Thursday, December 20, 2007

Picking on Ed Miller

I hope Ed Miller and his co-authors can consider themselves a success based on the amount of discussion and criticism they generate, because I can't resist pointing out their flaws.

Here's another passage from "Professional No-Limit Hold 'em" that didn't seem right to me:
Many players think experts win because they make these tough decisions well. They miss the point. Good players plan ahead to avoid tough decisions, and so should you.
It would be nice if poker were so easy to play that players could simply avoid all tough decisions by planning better. But that simply isn't the case.

Yes, it's true that avoiding tough decisions by planning your hands can help improve your game. But money isn't made by dodging difficult situations. Profits come from making correct decisions, whether they're simple or complicated. If you avoid all tricky circumstances, you'll forgo countless dollars that could be made when you have an edge.

Money is made by capitalizing on good values when you see them -- not by shying away from hands because they might be too hard to play. Solid poker players evaluate the circumstances and take the best action they can to maximize earnings.

Sacrificing EV to minimize risk makes little sense to me.

Here's another link to a post critical of the authors' claims about the benefits of buying in short: The availability error and short stack strategy.


cmitch said...

I'm just starting to read this book. On the surface it looks like they have some good ideas - hopefully i can sort through the fluff/oversimplification that you have been pointing out.

I wish that there were never tough decisions - that would be nice.

Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Gnome, I really appreciate the recommendation on this book and I'm just about finished with it now. I have a post coming up next week about what I view to be a fatal flaw in the entire premise of the SPR concept, which is related to your post today. I doubt most people but you and cmitch and a few others who have read this book will get anything out of it, but some of the shit in there really bothers me or sticks out as being just dumb.

I'm with you, I doubt these guys are actually professional nlh players at all.

SubZero said...

Thanks for the review, will keep my eyes open when I get round to reading it. Enjoying Phil Gordons little green book presently, might even write a mini review myself on it.

Anyway, have a great xmas and will catch up in the new year.