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Profiling Opponents in the Absence of Statistical Convergence Pt. IV

Profiling the Player

by Jeff Hwang |  Published: Sep 19, 2012


In my previous three columns, 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 ...

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