image

the top line is expected winnings (after all the money is in the pot), the bottom line is actual winnings. from around hands 130k-200k he should have won $9000 but instead lost $8000. all of that is from after the money went in. the only thing that comes into play at that point is luck. he ran $17000 below EV. saying that you can play some sort of style that minimizes that is just wrong.
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Re: Feds target online poker sites

Postby Madison » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:15 pm

GiantsFan14 wrote:
Madison wrote:Who said "cheap" card? If I bet the pot, it is a -EV play for you to call since you're getting 2-1 on a 3-1 draw, but nowadays everyone thinks of the "implied" odds if they hit, so they call anyway. There's really no reason to go for your entire stack on the flop in that spot, but I watch people attempt it all the time, and those types of players have far greater swings (up and down) than those who don't do it. You shove on the flop, I call of course, but my typical play is to bet the pot, you call, and after you miss the turn, the pot is large enough to warrant you calling off your stack to see the river. Now you might be a good enough player to not fall into the trap, but that type of play has been quite profitable on my end, with much smaller risk.


lol are you kidding me with this? what other option is there? do you think people open shove that flop or something and by just betting your somehow taking a lower variance route? what exactly is the high variance play on that flop? what exactly is "going for your entire stack on the flop"?

you have no control over what i do, all you can do is bet the flop and i'll either call or i'll shove in which case you call. there is no low variance or high variance route.


Wait, what? 8-o

You don't think there's a difference in variance if all the chips hit after the flop or if all the chips hit after the turn? 8-o 2-1 to win vs. 4-1 to win, but they are the same?

And on the higher intelligence field (where we've been talking all this time), you don't think my actions affect your decision at all? 8-o

bigh0rt wrote:You've used two different ideologies to support your case here, Mad. The first being that poker should not be considered gambling because it is a game based on skill and ability more so on luck. It has been argued that while this may be true, it would not or should not disqualify poker from being lumped in with other similar gambling games. You've also argued that poker is different and should be considered so because you are actively wagering throughout, while with sports betting, horse racing, etc. you place your wager beforehand and once things get underway, they are out of your control. It has been argued that this, while also true, should not disqualify poker from being lumped in with other similar gambling games.

I guess what I'm getting at here is, you're stating a lot of truth here (some of which seem to be up for debate with GF as far as variance/luck/skill are concerned), but none of what you're saying seem to be relevant to classifying poker as non-gambling compared to other gambling activities. You're wagering money with the intent on turning it into more money due to something that is largely out of your hands, even if you are Phil Ivey. I believe it was ayebatter who compared it to the stock market, which really in my mind only separates itself from gambling in that when you're putting your money out there you're literally buying a company and own something; you're making a purchase.

I don't think it's a bad thing. I enjoy poker. I played it last weekend at Mohegan Sun. I play cash games and tournaments with friends and co-workers. When it first became big on the internet in the early 2000's I played there quite a bit too. I can't imagine not considering it gambling, though, regardless of ability being able to make you win more often than you lose, nor having perceived control during the act of the wager.


I underlined part of that. Where have I made that argument? I'm doing the opposite. GF is saying that variance is variance and is "pure luck", but I am saying that players have a ton of control over variance. My position all the way through has been that the predominant factor in a winning and losing poker player is skill, and as such, it is not a game of chance and therefore isn't gambling. If I contradicted that somewhere, I will gladly clear it up. :-)

GiantsFan14 wrote:both of those players have played such a small sample of hands online that it's impossible to know who is better. you can try to guess based on what you see on tv or whatever, but even if they have differing play styles, both of them are probably doing similar EV plays and the variance they'll deal with will be pretty much the same.

i'm talking to my poker pro friend right now about your idea of minimizing variance and he said this:

"you cannot control variance at all
once you start playing against anyone other than complete total retards
minimizing variance is so lol"

here's a graph of his:

Image

the top line is expected winnings (after all the money is in the pot), the bottom line is actual winnings. from around hands 130k-200k he should have won $9000 but instead lost $8000. all of that is from after the money went in. the only thing that comes into play at that point is luck. he ran $17000 below EV. saying that you can play some sort of style that minimizes that is just wrong.


As I said, your friend knows a lot more than I do. I guess I must be surrounded by retards, according to him, so who am I to argue with that? Might want to let him know you learned something from his comment as well, since you said:

GiantsFan wrote:yes you can play to reduce variance, but reduced variance will undoubtedly lead to a smaller winrate.


