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Profiling Opponents in the Absence of Statistical Convergence Pt. II

Defaulting to and deviating from basic strategy.

by Jeff Hwang |  Published: Jun 27, 2012

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In my last column, we noted how we must constantly make playing decisions in poker without the benefit of statistical convergence, either because we simply do not have enough trials with a given opponent for any statistic to approach convergence (for example, we are facing players new to us) or because a given situation occurs so infrequently that a given statistic will essentially never approach convergence (for example, flush board check-raise stats). At this point, we have three reasonable choices: Default to basic strategy: With little or no information on an opponent, you should default to basic strategy, which involves making the best play – on average – against the universe of opponents. Play the percentage directly: Take the statistic at face value and play the percentage as if it were statistically significant, or – and more to the point… Profile the player: Use the statistic in the context of ...


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