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One Step Ahead

by Andrew Brokos |  Published: Dec 28, 2011


You’ve probably heard poker players talk about first-level thinking, second-level thinking, and so on, but do you know what exactly these terms mean? More importantly, do you know how these concepts should affect your play? Do you know how to think on the highest levels? This month’s article will look at these ideas in light of a hand I played in the recent British Columbia Poker Championship. Levels of Thinking I’ll begin by explaining, for those who don’t know, what exactly I’m talking about. In poker, levels of thinking refer to the depth with which a player is analyzing a given situation and the factors he considers when making his decisions. The first-level thinker considers solely the strength of his own hand rather than what his opponent might have. Only the absolute worst players are pure first-level thinkers, though many poor players revert to this level in certain situations. The ...

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