I've never said 100% control of variance. Simply that it can be more controlled than most people realize.

All I know is I'd rather get my chips in the pot when I'm 4-1 to win instead of 2-1 to win and a ton of players can be manipulated into doing just that.
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Re: Feds target online poker sites

Postby Dan Lambskin » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:23 pm

Madison wrote:
Dan Lambskin wrote:
Madison wrote:


question: if you dont think poker should be treated as gambling, how do you think it should be handled from a tax perspective? you'd still be obligated to claim the income and pay taxes on it, yet you wouldnt be able to claim any losses to offset it. or would you expect to claim them as a business expense?


Yep, losses and expenses would be a business expense. At least that's how I (and hundreds of thousands of others) have been filing and paying our taxes. You should see the state tax laws in some places, they are nuts and make no sense at all.I will continue to be quite profitable at it.


as far as i understand it you can claim net losses in the amount equal to your net winnings...if it wasnt considered gambling what would stop net losers from claiming their poker losses as a business expense? i think that would open itself to all kinds of exploitation
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Re: Feds target online poker sites

Postby bigh0rt » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:24 pm

Madison wrote:I underlined part of that. Where have I made that argument? I'm doing the opposite. GF is saying that variance is variance and is "pure luck", but I am saying that players have a ton of control over variance. My position all the way through has been that the predominant factor in a winning and losing poker player is skill, and as such, it is not a game of chance and therefore isn't gambling. If I contradicted that somewhere, I will gladly clear it up. :-)

If you're not willing to admit that amidst the skill involved (I don't think there's denying that some people are better than others at playing), that poker is still a game that is largely out of your hands, then we'll certainly never come to terms. It doesn't matter what card game you're playing, the cards ultimately dictate the result (even if you're representing something and cause a superior hand to fold, which I imagine is an example you'll counter with here). You can talk strategy, tells, pushing, slow playing, etc. etc. etc. 'til the cows come home, but at the end of the day if my cards beat your cards, you give me your money even if you're Phil Ivey and I don't know the rules. It's gambling in every sense of the word. The control you're speaking of is more perceived than actual.
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Re: Feds target online poker sites

Postby GiantsFan14 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:25 pm

Madison wrote:
GiantsFan14 wrote:
Madison wrote:Who said "cheap" card? If I bet the pot, it is a -EV play for you to call since you're getting 2-1 on a 3-1 draw, but nowadays everyone thinks of the "implied" odds if they hit, so they call anyway. There's really no reason to go for your entire stack on the flop in that spot, but I watch people attempt it all the time, and those types of players have far greater swings (up and down) than those who don't do it. You shove on the flop, I call of course, but my typical play is to bet the pot, you call, and after you miss the turn, the pot is large enough to warrant you calling off your stack to see the river. Now you might be a good enough player to not fall into the trap, but that type of play has been quite profitable on my end, with much smaller risk.


lol are you kidding me with this? what other option is there? do you think people open shove that flop or something and by just betting your somehow taking a lower variance route? what exactly is the high variance play on that flop? what exactly is "going for your entire stack on the flop"?

you have no control over what i do, all you can do is bet the flop and i'll either call or i'll shove in which case you call. there is no low variance or high variance route.


Wait, what? 8-o

You don't think there's a difference in variance if all the chips hit after the flop or if all the chips hit after the turn? 8-o 2-1 to win vs. 4-1 to win, but they are the same?

And on the higher intelligence field (where we've been talking all this time), you don't think my actions affect your decision at all? 8-o


where i did i say that there's no difference in variance? i said you can't control whether or not all the chips get in on the flop or not and therefore you can't control the variance. all you can do is bet and leave it up to me whether or not all the chips get in on the flop or not.
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Re: Feds target online poker sites

Postby bigh0rt » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:25 pm

Dan Lambskin wrote:
Madison wrote:
Dan Lambskin wrote:
question: if you dont think poker should be treated as gambling, how do you think it should be handled from a tax perspective? you'd still be obligated to claim the income and pay taxes on it, yet you wouldnt be able to claim any losses to offset it. or would you expect to claim them as a business expense?


