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Thin Value

The core to a strong poker strategy

by Ed Miller |  Published: Jan 22, 2010


The longer I’ve played poker, the more I’ve become convinced that a single concept is truly at the core of nearly all successful strategies. It’s a concept that is as important in no-limit hold’em as it is in limit stud eight-or-better. This central concept is extracting thin value. It’s a simple idea. On the final betting round, you have an OK hand. It’s the sort of ho-hum hand that you get a dozen or more times in a session. But given the way this particular pot has played out, you think it’s better than whatever your opponent has. You bet the hand, your opponent calls, and you win. Even though the idea is simple, the gap between players who consistently find thin value and those who don’t is massive. Finding thin value doesn’t mean just making a few extra bucks with your so-so hands. It also means being able to ...

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