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Good Plays With Bad Results … and Bad Plays With Good Results

Separating results from analysis

by Matt Matros |  Published: Nov 12, 2010


I once had a student who insisted that every time he lost a hand, he had misplayed it. Conversely, whenever he won a hand, he always claimed to have made the best decision possible on every street. To a beginner, this may seem like a solid approach to analysis, but, in fact, it’s not only wrong, it’s downright hazardous to a player’s development. I’ve often written about avoiding results-oriented thinking, but it’s not always obvious how to do this. Sometimes you’ve made a good play even when you get your money in while drawing dead, and a bad play even when you get it in with the best hand. I’ll show you what I mean through two examples. In a recent $1,000 buy-in shorthanded tournament at the Borgata in Atlantic City, I called a raise from the under-the-gun player (at a six-handed table) when I was in the cutoff, and ...

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