Yep, losses and expenses would be a business expense. At least that's how I (and hundreds of thousands of others) have been filing and paying our taxes. You should see the state tax laws in some places, they are nuts and make no sense at all.I will continue to be quite profitable at it.


as far as i understand it you can claim net losses in the amount equal to your net winnings...if it wasnt considered gambling what would stop net losers from claiming their poker losses as a business expense? i think that would open itself to all kinds of exploitation

Based on conversations I've had with my accountant, this is how I understand it as well. You can never claim a net loss on a year. You can only claim net gains minus net losses that can equal no less than zero on the year.
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Re: Feds target online poker sites

Postby GiantsFan14 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:27 pm

Madison wrote:All I know is I'd rather get my chips in the pot when I'm 4-1 to win instead of 2-1 to win and a ton of players can be manipulated into doing just that.


tell me exactly how you would manipulate someone into getting it all in on the turn rather than on the flop?
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Re: Feds target online poker sites

Postby PokerIsGambling » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:48 pm

Hey I'm GF roommate and he's been telling me about this thread while I've been bitching about our government and how it's harmed millions of people who enjoy playing poker in the privacy of their homes and I can only assume he's been watching Glee.

First of all, let me say I 100% believe poker is gambling but I do believe it is less of a "gamble" than many activities people don't consider gambling. The stock market is just as much of a gamble as poker, and something as simple as paying $4 to open a pack of Magic: The Gathering Cards where the contents will be worth between $0.10 and $50 is much more of a gamble (which despite being a serious magic player when I was 12-15 I never did because it was -EV). Yet poker is considered gambling, the stock market is not, and any kid can go into a store a buy a pack of cards despite it requiring no skill and having a higher variance than the other two.

I agree with GF that it seems you have a pretty big misunderstanding of poker and how variance works. The general trend I seem to notice is people who have no idea about poker think it's all luck, and people who have a pretty good idea about the game realize luck is the results determining factor in the short run whereas skill will be the determining factor in the long run. The problem is other than actual professional online players, just about everyone doesn't realize how long the long run is and how it requires you to play much more hands than most people ever will, as well as how incredibly powerful variance is relative to the small edges you'll gain from being a better player.

Trying to reduce variance after you're already sitting at the table is an absolutely terrible idea and I know no serious player who is willing to sacrifice EV to reduce variance. While it makes sense to reduce variance by trading action in tournaments and the like, the edges in cash games are so incredibly small relative to how powerful luck is that you simply don't have the option of sacrificing EV to reduce your variance. If you reduce your EV, the loss to your winrate is most likely going to make up for the fact that your variance is lower and then some, thus increasing your chances that you have a big downswing and reducing the chances that you win a ton of money if you do run well. Even at $1/2 6-max on the American sites, you have to be willing to 5-bet bluff jam preflop, check-raise bluff flops and follow through on the turn and river, and call down lightly against overly aggressive players. All of these plays are very very high variance for only a little EV. I'm not even talking about "Well, I don't want to put in another raise with AK before I flopped a ace or a king" or "I think I'll just call with my flush draw so I don't get stacked when I miss" sillyness, I'm saying you absolutely have to be willing to throw down even at relatively low stakes (where good players still win $100+/hr) because if you don't your winrate gets so low that it doesn't matter if you've decreased your variance by 20%, you're now more likely to have a big downswing because you're little more than a rakeback grinder.

This huge, incredibly strong luck factor to poker is what makes everyone think they've "run bad" and makes the games way softer than you would think they should be for how much money is at stake (though games are not as good as they should be since the government thinks it knows better than two consenting adults for what they should and shouldn't be allowed to do). Players who run very, very good keep playing, and players who run poorly quit, especially when they first start playing. Check out the graph GF posted, and think about how insane that is for a minute. Two breakeven players, and one loses 45 buy ins and the other wins 65 buy ins. Who do you think is going to have an easier time keeping his head straight and playing "well," the guy who keeps running AK into AA, misses every single draw whether the money has gone in already or not, and can't win a race to save his life, or the guy who runs insanely well? Who is going to have the confidence to keep playing and act like he knows what he's doing when responding to hand questions on forums? Most of the players who then keep playing (the lucksacks) massively overestimate their winrates and think they were running average when they first started playing and are running poorly now when their hotstreak has ended, and often think if they start just playing a little bit better and stop doing dumb stuff they're going to be spoon fed buy ins like they were when they first started playing and that isn't the case. Nope, not going to happen, it's unlikely said lucksack will get another heater of that magnitude for another 10 million hands (using GF's graph with a sample of 100k hands for 100 players) and unfortunately for him he now won a bunch of money that he never had the skill set to win and might have even made financial life decisions which relied on him not to suck at poker and he's out of luck.

