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Profiling Opponents in the Absence of Statistical Convergence

You have more information than you think

by Jeff Hwang |  Published: May 30, 2012


Jeff HwangThere are three basic ways we use statistics in poker:

1. To help profile our opponents in order to make better playing decisions.

2. To analyze our opponents’ play in order to aid in game selection and seat selection, and …

3. To analyze our own play for diagnostic purposes.

While online stat tracking software programs such as PokerTracker or Hold’em Manager gather a wealth of data during game play, making the correct play against a particular opponent in a particular situation is not always as simple as looking at a statistic and having that stat equate directly to an action. More often, we must use a statistic in the context of the player’s profile (Is the player tight-aggressive, loose-aggressive, tight-weak, nit, maniac, etcetera?), in context of other statistics we have on a player, as well in the context of the actions that player has taken in other situations.
This is particularly true in the absence of statistical convergence – that is, in situations when we haven’t had enough trials with a particular opponent for a certain statistic to become statistically significant in and of itself.

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