In closing, I'll leave you with this. Think luck isn't a determining factor in your lifetime results as a poker player?

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Think again

P.S. Anyone who wants to fight for your right to play poker should head on over to the poker player's alliance or 2+2 for more information, or just start emailing their congressmen.
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Re: Feds target online poker sites

Postby wrveres » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:53 pm

Dan Lambskin wrote:over/under on the # of posts of everyone arguing with Madison over the definition of gambling is set at 93.5
can we get a count so far, its gotts to be close ..
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Re: Feds target online poker sites

Postby Madison » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:56 pm

Dan Lambskin wrote:as far as i understand it you can claim net losses in the amount equal to your net winnings...if it wasnt considered gambling what would stop net losers from claiming their poker losses as a business expense? i think that would open itself to all kinds of exploitation


Good point and that would be possible. Should I really be concerned about it though? Honest question. I don't care what other people do on their taxes, I do mine the way the government says to do them. Should I care more about what others do? :-?

bigh0rt wrote:If you're not willing to admit that amidst the skill involved (I don't think there's denying that some people are better than others at playing), that poker is still a game that is largely out of your hands, then we'll certainly never come to terms. It doesn't matter what card game you're playing, the cards ultimately dictate the result (even if you're representing something and cause a superior hand to fold, which I imagine is an example you'll counter with here). You can talk strategy, tells, pushing, slow playing, etc. etc. etc. 'til the cows come home, but at the end of the day if my cards beat your cards, you give me your money even if you're Phil Ivey and I don't know the rules. It's gambling in every sense of the word. The control you're speaking of is more perceived than actual.


I think it's the "largely" part where we differ. The predominant factor in poker is skill, meaning the majority of poker is skill, which means there is no "large" part for variance, luck, or chance.

And not to further disagree, but not all card games are equal. Just as an example, my favorite gambling activity is Let It Ride, and that card game is predominantly chance. The level of control in Texas Hold 'Em (for example) is far, far greater than it is in Let It Ride.

GiantsFan14 wrote:where i did i say that there's no difference in variance? i said you can't control whether or not all the chips get in on the flop or not and therefore you can't control the variance. all you can do is bet and leave it up to me whether or not all the chips get in on the flop or not.


I can also check and let you bet or check. All I have to do is watch your tendencies and the rest of the manipulation is pretty easy. And regardless of you personally, the example is over the course of a lot of hands, meaning lots of players, lots of tables. It doesn't always happen of course, never said it did, just that I try to manipulate the situation to where the chips go in after the turn in a hand like that one. And if you think I have zero control over that and it is impossible for me to sway the percentage of the time that the chips go in after the turn instead of the flop, I am sorry, but you are mistaken. It isn't a dead-set percentage of the time for every single player (as an off the wall number say 50/50 on the flop vs. turn) that all the chips go in, that percentage can be changed via manipulation of players. Even if I only made it 60/40 instead of 50/50, that's a big swing and a perfect example of what I mean when I say variance can be controlled by the player. Now of course I can't make it 100/0 in my favor, but the higher I can make it in my favor, the less variance there is.

GiantsFan14 wrote:tell me exactly how you would manipulate someone into getting it all in on the turn rather than on the flop?


By checking, betting, or raising. There is no "set in stone" way to do it, it differs for every player, stack size, etc. If poker was a book and a step-by-step on how to achieve one's goals, the game wouldn't exist anymore.

But just because you asked, generally it goes one of two ways. Either I bet the flop and they call, or I check and they semi-bluff the flop (which I might re-raise based on stacks in order to get them pot committed). Either way, they are basically pot committed on the turn and in goes the money.

wrveres wrote:
Dan Lambskin wrote:over/under on the # of posts of everyone arguing with Madison over the definition of gambling is set at 93.5
can we get a count so far, its gotts to be close ..


Nah, he said the "definition of gambling" and we're way, way under that. ;-)

Will respond to "PokerIsGambling" in a moment. He deserves a personal one on one response.
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